At Hutton & Hutton, many of our landlords are located interstate and overseas, so we have a keen understanding of the struggles our landlords face. It’s not always easy managing investment property, especially when you consider that it’s often your most expensive and important asset.
That’s why we’ve put together this article. We wanted to pass on our 5 top tips to landlords who can’t always be located near their investments so you can rest easy knowing your property is safe and well managed.
1. Find a trustworthy property manager
This is one of the most important things you can do if you plan to invest or already own an investment property interstate. Your property manager is going to be your eyes, ears, and mouth. They will be watching over your property and ensuring it is clean and well looked after, they will be listening to complaints and feedback from your tenants, and they will often be passing on information and actions from you to your tenants or to tradespeople servicing your property.
Therefore, it’s important to find a property manager you can trust implicitly. At Hutton & Hutton, we treat our client’s properties as though they were our own. Quite a few members of our team are landlords themselves, so we understand what it means to have someone keeping a close eye on things.
We ensure our interstate and overseas landlords are always kept in the loop on everything to do with their investment. We begin by choosing a golden tenant, the best-suited tenant for the property, and getting them settled in. Then we conduct several detailed inspections per year, complete with photographs we then send on to you. We also always make sure you receive rental disbursements on time, so you’re never left out of pocket.
Your property is important to you, so it’s important to us too.
2. Get comprehensive landlord’s insurance
Landlord insurance is crucial, especially for landlords who can’t be close by to their properties. Yes, it’s an initial outlay, but you’re really better off safe than sorry. After all, are you a strong enough financial position to cover yourself for prolonged periods of vacancy? What if your tenants are in arrears? Or if upon exit you find there is malicious property damage?
We know this may seem expensive when you initially outlay the money. However, if and when the worst happens you will be thanking yourself for having the foresight. Not to mention, your bank account will be much, much happier.
3. Keep up-to-date on what’s happening in the area in which you own property
The events, developments, and news for the area in which your investment is located are important and frequently overlooked. For example, if a new shopping centre opens nearby and you’re unaware, you could be missing out on an opportunity to increase the rent. Alternatively, if the anything happens to decrease the value of the neighbourhood and you’re left out of the loop, you may find yourself frustrated at unexplained, prolonged vacancy times.
A good property management team will keep you updated on what’s happening in the suburb. At Hutton & Hutton, we release monthly blog articles outlining what’s happening in the New Farm and East Brisbane suburbs. We also release a bi-weekly newsletter to all our clients so they’re always kept in the loop regarding neighbourhood developments.
4. Keep up with outdoor maintenance
It’s hard to know whether the lawn needs a mow when you’re thousands of miles away from the lawn. That’s why it can be beneficial to set up a schedule with a local business to take care of the exterior to your property for you.
Most landscaping services will offer the option to set up a plan whereby they will do the yardwork routinely every 6-8 weeks or more frequently if the weather has been less than kind. By creating a schedule, you no longer need to worry about the curbside appeal of your property!
Another great way to stay on top of the maintenance is by keeping in touch with your property manager. Their routine inspections will be a great way of knowing whether your tenants are caring for the yard.
5. Get yearly appraisals on your property
A yearly appraisal can be handy to overseas and interstate landlords for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it helps you keep tabs on whether you’re charging enough for rent or if you may be overcharging. Secondly, it will help you understand the right time to sell the property to make the best return on your investment.
Hutton & Hutton offer free detailed annual appraisals so you’re always aware of how much rent you should be charging and how much your property is worth. We believe an informed landlord is a happy landlord and we know keeping you up-to-date will allow you to place your trust in us.
If you’d like to have your investment property appraised to rent, please don’t hesitate to contact Lara Spain, our Business Development Manager. If you’re thinking of selling your investment property and would like to know the current market value, give Peter Hutton or Angelo Zardo a call today.