Your Property Assessment Is Your Best Investment

When to have a Property Assessment Done?

Thinking of buying a rental property? Are you wondering if the property you’re keen on is a solid investment? Will it rent? If these questions (or others) are on your mind, and you want an experienced industry expert to do the legwork and provide a comprehensive assessment of this property’s viability as a rental, then keep reading.

Even the most experienced real estate investors and landlords may not be up on every neighborhood’s status, and current trends in the market or have the time to do the research. However, if you’re serious about being profitable in this market, please do your due diligence or hire someone to do it for you.

What’s Included In a Property Assessment

I evaluate the property, research the area, and give you the honest feedback you need to make a decision and may even wind up with some negotiating points.

What’s involved and included in a property assessment? The following list of highlights is by no means everything, but it gives you a general idea of the depth and value of what having an assessment can do for you in making the right property choice.

Each property assessment will provide:

  • Determination if this property is worthy of tenants?
  • Property Assessment Overview
  • Appraisal of rent
  • What property consists of (and what’s missing)
  • Profile of tenant – what type of tenant will want it 
  • Suitability of the property for rental 
  • A summary of who lives in the area, schools, parks, ages, renters profile, rents, the average longevity of tenants. 
  • List of repairs required
  • Safety and security assessment of the property and area
  • Does it meet compliance
  • and more

A Property Assessment is for you if

  1. You are thinking about purchasing and not quite sure if the purchase should be a house or an apartment.
  2. Have a property you are seriously considering purchasing but want to make sure it will meet your cash flow goals
  3. You have a busy schedule 
  4. You don’t know the area well
  5. You have less than 2 properties in your portfolio 
  6. You know you need to do your due diligence, and you want to make sure you don’t miss important things
  7. You’ve had a bad experience in the past because of unknown issues with the property
  8. You are planning on fixing up the property and/or renting it out
  9. You want to have another expert on your team to evaluate the property
  10. You want to determine how profitable you can be with the property or avoid loss
  11. You want long-term tenants 

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these, then a property assessment is likely the next best step. 

Contact us today to discuss.

How To Prevent Tenants From Falling In Arrears

Having a good relationship with your tenants will help your property management business to thrive.

We have all had impactful times in the last two years, and so have your tenants. 

Once you create this ongoing relationship with your renter, you will be able to continually talk to them openly and discuss issues that they may be facing in their lives. Believe me, you want to know what’s going on so you can prevent headaches and lost revenue.

Utilize Phone Calls for Better Tenant Relations

From the outset get in the habit of calling your tenants. You may want to do an introductory call when they first move in to remind them that you are their contact when they have any issues regarding the property or their financial commitments. 

Periodically, give your tenants a call. This will establish an ongoing relationship and allows them to feel more comfortable talking to you about any financial or personal issues that they may be facing at that time.

You will know when there is a problem or one looming in the future. Renters are just like us; they have day-to-day issues they are dealing with.  They will not open up unless they know and feel that you are one of their trusted confidants.

Building a relationship with your renters is not easy.  It takes time and patience and is a necessity when you are in property management.

Ask Questions and Listen

Learning the skills is easy. You have to listen and ask the right questions, at the time of leasing the property to your renters.

Getting to know your tenants in the early stages of signing the tenancy agreement:

  • is the key to building a solid relationship with them; and
  • to ensure they are aware that you are there for them, to discuss any difficult situations that they may be experiencing; and,
  • that you are the ‘go-to person’ before they fall into arrears.

Manage Expectations with Your Tenants

When signing the tenancy agreement, the renters should be advised of your system of collecting rent. Let them know if they fall into arrears; what steps will be taken and why. In this way, the renters know from the beginning of what to expect.

Falling in arrears is bad for the property manager and has serious consequences for the renter.

In fact, most tenants have never been advised:

  • of what actions an agent can take when they fall in arrears,
  • that they could end up with significant information being entered on their file and on the Tenancy ledger. 

(Tenancy ledgers have a way of showing up when you do not want them to, especially if you are looking at renting another property.

These agencies will be asking for the Tenancy ledger for reference checking before they are accepted as a tenant. Once this information is entered, it stays there; it is a trust document and cannot be changed. 

A good relationship and excellent communication with your renters will help you both have a blissful relationship and a happy tenancy.

Train Your Team To Develop Working Relationships with Tenants

If you need to put in place a proven system to manage tenant relationships that prevent tenants from falling in arrears, please contact us. I’d love to have a conversation about how you and/or your team can benefit and grow your rent rolls.

Make sure your property is safe?

When owning or managing an investment property, you are bound by a legal duty of care to the tenant to ensure that the property is fit and safe to reside in.

Maintenance and repair requirements can fall into different categories in accordance with each State law, such as:-

  • general repairs;
  • urgent (emergency) repairs; and
  • repairs that (if not actioned promptly) can lead to a litigation claim and compensation payable if someone is injured or adversely impacted.

Throughout the management of your property, if you are confronted with repair requests below, it is important that you take immediate action:-

  • Faulty window or door locks.
  • Ripples or loose threads in the carpet or on the stairwell.
  • Cracked or sharp edges on tiles.
  • Cracked or loose power points sockets.
  • External uneven pavers.
  • Balcony railings – ensure they meet Council regulations and are not loose.
  • Loose or exposed wiring on light fittings.
  • Appliances that are shorting out the electrical circuit board.
  • Circuit board has been upgraded to meet requirements.
  • Inadequate lighting in stairways and external walkway areas.
  • Unnecessary objects protruding out that could lead to a slip and fall.
  • Sagging ceilings.
  • Faulty or non-closing pool gate fence.
  • Dry rot on external railings, floorboards, and steps.
  • Loose or hanging gutters and downpipes.
  • Non-compliant smoke detectors and safety switches.
  • Excessive mould.

If a claim was made; the questions asked to determine liability would include:-

  • Was the accident the result of failure to repair, maintain or clean the space?
  • Could the accident have been prevented in any way?
  • Would it have been reasonable to have noticed the repair/hazard?

We do understand that, for many investors, paying for and attending to repairs and maintenance can place a financial strain on a household. However, the consequences of not being proactive can result in an unwanted lawsuit.

DIY Repairs

With tradie shortages, COVID restrictions and tight budgets, some landlords are attempting repairs and maintenance themselves. Others are engaging tradespeople based on the cheapest possible quote.

Be very careful.

When it comes to residential rental properties, there are strict regulations on who can conduct repairs and maintenance. If things go wrong, it can cost the landlord far more than they save.

6 Things you need to know before you DIY on your rental property

  1. Established property managers have a network of excellent tradies who will prioritise work on the properties in their care. It’s certainly the case for our landlords. In fact, we have the power to be highly selective about the tradespeople we use and we select according to their reliability, quality workmanship and value for money.
  2. Trades must carry significant insurance – particularly if they are working on a strata property. If you choose to use your own trades, make sure you ask to see their certificate of insurance and expect to see an 8 or 9 figure sum insured.
  3. Tradies who work on rental properties must have a registered Australian Business Number (known as an ABN). There are huge penalties if something goes wrong and the authorities discover you used an unregistered tradesperson.
  4. Only qualified trades can perform repairs on rental properties so if you are planning to do the work yourself, you need to be a qualified, insured and registered tradesperson. Ignoring this legal requirement could cost you far more than the repairs themselves!
  5. Never contact the tenant direct – even if it is to arrange a time to conduct repairs or maintenance – as it could lead to disputes or complaints between you and the tenant.
  6. Always talk to your property manager before embarking on any repairs, maintenance or upgrades on your investment property. At Stills Properties, we believe an important part of our job is to advise landlords on what work needs to be done so you don’t over invest in your property.

One more peril

Ignorance is probably the biggest risk for any landlord. Whether it’s how to choose a conscientious property manager or what is and isn’t allowed. But that’s why so many of our landlords choose Stills Properties and then recommend us to their friends and family.

We build relationships with both our landlords and our tenants so they feel comfortable asking us questions or discussing their concerns. They know they will receive timely, honest and knowledgeable advice.

If you are thinking about buying your first investment property or you are an established landlord who is tired of being treated like a number, get in touch with Brigitte from Stills Properties. Simply call 1300 091 638 or email

Make the current lockdown work for you by reviewing your property investment options

There’s nothing like a COVID lockdown to give us time to think about things. After all, there isn’t much we can do. So let’s turn this negative into a positive by talking about how the rental market is changing.

3 Key Trends

Trend # 1:  Tenants are on the move

Tenants are looking for more space because they are working from home, home schooling their kids and craving open space. For families, there is a definite move away from units and into houses. As a result, rentals for houses are on the rise. In fact, it seems like the rental returns for houses are increasing each month.

Trend # 2:  Young people are moving out of home

This is the group who are attracted to units. They are feeling a bit claustrophobic living with their parents and are looking for their own space. In general, they want clean, modern units at a moderate price.

Trend # 3:  Seniors are moving into retirement villages

If you speak with retirement village salespeople, they’ll tell you their industry has never been busier as seniors are realising how isolated they are during COVID spikes. The great news for property investors is that this group is selling their homes, giving you the opportunity to tap into the potential returns from Trend #1.

What do these trends mean for property investors?

When it comes to investing in property, there are 2 investment strategies – purchasing for long-term capital growth or purchasing to gain passive rental income. Knowing your property investment strategy, should determine which type of property you buy.

Either way, now is a great time to review your situation so you can take advantage of the opportunities the current property market is offering.

Of course, you need to involve your financial planner when making these decisions. But we also suggest speaking with us BEFORE you buy as we can provide a comprehensive and accurate Pre-Purchase Investment Property Rental Appraisal. This will give you the latest information on the renters’ profile for the area you are considering. That’s important as it will determine whether you should be purchasing a unit or a house.

We’ll also provide you with information on:

  • The current rentals achieved
  • Days on the market
  • An overview of the suburb
  • Sought after locations within the area you are considering
  • What upgrades you may need to make now or in the future

This is valuable, independent information you need to know before you sign a contract because it will guide you on the returns you can expect from a property. At only $150 + GST, our Pre-Purchase Investment Property Rental Appraisal could be the best investment you ever make.

Make the current lockdown work for you

With over 35 years’ property management experience, you can rely on Brigitte Stills and her team to guide you on your investment property selection.

So don’t waste the current lockdown. Start making it work for you by reviewing your investment property strategy and asking Brigitte to help you select your next property. To learn more or to arrange your Pre-Purchase Investment Property Rental Appraisal, contact Brigitte on 1300 091 638 or