Every Property Manager will easily recognise the snapshot above is from Domain’s website. From 12/09/18. It’s current. This is Sydney’s rental market right now.
I’d hazard a guess that most of our current generation of Property Managers have never experienced a market as difficult as this in which to let property. Stills Properties has been around a while and I can remember the bad old days of 2006 when we all struggled to let property across the board.
Thinking back on those difficult times I wanted to share some thoughts on how we, as Property Managers and Agents, might help ourselves and our clients through the current difficulties.
Let’s all be more Pro-active in our search for reliable tenants!
The vacancy rate is above 4% in most Sydney suburbs, meaning the numbers are stacked heavily in favour of tenants. Landlords are, as always, keen to get good tenants signed-up quickly to keep their income stream ticking along. The pressure is on we Property Managers and Agents to raise our game and attract suitable tenants for the properties on our rent-rolls.
Times have changed. For now, tenants have the upper-hand in negotiations, more or less dictating the terms and conditions they’re prepared to sign-up to.
Pro-actively marketing each individual rental property on our books, highlighting its features and elaborating on its benefits for specific, targeted potential tenants, can pay dividends. Presentation is everything and yet I still see a prevalence of poor photography and sloppy script writing for rental properties in every market segment, from basic 1-bed apartments all the way up to luxury houses.
We’re undermining ourselves individually and as a profession if we don’t take more care in this regard. Getting the simple stuff right makes it easier to get the more difficult stuff right.
Collectively, we Agents and Property Managers need to step outside our own comfort zone and reassess our attitude to the convenience of potential renters.
For example, some recently carried out due diligence involved making phone calls to 11 different Agents asking to view one of their listings. The results are not flattering for our profession:
- 4 of the Agents didn’t even return our phone call
- 6 of the Agents advised that they had an open home on Saturday
- None of those 6 offered to show the property outside of the open home times
- 1 Agent advised that they “may have someone already interested in the property” and it might be a “waste of time” for us to view
With decade-high vacancy rates, can any of us, Agents or Property Managers, really afford to not return a phone call enquiring about one of our rental properties? Is turning away an interested party because we ‘might’ already have someone, a sound marketing policy? Particularly without even offering to discuss an alternative listing?
As property professionals, shouldn’t we be more accommodating to potential renters by introducing some flexibility into the showing of properties? Making appointments to view outside restrictive open home times could just be the thing that gets you and your landlord a valuable tenant.
Times change. Markets change. Property Managers must change too.
Renters can shop around and choose the Property Manager who ticks all their boxes. It’s up to us as individual Property Managers to be innovative and maintain our own high standards to be in with a chance of winning their business.
I’m Brigitte Stills of Stills Properties. Contact me on 0419 426 038 if you’re looking for, or have, a property for let. Or, if you’re an Agent/Property Manager searching for more tips on how to succeed in a difficult rental market with pro-active marketing of the properties on your rent-roll.