When moving with pets, keeping the four-legged family members happy is an important part of a successful shift. And with attention to a few small details your pets can be safely and happily transported to your new home.
Moving with pets starts with open homes
Good pet care around moving house doesn’t just start once you’ve signed on the dotted line. It’s a good idea to consider your cats and dogs as soon as you list your home for selling. Keeping your property open-home ready obviously involves your pets as you need to ensure is free of animal related mess. If you have a dog try and make time to give them extra walks and park visits so they’re less inclined to be destructive around the house, upsetting your best laid open home plans.
Always make sure your dog is away from the property during open homes as even small, friendly dogs can make some visitors anxious. And having loads of strangers traipse through their territory can be very stressful for dogs and cats.
When it comes to cats, they’ll most likely have a secret spot they will sidle off to during the rush of open homes, but if you have a particularly scared cat you could consider placing them in a cattery for a day. More realistic is to just ensure they have a safe place to hide out and they have plenty of food and water in a discreet place outside. And make sure you call them and try for lots of reassuring cuddles when the open home is after.
Try and keep pets away from the hustle and bustle of packing as they do pick up on any unsettled vibes and may decide to hide out where you can’t find them till the fuss is over. If possible consider moving cats and dogs into a boarding facility for a day or two while you get the last packing and loading done, then collect them on the way to the new property.
Talk to your vet about how best to calmly transport your pets between your old home and new. Depending on the distance you’re travelling and the age or disposition of your pet they may recommend some sedation to ease the stress.
Once you arrive at your new home it might be tempting to set your pet free from its cage to explore, but in fact new spaces can be overwhelming for animals. Set aside a room for your pet that they can stay in as they acclimatise to their new environment. Just keep in mind that if your pets don’t get along now is not necessarily the time to lock them in a room together!
Make sure they have somewhere secure to sleep, like a familiar blanket or cushion in a box or on a familiar chair as well as plenty of food and water – and, for cats, a litter box. Make sure you visit them often for reassuring cuddles and to make sure they’re eating, drinking and using the litter box, but if they’re reluctant to come out from under that bed don’t force them. They’ll gradually come around once they get used to their new surroundings.
Take dogs outside for toilet breaks accompanied by you, on a leash if necessary as they get used to the new property.
Although it might seem a logical thing to do, when moving with pets it is not the time to do a big wash of your pets’ blankets or bedding. The familiar smell of a favourite blanket will be a big sign to them that your new house is their home now.
Use your pet’s behaviour as a guide to when they’re ready to explore more further afield. If they still run and hide whenever someone comes into their room, they’re not ready. But if they’re friendly and relaxed then you can start to expand their access to the rest of the house. With cats you can gradually move their litter box further afield until it’s outside.
If it’s possible locate your pet’s feeding and sleeping spots in areas similar to your previous home.
As they venture outside for the first time let them explore at their own place with you nearby. In the end you will be the most familiar thing that lets your pet know this is now home so spend some time with them!
Post originally featured on the Harcourts New Zealand Blog: Keep your pets happy on the move.
Understanding Live Streaming
With Facebook live being made available to every user in April, the world’s largest social network joined Twitter’s Periscope and gave users the ability to live stream from their phones.
Compared to the separate app and clunky (second app) functionality of Twitter, streaming your activities live on Facebook is a relatively seamless process. If you combine the ease of adoption with the much larger user base, and your connections – Facebook live becomes a compelling tool to communicate with your friends and followers.
Facebook Prioritising Video And Live Streaming
On top of the larger user base, Facebook’s algorithm (prioritisation) for displaying content to other users, favours live video over and above all other content. They even have a separate priority push notification that you will receive if a friend or brand you follow goes live.
Try out personal live streaming
From your home screen there is a simple live button that allows you to:
- Set up an enticing title, select your audience (Public, friends or a custom group you’ve created. If you launch the live stream from within a closed group it will also protect those privacy setting as well).
- Before clicking go live, select a spot where wind and background noise are at a minimum.
- Clicking the blue go live button commences a three second countdown that you can use to frame yourself or your subjects correctly and to start smiling.
Stream from your Facebook Business Page
By downloading the Facebook Pages Manager app it is also possible to stream as a page. you can access the functionality by selecting:
- The page you wish to manage.
- Select post.
- Select live.
- Set geo targeting and age targeting.
- Click go live, which again initiates a three second countdown.
As with all videos once uploaded they feature in your timeline and can be found by others. Remember to remove any videos that are only of relevance for a short time or that have promotions or details that expire.
What And Why Would I Live Stream?
Live stream by nature suits to reaching your audience immediately. Here are a few ways to leverage the medium.
Local event – As a real estate professional, customers expect you to be on the pulse of the neighbourhood. Streaming the bustling activity of a local fare or fundraising activity could be a great way to get more folks down and participating. Turn the camera to the scenery around you and let them soak in the action. Of course remember to value their time. Switch off when the action’s over.
Thought leadership – As a business owner or leading real estate professional you could leverage the channel to highlight your expertise. When legislation changes, interest rates move or something significant happens in the market, live streaming could be a great way to bring your followers up to speed.
For Mortgage Brokers this could be a quick fire way to alert customers when a rate change might affect their options of fixed or floating rates.
Being of service to your customers or followers should always be your first thought when sharing – even on livestream. Think would I find this interesting or useful? Another way to portray thought leadership and be of service to your client could simply be to bring a friend/colleague/expert into the conversation. For example, if there was a current forest fire risk in your neighbourhood, then bring on a fireman to advise clients on protecting their property.
Team Updates – As a business owner, an unconventional way to keep your team up to date might be live streaming. For example if a team member has just hit a sales milestone, popping them on live as you congratulate them would be a great way to recognise their commitment and efforts amongst their peers.
Ask me anything or behind the scenes – Two final uses for live streaming could be answering questions from followers or providing a peek into your craft . As a real estate professional I would sue these sparingly and only when something unique or extraordinary is happening in your career. For example if it is unusual for you to have an open home at a celebrity home or the property is very unique. For more tips check out Facebook’s own ideas.
Buyers looking to purchase an investment property to rent out often have difficulty determining the accurate rental price. There are many factors to consider and if you don’t assess your property value correctly you could end up over- or undercharging and neither are a situation you want to be in.
Initial rental price calculations
The accepted calculation standard for a long time has been to charge up to 1.1% of the property’s value in relative terms. Take note that as the property’s value increases the percentage of rental yield decreases because of the low demand for rental in high value properties. In some cases rental price go as low as the .7% mark.
A lot of other variables need to be taken into account, with one of the most important external factors influencing rental price being the location of the property. Suburb, sea views, amenities, schools, business districts, transport routes all play a major part in the demand for a rental property and often we will see homes of equal value and characteristics several kilometres apart charging completely different rental prices due to their location factors. Another key variable is supply and demand and depending on the current trend this will have a definite effect on your rental price.
Once you’ve assessed the advantageous features of your property you need to research property comparisons in your area to get an idea of what the local standards are. Browse listings of estate agents or property portals and locate properties of similar value and features. In addition give the local estate agent a call, if they’re worth their salt they’ll be able to assist you and give you a great idea of what rental income you can expect. Consider every little detail.
Internal factors need to be assessed in conjunction with elements out of your hands, such as the condition of your property. In this instance you need to be very honest with yourself and identify any issues a tenant might have; cracks in the wall, paint peeling, cupboard space, kitchen size etc. You have to view your property through the eyes of somebody wanting to walk in and call your place home.
Do you cover water and electricity?
Calculate your bond repayments, levies and other expenses and compare them to a realistic rental income, this way you can determine what you can afford as well as decide whether you should let the tenant pay for water and electricity or if you’re able to absorb some of the costs to make the property more appealing.
Once you’ve evaluated all these guidelines and determined a price, gauge the ad response and demand for the property to assess whether your rental expectations are too high or too low. Demand is a great indicator of your property’s value as many tenants are knowledgeable of what realistic rent prices are. If the ad response is very bad, and you’ve ticked all the necessary marketing boxes, then maybe you’ve overestimated the rental price. Reassess and adjust your rental expectation slightly lower and then see what the response is. If on the other hand you get a huge response and are inundated with enquiries you can afford to push the price a little higher.
Your local Harcourts agent can help clarify rental pricing
In conclusion, all of these guidelines are only a drop in the ocean in comparison to the knowledge worthy estate agents have and it is undoubtedly still the best option, to find a local estate agent to assist you in managing your property. They will not only accurately measure your rental income but ensure all the legalities are followed and tenants are managed professionally and lawfully.
This article originally appeared on the Harcourts South Africa website: How to determine the rental price of your investment property.
It’s no secret that spring tends to be a busy time for buyers as more homes tend to be listed than during the cooler seasons of the year. If you’re looking to sell in spring here are five ways to freshen up your home and help it stand out from the crowd.
As the name suggests, spring is the perfect time to clean, tidy and generally declutter your home. Decluttering in particular is an important step to take when listing your home for sale, as clutter can detract from the potential of your home, with buyers unable to properly envisage themselves living there. If it doesn’t put them off making an offer, it can hurt the offer they put in, with some research suggesting buyers commonly under-value cluttered homes.
Spring is also a great time of year to get in there and tidy the garden. Why not take advantage of the ideal climate and plant some new ornamental, but fast-growing and hardy plants as well to add to your homes curb-appeal. It’s also important to weed the property, keep the lawn looking its best through regular mowing, and make sure that any clutter which does not belong outside is brought in, or thrown away.
If you’ve been meaning to finish painting the spare bedroom or fixing the back fence, spring is the perfect time to get it done. Not only is the weather more favourable, but buyers will certainly notice half-finished paint jobs or any repairs that are needed and they may be inclined to subtract the total amount of odd-jobs from any offer they make or turn their interest towards a home that’s ready to move in as is.
Have you been meaning to donate a few pieces of old furniture to charity or upgrade a tired looking couch. Whilst you may be holding off the purchase of new furniture until after you move home, don’t let it be at the expense of selling your current property. If furniture is only slightly dated, why not spruce it up? Add new, bright cushions to couches and chairs or throw a crisp, white table cloth over a tired dining table.
If furniture is particularly worn or dated, why not consider moving it out of the home and having your property professionally staged for sale? That way an expert can select the pieces that will best complement your home and make it as attractive as possible to buyers.
Don’t forget about the finishing touches
Once the garden is looking great, the house is clean and tidy and maintenance is sorted, don’t forget to make sure the house looks like a home. This can be as simple as placing fresh-cut flowers in a vase on the dining table, or fresh fruit in an attractive bowl on the kitchen bench. Remember to charm all of the senses when preparing your home for sale and light candles, or bake during an open home to make the house as inviting as possible.
Without tenants our investment properties start to lose their income potential and become another outgoing cost, but sometimes troublesome tenants can be more costly than a potential vacancy. So what can you do to ensure any early issues that arise with your tenants don’t turn into a major headache down the road?
Here are some steps you can take before troublesome tenants become unmanageable.
Speak with your property manager early
If your investment property is being managed by a property manager, then chances are they are the ones that have identified the issue. Once identified it’s best to try and resolve the problem early before the matter escalates. Depending on the type of problem, your property manager will be able to guide you on your options but will need you to make final decisions.
For example, if during a routine inspection, minor property damage is found at the fault of your tenant, your property manager will notify you and will also notify your tenants, asking them to rectify the issue at their cost in a specific timeframe.
In cases where the damage is not rectified, your property manager will follow-up with the tenants on your behalf and if need be will guide you through the process of making a claim to have the cost reimbursed from the tenant’s bond, which is why it’s important to have the matter discussed as soon as possible as there are timeframes around this.
Note, the latter process has strict rules around it and it’s best to have a chat with your property manager or receive expert guidance on how to proceed.
Make sure everyone understands their obligations when it comes to rent
As a landlord, you have entered into a legal contract with your tenant to exchange accommodation in return for payment.
Make sure you’re clear that rent must be paid in full and when it’s to be paid i.e. make sure your tenant knows you won’t accept partial payments. If your property is being property managed, your property manager will make this clear to the tenant from the outset, in writing.
When it comes to rent that has fallen into arrears, there are things to consider before starting formal proceedings, again your property manager will guide you through this process and handle communication on your behalf.
Make sure you are getting regular property condition reports
Property managers know the ins and outs of property condition reporting and can perform these or organise to have them performed on your behalf.
Property condition reports protect you from potential conflict with your tenants down the track by ensuring photos, and detailed descriptions are taken for the property at the start of a lease agreement. This means if any damage is found when the tenant moves on, you’re both protected by a condition report which can easily prove if the damage was existing or not.
Be prepared if a dispute does escalate
If an issue can’t be resolved, a property manager can appear on your behalf to provide evidence and handle complaints which are referred to an administrative tribunal.
Property managers are required to keep detailed records of an agreement, inspections and even conversations, all of which are helpful when disputes escalate. If you are managing your investment property yourself, it’s also a good idea to ensure you keep track of notes made during inspections and conversations.