Monthly Archives: March 2015

DIY Property Maintenance – Money Saver Or Unnecessary Headache?

Managing your own investment property comes with quite a bit of expense. So when it comes to routine maintenance on the property it can be tempting to consider making the necessary inspections, repairs and fixes yourself, rather than using a tradesperson who could end up costing you more…

It sounds like a money-saving idea in theory, but in reality, doing DIY property maintenance on your investment property could actually cause you quite a few headaches.

Headache 1 – Knowledge of tenants’ rights

You might be skilled enough to do maintenance and repairs on your property, but are you aware of, and up-to-date with a tenant’s rights when it comes to repairs and maintenance? Some issues are classed as urgent in legislation, and need to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

An example would be something essential breaking, like toilets or anything that stops the flow of water to the property. When things like this occur they’re generally classed as urgent, and need immediate attention.

Headache 2 – On call for emergencies

If a situation like the above does happen, you will need to be immediately available to attend to the repair, even during inconvenient hours.

You’ll also need to either be skilled enough to fix the issue yourself or have the proper contacts to get a tradesperson out quickly to fix the problem for you.

Headache 3 – Lack of quality, well-priced contacts

If in the event a serious repair is needed, and you do have to enlist the help of a tradesperson, do you have a bank of contacts you know are fairly priced, available at all hours for emergencies, and who will provide a quality service?

A property manager can save you both time and money

If you’re not sure if you’d be able to deal with these headaches long-term, it could be worth using a property manager. Whilst property management services do attract a fee which is usually a negotiated percentage of the rental price, in the long-term, they can end up saving you money on repairs and maintenance, as well as being much more convenient.

Property managers are required to keep up-to-date with legislation which affects your rental property. They know exactly what’s constitutes an urgent repair and what doesn’t, and can explain these details to your tenants.

Property managers are also used to receiving calls on weekends, holidays and out of business hours to attend to urgent matters either you or your tenants might face. They’re also equipped to act quickly in these times.

Property managers also have great tradespeople in their contacts lists. Because they deal with different tradespeople across a range of industries, they generally know who provides quality service at a reasonable price. Some may even be able to negotiate discounted fees for you depending on their relationship with the agency.

You can’t underestimate just how much cash a property manager can save you in the long-run, with good relationships potentially saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.


Our team would be glad to tell you more about our property management services in your area.


Tell me more, contact me


Can Scents Help Sell Your Home?

Lighting candles, spritzing air fresheners, and baking cookies. They’re all common recommendations when thinking of scents to sell your home, with the long-held belief that potential buyers engage all five senses when inspecting a property.

So how important are scents when it comes to making a good first impression with your home? It’s true that there are many other factors that play a part in making that crucial first impression.

Air out the rooms of your house that face away from the sun to remove any damp or musty air and be conscious of creating moisture through showering or bathing just before open home hours. Also avoid cooking anything too overpowering for dinner or breakfast that day.  This will leave the rooms neutral and ready to add scents to.

If you’re confident you have done everything you can to ready your home for inspection, then it’s a good idea to look at those final few touches that will present your property in the best possible light on the day.

Use subtle scents to help sell your home

Sure, noticing a subtle but pleasant smell when entering a home is always lovely, but being hit with an overpowering odour can leave potential buyers left thinking of nothing else, when what you’re aiming for is creating ambiance.

A pleasant scent should be background music so-to-speak. It should add to the overall impression you leave on potential buyers, but not be so strong that it’s distracting.

Simple works best

The less is more mantra can also be applied to the type of scent you choose.  Research conducted by Eric R. Spangenberg, dean for the College of Business at Washington State University, suggests that complex scents, with a mix of multiple fragrances, can overwhelm potential buyers.

A subtle, simple scent of orange, or cinnamon might be a better option than say a strong floral scent, with multiple competing notes.

Tailor for each room and season

Another option to consider is a scent for each room of the house, such as cinnamon or vanilla in the kitchen or sea minerals or a subtle floral scent in the bathroom.

Season also plays a role, with some floral scents evoking images of spring and others like sandalwood or frankincense reminding us of winter.

Funnily enough, research has shown that when shoppers smell a scent ordinarily associated with winter during the summer months, it causes confusion and competes for their attention, leading to less focus on their inspection of your property.

When it comes to selecting a scent when staging your home, the key is to keep it simple, subtle and appropriate.

What would your target buyer expect?

Think of your target buyer as well. If your home is a minimalist modern apartment, then the crisp clean scents would reflect that.  For an elder buyer,  sandalwood and warming fragrances would reassure them of warmth in winter.

With these things in mind, you should be well on your way to creating a positive, lasting impression on potential buyers.

Oh, and if this has your nose twitching you might like this article. Researchers in Belgium found the scent of chocolate had a great positive effect on bookstore sales.


maximise the roi of your investment property

8 Ways A Property Manager Can Help To Maximise ROI On Your Investment Property

Getting the most out of your investment property is our priority. Here are 8 ways that property managers can help ensure you get maximum return on investment.

8-ways a property manager can help with your rental property

  1. Property managers are equipped to conduct thorough research of the property market to work out the best rental price for your property.
  2. Property managers have access to a large network of prospective renters and are able to find a tenant who is willing to pay the maximum rent for your property.
  3. Property managers have access to sophisticated marketing tools and strategies, properly promoting the benefits of your home to find the highest number of potential tenants.
  4. With their network and marketing advantages, property managers can minimise vacancies. Ensuring your property is never without a tenant for long.
  5. Property managers can save you money on repairs and maintenance. With a network of preferred tradespeople who are able to offer the most competitive rates that are not always available to the general public.
  6. A property manager can help with tax depreciation. Most property managers have contacts who are able to perform tax depreciation reports on your property – helping you to claim the maximum back at tax time.
  7. Property managers who have access to mortgage professionals can put you in contact with a broker who understands which loans and options would specifically suit property investment.
  8. Some property managers can help you secure the best deal on insurance with contacts who are able to offer you a more competitive premium.

Find good tenants - Attracting and keeping good tenants

Find Good Tenants – Attract And Keep Them

There have been long queues of students lining up for rental property over the last few months.  Landlords could be forgiven for wondering why amid housing shortages their property is sitting vacant. In today’s market, good tenants have increasing expectations of rental properties. Here are a few tips on how you can attract and keep good tenants.

Find Good locations, find good tenants

Location, location, location. You’ve heard it before but for rental properties it’s never been truer. Today’s renters want to live close to where they work, study and send their children to school. They want to avoid traffic woes, have easy access to shops, entertainment and activities, be close to transport links and live in a safe area.

Proximity to the places where we spend our time is the most important factor in choosing a rental property.

Features and Maintenance

Tenants, particularly good ones, are now asking property managers more questions about a property’s features. Are the windows double glazed? Is there underfloor heating? Is there off street parking? What about storage space? Is it insulated? Is there an alarm system?

Maintenance is also critical. Keep on top of repairs and when your property is between tenants. Take the opportunity to give it a spruce up with a coat of neutral coloured paint, a thorough professional clean and make sure the garden is well-tended.

Not only will this help to attract new tenants but your tenants will also take better care of your property if it is well cared for.

Harcourts Remuera Property Manager, Michelle Bellette, says that renters desire to have a well-maintained property is one of the reasons more tenants are seeking properties that are professionally managed.

People like to come home to a nice environment after a day at work. Renters know that properties under professional management will be well maintained and that repairs will be taken care of quickly.

“A good property manager will take note of the state of the property during inspections so that repairs can be proactively managed. In most cases, maintenance is more cost-effective than repair.” says Bellette.

“Tenants also feel more comfortable sharing their personal information with property managers as they know it will be securely managed.” adds Bellette.

Along with making your property more attractive to tenants, property managers remove much of the risk associated with your investment property. They do this by ensuring that your legal obligations are met, that tenants are appropriately screened and rent collection is effectively managed.

Appliances matter to good tenants

In today’s market, tenants’ expectations for provision of appliances are growing. Heat pumps are a priority. Dishwashers appeal. In apartments fridges, freezers and washing machines are expected. In major centres where there are high student numbers, high immigration or a transitory population, inclusion of appliances will help to secure tenants and raise rental return.

For landlords with multiple properties, to maximise returns, keep an eye out for retail sales, purchase appliances on special and simply store until they’re needed.

In summary, in today’s market:

  • buy in the right location
  • provide good appliances
  • have high-quality features
  • and keeping your property well-kept

This combination will improve occupancy rates and attract a rental premium, delivering higher yields for your investment.

It might cost a bit more in the short-term but doing these things will pay dividends in the long run.


Our team would be glad to tell you more about our property management services in your area.


Tell me more, contact me


selling your home in autumn

Five Reasons Autumn Is The Perfect Time To Sell Your Property

It’s been a long-held belief in the real estate world that the best time to list your property is in spring. There’s definitely merit to this, with gardens looking their best and with the warmer weather, but that doesn’t mean you should hold off listing your property as we come into autumn. Here are five reasons why:


Typically we see fewer properties coming onto the market during the cooler months, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be fewer buyers out there. Listing your property during autumn means your property will have fewer properties to compete with and may attract more interest.


In early autumn, namely March, there are no school holidays to compete with, meaning most buyers will be available to attend open homes. Unlike summer where the long Christmas and New Year break often means potential buyers are distracted and possibly travelling, March is a relatively quiet month with students still in school until the Easter break in April.


Much like spring, the weather in autumn is actually great house-hunting weather. We’re just past the storm season of summer, and we’re not yet into the much colder months of June through August. This means crisper, sunny days and less sweltering, humid, rainy or cold days that may deter potential buyers from inspecting in other seasons.


One drawback to listing your home in peak seasons is the interest you’ll get from ‘tyre kickers’. These are the browsers who go from open home to open home without the serious intention of buying. In off-peak times, you’re far more likely to attract serious buyers who are looking to move due to circumstance rather than season.


Lots of us make a plan to tick off the big ticket items on our list after New Years and that includes buying a property. Serious potential buyers are trawling through new listings in the first few months of the year and making plans to attend open homes, so make sure yours is listed!

If you’re wondering how many homes are on the market in your local area, chat to your Harcourts agent. They’ll have a comprehensive list of homes on the market and can let you know if now is a good time to list your property for sale.