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Super-Size your property portfolio

29 Oct 13

Australians are 'super-sizing' their investment portfolios with bricks and mortar.

The average Australian landlord owns 1.9 investment properties and has an average portfolio value of $585,000, according to The Australian Landlords Panel 2012.i

Terri Scheer Insurance General Manager, Ms Carolyn Majda, said all property investors should have a clear investment plan - before they even start searching the real estate section of the newspaper.

"Property can be an effective long-term investment as it has the potential to increase in value over time and produce regular income," Ms Majda said.

"Whether you're buying your first investment property, or your fifth, investors who set up a strategy that extends beyond the first open inspection can create a positive experience throughout the life of their investment.

"This holds true if you're looking for an apartment, unit, townhouse, house or holiday house."
Ms Majda offers the following tips for investors looking to establish or super-size their property portfolios:

 Know what type of tenant you'd like to attract

“Tenants can make or break a landlord’s experience of owning a rental property," Ms Majda said.

“When looking for a property, think about the tenant demographic you would like to attract, for example a family, sole tenant or couple, and choose a home that is likely to appeal to them."

According to The Australian Landlords Panel 2012, 57% of standalone house rentals are tenanted by families with children,ii while 47% of apartment rentals are tenanted by young couples and 37% by young singles.iii

“Properties that are close to good schools, shops and public transport are likely to be well sought after and may give you a larger pool of prospective tenants from which to choose."

 Look for a low-maintenance property
“A property that requires as little maintenance as possible will make life much easier for both tenant and landlord as it will minimise the effort and cost involved in the upkeep of the home,” Ms Majda said.

“Look for properties that are free from safety hazards, such as large trees in the backyard, as they can give rise to legal liability claims if someone is injured by debris at the property.

“Homes with hard flooring rather than carpet make good rental properties because they are easier to clean.

“Outdoor areas that are paved also require minimal gardening by the tenant."
 Present the property in its best light
Ms Majda said a home that was poorly presented by the landlord may be poorly cared for by the tenant.

“Presenting a clean, tidy and well cared for property will encourage tenants to treat the property as if it were their own,” she said.

“Tenants may also be more likely to pay their rent on time and stay in your property longer.

“If you are planning to renovate a property before renting it out, consider painting the property using washable paints and installing hard flooring."

 Make risk management a priority
“Too many property investors overlook risk management until after a tenant has moved in and something has goes wrong,” Ms Majda said.

“Every landlord should have a tailored landlord insurance policy that covers them for risks like malicious and accidental damage, loss or rental income, and potential legal liability.

“A standard building and contents insurance policy generally won’t cover landlords for many of these risks.

“Even the best tenant can accidentally damage a property or lose their job and be unable to pay rent.

“Adequate landlord insurance can protect your investment, ease concerns about receiving regular rental payments and provide peace of mind if the unforeseen should occur."

 Appoint a property manager

“A property manager can help you to secure good tenants, take responsibility for conducting regular inspections, alert you to maintenance requests, address potential liabilities and help to ensure your property is well cared for,” Ms Majda said.

“This is particularly relevant if you are thinking about investing in an area that is far from where you live or if you cannot commit significant amounts of time to manage the property yourself."

For further information, visit www.terrischeer.com.au or call 1800 804 016.

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