Front foot forward for pre-purchase advice

“I’m interested in buying house X. What do you think it would rent for?”

It’s a phone call that might seem like a chore to property managers, but it’s an excellent opportunity to win the rental away from the buyer’s usual default — having the property managed by the agency handling the sale.

It’s worth asking a few questions to determine the investor’s level of experience and to determine whether they’re mainly interested in rental returns or capital gains.

For investment beginners, property managers can add value by offering to run through the costs associated with residential real estate investment.

A brief discussion could touch on the benefits and fees associated with professional property management and landlord insurance. Other costs would include rates, strata fees and land tax.

Also, a rent appraisal accompanied by comparable properties you manage is more convincing than an off-the-top-of-the-head response.

If the property they’re considering is not suitable for their goals, you could suggest in general terms what types of property in your area would be more likely to do so — for example, a unit might be a better choice than a house.

In a recent Residential Property Manager blog post, award-winning property manager Katie Knight listed some excellent suggestions for conditions that prospective property purchasers could add to the sale contract. These include:

  • Allowing prospective tenants to view the property once the sale is unconditional (before settlement).
  • Owners supplying the professional photography used to market the sale.
  • Having carpets professionally cleaned and/or fumigated on settlement.
  • Having the property cleaned to a prescribed standard on settlement.