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How to Secure a Tenant During a Pandemic

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BY MEGAN TAYLOR,

INVESTMENT PROPERTY SPECIALIST

The pandemic, to say the least, has not been kind to the Melbourne rental property market. Vacancy rates have climbed steadily in the last seven months, even to double digits in some areas. Border closures have caused the usual supply of international tenants and domestic relocations to grind to a halt; the lack of tourism, Airbnb and short-term rentals flooding the market has created an excess of stock. The combination of these factors, plus tenants feeling uncertain about the rules of trying to move during COVID restrictions, has led to low demand and higher than normal vacancy. How, then, can you secure tenants during these difficult times?

CREATE AMICABLE PAYMENT AGREEMENTS

If tenants have lost their jobs due to the economic fallout of COVID, landlords are expected to work with tenants to come to amicable payment agreements for rental reductions. When negotiating rental reductions, ensure the terms are clear, with a start and end date. Remember that a rental reduction could save you weeks of lost rental if your property becomes vacant, so weigh up the alternate cost when negotiating the reduction.

MEET MARKET

RATE EXPECTATIONS

When you assess the current market, remember that properties advertised online are still available, so they don’t necessarily indicate fair market value. Ask your agent how long the average property is taking to lease in your area and if in their experience, they needed to reduce the price to finally lease the property. Understanding how long your property will be online will help you determine if you should adjust your expectations or not.

OFFER PRIVATE APPOINTMENTS

By offering a variety of times, seven days a week, during the day and after hours, you remove any barrier for tenants to inspect your property. When you make the process easy you enable more tenants to apply. This potentially gives you the option to choose from multiple applicants for your property.

HELP THEM IMAGINE

Prospective tenants rarely look beyond unfinished paintwork or an unkept garden to find a gem. If a property doesn’t present well, it only takes seconds for the prospective tenant to take on a negative impression and dismiss it.

TAKE CARE OF THEM

Always respond quickly to any tenant concerns and enquiries. Remember, it’s about them. It’s their sanctuary, not just your investment property. When they love their home, they become attached to it, making it harder to leave.

Born and raised in Bayside, Megan is a second-generation real estate agent, starting her career in the family business, Leonard J Sharp Estate Agents. Today, she is an investment property specialist at LongView Real Estate, as well as  being a landlord herself with a diverse investment portfolio and more than 20 years in the industry across residential, commercial and sales, offering her expertise to help all landlords at various stages of their investment journey.

Megan can be contacted at [email protected] or 0421 512 800.


 

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