2017 property management

Vesna Wells, realestate.co.nz's property management specialist, looks ahead to the rental market in 2017.

Wow, what a busy year 2016 was for investors, property managers and property management business owners. 2016 was one of the best years (for a long time) for rents. We saw slightly lower levels of rental stock available compared to 2015 perhaps due the buoyant housing market causing increases in demand for rentals and rents being pushed upwards. 

In 2016, we also saw the introduction of insulation and smoke alarms making homes safer, warmer and drier. Our friends and colleagues at REINZ are continuing their great advocacy for property managers with updates to important forms such as contractor’s agreements, tenancy agreement and engaging with the sector and government.

The new year is already upon us and we can take a leaf out of Bradley Brown’s book regarding what we should hope for in 2017. Bradley is a Real Estate CEO, Author, Consultant and Conference Speaker who is a true gentleman and one of Australia’s leading real estate professionals. In his recent LinkedIn article, Bradley suggested that we think of 2017 as though it is 31 December 2017 and reflect now before we even get into it. What can we see for 2017? 

At realestate.co.nz, we see growth as a fantastic opportunity. There are plenty of “do it yourselfers” (DIYers) in property management still out there and providing a wonderful opportunity for property managers to grow their portfolios. It is very rewarding to provide a fantastic service and support to well meaning individuals who simply don’t know what they are missing out on by having professionals to help manage their investment properties. 

There are countless examples of well meaning DIYers. For example, investors who relocate to a new city and rent their property to either a friend or a friend of a friend or to family. Well meaning individuals then can’t bring themselves to put the rent up and years go by. In a buoyant rental market as we are currently in, the well meaning investor misses out on $10,000s of dollars of income. To top it off, they will struggle to keep up with all the changes in legislation, and due to their geographical location, doing three monthly routine inspections becomes rather difficult. Not doing inspections then compromises their insurance policies. Not to mention the awkward situation of further missing out on income due to no rent increases which should be done at least yearly and incrementally. These kind and well meaning investors potentially risk losing a friendship or falling out with family over something that could have been supported by a property management professional. 

Gently convincing well meaning DIYers of the opportunity is a craft in itself and requires diplomacy. The last thing that a well meaning investor would want to know is that they are not doing such a great job. Presenting the investor with the opportunity for increased financial freedom while gently convincing them that managing the investment property from afar is better done locally through a professional and that this is actually a win/win for everyone. More income, less stress, legislative compliance, arms-length relationship, tenant has contact locally plus it is tax deductible. 

In this regard, it is a great time to set some achievable targets for growth both personally and professionally. Good questions to ask now is what is achievable in a year in your market place and how will you get there? Do you need some tools to help you? Do you need some further skills and a little more investment in education?

Education is available to us at conferences such as the REINZ conference (August 2017) and if we are part of a franchise group or cooperative, then also through our own brands. As property professionals, other great opportunities are provided through the Skills Organisation Level 4 – which is dedicated to property managers. Plan now to learn something new or to refresh your knowledge on something you thought you already knew. Even if it is something completely new or rather random for your personality – step out of your comfort zone; at the very least you will have something additionally to talk about with colleagues, family and at dinner parties.

2017 is an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Property management is dynamic, exciting and provides lots of opportunities. Seize the year and consider growth as one of your goals.   

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