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Marketing and Selling Properties · News & Updates · Property Management

Can you use video to advertise properties for rent?

One question few agents ask is whether you can use videos to advertise properties for rent?

So much attention goes into selling property. But there are improvements we can make to the way we advertise properties for rent.

Why is video advertising for rental properties rare?

1) Cost

Property marketing videos are traditionally not cheap and hurt your pocket. Normally they will cost in excess of $2,000… so this is rarely worthwhile for a rental property.

Video Symbol
Video Symbol

The difference we make in our agency is that we have in-house videography solutions. This makes video cheaper and easier for landlords to access as an option, making their property stand out against the competition.

2) Agents who are not bothered

One of the most common jokes in real estate: “Property Managers are agents who can’t make it in sales”. The stereotype for agents working in rentals is that they are less ambitious and talented.

There is less incentive for innovation and creativity. Property Managers normally have less property marketing skills than sales counterparts, and they will not think to make videos for rental properties.

3) There is a shortage of true marketers in the industry

In our business for example, we consider ourselves marketers who happen to be working in property.

A marketer is someone who understands their customer, and then designs advertising that is most likely to attract and convert the target customer.

Most real estate agents make their living by simply uploading properties on the internet. They are not strategic and don’t adapt over time to changes in customer behaviour.

You can absolutely use a property video to advertise your property for rent

Check out our example below which shows an in-house ad for Asquith. Filmed and edited to highlight unique features and short enough to capture attention.

A video advertising apartments for Lease in the Asquith Area of Sydney

The benefits of video advertising in real estate are…

Want to understand the benefits of using a video to advertise your property? You should check out our article is a property video worth the money?

In it we discuss how video consumption is on the rise. Customers prefer video and it plays a major role in their decisions. So, we recommend taking advantage of video when selling OR renting your property.

Neighbourhoods · Property Management · Reports

Property Management: Macquarie Park and Ryde Report

Ryde and Macquarie Park remain great areas to rent. Our business has always worked hard offering property management in Macquarie Park and Ryde.

Macquarie Park

Birds Eye view of Macquarie Park
View of Macquarie Park

In 2019, the Median Property Price in Macquarie Park for 1 bedroom apartments is $500 per week, $450 per week for 2 bedrooms and $690 per week for 3 bedrooms. (Courtesy of realestate.com.au).

Need more tips and insights?

This is an unusual trend given the median 2 bedroom price is lower than the 1 bedroom price. However this is attributed to the oversupply of 2 bedroom apartments in the area, and availability of older style apartments which are cheaper than new one bedrooms.

Check out census data for more information on Macquarie Park

Ryde

In Ryde, the median rental price for 2 bedroom houses is $500 per week, $650 per week for 3 bedroom houses, and $800 per week for 4 bedroom houses.

Top Ryde Shopping Centre Eatery
Top Ryde City Shopping Centre, located in Ryde

For Apartments, the median for 1 bedrooms is $460 per week, $550 per week for 2 bedrooms and $685 for 3 bedrooms. This data is heavily skewed however. Ryde has diverse pockets, ranging from sections closer to Meadowbank, Putney, North Ryde and also the submarket around Top Ryde Shopping Centre.

Each of these Submarkets is quite unique and will perform differently.

Check out more information on Ryde

More on Property Management in Macquarie Park and Ryde

For more information about Property Management in Macquarie Park and Ryde that is designed to save you thousands of dollars, read more here.

Marketing and Selling Properties

How to market your property when selling your home

How do you market your property when selling in our digital era? The traditional sales and marketing process in real estate has evolved dramatically. Instead of relying on local agents and shop windows, we now have major listing portals like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au in Australia.

Why is marketing your property important?

How to market your home to maximise your sale price

Need more tips and insights?

Marketing is an investment in yourself. It’s not a cost or reliability so you need to maximize the exposure, catching all the potential buyers for your marketplace.

The more you spend on marketing, the greater the chance of finding that perfect buyer who will pay a premium price.

Buyer Competition

Marketing should be there to create buyer competition, so that multiple offers come in and you can work with those offers to secure the very best price for your property. This principle has always been important in real estate, and sales in general.

Modern Real Estate Agents and Marketing

Few agents in this day and age demonstrate an understanding of modern marketing. We see so many agents only list properties on two major portals. This is because it is all they know how to do, apart from offering print advertising.

Phone displaying social media icons
The social media jungle that you now need to take advantage of as a seller

Social Media, Digital Marketing and the rise of Video have been more recent developments, and most agents are finding it difficult to fully take advantage of these mediums.

For instance, many agents will not understand how to use Facebook and Instagram differently to realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. This comes into the difference between warm and cold traffic.

Warm and Cold Traffic

Let’s use the example of realestate.com.au vs. Facebook to market your property when selling.

When people go onto realestate.com.au, they are hot traffic. They are looking to learn more about prices, see what is on the market, and check out options to buy.

A clash between cold and hot fists

People don’t go into Facebook to make purchasing decisions. They are more of a cold audience. They are on there to make a post, check notifications, see photos of people. We advertise to people on Facebook by creating content that they are looking for here, and then distract them.

So these ads are designed differently to have full effect. Mediums like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube can also be very targeted. They can target people based on area, and interest.

The crazy world of targeting, re-targeting, look-alike audiences and cost per impression is far and beyond traditional agents. The same can be said for real estate property videos. The industry’s future is going to be extremely digital and geared towards a new generation who understand these platforms.

Feel free to hang out with us on social media or subscribe for more tips and insights!

Marketing and Selling Properties

Is a property video worth the money?

Should you use a property video to sell your home? Is it worth the money or not? Well why don’t you check out a video right now to explore this hot topic! See below…

Why you should use property video to sell your home

More tips and insights?

Video consumption is increasing every year online and it is favored by all major social media platforms. Whether it be Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, video is certainly on the rise.

If you’re using an agent who truly knows how to market a property you should definitely be using a property video. This content can be distributed amongst multiple platforms and create an engaging way to show the value of your property.

The value of Property Videos

This Hubspot article highlights the value of video in modern marketing. The main takeaways are that:

  • More than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands… more than any other type of content
  • On marketing landing pages, video can increase conversions by over 80%.

So the question is, why would you not include a growing medium, demanded by consumers, in the marketing of your property?

PIcture of Film background
Thinking video? You’re on the right track

With some real estate video campaigns going viral and earning views in the thousands, this content can create the edge in a campaign. Video creates intimacy and familiarity before prospects have even seen a home. So it can not only be valuable, but invaluable to ramping up demand for your property.

Marketing and Selling Properties

Choosing the right agent: 7 Tips and few agents get number 4 right!

Choosing the right agent for a real estate transaction can be the difference of $10,000’s or $100,000’s.

This can appear difficult in a marketplace saturated with options, however we’ve provided 6 no-nonsense tips to look out for. What you’ll find is few agents possess all of these especially not Number 5!

How to select the right real estate agent

1) The perfect sales process

Selling a home may from the outside look like an easy process. An agent puts a few pictures online, shows up on Saturday and then gives a contract to the highest bidder.

The reality however is completely different. There is so much involved in the sale of a home, including but not limited to:

  • Pricing the property
  • Tailoring a marketing strategy for the property
  • Preparing photography, copy, documents and other advertising material in order to put the property on the market
  • Handling enquiries diligently
  • Monitoring campaigns and feedback
  • Alerting off-line contacts about the property
  • Following up buyers and negotiating

Therefore, a great agent will have robust systems in place, as well as a clear and detailed sales process that guarantees the best price will be achieved.

2) The right track record

When choosing the right agent, looking at their track record often provides a very useful insight.

Look at factors like the volume of transactions they work on, feedback from other clients and the prices they achieve.

Picture of a Strategy SessionThis will provide an insight into the traffic they can direct towards your property as well as the result they can negotiate. Don’t be deceived however by volume alone. Many sellers will list with agents who have volume but mask under-performing results.

You want an agent who is not purely about turnover but also has the following down-packed:

3) A strong marketing strategy for your property

I was in a listing presentation once for a client whose previous agent had given him a very bad experience. They had pointed to their massive record but then failed to deliver on the listing.

The client really had the right perspective… “I don’t care what you’ve done elsewhere, I want to know how you’re going to get a result for my property”.

Marketing Strategy in a bookA marketing strategy for a property should never be completely cookie-cutter in nature. It should be tailored at least somewhat to the specific unique selling points of your property.

In short, look for an agent who is focused on creating a marketing campaign and getting a result specific to your property.

4) Someone who handles calls and follows up professionally

When choosing the right agent, this is a major factor you need to weigh up. I say this because me and my team mystery shop our competition, even high performing and reputable agents.

Two people calWe find that more often than not, agents will never return your call or give you basic information you request.

When attending a NAB Property Event once, CBRE’s head of projects pointed out to the audience that enquiries are strongest in the following order:

  1. Attendees at an inspection
  2. Phone enquiries
  3. Email enquiries

Ideally, enquiries on email or phone should be responded to as fast as possible and booked in for an inspection. This is because the chances they will attend an inspection falls steeply 2 hours after they enquire.

It’s obvious why.

In this time they are re-thinking buying and looking at other properties. To convert leads, a smooth sales process compresses the decision-making time to remove room for the lead to change it’s mind.

Mystery shopping in a storeWe thoroughly recommend mystery shopping your agents in each of the following ways:

  1. Attending an open home for another listing and seeing if they follow you up during the following week
  2. Making a phone enquiry and seeing how long it takes the agent to get back to you. You will find that if the agent can’t answer your call straight away, they will forget to call you back at all more than 50% of the time.
  3. Making an email enquiry and seeking how long it takes the agent to get back to you.

5) Strong Negotiation Skills

There is major dollar value in having a strong negotiator working on your behalf to secure a stellar price for your property.

A strong negotiator will be direct in their attitude and have a stern resolve to achieve the best result possible. What you need to look for is a professional who understands how to qualify buyers, ask them tough questions and get the best price the buyer is willing to pay out of them.

You also want someone who is going to provide you with assurance when you need to reject the temptation of a poor offer, and hold out for the right result.

They should also be no-nonsense when they need to give you bad news.

6) Marketing and Presentation

Don’t forget the importance of presentation skills when choosing the right agent. Your property needs to present immaculately to the marketplace, and an agent will offer assistance in enabling you to do this.

Property Styling living roomThey will discuss options like refreshing the property or styling it. Your agent should understand that marketing is about making your property stand out. It should appear remarkable in the marketplace, in order to garnish good attention.

Check your agent’s presentation skills on their other listings online or by inspecting their other open homes!

7) Choose an agent you’re comfortable with

At the end of the day it’s very important above all else to feel comfortable with your agent.

Your most important resource will be your gut, and your instincts. Remember to listen to them! Educate yourself on agents, and what you will need in your agent (as you are doing by reading this!) because you want to make the right choice the first time!

Picture of a handshake after choosing the right agent

Remember to look out for our other insights into:

  • Biggest real estate agent myths busted
  • Why a traditional or local real estate agent is poorly equipped to give you great service
Investments · Property Academy · Property Management

How can landlords save on Sydney Water expenses? 

Landlords can save a little bit of money on Sydney Water expenses every year. 

Reece Sammons, our Head of Property Management breaks things down in this video!

Sydney water 

We all know that the water is included with the rent. However you may not know that detached houses and some apartments in more modern buildings have separate water metres. In this case, you can actually pass on the water usage charges to your tenant. Obviously the fixed charges remain the same, and landlords have to pay this component themselves. But they can claim these expenses back on their tax at the end of financial year.

But before you can actually pass costs along to the tenant there a couple of mandatory things you have to have in place.

Picture of a drop falling into Sydney Water

A Functioning Water Meter

You have to have a function in water metre that keeps track of the tenants water usage. You have to make sure that your property has all leaks repaired so that there’s no water being wasted.

Water Saving Devices

You have to have special set water saving devices fitted to all your taps inside the property, which restrict the flow of water to under 9 litres per minute when the water is turned on.  there’s a lot more than I can say about this but so obviously not going to go into further detail today if you have any further questions please give me a call I’m always here to help. 

For more insights on savings you can make as a landlord, feel free to check us out here

Really your whole property management service should be designed to protect you from avoidable costs and maximise your return.

 

Investments · Property Academy · Property Management

What features make a quality Investment Property? 

One of the most common questions we get asked by our clients is what to look for in a good quality investment property?

We obviously spend quite a bit of time focusing on this in our academy and break this down in a lot of detail, as so many property investors get this wrong. 

Rental PropertyRent is very important as we discuss in the academy for two main reasons: first of all it can be a great passive income stream. Secondly, it is a great tool to help you hold onto investment properties long-term so that you can realise gains through capital growth. In other words, afford all the expenses associated with a property while the value goes up, making you wealthier. 

In this article we’re going to talk primarily about getting a good rental return – what ticks all of the boxes for a tenant? Obviously to get the highest rent, we have to appeal to the most tenants. So we have to put a marketing hat on, look at things from a tenant’s perspective and think about what they are going to want in a property. 

Features that achieve a higher rent, and appeal to tenants make a quality investment property. 

Room Size

One of the most common mistakes investors make is buying a shoebox because they think that it will ‘just be rented out’. The problem is that like most other people, tenants don’t like to live all cramped up! In Sydney, we see a lot of people who are used to living in a house downsize and move into apartments. They’re used to space, so apartments with good size bedrooms and living areas will be more attractive.

Don’t forget however, this is very area specific. Many inner city suburbs in Sydney will generally have smaller dwelling sizes, designed this way to accommodate for the bigger demand to live in those areas. Think about areas like newtown, redfern, rozelle, camperdown and randwick, areas with a high percentage of student population for instance. Studio apartments and sharehouses make good sense here but these would not be as practical in more suburban or Western Sydney areas. 

Close to infrastructure

This is my issue with investment properties that are in fringe Sydney suburbs too far away from major urban centres and infrastructure. In some cases, these investors are better off owning properties in other markets if they cannot afford a proper investment grade property in Sydney. 

If renting and not owning your own home, you’re normally less likely to make lifestyle sacrifices. Think about a young person moving out of home, a young couple or an elderly couple. 

Features that make a property easy to rent out

Young people may be less able to afford to buy, but they would elect to rent in a more premium area in an apartment or sharehouse than the more suburban area where their family home is. 

A young couple has normally the combined savings of two people, their common behaviours are to rent in an area to try it before buying or rent in an area they can’t afford to buy in. 

The same can be said of an elderly person if they want to rent. Why would they do this rather than buy? Affordability, and perhaps needing to be within walking distance of the shops and transport if unable to drive? 

So a property that appeals to these types of renters will create a lot of demand, and drive a good rental return. Good infrastructure includes being close to lifestyle amenities like gyms, cafes and pools, schools, train stations, ferry wharfs, shopping centres and business parks. 

A good tool to use is walkscore but infrastructure is pretty easy to observe. 

Internal modern Features

Things like air conditioners, dishwashers and storage cages are becoming more mandatory for renters rather than extra luxuries. Just because a property doesn’t have these doesn’t mean it won’t make a great investment property, as you can normally put these in! They will also add to the purchase value of your property. 

Again, think about yourself. If there are lots of new dwellings in the area that have modern features, what will that do to the demand of a property without these features? 

Picture of a spacious kitchen in a quality investment propertyAnother example is kitchen size. A small kitchen might be adequate for a renter who lives alone and is on the go, but would potentially alienate a family from living in the dwelling.

Why it’s important to consider these features? What if the market is hot?

 

I see your point.

Like the market for selling and buying property, the rental market fluctuates. It is very seasonal year on year, and can be very erratic over the long-term. Several years ago in Sydney, tenants would compete and bid in $50 per week increments to get into properties. Now the market is a lot slower. 

In a slower market, vacancies get larger as there are more properties sitting on the market and less tenants to soak them up. Tenants get more picky under these circumstances as they have options.

The properties that suffer are older properties that present poorly, where rents drop. These are not quality investment properties; whereas some properties we rent out that are newer and within 100 metres of a shopping centre still hold the same rents over a number of years. 

You want to find a property that will rent well in a slow market, so that you ‘plan for a rainy day’ which is one of the tenets of our Sydney Listings Investment Philosophy. If a property has these features it will tend to make for a better investment property anyway. 

Marketing and Selling Properties · Property Management

Is a pest and building inspection worthwhile?

Should you spend the money on a pest and building inspection, and if so when should you do it? We break this down in our latest video below. 

Should you do a pest and building inspection before you sell?

Pest and Building Inspection when selling

An agent in control of the sales process tells you to get a pest and building inspection done before you even hit the market. This will give you the ability to identify if there are any problems with a property early, before you start showing to buyers. It is much easier and less costly to address these before you actually hit the market. 

The alternative is to get this done after signing up with an agent and hitting the market. However, in this order, a major problem found during the inspection will halt your progress and devastate your campaign – some issues can completely halt the sales process and require a property to be withdrawn from the market. 

This will ultimately hurt the price you achieve. If you need to begin and execute the sales process, please begin here

A series of building contractors When to get a Pest and Building Inspection done?

In our opinion it is better to get it done first and out of the way. This is a small expense to save time and hassle and even streamlines the closing of a sale at the back end of the process. Savvy buyers will always insist on a pest and building inspection, so to have this done before hand makes your property stand out on the market. 

It says that you and your agent are professional, definitely here to sell and have nothing to hide. There is no message that is more appealing to an investor or someone looking for their new home. 

Pest and Building Inspections for Buyers

Pest and building inspections are also a great idea for buyers to complete when purchasing a property. This can be useful as the last thing any new buyer wants is a nasty surprise after settlement that could prove costly.

NSW Fair Trading has some useful pointers on what you should look out for as a buyer. Certain building issues can be hard to spot which is why the right professional could save you thousands.

News & Updates

Whether to have one or multiple agents?

Should you have one or multiple agents? Should you sign an exclusive agency agreement or should you opt for a conjunction agreement with multiple agents?

There is only one answer to this question. You should always engage agents on exclusive agency agreement, the reason being that your exclusive agent will work wholeheartedly towards achieving your goals.

Single or multiple?

What happens with multiple agents?

If you engage multiple agents in a conjunction agreement, your sale will only be a race to the finish line. That is, a race to beat the other agent without the result in mind. This does not make for a genuine and authentic approach to realising your goals, and the risk is that a focus on commission will be at the forefront of the agent’s mind. 

Discouraging

Or, the opposite effect is that it discourages agents. If they have a series of listings and buyers looking at properties, why are they going to refer them onto a conjunction rather than a property they have an exclusive selling right over? 

silhouette of two agents fighting

Don’t get caught in the crossfire between too many sellers! Tread carefully!

Most owners think that it can be worthwhile having several professionals competing in the sale. We can understand why it makes sense on paper. But in reality, this is not always the solution.

In some cases having multiple representatives is normal in real estate, but often on larger projects or in commercial real estate transactions. Here more contacts or inquiry volumes might demand this. But for the sale of a single home or small collection of properties, choose the agent who best suits your campaign.

If you need any help, you can start the sales process today or simply request a no obligation SMS Appraisal.

Good luck making the right choice!

Markets · News & Updates

Economic and Property Outlook August 2019 with Bill Evans

Bill Evans is Westpac’s Chief Economist, and has been so since 1991. As identified in our video, he is known for being clear and fearless in his predictions.

I was fortunate enough to hear Bill speak at this morning’s Westpac Property Breakfast. This article is intended to pass on the insights gained in order to help our community make better decisions in the short to medium future.

Rate Cuts

Evans pointed out that the RBA Governor is willing to cut rates down to 0% eventually. This will depend on the reaction from other central banks around the world, such as the Fed. We are already seeing negative interest rates in Europe!

In Australia, further rate cuts are expected in October 2019 and February 2020 by Evans.

In the USA, Evans believes we will see cuts in September, October and November!

Photo of the Best Rates

Recession

“I don’t see a recession happening in the USA” was the opinion. Obviously this has been discussed a lot lately with so much happening across the world and in the US. “Those people who say there is a 40% chance of recession… if a recession happens they say they predicted it. If it doesn’t, they say ‘well that wasn’t even my major position”.

Thank you Bill Evans, for your directness.

“Those people are useless”.

Many look at the US’s inverse yield curves as a sign of trouble, but Mr. Evans interpreted this as the attractiveness of US bonds to international investors. As he puts it, these look a lot more promising than other alternatives internationally.

Currency and the Dollar

The Australian Dollar is predicted to continue to lower in relation to the US Dollar, down to around 0.66 in 2020. This is making attractive commercial property investment in Sydney and Melbourne. As valuations are favorable on these markets, a weaker Aussie Dollar will create incentives for foreigners here.

The Euro is also expected to fall in relation to the US Dollar. Sounds like a good time to stock up on some USD!

Australian Economy

Two big areas of concentration are poor wages growth and unemployment numbers.

Wages growth is required for consumer spending to rise. Consumer spending increases business confidence. This in turn drives the economy.

The savings from interest and tax rate cuts will bolster household incomes, but this is likely to be allocated towards debt. Consumer spending will not be bolstered Evans believes – in fact consumer spending will continue to be weak.

Housing

The sharp increase in auction clearance rates post election in Sydney and Melbourne is very predictive according to Mr. Evans. It indicates the recovery is likely stable and here to stay.

Sydney and Melbourne prices have steadied since May, and increased by 1%. Some outlets are predicting 10% increases in prices in Sydney over the next 12 months. Evans strongly disagreed with this idea, and few could doubt this stance. Increases of this size would not be sustained as affordability thresholds would hamper these gains.

The consistent story for price changes is a period of steady growth, which seems highly likely. The downturn does appear to be behind us.

Population Growth

Population growth remains strong in NSW and will remain a positive driver. The economy is driven by productivity and population growth. For NSW, this migration comes internationally of course.

Population GrowthInterestingly, Evans predicted when the impact of migration on prices would really be seen. Forecasts at the moment are that construction completions will level off in the middle of 2020. After this we can expect to see stronger demand as a result of strong population growth.

Rental Market

Sydney’s rental market is in it’s worst state since the early 2000’s. Vacancy rates are at 3.3%, and we are noticing this directly in our office. Despite this our property management team have had some properties leased off first inspections. But this is only when prices are correct at the start of a campaign.

Otherwise we’re seeing old apartments in particular suffer from longer vacancies and days on market. Based on the insights from the Breakfast, we see this picture changing once construction completions level off in the middle of 2020.

Summary – what does this mean for me?

If you are looking to buy in Sydney, the next 12 months seems like a great time to do so. Particularly if the rental market is rectified to help with those holding costs.

This doesn’t shift my opinion in terms of what to buy though – check out our resources at Sydney Listings for guidance on good area features and property features.

If taking advantage of low interest rates, make sure you allow a buffer but we don’t expect a sharp rise any time soon. It never makes sense to be fully leveraged, especially when there is uncertainty in other areas of the world economy.

By Joe Wehbe