What to Look for in a Property Management Agency

Property management is made a whole lot easier when property owners engage the services of a reputable property management agency.

A good agency will guarantee that your interests are protected and will also ensure that relevant legislation is adhered to.  We make absolutely sure of that.

But what criterion does one use in the selection of a good property management agency?

What Constitutes a ‘Good’ Property Management Agency?

There are a number of ways to identify a good property management agency.

As a property owner, you will benefit by being conversant with the agency’s appointment terms.  The services they offer to their clients should be completely transparent.  These should be readily available to you for your consideration.

It goes without saying that their commissions, charges and fees are a paramount consideration as well.  There are recommended levels for these and you should be wary of any large deviations from the norm.  It is okay to question why!  And consider why an agency will have super-cheap commissions, charges and fees.  Some offer introductory free periods.  A landlord should question why this is. What are the implications for the agency?  For your property?  For the tenants?  How will your invesment return be affected?

The agency should also be ready to give detailed procedures about how they carry out repairs and maintenance as well as how they handle complaints, evictions, and terminations of tenancy.

At Position One Property we have worked hard to build the perfect team.  Our team are are highly trained and passionate about taking care of your property.  We are a licensed company, compliant with all required regulations by the State of Queensland.  So you can rest assured that your property is in good hands.  We treat your property like it’s our very own property.  We ensure consistency in our processes so that you can be sure you’ll receive appropriate service for each property, and each lease.

What Are Some of The Responsibilities of a Property Management Agency?

There is a lot that is required to be done in a property management agency.

A rental management agency must:

– Act in the property owner’s best interests in all negotiations
– Respond promptly to tenants requests for repairs and maintenance
– Carry out regular inspections while keeping tenants and owners well informed about such events
– Have a clear detailed procedure for dealing with complaints
– Ensure trades and service providers have relevant licences

A rental management agency ought to maintain open communication channels with tenants to facilitate harmonious interactions.  At Position One Property we do this.  Consequently, satisfaction for both parties is a known characteristic of our widely acclaimed property management services.

What Sets Us Apart at Position One?

Our prime focus is centred on providing a refreshing alternative for your property management requirements. We take pride in maintaining an exceptionally high standard of service and so do not take any chances in training our passionate property management team.  This is a team who are dedicated to investing their time and expertise in the management of your property.  We hold our clients – both owners and residents – in high regard.  We approach our relationship with them with the utmost respect.

What else?

We Find You Just the Perfect Tenant

Our team thoroughly screens every prospective tenant while verifying their details.

Zero Tolerance Policy for Arrears

We do not hesitate to follow up with tenants concerning delayed rental arrears.

We Make it a Whole Lot Easier For You

Given that we go the extra mile in organizing lease renewals and sourcing for new tenants, the degree of convenience for the services we offer cannot be overemphasized.

Communication is our priority

Our company maintains regular contact with our clients and informs them of all developments.  We are quick to alert them when any issues come up.

Property Marketing Strategies

As your leading property manager in Brisbane, we have the best property marketing strategies.  These include professional photographs to show your property in its best light.  These go a long way to enhancing the features of your property and showing it to be a desirable residence for tenants.  Consequently, this sets it apart from the rest who are vying for applications from the same pool of tenants.

Consistently Low Vacancy Rate

We also maintain a consistently low vacancy rate which is facilitated and supported by our tenancy renewal policy.

Streamlined Systems and Procedures

The systems and procedures we have put in place are friendly to property owners as well as tenants. Our appointment forms are clear and concise with details of the services we offer as well the charges for these services all inclusive of additional costs such as advertising. We encourage our customers to familiarize themselves fully with our terms, while providing clarification where needed.

Most of all, our professional standards ensure that we maintain a long-term relationship with our property owners and tenants that have had them coming back again and again for repeat business.

Many property owners unwittingly put their property businesses at risk.  This is because they neither have the expertise nor the time to monitor their rental properties to the degree required. Some are gripped with the fear of losing potential business in future and have resorted to managing a handful of properties by themselves. The downside to this approach is that one may in fact be limiting themselves from exploiting all their options. A good property management agency has sufficient experience to stay abreast of changing trends. They are also better placed to know what the market needs. Hence, this is a clear indication that landlords ought to embrace the idea of engaging the experts for maximum benefits.

Forget about the hassles and disappointments you have experienced in the past and call the property managers who will always have your back and your best interests at heart – Position One Property. There is immense gratification and convenience that comes with hiring just the perfect property management agency and we’ve got exactly what you are looking for – and more.

Selling Houses Is Not For The Faint Hearted

Like the retail industry, buying and selling real estate is built around providing a product or service to the customer. Just like retail, it is the process of identifying something people need or desire and providing them with that item. It also involves daily interaction with people, most of whom are polite, friendly and a delight to work with, and others who are not.

Most of Our Clients Are Delightful

As professionals in our industry, our people at Position One Property are experienced at dealing with all types of personalities. Part of their role is to remain calm and level headed when dealing with difficult clients, and to do their best to solve their problems. Sometimes the clients have the right to be upset when something unexpected spoils their plans, but sometimes we deal with clients who no amount of exceptional service will satisfy.
For example, we understand that buying a home is both an exciting time and also a very stressful one. Buyers are making a major financial commitment, either as occupiers or investors, and they want everything to be perfect. From our point of view, we can only assist to the extent of the information they have given us about their wants.

I Changed my Mind

After finding the ideal property, we are sometimes confronted with a buyer who asks us to negotiate the purchase, then changes their mind before the contracts are signed. Often they have no appreciation of the effort we have already expended but expect us to do it all over again on another property. Of course we do, because they are our clients and we are professionals.

Did I Have an Appointment?

Everyone is busy these days, so it is quite annoying when we arrange an inspection of a property at a time the client requested, and they either show up late or not at all. These days there is really no excuse. Almost everyone has a mobile phone and a quick call or text to let us know what is happening is just common courtesy.

Last Minute Changes a Frustration

Once we have negotiated sale terms verbally, the next step is to prepare the contracts, most of which are fairly standard, but which also contain additional clauses agreed on by everyone. Some buyers have been known to demand other changes after the contracts have been prepared, requiring us to get agreement from the seller.

Who Me? What Did I Do?

Often the buyer seems blissfully unaware of the drama, but contacts us continually wanting updates and asking what the hold-up is. While we do our best to be patient, this type of buyer wants everything done yesterday, but takes no responsibility for their role in the proceedings.

All is Well that Ends Well

Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often as most buyers are obliging and happy that we have found them a home they love.

Superior People Skills Needed To Manage Some Sellers

Anyone who works in a service industry will tell you that the best part of the job is meeting new people and helping them get the product or service they want. It can also be the worst part of the job, depending on the people you meet. Most will forgive the odd slip up and appreciate that you are doing your best, but others are never satisfied, no matter how hard you try.
We have many delightful clients who are a pleasure to do business with and who offer us repeat business because of the quality of service our staff provide. In the real estate industry this is important because it has helped Position One Property to build our status as a reputable agency.

Difficult Clients a Challenge for Service Industry Staff

Unfortunately, like others in our industry, we also have to deal with difficult people. Whether the issue is with a tenant, a landlord, a seller or a buyer our staff are trained to be courteous and professional at all times. Their conflict resolution skills do get tested and sometimes, the most difficult to deal with are home sellers.

Seller Expectations Often Not in Tune with Market Realities

We understand that every property owner wants the highest price possible, but sometimes their expectations are unrealistic. This is a conversation we have only too often, and one that can be difficult, especially when the seller purports to know more about the movements of the market than we do.

Ignoring Agent’s Advice will Jeopardise a Sale

Arriving at a selling price under these circumstances is a matter of negotiation, where the agent needs to provide current data from properties in the area that have recently sold. The sellers will have heard stories of properties that sold for much higher prices than we are proposing, often at the top of a price cycle. By the time they list their property, market prices have dropped, but this falls on deaf ears. They insist on listing the property for an inflated price, then berate us when there is no interest.
Sellers often view their own property through rose-coloured glasses, as the saying goes. They are convinced that it is superior to anything in the area, and there is no need to spend money to prepare it for sale. We have had sellers who could achieve their asking price if the property was tidied up, some minor repairs undertaken and high traffic areas were painted, but who chose to ignore our advice.

Turn a Difficult Seller into a Grateful One

Thankfully, these are the exceptions rather than the rule, and we work hard to talk these sellers through their issues and find them a buyer. This takes tact, patience and market knowledge but gives us a great sense of satisfaction and turns a difficult client into a happy one.

 

A Few Ideas To Help Property Buyers Make Better Decisions

Buying property is always exciting, whether you are an experienced investor with multiple properties in your portfolio, or a first home buyer turning the keys in the front door of your new home. Getting the best return for your valuable dollars, however, is a different matter. Even though property is seen as a secure investment, it is still possible to lose money if the purchase is not made for the right reasons.

First Things First – A Clear Intention

So what should a buyer be considering before signing a contract to buy property? From our perspective, the first step should be having a clear intention. It’s the place our people start when Position One Property is first approached by clients looking for property. The answers will be different for a first home buyer, a family upsizing to a larger home, a sole occupant with a busy work and social life, and an investor.

Check Your Financial Position

With a picture of the type of dwelling they want clear in their minds, buyers should next consider their financial situation. Do they have a sufficient deposit to avoid paying for mortgage insurance? Have they approached a lender to find out how much they can borrow? Do they have extra funds on hand for legal fees and any other contingencies?

With their finances in order, we recommend that buyers turn their attention to the three most important words in real estate – location, location, location. Realistic buyers who know what they want and how much they can spend narrow their search area and intensify their focus. They avoid the common scenario that other buyers sometimes fall into, jumping from one suburb and property to another, trying to meet all their wants but ending up completely confused.

Choose a Desirable Location Within Your Budget

A location close to work opportunities and amenities such as shopping centres, medical facilities, schools, recreational and entertainment pursuits is a wise choice. This is just as important for an investor as it is for owner-occupiers. Rental properties in rundown areas will be cheaper to buy, but harder to keep rented, as good tenants need these same facilities.

Owner-occupiers looking for future capital gain should consider the general appearance of the whole suburb and not just the street where the property is located. An area with street after street of well-maintained properties with plenty of green space will hold its value much better than a suburb that looks untidy and neglected.

Set Emotion Aside for Better Choices

Choosing a suitable property is often an emotional decision, especially for owner-occupiers who promise they will be rational then fall in love with something completely unsuitable for their needs. Hopefully, these few suggestions will help them make better choices.

Smart Packing The Secret To A Successful Move

Packing up your home to move to a new area is one of those life changing events that can be exciting, but it can also be very stressful. Everyone who has moved house has a story about family heirlooms lost or broken. They also describe chaotic scenes in the new home when no one can find the soap or toothpaste on the first night.

This can all be avoided with some planning and a few tips from seasoned veterans. How do we know this? At Position One Property we have assisted hundreds of clients to find their perfect home. Many of them were tenants renting property through our agency, so we were able to follow their progression into their own homes.

Packing Begins with the Right Type of Boxes

A correct packing technique is the secret to a stress-free moving experience. Our first tip is to find the right type of boxes for your possessions. This is critical to them arriving at the new destination undamaged. Moving companies sell boxes with dividers for crockery, large boxes for flat screen TVs and wardrobe boxes with hangers so you don’t have to fold your clothes. They also have strong, heavy duty bags that won’t split open and spill out the contents.

With the right type of boxes, cartons and bags on hand, packing can begin in earnest. It is best to pack up a room at a time, starting with the items least needed. Label the outside of every box so you don’t have to unpack every time you are looking for something.

Do Not Overfill – Heavy Boxes are Difficult to Move

Do not overfill the boxes, especially with heavy items. Books, for example, should be put into several small boxes rather than one large one. Very heavy boxes are hard to lift and move around, and you risk having the bottom fall out, damaging the contents.

Tightly Wrap Breakables

Protect fragile items by wrapping them in bubble wrap. Crystal, fine china and the like must be packed tightly to prevent them moving around in transit. Fill any incidental spaces in the boxes with tightly crushed newspaper to keep the contents in one position.

Pack an Essentials Box for a Smooth First Night

On your first night in the new place, you will be too tired to unpack anything other than an essentials box. This should contain everything you will need until the real unpacking starts next day. Items such as pajamas, toiletries, linen, towels, food, drinks, toilet paper and a change of clothes, and for very young children, their favourite toys, will spare everyone from the drama of a meltdown.

We hope you will be very happy in your new home, and if you follow our suggestions, everything will arrive in one piece.

Personal Judgements Based on Perceived Wealth Often Flawed

Everyone naturally wants the best lifestyle and opportunities for themselves and their families. The statistics on poverty and environmental influences on children seem to support the theory that growing up in undesirable surroundings can have a detrimental effect on their development. Is solving this problem just a matter of moving into a “rich” neighbourhood?

Affluent Suburbs More Expensive to Live In

There are a few issues to confront before making that decision. The most obvious one is financial. Well-to-do suburbs typically have access to the best in the way of facilities, schools, transport and other opportunities. They are also more expensive to live in, which for some people, removes the element of choice.

Everyone Wants a Home

As a property management agency with rental properties right across Brisbane in all socio-economic areas, our staff at Position One Property meet people from all walks of life. They all agree from conversations they have had with clients, that everyone wants a place to live where they feel safe, secure and comfortable. The type of place usually depends on their economic circumstances.

Give Everyone an Equal Chance

The other thing our staff members also agree on is that the people who are financially able to live in an exclusive neighbourhood are typical of the broader community. That is, they have the same attributes as people who live in a rundown suburb. Some of them are reserved but most are very friendly, some are religious and some are not, some do charity work and some don’t, most keep their properties tidy but some don’t, some get involved in crime but most don’t.

The point is that in every gathering of people, whether at work, in a sporting club, at social events, family celebrations and others, everyone is different with diverse backgrounds, opinions, ideals, values and expectations. There will be good and bad to differing degrees in any group, just as there is in humanity as a whole.

Just Be Yourself – Still the Best Advice

If your reason for moving into a rich neighbourhood is to cultivate your inner snob, you will probably be disappointed, and you may even be found out as an insincere person who thinks social climbing is the way to the top. If, however, you have the financial ability to pay the higher rents in these areas and you genuinely believe that the move will expand your horizons and offer your family the chance to experience a different environment, then do it.

Whatever your motives, we are here to assist you find the right type of property for your situation. Position One Properties has an entire portfolio of rental properties for you to choose from, so talk to our staff about your needs.

How Interest Rate Changes Affect Mortgage Repayments

Interest rates in Australia have remained at unusually low levels for several years. Many home owners with existing mortgages took advantage of the situation by continuing to pay their original repayments, negotiated when interest rates were much higher. As a result, they have cut years off the term of their mortgage and saved thousands of dollars in interest.
As property agents, we know that at some time in the future, interest rates will rise. Those new to the home mortgage market may not realise this, and could over-commit themselves. At our agency, Position One Property, we are getting steady enquiries, so this is of concern to us. Understanding how mortgage interest works is important so people can make informed decisions regardless of what the market does in the future.

Making Sense of Interest Rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia sets what is called the “cash” interest rate. This is one of a range of tools used by economists to regulate the economy. They increase the cash interest rate if the economy is overheating and inflation is a danger, or they decrease it to reduce costs overall to stimulate a flagging economy. Since the global financial crisis in 2008, inflation has not been an issue, so the cash rate has stayed low to keep the economy moving.

Variable and Fixed Interest Rates – Which One is Best?

Credit providers take their cue from the cash interest rates, and set their lending rates a few points higher. They also offer two different types of interest rates – variable and fixed. It is important to understand the difference between these two types, as they both have advantages and disadvantages.

Fixed Rates Offer Certainty

A fixed rate allows home owners to lock in a mortgage rate for one to five years. The advantage is that, for those years, home loan repayments are known and can be budgeted for with certainty. The disadvantage is that if the rate is locked in at a high point, and interest rates plummet, home owners must still pay the higher rate.

Variable Rates Rise and Fall with the Market

Variable rates, as the name suggests, usually go down if the cash rate decreases, reducing the interest to be paid. They often don’t have restrictions on making additional payments, and this has been the situation for those home owners mentioned earlier who have kept making the same payments and dramatically reduced their loans over the past few years. With a variable rate, however, when the cash rate rises, so does the mortgage interest rate. Lenders can also raise the mortgage interest rate in response to other market factors. The disadvantage of a variable rate is the lack of certainty as well as how that will affect home budgets.
We caution home buyers to understand this before arranging a home loan. As an ethical real estate agency, we know this is not our responsibility, but we want our clients to be happy with their new property. If Position One Property can help them with some timely information, we are happy to do so.

Quick Action And Solutions Prevent Rent Defaults by Tenants

We have all heard the old saying that there are two sides to every argument. In property management, this means that every situation must be viewed from two perspectives.  One perspective is from the owner and the other from the tenant. When the subject under examination is rental arrears, we approach it from both sides.  However, the bottom line is always that the rent must be paid on time.

So how does a property management agency ensure that tenants do not fall into arrears? Here at Position One Property we have strong management systems designed to protect the legal interests of both parties. We are members of two of the leading professional organisations in our industry, and we operate our business to the highest ethical standards.

Protection for Property Owners

To protect our property owners, we scrutinise every tenant application to ensure that we are putting forward only the most reliable people. Our belief is that if we accept tenants who have already proven themselves, we are unlikely to be dealing with a default situation further down the track. Not only do we conduct thorough security and reference checks but we also check the Tenancy Information of Australia database for previous defaults.

Missed Payments are under Immediate Scrutiny

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, rent must always be paid in advance.  Our systems monitor the timing of payments. If a payment is missed, we act immediately rather than let tenants fall further behind. We offer them a range of payment options including BPay, bank cheque, money order and internet or telephone transfers.

Our property owners receive monthly and bi-monthly payments deposited directly into their accounts.  Electronic statements are emailed simultaneously.  Consequently, they can check that the rent is being received as per the tenancy agreement. We also conduct regular inspections of the rental property to check that the tenants are looking after it.

Options for Tenants at Risk of Arrears

Our tenants are also our clients, and we treat them with the respect they deserve as the occupiers of our rental properties. Sometimes though, despite good references and income, unexpected circumstance arise that affect their ability to pay their rent on time.

We always advise our tenants to contact us immediately their circumstances change. The Position One Property approach is to work with them so they can continue their tenancy where possible. This is always preferable to allowing the situation to get to the point where we have no choice but to take legal action.

Solutions for Both Parties

To further protect our owners, we recommend they take out Landlord Insurance .  This is purely for those rare occasions where tenants have fallen into arrears. An insurance claim in these circumstances allows them to recover lost income. This is another way to minimise the impact of rental arrears where they cannot be avoided. At Position One Property we like to provide both parties with solutions.

Don’t Think Your Credit Score Is Important? Think Again

Searching for that perfect property can be frustrating and time consuming so imagine the disappointment you would feel after making the final decision to buy, then being rejected by a lender when you applied for a loan. With all sorts of emotions and thoughts going on, it would be easy to immediately apply to another lender, but this would be a mistake.

We advise our clients to find out how much they can borrow before they start looking so they know what they can afford. This is where the question of a credit score becomes important as the lender assesses their capacity to repay a mortgage. It also makes it easier for our sales staff at Position One Properties to show them properties in their price range.

Rejected for a Home Loan? Find out Why

If you have been rejected for a home loan, the first thing to do is to find out why. If one lender has already rejected an application, the chances are that others will too, for the same reasons. Being rejected by multiple lenders will have an adverse effect on the credit score which is not what you want. Instead, you need to know how to improve that credit score so the next application is approved.

We suggest to clients in this position that they source a credit repair expert to check their history for any defaults that have been incorrectly assigned to their record. This person can also help with the process needed to get these removed. While this is happening, check personal credit habits like overdrawing on credit cards. This is a clear sign that you are not living within your means. Make sure you pay off any purchases every month.

Keep Your Credit Record Clean

It seems obvious but we need to say it. Pay all your bills on or before the due date and pay off any defaults found on your credit file. Moving house and changing jobs are also behaviours that raise red flags against your name as far as lenders are concerned. Stay in the same job and at the same address until your mortgage is approved. If you have not developed a regular savings habit, start now and have, at the very least, a three months history of regular savings of reasonable amounts.

A Little Pre-Planning Goes a Long Way

Depending on the state of your credit history, this may be a long-term project rather than something you can fix quickly. This is why we suggest to our clients that, if they suspect their credit score is not as it should be to get a home loan, they should first focus all their efforts on establishing good spending and saving habits.

At Position One Property we like to help our clients find the home of their dreams. A little thinking and planning before looking for a mortgage lender will make the search so much easier.

Trying To Save A Home Deposit? Read On!

Despite the recent small rise in interest rates by some of the major banks, there has never been a better time to buy property in Brisbane. Low interest loans and median property prices much lower than Sydney and Melbourne are still attracting buyers into the real estate market.

Buyers with a reasonable deposit are in a much better position to secure their ideal property than those who have to borrow most of the funds. Having a smaller mortgage to service is less stressful and gives the borrowers some room to spend money on other, more pleasurable pursuits. Despite what others may say, it is possible to save a deposit but it does involve commitment.

We asked a few of our clients for their top money-saving suggestions and without exception, they nominated sticking to a budget as the place to start. As boring as it sounds, this advice has been around for many years, but they also offered a few other tips that set them on the property ownership path. To help other prospective buyers, Position One Property suggests using these other additional strategies.

Keep Deposit Savings Separate from Other Funds

Open an interest-bearing account specifically for a property deposit and use whatever means available to lock the funds in so they cannot be plundered for other uses. Commit to making regular deposits. The old adage of saving 10% of your gross income is an excellent place to start. This is likely to have a major impact on the budget for those who spend everything they earn, but having the discipline to change old habits is essential if you are serious about saving a deposit.

Pay Off Existing Loans Quickly

Other debts such as credit cards or a personal loan should be paid off quickly. This will immediately free up hundreds of dollars a month that can be put into the deposit savings account. Again, having a strict budget should leave money available for this that would otherwise have been spent. If not, sell unwanted items at a garage sale or online and use the proceeds to pay off debt.

Be Ruthless with Unnecessary Luxuries

It is surprising how much money we waste on things we could do without. Cancelling TV or other similar subscriptions can save around $100 a month or $1,200 a year. Taking lunch to work instead of buying it every day should save around $200 a month or $2,400 a year.

Get a Part Time Job

For those who can, this is a quick way to boost the deposit savings account. A couple of shifts each week at a restaurant or take-away, mowing lawns or any other casual jobs that suit could add $1,000 a month to the deposit account.
Having given all this advice, the other attribute we notice in people who manage to save a substantial deposit is determination. With the willingness to change old habits and stick to a savings plan, anyone can save a home deposit. When you are ready to look for real estate, contact us here at Position One Property** **and we will help you find your perfect place.