Taking a sales approach to property management can achieve low vacancy rates for Darwin investors

Media release - 29th March, 2016

Investors working through Raine & Horne Darwin are bucking Top End vacancy rate trends by taking a polished sales-like approach to the marketing of their rental properties, according to Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin.

“We’ve had success in keeping our vacancy rates down to about 3% by taking a sales style approach to the way we promote a property for lease,” said Mr Grantham.

“The rental market has changed to the point where the pendulum is swinging in favour of the tenant, so you have to be prepared to take a more professional approach when promoting a rental property in order to catch the eye of prospective tenants.

“The number one portal in Darwin for rental properties is realestate.com.au. So, it’s all about ensuring that your rental property appears on page 1 of realestate.com.au and that it has professional photography to help it draw as many eyeballs as possible.”

Realistic pricing is also critical to attaining high occupancy rates.

“Landlords have long memories of stronger rental market conditions and aren’t adjusting rents according to current trends,” said Mr Grantham.

“All the industry data indicates that rents have fallen in Darwin over the last 12 months, yet many landlords are refusing to believe this information, which is creating false economies.

“If you’re prepared to listen to the market and attract a tenant quickly, this is a stronger result than putting a higher rent on a property and waiting for the tenants to come. This strategy will just burn a hole in your pocket.” 

Clearly the Raine & Horne Darwin approach to property management is working, with the firm adding close to 60 new managements a month in the first quarter of 2016.

“Yet we have the same vacancy rate of 3% as last year, which is well below the Darwin average of 7%, even though we’ve almost added 180 new properties to our rent roll this year,” said Mr Grantham.

“If we hadn’t added these new customers, we’d have zero vacancy rates rather than 3%, but no business growth.

“I’d prefer the extra growth and the extra landlords demonstrate that we are working hard and that our strategies to take a sales-like approach to advertising a property management, with great photography as a hallmark of our campaigns, is working.”

A property’s presentation in a tenant-dominant market is also essential, according to Mr Grantham.

“If you can undertake some minor renovations to your property to upgrade its look and feel, this will give you a better chance with tenants,” he said.

“Now is the time to do it as you’ll get a full tax deduction with the end of the tax year fast approaching.

“As a bare minimum in a Darwin property, ensure the property has effective and efficient air-conditioning. If you have an older system, upgrade to a split system and you can claim it immediately.

“A well-presented property that has been given a fresh lick of paint and a carpet upgrade will also help attract more tenants over a property that looks tired.”

Mr Grantham advises that savvy landlords are also approaching tenants well before their leases expire.

“You want to lock in a tenant before they start looking around,” Mr Grantham said.

“Do the market research and offer them an incentive to ensure they stay.”

ENDS

For further media information contact:

Glenn Grantham, General Manager, Raine & Horne Darwin on 0418 803 222

Andrew Harrington, National Communications Manager, Raine & Horne, on 02 9258 5400