All posts by Paul McKenzie

As National Marketing Manager, I am responsible for all marketing and communications at Realestate.co.nz, including brand, public relations, social media marketing, email, and advertising. I am passionate about all things marketing, and have a extensive knowledge of both online and mobile advertising

Our top 10 Investor Tips

1. Keep wall and carpet colours neutral. Classic neutral tones and colours tend to appeal to a wider audience.

2. Install smoke alarms. There are excellent low cost, long life battery operated smoke alarms that can be installed at very reasonable prices. One smoke alarm could save a life.

3. Work with your property manager and real estate agent regarding your next investment. A good property manager will assess the market rent and give some general advice about its ‘rent-ability’. While your property manager cannot give you investment advice, they can give you the benefit of their experience.

4. Invest each year in cleaning paths. A slippery path could cause harm to a tenant or their visitors. Slimy paths also look unsightly and may impact on first impressions when the property is available for rent.

5. Invest in a good advisory team. Good structures play an important role in investing.
Your team should consist of:
• Accountant;
• Lawyer;
• Bank manager;
• Property manager; and
• Real estate agent.

6. Create a contingency fund. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly. Pipes can burst and so can your blood pressure. Mitigate stress by considering having funds tucked away earning interest in case of urgent and unforeseen repairs.

7. Read widely. There are great publications on investing including books, monthly property investor magazines, local investor groups, market wrap-ups providing rental statistics for each area of New Zealand and newsletters from your property management company. A well-read investor is an informed investor.

8. Ensure your insurance broker knows that you are an investor. Check your insurance policies for your rental properties carefully. If work is being carried out at one of your properties, e.g. a roof replacement, it is prudent (or it may be a requirement) to notify your insurer. If your property is vacant for a period of time, some insurance companies require that they be notified. Read the fine print.

9. If your property has a chimney, ask your property manager to arrange for it to be cleaned each year.

10. When buying your next investment property consider whether it has any ‘blue sky’ factor. Can a bedroom be added in easily? A large section could be sub-divisible and another investment property or two built. Check the Council rules.

Tenants – Putting your best foot forward

Searching for a rental property can be stressful, especially in peak periods such as the beginning of each year, when demand may out-do supply.  Here are some tips for renters – how to put your best foot forward and increase the chances of securing the property you really want.

First impressions count.  Like a job interview, being well presented and dealing with the lettings agent or property manager in a pleasant manner will certainly help. Surprisingly, some people are not aware that simply being polite may sway a decision in their favour.

References. Good property management companies will check references in respect of your renting history.  Typically, they will ask you for these from your most recent landlord and the previous one.  If it is your first time renting (e.g you have been, or still are, a home owner in a different locality), good character references will be beneficial; your employer may provide an important reference. For students, the property management company may seek a guarantor, such as your parents or guardian, to guarantee the rent and take responsibility for any damage or issues that may be caused during the tenancy.

Credit check.  Property management companies will typically check your credit history with permission (which is usually granted on the application form).  If you have any blemishes on your record, be ready to explain them.  Sometimes businesses may failProperty management companies can be understanding of these situations.  If you have made, or are making, an effort to put things right, no matter how small, this will serve you in good stead.

Pets. Some of us are pet lovers and others are not.  Investors will generally prefer to rent to a tenant without pets, simply because of the risks and possibly greater amounts of wear and tear.  Having said that, there are many responsible tenants with pets and pet-loving landlords.  Introducing your pet to the property manager may make the difference between securing a tenancy or not.  Promise (and include in the agreement) to thoroughly clean the carpets on vacating of the property so no pet smells and/or stains remain.

Honesty and completion.  Be honest with your application and complete all sections. Property managers become suspicious of blank boxes!  If you are unsure about something, ask.

Mobile phone and email address.  In today’s environment, these are important.  A property manager will want to have contact details to reach you in the case of an emergency.

Next of kin.  A sensitive subject. Tenants do become sick or pass away in the their homes. Being able to reach loved ones or friends can be important.  Be sure to provide next of kin details as part of your tenancy application, regardless of whether the form asks for it or not.

Live within your means.  Don’t be tempted to choose a property that is beyond your means.  It is better to chose a cheaper rent than one that will stress you out from week to week.  Most property management companies have a zero tolerance for rent arrears.  Don’t become the subject of a 14-day-letter or worse.  These things get noted and form part of your renting history.  They will come up through the reference checking process when you need to rent again.

Realestate.co.nz Has More Rental Traffic Than Ever Before…

As the newly appointed property management specialist at Realestate.co.nz, it has been a privilege to talk to our property management industry colleagues over the last few weeks.

We understand from these initial conversations that one of the keys to success in the rental arena is to let the public know we have rentals on Realestate.co.nz.

Our recent campaigns have been designed to build brand awareness of Realestate.co.nz, and drive more traffic to your listings.

Since our current campaign started in June, we have done the following:

  • Created four innovative and creative advertisements for press and digital banners, which push the message “visit Realestate.co.nz for the most homes”.
  • Run over 150 full page and half page insertions across 22 Newspapers and Magazines nationwide.
  • Run a national 12 week radio campaign.
  • Run a digital campaign targeting New Zealand eyeballs, which has now had over 4 million impressions.

Realestate.co.nz will be continuing to run marketing campaigns throughout August with a television campaign booked for early September that includes a push of our rental message.

Overall Results:

Visits to Realestate.co.nz hit record levels in June, with over 45,000 unique people looking at homes on on the site each day. In terms of growth, this is a massive 56% increase in visitors over the last 12 months1.

This growth is being seen site wide, rental searches and rental listing views have also increased hugely over the last 12 months. Realestate.co.nz rental pages are now seen over 1.6 million times each month, and this is a 55% increase on the same time last year2.

Additionally, we have had over 225,000 downloads of our app, and all your rental properties can be found in the dedicated rental section of the app.  If you haven’t downloaded the app, please do and tell all your colleagues and friends!

Your support:

We thank our industry colleagues for supporting our dedicated property website, for being open about what we are doing well and how we can continue to grow.    Most of all, we thank you for your commitment to helping us all shine in our market place. Keep spreading the word!

Please do not hesitate to contact me any time with any ideas/views/suggestions you may have – vesna@realestate.co.nz or on 021 488 972.  If I haven’t seen or talked to you yet, I will be soon!

Vesna Wells

Category Manager – Property Management

Statistic Sources: 1. Nielsen Average Daily UB comparison Jul 13 – Jun 14. 2. Google Analytics Rental page tracking. Jul 13 – Jul 14.