From a Property Management point of view, branding covers personal branding of the Property Managers. This includes signage (office and street sign boards), the office, the website, profiles, uniforms, brochures, window cards and the properties that they are leasing out.
If a home is not well presented it will reflect on the property manager and owner as well as the real estate business and will not attract the desired tenants. While some Landlords understand this and keep their homes well presented, others do not see the relevance.
I always suggest that our Landlords, where possible, do a drive-by or visit their property at least once a year. Things like faded paint, overgrown trees, leaning fences etc. really do put off tenants and your investment becomes ‘the rental’ in the street. It can also mean the difference between good tenants and the not so desirable applying for your property.
Most repairs and upgrades are tax deductible and actually prevent further high maintenance costs. Your tenants will also appreciate the upgrades ensuring the tenants stay longer term which minimizes costs and gives you security. You can also consider that tax depreciation will ensure higher tax returns on your investment.
It would be worth considering some internal works between tenants as well. You may consider painting throughout the property, changing carpets or window fittings or re-laying tiles or even staining wooden floors. All of these items are really difficult to do with tenants in the house. It is hard to predict how long someone will live in your property and no-one wants to move a great tenant out to do renovations. Just doing one of these things between tenants at each change can boost your rental income.
While a good Property Manager will inform you of this, it still sometimes helps to see it for yourself so you can make an informed decision on routine maintenance and future preventative or upgrade maintenance. Ask them to help with quotes, arrange tradesmen, organize key collection, even to pay invoices on your behalf.
I believe there are three types of maintenance on your investment property:
1. Routine repairs: These are run of the mill, wear and tear items. Routine repairs could be dripping taps, broken down air conditioners or a garage door that does not roll smoothly.
2. Emergency repairs: These are unexpected and usually require immediate repair. Emergency repairs include hot water systems splitting/exploding, a gas leak, plumbing backing up or bursting or securing the property.
3. Future repairs: This is your long term list for things to do when you have the money or between tenants. Future repairs include things like carpet replacement and painting as above.
There is also another side to consider. Don’t spend so much that you don’t have an income. While it is lovely to make everyone happy, it is still an investment so every bell and whistle is not necessary.