Setting the weekly rent on your rental property can be a bit of a tightrope.

List the price too low and you’ll be faced with hundreds of potential tenants at your open for inspections, as well as a deluge of applications. But list it too high and there’ll be tumbleweeds blowing through your applications folder.

So when your current tenants are moving out and you want to boost your rental yield from your new tenants, how can you increase the weekly rent but still ensure you attract a wide range of tenants?

Test the market

With thousands of renters on the lookout for properties each week in every Australian capital city, as a rental property owner the odds are stacked in your favour.

So why not see how much people are prepared to pay to stay in your property?

terrace house

You need to understand the market in order to maximise your rental yield.

Hocking Stuart Richmond property manager Jo Leonardis says the beauty of the rental market is that you can always start your price high and then adjust it down if required.

“For example, one property we might be able to lease between $550 and $600 in this market, so we’ll put the property on at $595 per week and see how that goes,” she says.

“We say to our clients, ‘Look, let’s try X amount for the first couple of open for inspections, and then let’s bring it down if we have to’. So we test the market if need be, but we don’t go over the top.”

But make sure you crunch the numbers. If you’ve got your heart set on a certain amount but your property is vacant, how many months at that higher amount will it take to make back what you’re losing because the property is empty?

Be strategic

Leonardis says if you want to achieve a rental yield that’s at the very upper end of what you think might be possible, it can be an effective strategy to advertise your property at just under a major price hurdle, in the same way that a consumer item might be sold at, say, $19.95.

“If you’re putting it on at $600 a week, then you’re cutting out a bit of the market that can possibly afford to pay in the high fives,” she says.

“If you’re putting the rent at $595, you’ll see that you’ll get a completely different set of tenants and people walking through the door. So it’s just that psychological justification. Even $5, it does do a lot for people’s interest in attending the open (for inspection).”

cosy rental

Price strategically – don’t forget there are tenants who might be searching just under your bottom line. Picture: Getty

Know your market

The simplest way to know whether an increase to a certain level will put off too many prospective tenants is to keep abreast of where rents are at for similar properties in your suburb and surrounds.

Leonardis says it can pay to regularly monitor what other properties are achieving in rent nearby, to ensure your expectations are realistic.

“People get put off by seeing other properties and competitors putting rents at a different scale,” she says.

“It’s all relative to the market. Week by week the market changes. So, for us, we look at it on a weekly basis.”

“Twenty dollars here or $20 there doesn’t affect too much, it’s when it’s a massive jump and you can’t really justify why it’s an extra $100 a week.”

Review regularly

Leonardis says you’ll also reap better returns for your rentals if you adjust rents up throughout a tenancy, as tenants then become conditioned to paying more as time goes on.

“Review rent every 12 months, and provide comparable properties to justify the increase,” she says.

“In a stable market, obviously you have to look at it a little bit more carefully, but we’ve been successfully increasing rents. Tenants have been OK with it. They kind of expect it, I think, every year.”

 

They say too many cooks can ruin the broth, but when you own an apartment, townhouse or unit in a block, multiple opinions are part of the deal. That’s why body corporates exist.

A body corporate – or owners’ corporation, as it’s more commonly known – brings together all the individual owners within a single strata titled property, like a block of flats. Strata is a way of handling legal ownership of part of a building.

The owners’ corporation manages shared expenses, decides how common areas, like gardens and lobbies, are maintained and deals with issues between owners, like noise and parking.

common foyer area

A body corporate is responsible for common lobbies. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy

Emily Sim, the head of property management at Ray White, says the cost and specific rules of owners’ corporations differ between buildings and are spelled out in the contract of sale. She explains the ins and outs.

What does a body corporate do?

A body corporate makes the decisions for how they want the common grounds of the property to be maintained.

They also manage all the outgoing expenses for the maintenance of the building, Sim says.

It’s responsible for things like car parks, driveways, entrances, lifts and lobbies, pools, shared courtyards and gardens.

Do owners have to be part of it?

Across Australia, owners are legally required to be part of the owners’ corporation if their property is subject to a strata title, and must pay for things like insurance.

Owners will often pay an external strata company to do the job for them.

“An annual general meeting is held to review all of the practises and typically any changes to the plan only occur when there is a vote and the majority vote for an alternative,” Sim says.

An extraordinary annual general meeting can be called to deal with “unforeseen issues.”

How much does it cost?

Owners pay funds into the body corporate each quarter or year.

Sim says that in most cases the more square metres of the complex you own, according to your property title, the more in contributions you will pay.

“A good example is a property which has a car park and storage cage. This property owner’s financial contributions would be higher than a property owner with a one-bedroom flat in the same building,” she adds.

Most owners’ corporations also maintain “sinking funds”; a “small back-up pool of money to cover unforeseen costs,” Sim explains.

body corporate buildings

Owners pay funds into the body corporate each quarter or year, with the amount based on square metres owned on property title. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy

What is a “special levy”?

A special levy can be charged if there is a cost for the running or maintenance of the building that is in excess of the standard levies.

For example, it could be to pay for a new roof or to repair termite damage.

“It is always voted on in an AGM or extraordinary AGM, but if the work needs doing, it generally gets voted in,” Sim explains.

Should owners be involved?

Every property owner should have an active interest in how their property is managed, according to Sim.

With the owners’ corporation in charge of how the property appears, as well as maintenance, there is an obvious link with how much an apartment, townhouse or unit within it is worth.

“Minutes from the AGM and history of the strata management can hamper a sale price and, in some cases, create so much fear that prospective buyers lose interest in the property; this ultimately will affect a sale price too.”

 

The positive cash flow property investment strategy involves seeking out properties where monthly income exceeds holding costs.  

This will generate surplus cash flow for you pre-tax.

Continue Reading…

Working out if a property will make a good investment is undoubtedly complicated, but experts say it rests on three simple things; rental yield, capital growth potential and underlying demand.

Get these three things right and property investment success awaits.

Michelle May, a Sydney-based property flipper-turned buyers’ agent, and Danelle Hunter, managing director of Biggin & Scott Knox, in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, explain how to assess if a property is a good investment.

What is the rental yield?

Rental yield is a key metric for any property investor and is often referenced by agents and vendors. The higher the yield, naturally, the better.

A property’s gross rental yield is calculated by taking the annual rental income, dividing it by the property value, and then multiplying it by 100. For example, a property which earns $375 a week in rent, for a total of $19,500 a year, on a property purchased for $450,000, returns 4.3 per cent gross rental yield.

Net yield figures are calculated by taking into account expenses associated with the rental property.

7 Alexander St, Surry Hills. NSW Real Estate.

Rental yield is a key metric for any property investor. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy

Rental yield should be evaluated carefully, but in conjunction with other factors, like capital growth potential, according to May and Hunter.

“Ideally, you want to have a property which has a reasonable rental return, (but) with maximum capital growth potential,” May says.

Hunter says yield is one key factor, but not the only indicator of potential success. “A good rental yield is good, but you need a low-maintenance property in an area that is growing and close to everything, so (it) rents quickly,” Hunter says.

What is the capital growth potential?

While $10 extra a week in rent is great, picking the right property for its future capital growth can make investors many hundreds of thousands of dollars more over the years, May explains. Smart investors strike a balance between high yields and capital growth.

Look for capital growth performance above the median price growth, May says.

Fitzroy North

Look for capital growth performance above the median price growth. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy

Is there underlying demand?

Don’t rely on figures alone when evaluating a property. The property itself – it’s attractiveness and appeal to the target market – is make or break too.

A quality property will always be attractive to buyers and tenants, irrespective of what the market is doing, May says.

“Stay as close to the CBD as you can afford, as there will always be an underlying demand for good quality rental properties. People will pay more to live in a ‘blue chip’ lifestyle suburb. Existing public transport links, ideally several options, are paramount.”

urban lifestyle

There will always be underlying demand for good quality rental properties close to the CBD.  Picture: Oliver Strewe

To be a successful investor, think like an owner/occupier.

“What is an owner looking for? Is it storage, internal light, parking, an ensuite? These are the things that attract people looking for a home to buy, so it will also attract people who are looking to rent,” May says.

“Ultimately, no one wants to live in a dark and dingy cave, no matter how cheap the rent is. If that is the only property you can afford in your preferred suburb, you need to move to a cheaper suburb and get a better property.”

Carefully research the market and then meet it. If targeting a family market, for example, look at school catchment areas, outdoor space and off-street parking.

If you aren’t using videos in your marketing right now, then you are missing out on perhaps the single most powerful form of media when it comes to creating brand awareness, engagement, loyalty and conversions.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at why video marketing is essential for your success.

Persuasion

Videos are persuasive beyond any other form of advertising or messaging. Did you know that research from Wyzol found that adding a video to a sales page could increase conversions by as much as 80%?

That’s a huge statistic and while it might seem wild, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Videos are super engaging because they combine multiple senses: we can see and hear the person talking. At the same time, we’re able to pick up on nuances in bodylanguage that we couldn’t from an image. And because we don’t have to make any effort (unlike reading), the content can start to captivate us without us having to do anything.

Throw in some music and a really great message and it can be nearly impossible to look away – and you’ll be much more likely to want to buy.

A Video Tells a Million Words

If a picture can tell a thousand words, then surely a video can tell a million.

Videos are also incredibly powerful because they can get a lot more information in in a shorter amount of time. A video can tell us all about a subject in much more detail and this information will sink in much quicker.

That’s one another study found that 74% users who watched explainer videos would go on to buy the product or service being explained.

Think about what a big difference this can make to your website: having a video that explains and promotes your product right on the homepage, that plays immediately upon landing there. This could be the difference between a visitor leaving or clicking ‘Buy’.

Videos Inspire Trust

Finally, videos can help to inspire trust and establish authority. While anyone can write a blog post, creating a video requires certain skills and certain tools. This means that we will automatically presume that a company that has a great video, must therefore be generally reputable and professional.

And that’s where Video Studio comes in. We can provide you with the graphics, titles and intro to put your video in that league. All that’s left for you to do is film it!

So, you want to create a video for your business? Maybe it’s a video advert, maybe it’s an ‘explainer video’ or maybe it’s just a presentation.

Whatever the case, you are now dabbling in the world of videography and editing. This is an art form and even if you’re filming for ‘cynical business reasons’, the same rules apply as they would to Steven Spielberg working on his next masterpiece.

If you get this stuff right, then it is going to create a world of difference for your end product. So here are some tips that will help you make the right impression…

Have a Story Board

No matter the nature of the video you want to create, it is always imperative that you create a storyboard first. Even if the only footage you need is B-Roll, you’ll likely find that you often underestimate just how much you need and end up filming not enough. Knowing exactly which shots you need to collect can help you to streamline the process and avoid falling short of requirement.

Leave Buffer

It can be tempting to create very short and sharp takes to avoid large video files. You might want to film your shot and then stop it as soon as the action ends for example. But in doing this, you will make life much harder for yourself when it comes to editing!

Use Inserts and Cutaways

An insert is a close up of an object already in the scene. For instance, if the lead looks down at their hand and the shot cuts to whatever is in their hand, then this will add detail to your scene and bring it to life.
A cutaway meanwhile is a shot of something that is out of the scene. For instance, if the subject looks up and sees a clock on the wall.
In an interview, you might want to take shots of the interviewer as the interviewee is talking, or of objects in the room they are talking about. Reversals are also useful, which are shots of the interviewer re-asking questions that you can insert later on.

Graphics

Finally, remember that you’re going to be adding graphics to your videos. These include things like intros, a logo, bottom thirds etc. As you’re filming, try to take note of where the graphics are going to go and how they’re going to look. Otherwise, they can end up cutting out key elements of your footage!

And who is going to create those graphics for you? Video Studio, that’s who!

If you’re already creating videos for your blog, business or brand… then congratulations! That fact alone puts you ahead of the vast majority of businesses and it means that you’re going to be reaching your audience in one of the most engaging and dynamic ways. But there’s a difference between creating video for your business and creating high quality video. How do you go about creating the kind of footage that is really going to stand out and get noticed? How do you make sure that your business looks professional and high quality?

Let’s take a look at some of the most important strategies you should be using to take your video to the next level.

Lighting

Hopefully you don’t need me to tell you that it’s important to have a high quality camera so that you can capture high definition footage. But don’t forget that this is only one small part of what makes your footage look great. Just as important is that your videos are well lit and that means you’re going to need to either think about the nearest light source, or think about how you can light your subjects using other tools. A soft box for example is a great tool for lighting a scene that will make a big difference to the appearance of your shots and which can add some real contrast.

Sound

Like lighting, sound is something else that is all-too-often forgotten. Even the best looking video in the world will come off as amateurish if the sounds isn’t also up to par. There are a few ways you can record your sound but one of the best strategies is to use a lapel mic along with a handheld recorder like the H4 Zoom. This is affordable but creates really great, crisp sound.

Graphics

The last piece of the puzzle is the graphics. The right graphics in a video can make all the difference to the way that your video comes across because it adds an element of professionalism that takes your video outside the realms of what an amateur could accomplish.
So what graphics do you need specifically? Some popular examples include an introduction and outro, bottom thirds which add annotations to your scenes, title cards and even an outro to bookend your videos.
Don’t know how to make high quality graphics? Then get in touch with Video Studio today and let us handle the process for you!

When it comes to creating professional, captivating and persuasive videos for your marketing campaign, what do you think it is that makes the biggest difference?

No doubt you will have seen plenty of video advertisements, explainers and introductions in the past. You will have seen marketing messages from all your favorite brands and you will have listened to what they have to say.

And probably some of these videos will have seemed more engaging, captivating and persuasive than others. Why is it that some videos impress while others fail to leave an impression?

It comes down to a whole lot of factors of course. But one of the most important by far is the graphics.

These are the animations and the elements that you won’t necessarily notice right away. It’s things like the video opener, that starts the video with a little pomp and ceremony, usually featuring a logo flying through a 3D space with lots of explosions and music.

It’s the bottom thirds: the text animations that pop up when someone new comes on the screen and starts talking.

It’s the title cards, that announce each change of topic.

It’s the way the logo appeared to be plastered onto the side of the building as the jogger ran past. And it’s the way the details appeared to emerge out from the product in the shot as though it was generating the text itself.

If they’re done well, then we don’t necessary notice these details. Instead, they bled into the background and only register on an unconscious level.

But they do register. And in doing so, they make the entire production seem that more professional, that much more glossy.

And this is what inherently creates trust with that brand. Because the video appears to have high production values, this communicates that the company really knows what they’re doing. It communicates that the business has the resources and the funds to afford high quality video creation. And it tells us that they can likely put the same skill and resources into whatever products or services they provide for us.

On top of all that, it even helps us to make the brand more noticeable and more memorable.

THIS is what makes the difference between a professional video and a less professional video.

This is what makes a brand appear trustworthy and ‘serious’. And this is great news because it means that professional and persuasive video is in reach for everyone. Acquire these materials and up your video game! Why not let Video Studio handle that for you?

Video editing is an art much like film score composing that shouldn’t draw attention to itself. That is to say that if an editor has done their job well, then you won’t notice their work at all.
This may seem like a shame. It might also lead you overlook the importance of video editing in your own work. You may think that it’s okay to simply chop together all the footage you make.

But this is certainly not the case. When editing is done well, it can change the entire pace, tone and quality of your videos. Read on and let’s look at how you should go about creating high quality edits.

Cutting on the Action

Here’s a rule that every video editor should know: cut on the action.

Cutting on the action means that you will never jump between two static shots (except in some unique circumstances that we’ll discuss in a moment). Instead, you wait for a movement to begin and then cut to another angle of the same movement. This ‘hides’ the cut because the user focussed on the action.

The L-Cut

The L-Cut is another technique you can use to make your cuts less jarring. Here, you jump between audio tracks slightly before or after you make the transition in your video tracks. This prepares the viewer psychologically for the change of scene and it can be used to better a tell a story.

Match Cut

A match cut is a cut in which you cut from one action to another very similar action. Either that, or you cut between two subjects or two environments that share some kind of theme. So, you might for instance cut from a man chopping carrots to a wood cutter chopping logs.

Jump Cut

A jump cut is a cut that removes a portion of time from the same scene. This is type of cut that is intentionally jarring as characters in the scene will seem to move without the camera position changing. It can be used to show the passage of time or for comic effect.

Finally, the cutting room floor is where you’re going to be adding your graphics. These include title cards, an intro and outro, and other methods that will insert your logo into the video and put your stamp on it. These make all the difference, so make sure you’ve been in touch with Video Studio and you have yours ready to go before you begin the editing process!

Sign Up For Our Business Tips Newsletter