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Management

Landlord Tip – Lost in Translation

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Nowadays most rental properties are under 3rd party management i.e. landlords use property management firms and while this has allowed for greater objectivity i.e. landlords focus on the business of investing it also distances landlords from their clients; i.e. the tenants, and this can result in misunderstandings and important information getting lost in translation.

Landlords are in the People Business

Landlords are in the ‘people business’. Their clients are the tenants, and the property manager, a service provider, albeit the most important one. To get to the tenant, the landlord communicates via the property manager and as you’d expect sometimes important information is lost in translation and the aim is to avoid situations escalating so that they become costly. The most popular channel used to communicate with the property manager is email and they too also probably use email to communicate with the tenant so it’s really important to be very clear with your instructions. It’s so easy to say one thing and it’s interpreted as something else. There’s evidence communication break down between third parties and landlords in discussions on PropertyTalk.

New landlords now hand over their rental property to a property manager immediately so they’re guided by that firm’s management and communication requirements. However the transition wasn’t always this seamless. Landlords used to self managing found it really hard to let go and allow the property manager actually manage the tenancy.

Improve Communication

Looking back at these discussions it’s clear it was communication or the lack there of was the tipping point for so many of the issues that arose. Being in the people business Landlords even now when they’re more comfortable with the whole third party property management thing still need to keep a keen eye on forging a strong relationship with the property manager and this is how it can be achieved:

  1. Commit – confirm your acceptance of rules and guidelines. e.g. set a $$ limit for maintenance requests. Give the appropriate notice before visiting the property.
  2. Respond – reply and in a timely fashion to your property manager’s requests for information or maintenance requirements
  3. Share Information – let your property manager any changes to your circumstances i.e. you’re going on holiday or you’ve changed your contact details etc

When it comes to your responsibility as a landlord avoid putting off till tomorrow what you can do today. Act immediately with clear communication and taking action not only shows respect; it ensures a healthy relationship with your most important service provider – the property manager.

Management

Attracting More Business Travellers To Your Auckland Airbnb Property

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Business travellers are often considered the ideal Airbnb guest.  Booking properties outside of busy weekends and holiday periods, reliability and the potential for repeat return visits, targeting business travellers with your Airbnb listing can prove a lucrative and low maintenance niche.

But how do you go about attracting such clientele?  Well, there are several things which you can do to attract the business traveller to your Airbnb listing.

Location, Location, Location

The most crucial aspect of attracting business travellers is (unsurprisingly) location. With the vast majority of business travellers requiring access to the CMD, the closer you are to your city’s CBD, the better.

For Airbnb guests in NZ, the most popular destinations are Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown, for business travellers the most popular city is Auckland and with most searching for accommodation in the CBD, your property will need to be located here.

Create a space to work

With many business traveller working while they travel it is important to create and showcase an appealing workspace. A desk, comfy office chair, access to a printer and scanner, fast Wi-Fi – all paint a picture of productivity.

Be sure to portray this in your listing photos and highlight the existence of your work space in your property description.

Take a more hands off approach

While originally Airbnb was created to rent a room in someone’s home, it was since morphed into more of a solitary experience. While many still opt for the cheaper lodging alternative and enjoy the experience of getting to know their host, a business traveller expects more of a standoff approach.

In your listing description stress privacy and talk your property up as an excellent place to unwind after a long day.

Also try and make your check-in process as simple as possible as after a long flight or drive to the city the last thing a business traveller wants is a complicated check-in.

Amenities – recreating a hotel experience

Traditionally business travellers stayed in hotel accommodation. However due to the rising costs of this, many turned to the Airbnb platform. But these travellers are still used to the hotel experience, so the closer you can emulate this, the more likely you are to foster return business travellers.

Offering a broad range of amenities, keeping these restocked after each guests and providing hotel quality linens are all great ways to recreate the hotel experience.

Disposable razors are an oft forgotten amenities which is always appreciated by business travellers who mostly fly with only carry-on luggage and are therefore unable to bring one with them

Hire a property manager

Hiring a dedicated Auckland Airbnb property manager can go a long way in conveying the professional, productive experience you want to portray.

Taking professional listing photos, crafting a listing description which appeals to business travellers, streamlining check in, restocking amenities and keeping your property clean – all tasks which a specialist Airbnb property manager can take care of you.

Taking on a property manager will also increase your chances of receiving more positive reviews which will only push you further up the Airbnb listing rankings for accommodations in Auckland’s CBD.

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Management

Will Micro-Flats Take Off In NZ?

The housing crisis continues in New Zealand and attitudes on smaller abodes are evolving. Now there’s a new style of ‘apartment’ called a “micro-flat” and it’s all the rage in the UK and Europe. What are micro-flats and will they also be the housing of the future in our more populated cities like Auckland?

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The housing crisis continues in New Zealand and attitudes on smaller abodes are evolving. Now there’s a new style of ‘apartment’ called a “micro-flat” and it’s all the rage in the UK and Europe. What are micro-flats and will they also be the housing of the future in our more populated cities like Auckland?

In an article on PropertyTalkBlogs the concept of micro-flats is explained in detail. A private sleeping quarter is complimented by shared facilities including: lounges, dining areas and laundry rooms. There are some micro flats that have their own reception room and may have as many as three bedrooms.

Micro-flats have been given a big boost from local Government in the UK. The deepening shortage of accomodation for renters in cities like London has recently seen the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan commit £25 million to a developer of micro-flats to create more affordable living for first home buyers and renters. There’s a great article on the rise of micro-flats in London in The Big Issue.

So will micro-flats take off in New Zealand? Well, we’ve had the tiny apartments called ‘shoeboxes’ and they’ve had a mixed response over the years. An independent panel reviewing the unitary plan suggested the minimum size of apartments be scrapped however in August 2016 the Auckland Council voted 17-3 against reducing the minimum size of tiny apartments and so they must be at least 35 square metres.

A Google search did not produce any sign of micro-flats development in New Zealand. Auckland Councillors know about them and in an article on newshub.co.nz it quoted a Councillor mentioning the concept that’s taken off in London and Paris. “Councillor Quax said Auckland had a need for micro-apartments in the mold of those in major cities overseas. The minimum sized apartment in London is 19sqm – while in Paris, the smallest are just 9sqm.”

Twelve months later and there’s no move to adopt the micro-flat living in New Zealand but arguably with our housing crisis deepening this new concept of property and lifestyle will happen and interest first home buyers and investors. Just how it will be managed under a rental agreement will be interesting and this Auckland property management firm says they’re keeping a watchful eye on it’s success offshore and say there will be lessons learned from micro-flat renting that will make sure the it’s a success here when it eventually takes off.

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Management

Want To Manage Your Own Rental Property?

Firing your property manager is a Landlord’s right and many do it without a second thought. Landlords have the power to do it and for some there’s joy of taking the action with a sense of accomplishment i.e. increasing in cashflow by getting rid of the property management fee. However as we know good times don’t last and this is when property managers come into their own and landlords using them breathe a sigh of relief.

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Firing your property manager is a Landlord’s right and many do it without a second thought.   Landlords have the power to do it whenever they choose to and for some, they get a lot of joy out of saying ‘you’re fired’. Landlords taking back the management do so to increase their cashflow.  However as we know, “good times don’t last” and landlords managing their rental properties while juggling other tasks like a full time job wonder if they’ve made the right choice.

Property managers come into their own when issues crop up and landlords using them breathe a sigh of relief. On PropertyTalk discussion forums a user recently requested information on how to take back the management of his rental property.

“We have fired our PM and now wish to take over the management ourselves, Have been trying to find out information about what we need to do to take over the management.

I can find info about starting and tenancy agreements etc but I can’t find how we take over the management from someone else.

Can anybody tell us or maybe provide a link to information about what procedures we need to follow to take over the management as it is already tenanted.

Really appreciate any help.”

Outsourcing the property management of residential properties is a no brainer in 2017.  It’s a lot more complex now.  There’s the Residential Tenacy Act 1986 (RTA) and the amendments to it e.g. Residential Tenancy Amendments Act 2010.  Who really wants to spend hours reading and understanding legislation and there’s no escaping it either as tenants will surely know their rights and the person managing the property needs to as well.  As one user on PropertyTalk replied:

“Read the RTA, read the RTA again, read the RTA a third time. Then read it ever day for a few weeks until you understand it inside out.”

A spokesperson at this Auckland property management firm said knowing the RTA  inside and out is not optional, it’s fundamental for managing rental properties in 2017 and changing property management firms would be the recommended action for landlords to take if they’re unsatisfied with their current provider.


This blog article was written for PropertyBlogs by Mobilize Mail.

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