EPMEPM: Best Practice & Legislation

Landlords: They May Not Be Who You Think They Are

Owners. Investors. Landlords. If you’re a property manager or a sales agent, you probably think you’ve got their behaviours, motivations, likes and dislikes pinned down and that there are no more surprises to be had. And while stereotypes of owners can sometimes ring true, their characteristics change just as surely as our economy shifts. Blowing our minds – and preconceptions –  are the findings courtesy of realestate.com.au, who have just released their ‘Landlords’ Needs and Wants’ research piece. Essential reading for any real estate professional, EPM will be offering you a deep-insights article on this research in our next edition. For now, here are three key points for you to consider.

1. Property Managers Aren’t Going Anywhere

Don’t be scared by the fear mongers of the industry who suggest that technology is going to do property managers out of a job. A robust 84% of landlords engage a property manager to assist in managing their portfolios. And no matter how much they complain, 61% of owners are motivated to engage a property manager by their need security and reassurance – in other words; they know that managing property is a serious business that requires particular knowledge. 56% of landlords will select a property manager based on perceived professionalism (how’s that pre-list kit looking?), with specialist knowledge coming in at 47%. Unsurprisingly, poor service is the most common motivator for a landlord to take their business elsewhere. And landlords are a tech-savvy bunch it seems: 92% consider their letting agent’s use of technology as critical.

2. Changing Demographics

Australia’s enduring love of property investment doesn’t appear to be going anywhere: the most common age to begin investing in property is between 25 and 34 years of age. A surprising fact is that many of these young landlords – 33% in fact – will choose to invest in property prior to owning their own home. Reducing personal tax liability is a motivating factor for a third of landlords.  65% of owners are looking to grow wealth for the future via their investment portfolio, with 44% seeking to create income during retirement. 35% of landlords own multiple investment properties – so it might be worth looking into digging extra deep into your landlord database to see if there may be a property or two that you are not currently managing. Happily, the spread of landlords nationally is even split between genders, with just over 54% of landlords being male.

3. Tenants are important

Whilst some property managers amongst us might consider landlords driven by the dollar return alone, a stunning 75% of landlords believe finding the best tenants a higher priority than rental income or potential length of vacancy. 82% think placing these ideal tenants as more important than filling their property quickly – which belies a deeper understanding of the ‘long game’ that property investment is. More intuitively, 66% of landlords typify ideal tenants as those who look after their properties and pay their rent on time (68%). Half of all owners do prefer to have couples as tenants – but whether that is because of perceived stability of income or for another factor is unclear. Nearly two-thirds of all landlords had experienced ‘issues’ with tenants – but again, what these issues are is not made clear.

More to come in our upcoming October/November edition of EPM.

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Iolanthe Gabrie

Iolanthe Gabrie is a Director of Ruby Slipper Consultants, providing written content for the real estate industry. For more information visit rubyslipper.com.au.