With property prices at an all-time low, is now the best time to buy an investment property? We sat down with Debra Thomson from Real Residential to hear her insights about investing, managing property and finding suitable tenants, thanks, Debra.

1. What does Real Residential do?

Real Residential is a quality focused Property Management Service located in the coastal suburb of Secret Harbour. Offering to our clients exceptional & professional service, we strive to not only meet your expectations but to exceed them. “Trust your property asset with an expert.”

2. Is it wise to buy property and then look to rent it out in today’s market?

Property prices are at an all-time low, so it is a great time to buy an investment property. The Perth vacancy rate is 5.2%, and our vacancy rate is a low 1.7% 

3. Who typically rents out their property these days? Is there a specific ‘type’ of person?

Investors and homeowners who relocate and are looking to hold onto their property, to one day return to. A rental property owned by a Self-Managed Super Fund can be an effective form of income generation.

4. If someone is looking to relocate and considering whether they should sell or rent their property, what would be your advice?

Renting out your property is a great option for those that are looking to take advantage of capital growth. In a market where disposing of an asset is not financially viable, leasing a home is a great short to long-term option with zero permanent implications.  However, it is essential to carry out extensive research before selecting a managing agent and insurer.

5. How can someone ensure that their property is well looked after if they do decide to rent it out?

Ensure you have selected an agent with knowledge of the local market and the resources to be able to manage your property adequately. Knowledge is power when it comes to choosing an agent. Do your research and ask questions such as; what their vacancy rate is, how many properties each Property Manager manages, what procedures they follow when managing arrears, maintenance, leasing etc. 

6. How can someone ensure they will get good tenants who pay on time?

Even a great agent cannot ensure a tenant pays on time. However, an agent who carries out a strong vetting process, and has access to The National Tenancy Data Base system will assist in minimising risk. Agents who have a procedure in place to educate tenants on the expectations and consequences of rental payments can also have a significant effect on minimising risk. Researching suitable landlord protection policies in the event that rent arrears occurs works as a safety net also.

7. Sourcing a rental property can be a nightmare; there never seems to be enough decent places available? What’s the trick to finding a good rental and being accepted?

Prospective tenants have an array of search engines available to them that specifically relate to sourcing suitable properties. Prospective tenants can filter the search criteria to suit their requirements making it even easier to shortlist suitable options. Always be prepared by having your supporting documentation readily available to submit to an agent and ensure all details are correct. This assists in the application process by minimising any lag time between viewing a home and applying for it. A great tip is to call the agent ahead of the home open to request an application form to complete ahead of time.

8. If you listen to the media they say housing prices are coming down; how does that affect the rental market?

In a bid to take advantage of house prices in the current market, we have seen an increase in properties being purchased as investments, which means more rental properties are coming to the market. Like anything, with more supply comes more competition, and often results in prices being driven down to mitigate larger vacancy periods.

For more information about Real Residential and the services they provide, please visit their website by clicking here.