Who is renting your property?

The desire to own our homes is so ingrained we call it the “Great Australian Dream”, but if we are all so obsessed with buying property, who is left to rent?

Strategic investors know that the most profitable property plays are all about the numbers but the smartest investors realise that at the core of property investing is people, specifically the people who are paying you rent to put a roof over their heads.

Some interesting new research revealed exactly who the average Australian renter is. According to rent.com.au, she is a 34-year-old woman earning around $66,000 per year.

Of course, the actual rental market for each specific property depends on the location, property type and age, but these days most Australian renters (68.4 per cent) are employed, with students accounting for just 6.7 per cent of the market.

As a landlord, your goal is always to attract good-quality tenants and minimise vacancies, and to achieve this you need to choose property assets that have wide appeal to a number of potential tenants.

Consider the following points to increase the desirability of your rental asset.

  • Learn what renters want

Due to the housing affordability crisis, tenants of today are in it for the long haul, so they have higher aspirations than merely a clean, safe roof over their heads. Many will want to install Pay TV and satellites, and access to high-speed internet is a given.

What else makes them tick: is it off-street parking, a dishwasher, or access to public transport? How can you tailor your investment to suit their needs?

  • Get a champion property manager

A great property manager will not only keep the tenants happy by attending to their maintenance issues and requests promptly, they’ll also help keep your investment afloat by undertaking thorough, regular inspections and ensuring it is of equivalent or better quality than other rentals in the area.

  • Offer stability and security

Remember that 34-year-old female we mentioned earlier? She often has a family, and tenants with kids don’t want to uproot them every 6 or 12 months and move, so offering a longer-term lease with conservative rental increases will be beneficial for both parties.

You’ll minimise vacancy periods and you won’t need to pay advertising or letting fees to find new tenants. They’ll take better care of the place if they know it’s their long-term home.

  • Add some bonus value

Erect a shed in the garden, install a dishwasher in the kitchen, air con or ceiling fans in the bedrooms – anything that makes your property stand out from other similar rentals in the area.

Attend to any maintenance issues to ensure your property is looking its best before prospective tenants view it. You want a house-proud tenant who’ll take care of your investment; someone who’s willing to live in a ramshackle abode might not have the clean and tidy tendencies you’re hoping for.

Securing great tenants is key to your property investing success because you’re giving them the responsibility for maintaining your asset.

Do your best to lock in someone who treats the property as if it were their own home and you’re on the right track.