Thursday, December 19, 2013

Looking back on 2013…

What a big year it has been for real estate. We have experienced the market transitioning to the recovery phase with record low interest rates across the year. Buyers have been biting the bullet and investors have been hugely active, chasing the low vacancy rates across core areas in Adelaide.

It's been an exciting year for real estate but also for Adelaide. The new look Rundle Mall and city streets are coming to life. Peel Street and Leigh Street are adding a new buzz to the city and things are really moving. The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) is a world class facility and icon for our State.  And what better way to finish off a big year of change than watching Australia lead the way against England at the new and improved Adelaide Oval. And making the Lonely Planet Top 10 Cities to visit for 2014 list at number 9 is a true sign that our wonderful city is stamping its mark on not just the Australian, but the world map.

As agents, we love being submerged in this energy. Seeing new hubs of activity develop in our city is fantastic and we love working with our clients to achieve results. I'm excited for what's to come in 2014. I think it will be a big year for Adelaide but in particular Toop&Toop. Our team, both Sales and Property Management, are gearing up for another year of outstanding results. Genevieve and I are driving ongoing improvements across the entire business and pursuing growth. We will continue to re-set what our clients can expect from their agent.

This wouldn't be possible without all the hard work put in by our entire team. A huge thank you and congratulations to Team Toop - you have been fantastic. You have achieved so much this year and have been instrumental in ensuring we strive for exceptional customer service.

There is lots happening in our State and we are not taking our foot off the gas. We are one of the few agencies working through January and the Festive Season. If you are looking for property over the holiday period, make sure you look at ToopVault at www.vault.toop.com.au or if you're looking for an investment property check out www.tradingroom.toop.com.au. Our ToopVault properties will be launched in January so make sure you have a look before they hit the market to make sure you don't miss out!

To our clients, from the whole Team Toop family, thank you for all your support. We hope you have a fantastic Christmas break and enjoy spending time with family and friends. This is often the only time in the year to unwind and spend quality time with loved ones, so we hope you have a safe and relaxing time. We look forward to working with you in 2014.

Regards,
Suzannah Toop


Find us on Facebook: Toop&Toop Real Estate


   Follow us on Twitter: @Toop_and_Toop

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Headlines... Job losses. What now?

Well, we are hiring! Team Toop is ready to step up and do our bit!

Doom and gloom can easily take hold if we let it. Holden has dominated the headlines all week. On Wednesday morning, Dan Akerson, President of General Motors in the USA was being quoted as having "1,760 jobs in his hands". The future of Holden lied solely with Mr Akerson's decision.

By Wednesday afternoon, the city was abuzz with the news that 'It's official—Holden are out in 2017'.

So, what now?

For me, I like certainty and with the announcement we now know what we are dealing with—thank goodness. We have time to adjust and get our collective act together, and to take up the challenge.

Real estate in the Northern suburbs will have uncertainty, but prices are not high and the market has already factored uncertainty in, so it is not a huge surprise.

It will be interesting to see now what the 'Pollies' have to say, and this sure will test their leadership leading into the State election. It is perfect timing for an election as we will see what they are made of—have they got what it takes to lead this State? It will become a lot clearer.

Rather than South Australia standing back and being victims, I say it's time for us to stand up and take control. Let's start with South Australia's business owners making a stand and doing whatever we can to innovate, be bold and get some jobs going.

GOVERNMENT. They have shown they are struggling to fix the big issues, giving lots of promises over the past decade, but all we seem to get are more hurdles. Maybe they can help in another way. 

I think it's time the Government simply got out of the way of small business and cut up red tape. Politicians, you have created so many new laws in real estate and the building industries that we are drowning in it. It hasn't really made a scrap of difference from 30 years ago when I first started in real estate. You will always have good and bad operators, no matter how many laws are passed!

So many new impediments to free flowing business—it is all quite insane. Government, get out of the way and let small business owners get on with what we are meant to be doing—making money and employing more people.

Get rid of Payroll Tax (such a ridiculous tax when we are creating jobs). Get rid of administration burdens like BAS, compulsory surveys such as those from the ABS and all the new bureaucratic legislation. Let small businesses get on with things and start employing again.

As I mentioned three weeks ago, Toop&Toop will be doing our small part. We are looking for up to 10 new team members, all who are passionate, smart and enthusiastic people. We are ready to step up the service we can deliver to our clients, and we need more awesome people in order to do it.

New additional jobs include Property Management, Sales, Admin and IT Software programming. Send your resum├ęs in now.

Monday night: We are holding a Toop&Toop careers night on Monday 16 December 2013, so if you are a gun and want to have a career (as opposed to just a job), email Sarah Williams at sarah.williams@toop.com.au, or call 08 8366 0856.

South Australia is amazing, no better place in the world to live, and if it is to be, it is up to us.

Regards,
Anthony Toop


Find us on Facebook - Toop&Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Two P's... Puppies and Property!

Last week I picked up my new puppy, Willow. I was very excited, as I had wanted a dog ever since returning from London. As soon as I picked her up, I was introduced to a world that one week earlier I had no idea existed. Terms such as 'crate training' and 'positive response therapy' were all things I had never heard of before. In just one week, I have learnt more about puppies than I have in a lifetime.

The lead up to Christmas is a very busy time in real estate and is not really the ideal time for distractions. Knowing this, I wanted to find out how long a puppy could be left by itself, so I went straight to the Internet to learn more about it. The only problem was that when I Googled my question, I got the widest range of answers—from "you can't leave your puppy at all", to a website saying that leaving them for eight hours a day is fine. I was left more confused than before so I went searching for answers!

These days there is so much information available online that it is overwhelming. The information I found—rather than answering my questions—threw up even more questions. Which one of these of answers do I listen to?

My lesson. The problem these days isn't finding the opinions and answers to your question; it's finding the right answer—a trusted answer for you and your circumstances.

Real estate is a classic for the uninitiated. The quality of your real estate decisions can profoundly impact on your future wealth—it has changed so much over recent years. Agents used to be the gatekeepers to real estate information—nowadays the Internet and the likes of Google have opened the information floodgates. 

I believe some traditional agents drew power from holding the keys to this information and are now finding it hard because our role as real estate agents has fundamentally changed. As agents we need to be so much more than custodians of information. Just like information on puppies, there's so much information out there on property that everyone can access. Our role is to help you cipher through, help interpret and add our experience and local knowledge to this, in order to address any of your concerns.

To us, real estate is second nature and I must always remember this puppy story, for real estate can be such a foreign environment to our clients.  It's just what we do. We are working in the industry every day; we are local and know the Adelaide market inside out. 

So remember, Suzannah, myself and Team Toop are always here to help. To interpret all of the information you may find on the Internet, all your friends advice and to explain how it impacts on you. We are local, we are a family, we are Team Toop.

So, how long can I leave Willow on her own while she's a puppy? To find my answer I consulted a professional, someone I could trust and who knew my situation—my local vet. Willow is in good hands.

Regards,
Genevieve Toop


Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/toopandtoop


   Follow me on Twitter: @GenToop

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The small things do count.

Toop&Toop are in the business of helping investors achieve a good return and we want our tenants to enjoy a good moving and living experience. With over $1billion in residential property under our management, we house a lot of people every week.

Our job is to make things as smooth as possible for both the landlord and tenant. However, occasionally things go wrong… and it matters! For the tenant, it's that broken tap, or stove not working as it should. Things that could easily be seen as trivial concerns, does in fact impact on the tenant's living experience and may be the source of something bigger for the landlord.  As a landlord, you may also be exposed to a tenant who is behind in their rent or receive a phone call about a burst hot water system that you weren't expecting.

Residential property management is a far cry from commercial—with the only real similarity being bricks and mortar.

From my time with AMP Capital in Sydney, commercial real estate was about negotiating the best deal and reducing vacancy risk for clients. With the big clients, the rent is paid every month in advance like clockwork and lease breaks are virtually unheard of. Lease terms are upwards of three years and the tenants are usually responsible for any general maintenance during the term of the lease with a 'make good' as a key requirement at the end. Commercial spaces are used during work hours and the emotional connection, like you see in residential, is rare.

By contrast in residential, tenants 'come home' to the properties we manage and there is generally a sense of pride and ownership in the home, despite all the sensational stories in the media. It's their home, their sanctuary… so the stakes are high. Tenants want things to work, and we get it. Over the span of Toop&Toop's 28 years, we have developed a trusted group of suppliers to provide a quick, competitive and reliable service to our clients. We have Preferred and Approved supplier agreements in place that require KPIs to be met, including timeframes for completion and guarantee of work—ultimately helping both our landlords and tenants.

So why would we be in this emotional game? Because, we genuinely love what we do! We enjoy working with people in their day-to-day lives and helping solve problems for both landlords and tenants.

We understand that being a landlord can often be an emotional ride and that in life things don't always go to plan. We're here to give you piece of mind and help get you the best outcome we can when the unexpected happens. But we're only human. We are not professing to have a magic wand, but we are set up with key initiatives in place to provide industry best service, minimise risk and create great investment experiences.

If you are keen to find out more about our team and what we offer, please give me a call on 0413 594 285. At Toop&Toop, we know the little things do count.

Regards,
Suzannah Toop


Find us on Facebook: Toop&Toop Real Estate


   Follow us on Twitter: @Toop_and_Toop

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Addicted.


There must be an easier way to make a living!

Real estate looks so glamorous to outsiders, but the pressure of long hours, the constant rejection and intensely competitive daily grind can take its toll.

Despite all of this, I love it. I have asked myself often: "why do I keep doing this?" The answer is, because I'm addicted. It is in my blood and quite frankly, it's like a drug. The adrenaline rush, the highs and the lows, the good, the bad and the ugly—I can't get enough of it and have been hooked for decades.

You meet so many different people in real estate, in all sorts of situations—some very colourful. Agents get close to people's emotions, which can be challenging at times, yet rewarding at other times.

Property management and sales are both areas of real estate with similar demands; both deal with people from different walks of life, all just doing their thing.

Real estate is never dull or boring and each day literally flies, as the pressure to perform can be intense and incredibly stressful, yet personally fulfilling.

Clients, tenants, community and legal demands these days are often unrealistic, yet we go about our daily tasks of housing people amid their changing needs.

So, who works in this crazy industry?

People like me. People who question: "why am I doing this for a job?" The pay is ordinary, the demands are ridiculous, the hours are long, responsibilities increase daily and it can be really stressful. But it is addictive.

Do you want all of the above?

Give us a call - we are expanding. With another new office building almost complete, we need more property management staff, more sales staff and we will also need more administration staff - there are opportunities everywhere. With Toop&Toop it's a career, not a job.

If you aspire to be the best in the nation in this mad, crazy, yet addictive business of real estate, here is your chance. Be part of the best and most highly awarded real estate agency in the country. And if you're already in the industry, you haven't seen anything like Toop&Toop; so it will be a whole new experience for you too, but you must want to work with the best in the industry.

Call me (0418 824 188), Genevieve (0418 824 178) or Suzannah (0413 594 285), or better still, email me (anthony.toop@toop.com.au) and I'll get the right person to call you.

Get addicted... it's a way of life.

Regards,
Anthony Toop


Find us on Facebook - Toop&Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Property is running HOT… but for how long?

There is no doubt that the property market is running hot across Australia. The market conditions right now are the best we have seen in years—conditions we may not see again for some time! For example, at Toop&Toop in October, we had one of our best months in sales for years; we have listed and sold a phenomenal amount of quality properties.

This trend seems to be appearing Australia-wide. According to an article in the Financial Review on Monday, November is shaping up to be the strongest property month on record for Sydney, where they are expecting in excess of $3 billion in sales!

The buzz around property is hard to ignore and everyone is looking to property once again. Investors are getting back into the market in droves, those with property are looking to up-size using the equity of their existing properties and as a result, first home buyers are struggling to get into the market because of this increase in competition.

Over the recent weeks we have talked a lot about the benefits of this market for buyers—there is no doubt that this is a great market to buy in, but what about those wanting to sell? 

We are finding that sellers want to know if they should be taking advantage of this market, and also if it's too late to do something before Christmas?

The great news is—for those wanting or needing to sell—now is the perfect time! There are still 3 weeks left before Christmas to list a property and 6 more selling weeks of the year. The demand for property right now is strong, and if you need to sell, right now is a perfect time.

So how long will the market be hot? It is always hard to judge. We are starting to hear some stories surface around uncertainty in the New Year. Dr Andrew Wilson from Australian Property Monitors has mentioned that he did not think this current momentum would be sustained into the New Year. "Unemployment is trending up towards 6 per cent so we expect a moderation in activity." Just this week we are hearing the government talking about the Federal budget being worse than originally thought and these factors could have the potential to impact the property market in the New Year.

One thing is for sure—you can never predict the future. Right now the property market is in full swing, there is a strong demand for property and finance conditions for buyers are the best we have seen. The momentum in the market is here right now and if you want to sell in 2013, it's not too late. 

Give us a call and we can put the backing of Toop&Toop behind you to take advantage of this market and help you achieve a premium price for your property.

Regards,
Genevieve Toop


Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/toopandtoop


   Follow me on Twitter: @GenToop

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Everybody's talking about it…but now is the time to make a move!

Often there is a lot of talk about purchasing property and not a lot of action. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I've been looking for my second investment property since September and I'm certain now is the time to get involved, provided you buy well—yet I'm still shopping around.

With an 80% auction clearance rate last week, we knocked Sydney off the top of the list for the first time in more than six months—and in turn achieved the highest clearance rate in the nation! Adelaide's average time on market for houses has decreased by 11% since September alone. Looking at the current real estate cycle, according to Australian Property Monitors (APM), Adelaide has come off the bottom and is in the Recovery phase. Sydney is charging ahead with double digit growth and is well into the Expansion stage.



What does this all mean? It means that Adelaide is the box seat for investors or purchasers who are seeking capital growth—now is the time to act!

Not only are the residential stats telling us things are ticking over well, the lenders are fighting for market share. This is a tell-tale sign that the market is active and everyone wants a piece of it.

The battle for lenders has escalated since the start of spring according to brokers, banks and market observers…even the 'Big 4' are being aggressive. Wealth Management companies across Australia have noticed that the level of discounting has increased with up to 100 basis points being knocked off the borrowing rate.

What type of savings does a 1.0% discount pass on? With a $500,000 loan size you would reduce payments by $3,540 a year and $88,500 over 25 years. This is no small drop in the ocean.

RP Data's latest report shows that Adelaide's mortgage activity is growing steadily month-on-month and is significantly higher than what we saw back in August. This is consistent with the feedback from lenders in the market.

After chatting with CommSec's Savanth Sebastian last week about consumer sentiment and his thoughts on the current market, theory and gut feel are telling me it's time to get serious about purchasing.

The signs are saying now is the time to jump in and negotiate hard on home loans, particularly if you are taking out a substantial mortgage or are dealing with the smaller lenders. Be strategic and talk to a number of lenders to find out what the best rates out there are. Often seeing a mortgage broker is the simplest way to go as they are in the game and know what deals are around.

Since September, I've changed gear and am taking a piece of my own advice. I have booked an appointment with my mortgage broker this week…I'm hoping to make the most of these lending conditions and know with Adelaide's steady long term market growth, getting involved is better than sitting on the sidelines. It's time to make the jump!

Regards,
Suzannah Toop


Find us on Facebook: Toop&Toop Real Estate


   Follow us on Twitter: @Toop_and_Toop