Thursday, July 27, 2017

New build… 
or established home?

Adelaide is continuing to perform well in the current property market. The June quarter results are in, and Adelaide house prices have now increased over 11 consecutive quarters, with annual prices rising solidly by 6.6 percent. This is the highest annual rate since the June quarter in 2010... seven years ago!

So, if you are a property investor wanting to take advantage of the market, or a first time investment purchaser, you might ask, what are the common views on new builds versus established homes?

Here's what our team are finding:

New build

The positives: The property will be brand new. This is very attractive to tenants, particularly as all fittings and fixtures work well, and if not, the defect period will ensure that any faulty items are rectified in a timely manner. New homes, or those that are newly renovated, will present well to tenants. Modern kitchens, bathrooms and appliances are favourable. Plus, if you purchase a house and land package off the plan, you will only be required to pay stamp duty on the land portion only, which is a big bonus!

The concerns: Time to market will depend on when the building is complete. It is also difficult to get tenants through the property prior to completion, and landlords are usually only provided with floor plans or design booklets, making it difficult to start advertising the property early. Any unexpected delays will create additional downtime to the property, affecting your cash flow and returns. If you are one of many, especially in a unit complex or apartment building, where there are a high number of investors purchasing off the plan, making sure you have a strategy to map out the timing of your property to market is important. 

Established home

The positives: Speed to market. Typically the property will be in a condition to go straight to market, and therefore minimising downtime and earning you income right away. Character homes are especially popular with tenants.

The concerns: The age of the property will determine its maintenance profile. It is important to find out how old the services are to the property, for example, air conditioning systems or hot water units. Keep in mind; if the current owner has been living in the property, 
the chances are that regular maintenance has been completed, as opposed to the property being rented out for many years. 

There is a saying that 'a confused mind stalls', so if you want to make the most of Adelaide's current market conditions, our Property Management team is here to help. Our team can share with you what they are finding in the field, and give you inside knowledge on what homes are the most popular, and in what suburbs.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

What’s trending in our market this winter?

How's the market tracking? This is one of the most common questions our team is asked out on the ground each week. Real estate is a hot topic and people are eager to know what's happening in the market, what their property might be worth and how house prices in their suburb or city are performing. Staying up to date on property market trends is key to knowing when it's your time to make a move. 

Team Toop has just released our latest Quarterly Property Report and we cannot believe how quickly the first half of 2017 has passed us by. Traditionally throughout the cooler months we see stock levels in the market sit lower than usual, but we've seen first-hand that this hasn't impacted buyer demand for properties, which continues to surge.  

Looking to the national market... the CoreLogic Home Value Index recorded a recovery from the 1.1% fall in May, now sitting at a 1.8% rise in capital city dwelling values over the month of June. It was also recorded in CoreLogic's latest Pain & Gain Report that 90.2% of properties nationally sold at or above their previous purchase price. Both stats trending higher than last year, indicating a strong market.

Back home... Adelaide remains the most affordable mainland capital city in Australia. With our stable returns and consistent growth it's clear that we are a highly attractive market for investors. Our local market continued to be extremely competitive in the second quarter of the year. For suburbs in sought after locations with relatively low stock available, we saw transactions occurring at a rapid pace. These suburbs included Norwood, St Peters, Leabrook, Malvern, Millswood, Aldgate, Mile End and Henley Beach. 

What stood out to us the most during the quarter was that Adelaide's auction clearance rate sat in the top tier of the nation at 71.8%, showing the confidence from buyers in our market. Sydney and Melbourne recorded 72.4% and 71.8% respectively. CoreLogic RP Data statistics state that not only does an auction help achieve premium results, but in South Australia properties sell on average in under half the time than properties listed for private sale. Serious buyers also benefit from this process as they can utilise their financial position on auction day to have an advantage over conditional buyers in the market.

The auction method in South Australia is certainly gaining traction, however, we are still behind our eastern state rivals who on average take over four to seven times the amount of properties to auction. Its popularity has maintained power throughout winter with auction activity increasing across the majority of our capital cities.

At Toop&Toop we have always been strong advocates for the auction process and this passion shone through at the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) Auctioneering Championships last week, with our team taking out top honours in the finals. Subject to a panel of interstate judges and incredibly tough mock auction conditions, Team Toop's Bronte Manuel made history by taking out South Australia's Auctioneer of the Year for the third year in a row! He will now go on to represent South Australia on the world stage at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships in September, held in Adelaide. Team Toop's Kirk Fernandez also took out the 2017 Novice Auctioneer of the Year!

From the entire team, a big congratulations 
to you both, we are so proud. Go get 'em 
in September Bronte!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

The rise of the ‘Rent-vestor’

Gen Ys are proving that perhaps, they really can have it all. And not just when it comes to breakfast and smashed avocado... but in property too. 

Let me explain.

If you are a 20-something year old, with a good job, living in a capital city across Australia, chances are you're looking to buy a property. However, the current climate makes this particularly challenging, especially if you live in Sydney or Melbourne. But the best thing with Gen Ys is, they don't see hurdles... they see ways to get around them.

The hurdle. Housing affordability coupled with the fact that Gen Ys want to be close to the action. Living near the CBD, beach or a trendy metropolitan neighbourhood is the dream location, but purchasing nice homes in these areas is simply unattainable for the vast majority of people in today's property market.

The solution. Gen Ys have found another way, where they can have their cake and eat it too. Introducing... the 'Rent-vestor'.

A Rent-vestor is a person who chooses to rent a home to live in, whilst buying investment properties to rent out. Essentially this results 
in getting 'the best of both worlds'.

The logic. By renting, Rent-vestors can afford to live in their area of choice, and they don't have to compromise on the modern kitchen or the second car park. A 12 month lease means it's super flexible. They're not tied down and can pick and choose new trendy areas, or relocate for career opportunities. And the best part is, it's all without having the hefty mortgage repayments that would come with owning that particular home. And while they are enjoying the perks of renting their dream home, they've purchased a modest unit - one with good growth potential, in an up and coming area. This property requires a reasonable (but achievable) deposit, and the Rent-vestor starts receiving a rental income that covers the mortgage repayments. And in a few years? The Rent-vestor's goal is to achieve capital growth as this will allow them to draw equity from their investment property, to in fact buy their dream home in their suburb of choice.

Hurdle. Overcome.

A simplistic view, yes. But on the whole, it is proving to be a creative way to achieve a win-win. The Rent-vestor gets to experience the financial security of home ownership, with the flexibility of renting. Unprecedented housing growth has created a new era of property ownership right across the country. Rent-vestor, aka genius.



Thursday, July 06, 2017

The new year is here… and we’re excited!

The new financial year brings new beginnings, and at Toop&Toop we are constantly looking at ways to reinvent ourselves and find new means to add value to our clients.

Our benchmark is to not only be industry-best, but to listen to what our customers want and deliver to this standard, if not exceed it. This is our goal, it is our mantra.

In Property Management, this means finding new ways to improve returns for our landlords, have a team that pursues knowledge at every turn, and provides an unmatched level of service.

And we have started this journey.

We've sought out external trainers from outside the immediate industry to bring together a holistic education on property investing. Our Property Management team recently heard from Grant Thornton on the new tax changes to ensure we are across the implications of the Budget 2017-18. This was 
eye opening for our team, as some changes weren't that obvious from the articles available 
in mainstream media.

We are also passionate about providing 
the best global tools in digital marketing to South Australia.

An interesting statistic is that as consumers, we are bombarded with over 10,000 ads per day. So in our world of real estate, it has never been more important to tailor the right marketing campaign for your property to cut through and engage tenants.

Introducing ToopCreate and ToopFurnish! These two amazing, game-changing tools are available to landlords to promote their properties in the best possible way!

Toop Create

ToopCreate offers landlords professional photography, 3D floorplans and the ability to visualise their dream home before moving in.

ToopFurnish

ToopFurnish gives tenants the power to digitally furnish and decorate their perfect living space online. Tenants can now drag and drop furniture onto an interactive and dynamic floor plan, giving them the ability to start planning where their couch will go, or confirm that their queen-size bed will fit in the third bedroom... all before actually attending an open inspection!

We have achieved unprecedented vacancy rates for our landlords over the last 12-18 months, currently sitting at 0.93% compared 
to the industry average of 1.8%. We know 
that investing in the right property marketing tools, means putting more money in landlords' back pockets. ​

With an average of 22 days on the market (compared to the market average of 47 days), we are excited to see ToopCreate and ToopFurnish take this to the next level. 

At Toop&Toop we strongly believe in providing our team with the knowledge and tools to achieve exceptional service and results for our landlords. This is just a small taste of the exciting things we have in store for the new financial year... and we have an exciting 12 months ahead!



Friday, June 30, 2017

The next generation of property marketing is here!

Today we live in a world surrounded 
by 24/7 advertising. We are bombarded with over 10,000 ads per day, so it has never been more important to innovate and find new ways to engage and capture attention. 

In our real estate world, this means we are always looking for new ideas and solutions to not just capture buyers' attention, but to maintain it and engage them in a way that will create the 
most powerful result for our clients 
and their properties. 

Over the past six months, Team Toop have been dreaming up what the next generation real estate experience looks like. We wanted to transform how people experience buying and selling their home, and be known yet again, as the people who brought the future real estate experience to South Australia, today. 

As marketers, we know that there is one element that always cuts through the clutter and creates powerful results... the key is emotion. Understanding there is a new digital world well and truly on its way, we wanted to source the very best strategic partners who could help us deliver the most emotive and engaging online marketing experience on the planet, and join forces with them to bring an unmatchable experience to South Australian real estate.  

We searched the globe to find the answer... and we discovered it in Sweden! We found a company, called DIAKRIT, who are the global leader in digital property marketing, and are providing tools to the world that Australian real estate has never seen. We instantly saw the possibilities and potential. 
Over four months we have been working hard together, across four time zones, to turn our vision into a reality. We have created a brand new and exciting suite of marketing tools for our Toop&Toop clients, so that buyers can create and imagine what it would be like to live in their dream home before they even walk in the front door! 

The next generation of property marketing is here.
Introducing ToopCreate. 

ToopCreate provides buyers and sellers with a fully immersive property experience like no other - 
luxe magazine style photography, 3D floorplans and the ability to design, renovate and visualise your dream home. Through the power of capturing emotion, ToopCreate delivers vendors an unmatchable result for their property.

ToopFurnish
An interactive and dynamic floor plan that gives potential buyers the power to digitally furnish and decorate their perfect living space, allowing buyers to mentally move in.  

ToopDesign
Shows off the full potential of your home, and allows buyers to imagine renovating and redecorating. Buyers can digitally customise the interior of a home by selecting exciting new colours and textures for walls, flooring, countertops and cabinets. Buyers are also able to customise the exterior of your home including paint colour, window frame colour and other options.

ToopTour
Using Virtual Reality technology, buyers from anywhere in the world are able to walk through your property in 3D and stop, look and feel how that space would work for them - as if they are really there.

The way we experience real estate 
has changed forever! Team Toop is thrilled to launch these products to the South Australian marketplace and show you how these tools are going to transform buyers' experience and sellers' results. We are so excited to lead the industry once again into the future of real estate... starting today!


Friday, June 23, 2017

“Change has never happened this fast before… and it will never be this slow again!”

Ever since Team Toop was born in 1985, innovation has been at the heart of our business. Toop&Toop was created because a determined 27-year old real estate agent, Anthony Toop, had a dream that real estate needed to change. He believed that as an industry, we needed to be better, and through innovation and thinking differently we could challenge the status quo and deliver a new level of experience and service to our community.

Now 32 years on, our passion and drive to think differently, push boundaries and deliver excellence has never been stronger! Every day this is brought to life through our incredible team.

Over the last six months, Team Toop's Innovation Lab has been brainstorming and researching what the next generation real estate experience looks like. We have been searching the globe to find answers and ways that we can bring the future of real estate to our clients now... and we have found it! Over the next week, Team Toop will be introducing SA to a whole new buying and selling experience like nothing else in our market and we can't wait to share this with you! But first, we'd love to take you through a snapshot of our innovation journey so far...

1989 - We introduced the first ever illuminated signboard. 
Toop&Toop made headlines across Australia for our brand new approach to property marketing - illuminated signboards. In a real estate world with no internet, no mobiles, no property photography and no brochures, Toop&Toop created a way to provide our clients with 24/7 property advertising. This instantly flowed through to results for clients as they maximised their exposure, buyer interest, and reduced days on market as in many cases the only opportunity buyers had to see properties was during the evening after work.

1995 - Team Toop brings colour to real estate! 
Toop&Toop brought colour to real estate marketing. We were the first agency to introduce photography in 1989 and the first to bring colour printing technology to real estate marketing six years later. Today it seems unimaginable to think that back then, before this innovation, the most advanced way to view a home was through a black and white sketch!

2002 - We introduced individual property websites.
In 2002, we introduced individual websites for all properties listed with Toop&Toop. A game changer, that is even more relevant today. With so many properties competing for buyers' attention online, we want your home to stand out!

2007 - Australia's first property video was shot.
Toop&Toop became the first agency in the world to introduce video to the real estate market! An innovation, that over the last 10 years continues to increase in its power and ability to engage buyers for our clients' homes from across the globe.

2013 - ToopAir received global attention as we introduced drone photography to real estate. 
On 13 April 2013, ToopAir took its maiden flight in the sky, taking emotive marketing and buyer engagement to all new heights. Being able to capture imagery of a home from all of its best angles, we were able to truly show it off like never before and this became an instant hit with our clients, along with the entire industry.

2014 - Award winning ToopVault. 
Our ToopVault, a smartphone app and exclusive off market buyer matching service was born! Winning both State and National Innovation Awards, we utilised the traditional industry downtime to give buyers and sellers an opportunity like no other. ToopVault enables buyers to view and purchase Toop&Toop properties before they hit the public market. Three years on and ToopVault's strength is undeniable... we currently sell over 20% of our properties through this process! 

2015 - National award winning maintenance product ToopFIX.
ToopFIX is a game changing app and online platform that allows tenants, landlords, property managers and tradespeople to request and review maintenance items 24/7 and receive live updates from the palm of their hand. Unlike any system in the marketplace we have had requests from real estate agencies all over Australia to utilise our software in their business to increase their clients Property Management experience.

2015 - First real estate agency in Australia with an iPhone and Apple watch app.
As real estate agents, there is no denying the importance mobile marketing plays in selling a home, which is why we launched our own Toop&Toop Property App. Our app provides exclusive services such as alerts to our ToopVault members when they pass a Vault listing. With no visible signs the property is on the market, this is the ultimate VIP buying experience!

Watch this space...
In our Innovation Lab, we have been sourcing the globe and working hard to bring a whole new experience to the South Australian real estate market. Watch this space... the next generation of property marketing is almost here and we can't wait to share it with you!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

End of financial year... Landlords there are 13 days to go!

Planning for the end of the financial year will go a long way to ensure you maximise your returns, and to be able to claim a range of tax benefits available to your rental property or portfolio.

So what should you look to do before 30 June?

Uncompleted maintenance items
Make sure you arrange any last-minute repairs 
to your property or replace any items you might have been putting off to ensure they 
are included in FY16/17.

Depreciation schedules
Depreciation benefits can apply to the dwelling alone or individual items within a property, such as hot water units and air conditioners. If eligible, the average amount that can be claimed on your property in the first year can range from $4,000 to $15,000 - so this is definitely worth looking into! It is important to note that under the 2017 Budget, owners who acquire a property after 
9 May 2017 will not be able to claim depreciation 
on existing plant and equipment assets. Investors 
will, however, still be able to claim qualifying capital works deductions, including any additional capital works carried out either by themselves or a previous owner.

Funding 
Interest rates remain at historical lows. Taking advantage of this is creating savings for Landlords of up to $150 per week. Revising your funding now can set you up for additional savings in FY17/18!

Getting ahead
Some investors take this opportunity to prepare for the year ahead by pre-paying expenses such as water and council rates.

Capture everything
Make sure you look back through all of your expenses from FY16/17 to ensure they're included. There have been recent changes to what investors can and cannot claim, so having a chat with experts in this field will help you understand what benefits are available to you.

The countdown to 30 June is on, but there is still time to prepare! If you would like to know more about what you can be doing before the new financial year, be sure to chat to your Property Manager. At Toop&Toop we are in 
the prime position to help you, or to put you 
in touch with the right professionals.



Thursday, June 08, 2017

Adelaide’s property market hits headlines again!

Our beautiful city of Adelaide has hit headlines again this week, recording the highest value growth in the nation over the past week, month and year to date! 

This information comes at no surprise for Team Toop, who have been experiencing huge buyer demand at our open inspections over the past month. These newly released stats confirm everything our team is feeling out on the ground at the moment - we are well and truly in a strong sellers market! 

According to CoreLogic's latest Hedonic Home Value Index report, home values in Adelaide rose by 0.8 per cent over the past week, up 0.6 per cent on the national average and ahead of Sydney and Melbourne. Adelaide's property values also increased by 1.5 per cent over the past month and recorded the highest value growth this calendar year too, with property values growing by 3.7 per cent since January.

Adelaide is sitting a significant 1.0 per cent above the national average of 2.7 per cent 
and we are now surpassing the value growth 
of Sydney and Melbourne.

So what does this mean for our local real estate market? It shows that Adelaide's steady and consistent growth is generating attention from interstate investors. Adelaide hasn't always been top of mind for national investors, who often look to the bigger markets such as Melbourne and Sydney, however this is rapidly changing and Adelaide is fast becoming a hot spot for people to buy. 

Although RP Data reports that Adelaide's listings are down 5.5 per cent across the marketplace compared to this time last year, for those who are selling, this shortage of stock is a huge advantage as it is driving prices up and properties are being snapped up quickly. 

This demand is not just for investment properties, we are seeing this through all market segments right now. For example, over the past week Team Toop has experienced exceptional results in the top-end of the market. We've had two prominent high-end 
properties sell in under a week, one in Burnside and the other in Unley Park. Last weekend this demand continued; within a 
48-hour window we saw 124 groups through 
82 Cambridge Terrace in Malvern! 

We are also continuing to see buyer urgency rise in the market. Over the last month, we had 612 brand new buyers register for our ToopVault service joining our existing 9,015 members. During this time, we have sent over 71,000 custom alerts to our Vault buyers showcasing properties that they are interested in, resulting in a significant number of off-market sales.

Team Toop will be maximising this long weekend for our clients and will be opening properties across the three days. This makes it 
as easy as possible for buyers to visit properties 
in conjunction with their weekend plans. So, look in The Advertiser on Monday for our additional long weekend open times, and talk to one of our team about how we can help 
you take advantage of these incredible market conditions to enhance your sale result.


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Drug dens… private Landlords targeted

Recent news headlines from Perth have stated that drug dealers are strategically targeting private Landlords. 

Over the last nine months, police in Perth have uncovered up to 50 illegal cannabis crops in rental properties. Damage to some properties has been as high as $70,000, due to the severe damages caused by the set up and growing of illegal drug crops (The Real Estate Conversation, May 2017). 

The WA Consumer Protection Acting Commissioner, David Hillyard, recently warned investors, that cannabis growers are deliberately targeting Landlords who advertise their property privately through sites such as Gumtree, rather than those who manage their property through real estate agents - particularly as these properties have a strict regime of inspections. 

A few years ago, in Norwood, our team discovered a hydroponic set up in the roof space of an investment property. The set up was quite incredible - rows and rows of 'crates' spanning over 200 square metres, completely hidden from the naked eye. It was the unusual damage to the ceiling, observed at a routine property inspection, which triggered alarm bells for our Property Manager.

The matter was escalated, and as a team we effectively project managed the situation from beginning to end. This included liaising with the insurance company, providing all inspection paperwork, an accurate timeline of events, and working with tradespeople to restore the property to its original condition. 

From the insurers point of view, the level of due diligence throughout the management was crucial. We were required to disclose our internal file (including tenancy documentation) before the insurer approved and paid out the insurance claim.

With over 30 years in the property management industry, our experience is that the vast majority of tenants do not engage in such illegal practices. However despite the small proportion of wrongdoers, a lot of Property Managers across Australia would no doubt have similar stories. What is most disturbing though, is that this activity appears to be on the rise. 

Off the back of these police findings, it's clear that drug dealers are highly organised. By seeking out private Landlords, they know it is unlikely they will be exposed to the same background checks, or inspections seen in a diligent property management agency. 

We strongly believe that as Property Managers, we are here to help and support our clients when the unexpected arises. First, to minimise the risk from the outset (strict screening processes and inspection regimes) and second, having someone on-hand, ready to step in and take control of the situation, should it be required. 

Property management is no longer just 
about collecting the rent. Protecting your 
asset is crucial.