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Swing back to traditional property management

By Debra Church

Given the Covid 19 crisis, where people in NSW are unable leave their home and stay in an Airbnb or similar short-stay letting accommodation, the Ray White Group has seen a 10 per cent jump in properties under management.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said, “The government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear – stay in your local area, stay in your home. This is not the time to travel or visit family and friends. Anyone in NSW who leaves their house without a ‘reasonable excuse’ could spend up to six months in prison and face a fine of up to $11,000 under the emergency ministerial directive.”

Ray White Group Property Management CEO Emily Sim said there had been a significant shift back to traditional tenancies since the Level 3 lockdown in Sydney prevented interstate and international travellers from hotel and short stay accommodation.

“Short term stay property investors are now looking secure a long term tenant or face endless months of vacancy on their investment properties,” Ms Sim said.

“We have seen substantial growth in the inner city areas, with many new landlords who have previously rented their properties out for short stays not looking for longer term tenants.

“We are also deeply concerned about some business owners in the ski field areas who may not receive any income if the ski fields are closed this season.”

Successful inner city business, Ray White Surry Hills has seen a jump in new managements by 10 per cent in the wake of the coronavirus.

 A landlord who owns a one bedroom Alexandria investment apartment for more than five years, has been renting out her modern warehouse conversion via Airbnb since Christmas.

“I always had plenty of bookings but now that Airbnb is illegal I have placed my unit back with Ray White to manage. It’s such a stressful  time for landlords. I need the rental income to pay for my mortgage.”

“People are not travelling anymore and I need to make sure any new tenant is going to have capacity to pay but who really knows if any job is going to be safe, long term.

“Alexandria is normally such a buzzing community with cool bars and places to eat. I never had any issues with renting it long-term to a tenant but the stress is real.

Melinda Fiori, Head of Property Management at Ray White Erskineville | Alexandria | Glebe | Surry Hills said that over the last two weeks there had been a spike in enquiry by new landlords and tenants.

“Properties that are vacant are being shown privately, with videos being taken and uploaded to various portals. Each enquiry is contacted by our leasing team and pre qualified, inclusive of those questions of their movements/contacts with COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of our staff let alone our tenants, remain paramount.

“Those properties that are tenanted, our leasing team are reaching out to ascertain their health and safety, and seek approval to conduct a virtual tour of the property for the purpose of uploading to all our portals.I believe our country and industry compared to most are the most fortunate in the timing we have had to prepare for this. I am confident we have put enough measures in place to safeguard our clients in both sales and rentals, whilst keeping the health & safety of our staff are the forefront. “ Ms Fiori’s tip to landlords to remove the furniture for a long stay or lease fully furnished.

“My recommendation is often to remove furniture to simply open up the property to a wider market as naturally furnished has and always will attract a niche market but it can be quite restrictive.

“Furnished markets always bode well between December to February as there is a lot of movement interstate and international people moving around for work opportunities in the year ahead.”

The price of a furnished property often depends on the quality of the furniture. At best, I have seen differences in price points for non furnished vs furnished differentiate between $50-$150.

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