First Home Buyers Push Price Of Marrickville Unit to Boom Levels

First home buyers push price of Marrickville unit to boom levels

11/384 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville sold for way above expectations.

TWO first home buyers fought for a Marrickville apartment that sold at auction this morning for $862,000, which was $52,000 more than an almost identical apartment that sold at the peak of the boom.

The result for the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with off-street parking and a city view at 11/384 Illawarra Rd was also $72,000 above the written reserve.

The balcony at 11/384 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville

Before auctioneer Emmanuel Comino, bidding started at $725,000 and rose in $25,000 increments to $775,000.

It then dropped down to $10,000, $5000 and finally $1000 bids.

First Home Buyers Push Price Up At Marrickville

TWO first home buyers fought for a Marrickville apartment that sold at auction this morning for $862,000, which was $52,000 more than an almost identical apartment that sold at the peak of the boom.

The result for the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with off-street parking and a city view at 11/384 Illawarra Rd was also $72,000 above the written reserve.

The balcony at 11/384 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville

Before auctioneer Emmanuel Comino, bidding started at $725,000 and rose in $25,000 increments to $775,000.

It then dropped down to $10,000, $5000 and finally $1000 bids.

“It was well positioned, well-presented and well-marketed.

“It was a great campaign and it’s a delight that our clients were able to get a result that was significantly above market, above expectation and reserve.”

11/384 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville was styled beautifully

Two of the young first home buyers who registered were with their parents, but the two active parties were solo.

The successful bidder was an IT professional in his 30s from Erskineville and the underbidders were a professional couple, also understood to work in the tech field, from Marrickville.

10/384 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, was almost identical but was sold as an empty shell

The almost identical apartment that sold for $810,000 in 2016 was in the same block at 10/384 Illawarra Rd and was a mirror image of this apartment, although it didn’t present as well since it had not furniture in it.

Most properties in the current market are selling for far less than what was being achieved in those boom days.

About 35 people were there to watch today’s auction.

The Importance of Great Property Management

The Importance Of Great Property Management
When you think about the time, due diligence, hard work and money that goes into your portfolio, letting everything fall over due to inferior property management doesn’t just affect the here-and-now – it cuts into your future profits too. All too often, finding someone to care for your property and secure tenants comes at the end of a drawn-out process, a quick decision to get someone in and paying rent as quickly as possible. Fast-tracking those final moments is a risk that no investor can afford, with the relationship built between an investor and their property manager one of the most critical partnerships for your portfolio success.

We’re not just talking about ensuring the continued good condition of one of the most expensive assets you’ll ever own, but a property manager will help to carefully select suitable tenants. As your representative they’ll conduct routine inspections throughout the year to ensure your property remains up to standard. They’ll pay bills associated with your property and take care of any maintenance issues.

Finding a property management team in your preferred investment area is initially as simple as searching for a property manager via This can be done during the research stage, when you’re still trying to settle on exactly what property type you need to secure. See who’s renting out local properties and what sort of dwelling is most common e.g. units, houses or townhouses. Check the quality of an agency’s photos and how much rent they’re asking for each property – note what makes a property receive a higher premium.

Following your online research, contact at least three to four property managers, then explain that you’re looking for an investment and would like to know more about the area. You can tell straight away if they’re willing to spend the time helping you and just might get your business one day. During the same phone call, you’ll also want to determine whether you’d like to engage the property management company in question – see my suggested checklist below (this is especially helpful when your investment area of interest is outside your home town or interstate).

Note that it’s also possible to protect yourself in the event that your preferred property manager leaves the agency and you’re not satisfied with their replacement. Whenever you sign up to a property management, you will enter a contract. Each state has different rules around minimum days’ notice that you need to give before moving your management elsewhere. I always cross this clause out and correct it with the minimum amount of days to ensure that if I need to move agencies I can without waiting long periods of time (NB You’ll also need to put it in writing if you’re wishing to change your managing agent).

Make your portfolio work as hard as it can by getting your management right from the start. Use my essential checklist each time you’re looking for a new professional to join your property investment team. It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make – the right one will reward you over and over again.

Q1) How long have you been a property manager?

Q2) How many properties do you manage? (This number should be about 50 to 100 for each property manager.)

Q3) How many property managers are on your team and how many houses do you manage in total?

Q4) How many inspections per year will you conduct and will photos be provided?

Q5) How will you market my property when it comes time to finding a tenant?

Q6) In the event that a tenant is behind on their rent (in arrears), what measures will you take to get them back up-to-date?

Q7) How many tenants does your agency currently have in arrears?

Q8) Who will be managing my property?

Q9) Have you had any houses seriously damaged under your management and, if so, how did you handle them?

Q10) How will you select a suitable tenant for my property?

Q11) What are your management costs?

How to Wash Wood Floors…

Wood floors add a rustic and elegant feel to any living space. It’s easy to see why they’ve become a common feature in contemporary homes. As an added bonus, they are much easier to clean than carpet or tiled floors.

Even the cleanest homes have dirty floors every now and then. A dropped cup or a spilled platter is all too common. On top of that, dust and debris build up on the floors over time. However, none of these things should worry you if you have wood floors as they are incredibly easy to wash.

It all starts with a few common household items; a broom, a mop and a towel or rag. Once you have that you can follow a process so simple even the most clean averse homemaker won’t have a problem.


5 steps to washing wood floors
If you follow these steps, in no time at all you’ll have those wooden floors sparkling as if they had just been polished.

Sweep any loose debris into a pile with your broom.
Use a dustpan to collect the pile and throw it in the rubbish bin.
Grab a bucket and fill with lukewarm water.
Place the mop in the bucket, then use it to scrub the floors. Pay particular attention to any stubborn marks or stains
Use an old towel or rag to wipe the moisture from the floor quickly and buff to an impeccable shine!
mopping wooden floorboards
A bucket and mop are essential items when it comes to washing your wooden floors.

Tips for washing wood floors
Washing wood floors really is as simple as that! Here are a few more tips to make sure you do the best job possible.

1. Clean moisture up quickly
Moisture can soak into the wood quickly and warp your floorboards. To avoid this, ensure you dry any wet parts as quickly as possible after mopping.

clean mopped floors
Never let your floors stay wet for long after mopping. Picture: Getty

2. Use vinegar for sanitisation
Vinegar is an amazing natural sanitiser and can be used on your floorboards. Simply add 1/4 cup vinegar to a bucket of water before mopping.

Tip: Vinegar is naturally acidic and can discolour or even degrade the varnish of the floor. So, ensure you keep the mixture diluted with the ratio above.

making vinegar cleaning solution
Vinegar is an amazing natural sanitiser and can be used on your wooden floors.

3. Avoid abrasive cleaning materials
Wood floors are almost as easy to scratch as they are to wash. For that reason, avoid using abrasive items when cleaning. That means, avoid using your vacuum head as well as scouring pads, or tough brushes.

scratched floorboards
Avoid abrasive cleaners unless you want a not-so-pretty scratched look like this.

Wood floors can really make a home shine, especially when they’re sparkly clean using the tips above.

5 Ways Indoor Plants improve your health at home

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it seems a lush monstera or fabulous fiddle leaf fig could do just as well to have you feeling happy and healthy in your home.

We love the way indoor plants look in our homes. Their glossy green leaves do wonders to brighten up even the dullest of spaces, and that’s reason enough to fill any corner with as many pots as possible.

But indoor plants do a whole lot more for your home than up the Instagrammable factor; greenery in the home can bring about all sorts of health benefits.

“We have an innate desire, even if watered down, to connect with nature,” says Gavin Cole, psychology and horticulture academic at ACS Distance Education.

indoor plant pots
Greenery makes the world go round, and looks good in the process. Picture: Leaf Supply

“When we are able to do this, we feel better, are healthier, and lead more productive lives.”

Here, Gavin talks us through five of the many ways plants can improve your health and happiness in the home.

Lower stress levels
There’s a reason why you’d typically find lush palms inside day spas. Prior studies have indicated that plants in our home can actually help us to recover from stress and fatigue.

Gavin says: “Having greenery around us has been linked with lowered blood pressure and blood toxin levels, enhanced cognitive performance and memory, as well as recovery from stress-related health complaints.

“Natural environments are seen as restorative. That is, they allow people to change to more positive cognitive, emotional and behavioural states.”

watering plants
Gavin says the act of taking care of plants can improve fine motor skills, increase muscle strength and tone, and improve coordination. Picture: Leaf Supply

Easy breathing
Indoor plants are natural air filters, and have the wondrous ability to filter toxins out of the air like those found in cooking fumes, wall paints and nail polish. They also filter out nasty chemicals from the outdoors, like carbon monoxide from car fumes and gases released by industry.

And while reducing the amount of carbon monoxide, they also produce fresh oxygen for us to breathe. Isn’t that nice?

In addition to these benefits, plants are also helpful in an asthmatic household as they can remove dust particles from the air we breathe.

“Plants trap larger airborne particles of dust in their leaf hairs to prevent the dust from entering their pores. This particular dust is often linked to all sorts of respiratory diseases, so in this way, plants act as natural air filters,” says Gavin.

air quality home
Plants act as natural air filters to help you lived a more wholesome life at home. Picture: Ross Campbell

Improved sleep
Tossing and turning? Why not try popping a pot plant in your bedroom?

“The mere presence of plants has a calming effect which helps to lower anxiety symptoms and stress levels,” says Gavin. “This in itself is likely to help people sleep more easily and perhaps to enjoy a better quality slumber.”

The scent of some plants have even been known to enhance sleep, too. And those looking to really bring about a better slumber may wish to include some lavender in their bunches.

“It’s associated with promoting drowsiness and a restful sleep and so is often found in pillows and pouches and used in aromatherapy,” says Gavin.

holding plants
Pop a plant in your bedroom to enhance your slumber. Picture: Leaf Supply

Temperature regulation
If your home becomes something of a hot box in summer, and conversely, an icebox in winter, then you may want to consider adding a few plants before investing in an expensive air conditioning unit.

“Plants absorb heat and reduce temperatures,” says Gavin, adding: “This not only acts as insulation, keeping us cooler in summer and warmer in winter with less reliance on heating and cooling, but also reduces heat-related health problems like exhaustion and heat stroke.”

indoor plant ideas
Plants help keep a hot house cool. Picture: Leaf Supply

A happier mind
Aside from all the physiological benefits associated with greenery in the home, it’s been confirmed throughout a myriad of studies that plants can actually have a significant effect on one’s mental health.

A recent study in the Netherlands found that residents in areas where there was a greater amount of green space within a 1km radius of their homes had a lower prevalence rate for 15 of 24 diseases.

“The findings were most compelling for depression and anxiety,” says Gavin. “Other notable improvements were in the incidence of heart disease, chronic back and neck pain, migraine, and diabetes.”


No one knows more about renovating for profit than Neale Whitaker, interior designer and co-host of Love it or List it.

As Neale Whitaker gears up for a whole new series of Foxtel’s Love it or List it Australia, he shares with us the features that will add the most value in each space within your home.

Of course, certain additions in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or living area will win points with buyers, but Neale says there’s one element to be valued highly above all others.

“If you’re renovating to resell, the thing you’ll most want to create in your home is space,” he says. “Getting bang for your buck in terms of space and potential for a home is absolutely where the biggest premium lies.”

love it or list it bedroom
Neale reveals his tips for renovating a bedroom to resell. Picture: Love it or List it / Donvale, VIC episode

Neale says anything you can do to make your home feel bigger and demonstrate its potential is going to be noticed by buyers; “whether that means actually knocking down walls, or simply moving out some of the furniture.”

Space aside, there are certain features that have made it onto a buyer’s mental checklist in today’s market.

Here, Neale walks us through each room of the home, and reveals the one feature to add value when it comes to renovating to resell.

The kitchen
Neale says many buyers want to be rest assured that when they buy a house they needn’t worry about embarking on large-scale renovation projects.

“Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses; it’s an old adage we’ve all heard countless times but it’s the truth,” he says.

“They are the big-ticket items and the kitchen and bathrooms are the spaces people will be most concerned about spending on when considering buying a house.”

Kitchen laundry
Ensure your kitchen displays ample storage options. Picture: Love it or List it / Donvale, VIC episode

On a budget, Neale advises you make the kitchen as presentable and functional as possible, but if you’ve got the means, a butler’s pantry will win points come time to sell.

“If you have the space, and you can do it, it’s wonderful! But if you can’t just make the kitchen as functional and practical as possible, and demonstrate storage.

“People want obvious storage options. The more cupboard storage, the better.”

kitchen tiles
“People get very nervous about houses that don’t offer storage,” says Neale. Picture: Love it or List it / Coburg North, VIC episode

The living room
An abundance in natural light, a sense of space and flow of the room will all help to make this zone as appealing as possible, but when it comes to designing the ideal living room, Neale’s advice is to keep the space looking like something of a blank canvas, ready for any buyer to make it their own.

“Keep this space as neutral as possible. People can quite understandably be nervous around loud colours, decorations and patterns,” he says, adding: “If I was renovating a house to resell I would always be erring on the side of neutral.”

And this doesn’t have to be white, either. “Pale grey is warmer than white and not as sterile, yet is very good at demonstrating the space and its potential.”

living room ideas
“Anything you can do to show people potential is going to work in your favour.” Picture: Love it or List it / Paddington, NSW episode

The bedroom
More and more, the bedroom is being thought of as a sanctuary. “We spend such a large chunk of our time in bed which makes this zone an important consideration for buyers,” Neale says.

“If you can afford to do it and you’ve got the space, a walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite bathroom is going to win points every time.”

“But you have to be realistic. If you don’t have the means to do that, a fresh coat of paint and a revamp on a tired carpet will work wonders to make the space look and feel more appealing.”

Styling here can make all the difference for a buyer, too. “Budget retailers offer stunning and affordable bedding options,” says Neale, adding that lamps on bedside tables will help to create an appealing ambience in the space.

blue bedroom
Neutral doesn’t have to mean white. You can embrace soft hues when renovating for profit. Picture: Love it or List it / Paddington, NSW episode

The bathroom
No longer just a stop along the way to leaving the house in the morning, buyers are looking for a luxurious zone with that special touch.

“The rain shower is all the rage right now, as are double showers, double vanities and statement baths,” says Neale.

“But at the end of the day, people want good storage, and they want good lighting in the bathroom.”

bathroom green tiles
Create a functional bathroom with ample storage. Picture: Love it or List it / Rozelle, NSW episode

If you don’t have the means or the space for luxury inclusions, updates like new tiles, tapware and the addition of face-level storage can help to make the space more presentable.

“Keep the bathroom as clean and simple and possible,” says Neale.


THE inner west is a playground for some of Sydney’s rich and famous, with everyone from television stars and sportspeople looking to buy and sell.

Traditionally the realm of the eastern suburbs and north shore, there has been plenty of prominent people trading inner west property in the past few months.

This is expected to increase as the spring selling season kicks into gear and buyers and sellers from all over the inner west look to make a move.

Kellie Crawford is selling her unit at 104/3 Stromboli Strait in Wentworth Point.

12/11/08 BSM – Kellie Crawford has announced she
Crawford during her Hi-5 days. Pic by Luke Marsden.

One celeb set to sell is former Hi-5 star Kellie Crawford, who is letting go of her Wentworth Point unit.

Growing up in the Strathfield, she describes herself as an “inner west girl”, having lived in Erskineville, Newtown and Rozelle over the years.

“I think it has a bit of everything. I love the location, it’s very multicultural and is a family orientated area — I feel very comfortable there,” she said.

Robbie Farah’s investment property is still on the market.

She recently purchased a property in Strathfield to be closer to her parents.

Recent months have seen big movements in the sporting department, as rugby league star Robbie Farah tried to sell his Concord West investment and Todd Carney let go of his in Wentworth Point.

It is well known that Farah co-owns many properties in inner west locations such as Cabarita and Wareemba. The inner west is also a hotspot for former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith, who has properties on the Balmain peninsula.

Andrew Bogut is rumoured to have purchased in Concord.

Other notable sales include the home of former Labor senator Sam Dastyari, who sold in Russell Lea, while Julian Cress, creator of hit television series The Block, recently reaped $4.275 million for his Annandale warehouse conversion.

Inside the Annandale warehouse once owned by Julian Cress.

Just recently, new Sydney King and former NBA champion Andrew Bogut spent $3.5 million on a Concord house. Also currently up for sale is the family home of late Sydney artist Karin Oom, which served as her art studio and residence for more than 50 years.

Pockets of the Inner West still recording solid growth

Pockets of the inner west still recording solid growth

POPULAR pockets throughout the inner west are defying the crumbling market, recording solid growth over the past year.

New data from CoreLogic revealed Abbotsford as the fastest growing suburb in the region, with the median house price rising by 20.3 per cent in the past year to May.

Inner city suburb Enfield came second with growth of 17.8 per cent, followed by Rodd Point (11.2 per cent), Canada Bay (10.7 per cent) and Balmain East (10.5 per cent).

In the unit market Cabarita led the way with an increase of 43.1 per cent. This was followed by Rozelle (21.3), Birchgrove (20.8) and Earlwood (20).

410 Great North Road Abbotsford
No. 410 Great North Rd in Abbotsford is one of nine homes on the market in the suburb.

Agent Michael Carbone of Raine and Horne Concord said it was undeniable there had been a dip in the market, but there were always buyers looking in specific areas of the inner west.

“There is never a big oversupply in areas like Abbotsford,” he said. “The lower stock levels mean it does generate more interest.”

There are currently just nine homes on the market in Abbotsford and only 31 sales were transacted over the past 12 months.

Most buyers are families looking to upsize within the same area, creating that extra demand for large homes, Mr Carbone added.

“People who move into the region usually look to stay there which causes bigger numbers at open homes,” he said.

House prices in Abbotsford are up nearly $400,000 since 2016, while Cabarita unit prices have risen by around $590,000 in that time. chief economist Nerida Conisbee said it was tough to get a proper read on the current state of the market.

“Some suburbs have slowed faster than others while some are still seeing high levels of demand and solid growth,” she said.

Buying a house: Sydney home buyers look for Spring bargains

YDNEY’S inner west is one of the epicentres of the downturn in property values but it’s also a precinct unmatched in the diversity of its bricks and mortar.

Rare properties abound — converted corner stores, warehouses, ­period houses and apartments — and after a lull over the first two months of winter, agents report a spike in the number of buyers at open homes as they recognise the spring opportunities available.

One of the most unusual in the inner west is the heritage-listed Balmain home of musician Gretta Sculthorp, 84, which looks like a moneybox from the street.

Gretta Sculthorp Balmain Home

Gretta Sculthorp with Dr Graham Pont on the top balcony of 54 Birchgrove Rd, Balmain. Picture: Toby Zerna

“Lilywill” was built in 1905 at 54 Birchgrove Rd by a Neil McIntosh, who lived in the house opposite with his 50-year-old daughter, who died after smoking a poisonous cigar.

“The more we hear about this case, the more mysterious it becomes. lt is a case of poisoning either by herself or by someone else,” the coroner report­edly said in 1909.

Ms Sculthorp bought Lilywill more than 40 years ago for $52,000 after responding to an advertisement for “a fascinating house” in Balmain.

Gretta Sculthorp Balmain Home

Gretta Sculthorp peers out the side window of the charming and unsual Balmain home. Picture: Toby Zerna

“It was a hot day and when the door opened a fresh gust of wind came through — I said ‘I’ll take it’,” she said. When it was originally built it was known as The Wedge, because of its triangular shape, and there are balconies on two of the three levels, with views of the harbour.

Philosopher Dr Graham Pont moved in with Ms Sculthorp in 2002. “A neighbour in her 90s remembers Lilywill was a brothel, then a dance hall and another neighbour studied the piano here,” he said.

The pair were famous for their parties. “We’d invite 20 musicians and warn all the neighbours,” Ms Scul­thorp said.

McGrath agent Cindy Kennedy expects the unique charm of the property, which has a $2.1 million price guide ahead of the September 8 auction, will have a wide appeal.

Gretta Sculthorp Balmain Home

Ms Sculthorp knew she had to buy it the minute the front door opened. Picture: Toby Zerna

“It’s in Balmain that I find the most unusual real estate crops up and occ­asionally — not often — something a bit like this, but it’s truly unique,” she said. “Buyers have been hibernating, but we’re getting quadruple the number of people through our open homes than we were just a few weeks ago.” She said the price guide for Lilywill is about 10 per cent less than what it might have been a year ago.

“The lucky buyers have got a great choice, the lowest interest rates forever and the best time to purchase since 2011,” Ms Kennedy said.

Gretta Sculthorp Balmain Home

One of the bedrooms at 54 Birchgrove Rd. Picture: Toby Zerna

“It’s a bit like the post GFC-period, where some homes are selling  for  less  than  what  the ­owners paid.”

A house in Nelson St, Rozelle, sold for $1.488 million on July 6, $82,000 less than what the owners paid at the peak of the boom in September 2016.

In Balmain, a four-bedroom house in Harris St sold for $2.45 million on May 26, $350,000 less than the $2.8 million paid in December 2016.

An apartment in the Eve development in Eve St, Erskineville, is selling for $1.06 million, $40,000 less than $1.1m the owners had paid off the plan. A renovated five-bedroom Marrickville home sold for $1.96 million, $240,000 short of the reserve.


“We are converting this large former industrial precinct into an engaging and inclusive residential community that will ultimately become home to some 3000 residents,” he said.

“It’s great to see projects like this coming to life.”

Launch of Park Sydney in Erskineville.

It will be home to around 3000 residents.

With construction on Park Sydney beginning and the WestConnex project ongoing, the inner west is a hive of activity on the development front.

Erskineville has undergone large changes over the past few years, with house prices increasing by 67.2 per cent in the last 12 months, according to CoreLogic data.

Six reasons why the majority of Australian investors use a property manager

A tenant calling about a blocked toilet at 9pm on a Friday can either be a quick way to ruin a landlord’s weekend, or a minor hiccup that gets solved smoothly.

Property managers have access to tried and tested tradies at reasonable rates.Property managers have access to tried and tested tradies at reasonable rates. Photo: Paul Bradbury

If you’re among the 75 per cent of landlords who use a property manager, they will arrange an emergency plumber to fix the issue without you having to lift a finger.

But if you’re part of the remaining 25 per cent who take a DIY approach, you’re in for an evening of wrangling tenants and tradies and figuring out who foots the bill.

A property manager does more than just advertise for tenants, and these are some of the ways they can make a landlord’s life easier.

Property managers have access to tenancy databases, helping them sort good tenants from bad.Property managers have access to tenancy databases, helping them sort good tenants from bad. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

1. Making maintenance a no-brainer

The above scenario occurs every week in real estate agencies across the country, and a similar scene played out at Gunning Real Estate last week but with a further twist to the tale.

“We found out that the reason for the blockage was that foreign matters had been put down the toilet,” says principal and REIA president Malcolm Gunning. “This then becomes the tenant’s problem and the tenant’s cost.”

Gunning speculates that if you were managing the property yourself, you would likely be in for a one-on-one confrontation with your tenant.

“Instead, your property manager becomes the adjudicator and they can have those difficult conversations,” he says. “They can navigate the expectations of both the landlord and the tenant and apply the lease conditions fairly.”

2. Taking control of tricky conversations

Carolyn Parrella, executive manager for landlord insurance specialist Terri Scheer Insurance, says it’s advantageous to have a buffer between landlords and tenants.

“It means you’ve got someone who’s there to take calls when your hot water service breaks down at 8pm,” she says. “It’s less personal, and keeps you at arm’s length. It’s also a time issue – it can be quite time-consuming to arrange maintenance and inspections. If you want to manage your property well, it makes sense to appoint a manager to do it for you.”

3. Hiring top tradies

Having a relationship with good tradies is also key to smooth and timely repairs.

“We’ve got a group of tradies that have worked with us for many years,” says Gunning. “We know they’re reliable and will do a good job and won’t need to be called back. The property manager is aiming for quality service for a reasonable cost.”

Instead of paying premium landlord prices, director of Property Alchemy Penelope Valentine says good property managers will always get at least two quotes.

“The policy should be to work with the best professionals, making sure everyone is licensed and insured.”

4. Staying across rights and regulations

Valentine believes it’s a false economy to try and manage your investment property yourself.

“Let’s say your tenant damages your property. If you don’t have the expertise to manage those issues, they can escalate unnecessarily and landlords will find themselves at the tribunal,” she says. “A property manager can save an investor time and money.”

Parrella says a professional manager knows the fine details of the regulations that govern tenancy agreements and are also required to keep up with regulation changes via newsletters, advice bulletins and training.

“The average investor is not going to know the ins and outs of the law,” she says. “It’s better to leave it to someone who is familiar with the processes and understands what’s involved.”

Gunning agrees that navigating the tenancy act when problems arise is where a professional’s skills come to the fore.

5. Choosing choice tenants

Of course, choosing the right tenant in the first place is paramount to setting up the tenancy for success, says Valentine.

“It’s more involved than investors think. You can go on a gut feeling but there’s so much due diligence that needs to go around that.”

Parrella says property managers have access to tenancy databases which allow them to avoid tenants with a bad rental history that might include breaking a lease, failing to pay rent or damaging a property.

They are also likely to keep their own database of prospective tenants for the area they service.

“Each Saturday, if you’ve got a reasonably large portfolio, you’re doing open homes and you’ve got a list of people that come through looking to rent,” says Gunning. “So when you get a new listing you can make a call and lease it quickly – you may not even need to do marketing.”

6. Understanding market movements

Gunning says your property manager is also your barometer for the state of the market.

“They’re exposed to the whole of the market in their district, so they’ve got a pretty clear indication of rates and can advise when rents should hold, go up or go down,” he says.

“In this current market where you’ve got vacancies above 2 per cent, you need a good gauge on what will lease your property. Your property manager can help you set the right rent and show you how to present your property well.”