Recent data is showing that vacancy rates are rising and as we have discussed previously there is a building over-supply of units in inner city Brisbane
This means you need to ensure the rental property you purchase attracts good quality tenants and does not remain vacant for long. This means putting aside property features that may appeal to you as an owner-occupier and buying with a tenant in mind.
Check your emotions at the door
What appeals to you personally and what will make a good performing investment are not necessarily the same thing. Basing your decision on beliefs rather than facts and research can result in an under performing investment.
Tenants are attracted to neat, well-kept properties that look easy to maintain with modern fixtures and fittings. Kitchens with stone benchtops and modern appliances, lock up garages, functional indoor and outdoor living spaces are appealing. Neutral colours and window furnishings are best. This will mean whatever type of furniture your tenants bring with them will not be out of place. Tenants also don't want massive yards with lots of gardens. A simple low maintenance garden with a bit of room for the kids is ample
Easy access to employment hubs, schools, sports and leisure facilities
It's important to remember that not everyone works in the CBD in fact most work outside it. In fact being in outer lying areas where renting can be more affordable can make a lot of sense. In other words "Fish where the Fishes are". Being in locations that provide easy access to public transport and/or major arterials that link to employment hubs is a plus. If the property is a family home, then being within easy distance to schools will be attractive to tenants and, of course, an area with a good quality sporting and leisure facilities will also be a plus.
Vacancy history and trends
While history is not a guarantee of the future getting an understanding of how the rental market has behaved over the longer term can identify locations that are readily rentable.
The right property manager
Having a knowledgeable pro-active property manager is critical. They'll do their best to get your property rented and keep it rented. It's also important to listen to your manager and their guidance in relation to what rent is realistically achievable. Being greedy or ignorant can be a costly exercise. Your number one objective is to get the property rented to a good quality tenant. The rental market like all markets will have its peaks and troughs - sometimes you will be able to increase your rent, sometimes you will have to sit on your hands, and sometimes you might have to drop a few dollars.