What do we mean when we talk about Boutique Sales

The term ‘Boutique’ may bring to mind a small storefront with high-end items and specific service. Though we, at Coral Tree Property, do not sell homewares or leather shoes, we do offer a boutique sales experience via our small team and specific service. In the world of real estate, when agents can sometimes lose touch with their buyers or sellers or can make clients feel like nothing more than an address, a boutique real estate agency can be like a breath of fresh air. But how do you tell the difference between a run of the mill agency and a boutique agency?

We know the Difference between Listening and Hearing

Hearing is a passive process of our ears merely processing incoming vibrations into sounds. To really listen, there needs to be a focus on the part of the listener and action as a response to what is heard. This is where we pride ourselves on our listening skills. We take the time to listen to you and learn your greater desire for this to be successful. We ask questions and take the time to get to know your greater desire. This enables us to understand what you need precisely. By doing this, we can make dreams happen.   

Communication is at the Core of our Strategy

There is nothing worse than starting to work with a business and then being left in the dark. At Coral Tree Property, keeping you in the loop is our top priority. We find that open and honest communication can help ease some of the property sales stress you may feel. And remember, communication is a two-way street, so please don’t be shy about contacting us if you have any concerns.

We are aware that your time is valuable, so our communication strategies aren’t time-consuming. Some updates may be quick phone calls, whereas others may be email updates if they require in-depth instructions or if we need to clarify questions. Whatever the mode, you can rest assured that our team will always have your best interest at heart.

Transparency and Sales Prices

Finding a delicate balance between a fair selling price and a timely sale can be a challenge. Fortunately, our boutique sales team are behind you. Whether you are the seller, investment buyer, first-time buyer, or merely needing a larger family home, we can make this process as stress-free as possible. 

We don’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. We have been riding the Mackay real estate wave for years and have an in-depth understanding of where it is sitting right now. By using this local knowledge and applying it to your unique situation, we are confident we can find you the right Mackay property for your needs.

As a property seller, we will help you determine the best time to sell to get the best price. We will also provide you with honest and realistic advice for pre-sale home improvements, which will help drive buyers to your perfect sales price.

The methodology is the same if we act as your buyer’s agent. Though you will come to us wanting to purchase, our team can act as your objective real estate force and find you the right property for your needs. We will provide you with practical and honest advice about potential properties, so you make an informed decision. 

Smaller team = Bigger Service

In the real estate agency game, size can matter. Our Coral Tree Property team consists of fewer than ten staff members. This means we are close-knit and have exceptional in-house communication. Our customers get the benefit of this relationship and often tell us of the pleasant buying or selling experience.

This is what we stake our reputation on, and this is why we are proud to have cultivated our boutique status. As a boutique real estate agency, how you feel about us, and the words you share are our keys to success. We invest in your community because it is also our community, and we know that when you thrive, we thrive.  

Key Takeaways for Sellers

Coral Tree Property’s boutique real estate sales approach offers so many benefits for a property seller, including:

  • We will help you find a balance between a quick sale and the best price.
  • We know the Mackay property market, so we can advise you on what the current buyers are looking for in a home and can act as a link to the community to find you the perfect buyer;
  • We offer honest, practical recommendations on ways to prepare your home for sale;
  • We have excellent communication skills and will keep you informed every-step-of the way.

Key Takeaways for Buyers.

When Coral Tree Property acts as your buyer’s agent, you will get the same unique, boutique treatment which includes:

  • Unbridled enthusiasm for your dream to come to fruition.
  • Our 15-years-worth of local experience, so we can advise you of which suburb will suit you.
  • You will also get the benefit of our excellent communication skills
  • We are skilled and tenacious negotiating abilities and honest advice about prospective homes and how they will fit into your dream.

So, no matter your home buying or selling reasons, Coral Tree Property’s boutique sales approach is here to serve you. We will match your passion, give you the courtesy you deserve, and a stress-free real estate experience that you will be talking about for years.

How to Keep Your Emotions in Check when Renting Your home

Homes hold many memories and, subsequently, a lot of sentimentality. So, when you decide to rent out your home, the see-sawing emotions are perfectly understandable. But as any successful entrepreneur would tell you, emotions should have no impact on business decisions. So, if you are intending on dive into the investment property market, you may benefit from these tips on how to keep your emotions in check when renting your home.

Focus on the House as a Product not as a Sentimental Asset

Let’s start with the language you are using. The word ‘home’ holds a lot of emotional subtext. So, from the moment you decide to rent it, start referring to it as a ‘house’. It is a subtle change, but it can be a powerful one.

Make a Plan and Establish Your Goals

Your successful transition into the investment property market requires a clear understanding of your goals, and it definitely requires a plan. But, remember your goals also need to be realistic. Your emotions may impair your ability to see your property’s flaws, and thus they may inflate your expectations.

To help you get through the goal-setting process, we recommend you enlist the help of an unbiased third party. This may be your accountant, mortgage broker, or anyone else who can help you navigate and weigh the risks and expectations. And, yes, a property agent may help here as well.

Once your expectations are set, you can make a plan. A step-by-step list of tasks will help further your detachment as the process suddenly becomes clinical.

Prepare the House for Tenants not for your Ideals

Remember, your ideal family home (or house) is not necessarily the same as the tenants. For example, a lovely statement garden may seem welcoming to you, but to a renter, they will see the hours of maintenance when property inspection time comes around. So, keep the home as low maintenance, as possible.

Create a House the Tenants would be Proud of

There is a difference between low maintenance and detached. You want your house to have a certain appeal, to lure the right prospective tenant. But you also want it to be easy to maintain so that the tenants are encouraged to have some pride in their new home. To use the garden example again, an appealing, low-maintenance garden will have some established trees (but not too many) and possibly a small easy-to-maintain front garden.

Find the Right Agent

Finding an agent who understands your emotional needs, especially if you are a first-time property investor, is tricky. Fortunately, our team at Coral Tree Property takes a proactive approach to property management.

Our owner, Pam Baum, personally screens the tenants and does the initial inspections. She will then sit with the prospective landlords to discuss expectations. Pam also meets all the tenants herself to ensure both the landlord and tenants are happy with the property.

Take your Time

The adage of ‘sleep on it’ is especially true when diving into the investment property pool. Each of these decisions carry risks and rushing them can cost you time and money.

At Coral Tree Property, we care about our landlords and tenants like they are our own family. We love working with people to find the best property solutions for them and take pride in placing that perfect match. To experience this difference for yourself, contact us today.

Key Takeaways for Landlords

  • Separate emotions from business;
  • Set realistic expectations;
  • If necessary, enlist the help of an unbiased third-party;
  • Prepare your house for the tenant, not you;
  • But, ensure it is still a home you’d be proud to come to;
  • Find an agent who is willing to match the right tenant to your property.

Key Takeaways for Tenants

Most of this content is aimed at helping landlords. But there are still some learnings for tenants:

  • Not all rental properties are owned by unattached landlords;
  • You can ease the landlord’s anxiety by treating the property like you a home;
  • Take pride in the property by doing the little things like maintaining established gardens;
  • Find the right agent who cares enough to match you to the ideal property perfectly.

What You Need to Know About Rental Inspections

Rental inspections often send a shiver of dread down the spines of tenants across Australia. Often the angst is brought on by apparent scrutinising by the agents. Are they judging the way you live? Did you do your yard maintenance to their satisfaction? Did you clean the grout in the bathroom? And, if you are a landlord, you’re wondering are the tenants smoking inside? Are they hiding undisclosed pets? The whole thing is stress-inducing for all parties involved, including the property manager who wants to be fair to both landlord and tenant. But it doesn’t have to be so stressful. As a landlord or tenant, if you know your rights, then inspections should be a breeze. So, here is our list of what tenants and landlords need to know about rental inspections.

Who is Responsible for What?

When it comes to maintenance, there is a fairly straightforward list of what is a landlord’s responsibility and what is a tenant’s responsibility.

Landlord’s Responsibility

Landlords are required to pay for the capital maintenance items such as:

  • Extensive breakages (not caused by the tenants);
  • Trimming trees;
  • Plumbing including the regular draining and maintenance of sceptic tanks and greywater; and
  • Major electrical works including the hardwiring of smoke alarms.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

Tenants are responsible for the upkeep of the home, including:

  • Regularly cleaning and changing of batteries in the smoke alarms.
  • Changing lightbulbs when they blow;
  • Yard maintenance including mowing, whipper snipping and weeding.

If the rented property has a pool, the landlord is responsible for all safety measures including ensuring the pool is inspected, the upkeep of the fence and gate, structural repairs and pump and chlorinator maintenance and replacement, as necessary. The tenants are to undertake specific pool maintenance as outlined in the tenancy agreements, including purchase and application of chemicals.  

man preparing for rental inspection

Pest Control

Pest control in rental properties is one of those grey areas that is, unfortunately, open to interpretation. Under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (2008), it merely states tenants must “take reasonable care of the premises and keep the premises reasonably clean.” The assumption here is that if the home is kept ‘reasonably’ clean, it will keep pests away.

But when it comes to tenants who have pets, the law is more precise: the tenants are required to pay for a vacate pest control service which includes a flea and tick treatment.

All other forms of pest control, including the eradication of vermin or ant infestations, fall under the landlord’s responsibility. But it is always best to check your Tenancy Agreement as sometimes pest control is handed-over as a special condition of the tenancy.

Your Inspection Rights

When it comes to inspections, the above lists of maintenance requirements will be at the forefront of your property manager’s mind. This means that if the garden is overgrown, they will notify the landlord to order a tree lopper. Similarly, if they notice cobwebs around the smoke alarm, they will issue you with a notice to rectify, or a simple phone call to say, “please fix before your next inspection.”

Under Queensland law, routine inspections can only be carried out once every three months during a tenancy. Tenants are to be given at least one week’s written notice, via a Form 9 Entry Notice, of an impending inspection. This gives tenants enough time to make a list of any maintenance issues which they would like fixed. Obviously, any of their urgent requirements should not wait until inspection time!

If anything arises from an inspection which causes concern for the property manager, they may feel obligated to issue the tenant with a Notice to Remedy Breach. This gives the tenant seven (7) days to rectify the issue. To learn more about responding to a Notice to Remedy Breach head to the RTA website.

Preparing for an Inspection

A great place for any tenant to start is with their entry report. This allows the tenant to know the original condition of the property and the standard which they want to meet. For landlords, this report will set your expectations from the tenant.

At Coral Tree Property, we also go that extra step by providing our tenants with a checklist. This is an easy-to-follow system, allowing the tenants not to miss anything. If followed, it gives both tenant and the landlord peace of mind knowing the maximum has been done to maintain the property.  It also helps reduce the anxiety of possibly receiving a Notice to Remedy Breach.

Key Take-Aways

We have given you a lot of information here, so allow us to provide you with the highlights:

For Landlords:

  • Landlords are responsible for capital maintenance, particularly relating to safety matters of their property;
  • Landlords are obligated to ensure the property is pest and vermin free;
  • We recommend Landlords refer back to their entry condition report before and after each rental inspection to ensure their property is adequately maintained;
  • If there are any maintenance concerns, your tenants have seven days to rectify.

For Tenants:

  • Tenants are responsible for minor repairs such as light bulbs and battery changes to smoke alarms;
  • Tenants must notify the property manager immediately of any major repairs which need to be carried out;
  • Tenants are responsible for vacate pest treatments, including flea and tick treatments if they had pets;
  • Tenants are to receive a minimum seven days written notice of an impending inspection; and
  • Tenants must be given seven days to rectify any issues which arise from a routine inspection.

Remove the Stress of Inspections

Ease the burden of inspections by engaging an agent who genuinely cares about their landlords and tenants. At Coral Tree Property, we will take the time to explain all of your rights and provide those handy inspection checklists, so you know exactly what is expected of you at each inspection.

What have you got to lose? Contact us today.

Start the New Year with the Right Property Manager

The Queensland property market is in a boom right now. According to the latest CoreLogic data, unprecedented numbers of people are escaping metropolitan areas favouring a regional Queensland lifestyle. This has made the property markets in regional areas, including Mackay rentals, quite competitive. With rentals in such high demand, finding the right property manager to entrust your home or family, can be a challenge. But we at Coral Tree Property, have a solution to help you start the new year with the right property manager.  

What is the ‘Right’ Property Manager?

Not all property managers are the same. While they all should have their Real Estate Management Licence, that doesn’t mean they will all give the same level of care.

During this peak rental demand, many property managers have large caseloads. This may mean they feel extra pressure to fill vacancies quickly. As such, they may fail to do the full due diligence checks or not take the time to fit the right tenant to your property.

The right property manager will have experience and systems to ensure the right tenants are matched to your property. At Coral Tree Property Mackay, we take the time to do the full due diligence checks and interview prospective tenants.  We promptly order maintenance and carry out regular checks. We also maintain constant communicate with our landlords and tenants to ensure all parties are cared for and heard.

Why is it Important to Have the Right Property Manager?

Investment properties are significant assets and therefore deserve to be treated with the utmost care. The right property manager will ensure that your asset is treated with respect, and they will help a landlord maximise their investment.

From a tenant’s perspective, the right property manager will listen to their needs, match them with a property suitable to their requirements and treat them as a valuable customer. The good property manager will not make renting hard or tedious for a tenant.

Property Manager, Rental Market, Mackay Rentals, tenants, landlords, rental property, investment property

How do I Identify the Right Property Manager?

Identifying the right property manager doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few ways to make it easier for you:

  1. Honest word-of-mouth referrals. Asking via Facebook groups or trusted friends is a good place to start. Remember to be specific in your request because people love to talk about their bad experiences. To avoid this, be sure to ask for recommendations of managers who stood out for their outstanding service. Also, to get a full picture, be sure to get opinions from tenants and owners.
  • Do your research. Yes, most agencies do property sales and rentals, but most tend to commit most of their resources, including experienced staff, to the sales team. This leaves the less experienced junior staff to handle property management. You will want an agency whose property management side is filled with experienced and passionate team members. For our landlords’ peace-of-mind, The property management team at Coral Tree Property are all degree qualified and offer a high calibre of service.
  • Make them work for your listing. Don’t just go with the first property manager who seems good. We recommend you take the time to interview the prospective property manager.  Think of it like an employer interviewing a potential job candidate; after all, this will become a business transaction. Ask about their tenant selection process, their marketing process and lock them down on their fee structure. Finally, test their communication by sending follow-up emails with further questions.  

What if My Current Property Manager isn’t the Right one for me?

If you aren’t satisfied with your current property manager, you don’t need just to grin and bear it. If they aren’t fully living up to the standards set out in your agreement and have tried to communicate with them about this, it may be time to switch.

You are well within your rights to switch agencies whenever you like – including during a tenancy. Depending on your agreement, there will likely be a notice period of anywhere between 30-90 days. At Coral Tree Property, we ease the awkward tension for our landlords by handling the transfer of the tenancy agreement paperwork and we will notify the tenants.

The Key Take-Aways

For Landlords

  • Your investment property deserves to be looked after by a property manager who cares.
  • The right property manager can add value to your rental property.
  • Do your research to find the right property manager for your needs. They will care about your home and will work to find you the right tenant.
  • You are not obliged to stay locked into a property management agreement with a sub-par agency.
  • A right property manager will make switching agencies a stress-free experience.

For Tenants

  • Tenants do not need to feel trapped by poor property managers. If they are dissatisfied with the quality of care given by the property manager, they can lodge a complaint to the RTA.
  • The ideal tenant-landlord relationship should be collaborative with the property manager acting as a liaison between the two.
  • Your property manager is responsible for ensuring your rental property is safe, and all urgent repair requests are tended to quickly.

Experience the Coral Tree Property Difference

The team at Coral Tree Property are the RIGHT property managers for landlords and tenants in the Mackay region. Our team of qualified, passionate property managers have maintained the highest calibre of service and genuinely care about all of our clients. We aren’t afraid of communication and welcome discussions about your property management needs.

Why not experience the difference for yourself? Contact Coral Tree Property today to book your interview.

What is a Boutique Property Management Service?

When describing modern businesses, the word ‘boutique’ often pops up. Formerly an adjective for as a small shop which sells fashion and accessories, the word ‘boutique’ has now become synonymous with a particularly customer-focused specialist service. And, when it comes to Coral Tree Property, ‘boutique’ suits us perfectly. Here’s how we carry-out a boutique-level of service with our property management clients:

That Human Touch

Many agencies are all about policies and procedures and offering a one-size-fits-all approach. We believe that this method of practice leaves landlords and tenants feeling like a number. Yes, there are REIQ policies and procedures which need to be followed, but that just covers the paperwork-side of the transaction, and it should not impact the human elements.

At Coral Tree Property, we understand the emotional attachment many landlords and tenants have to their homes. We know that finding an ideal home can be stressful for tenants, especially when the extended family (i.e. kids and pets) need consideration. And, we understand that landlords often feel angst when handing over the keys and management obligations of their homes. We try to ease these emotions by treating our clients with dignity and kindness.

The Extras We Offer

We take our ‘boutique property management service’ tag seriously. So, if you are a Coral Tree Property tenant, and your landlord chooses to sell their home, we will help you find a new, suitable tenancy – even if it isn’t within our agency.

If you are a landlord with us, you can take comfort knowing that you won’t just have one person who is familiar with your property. We have a dedicated property management team who are all familiar with our landlords and tenants. This means that when one goes on leave or is out of the office, another can take enquiries without delay.

Boutique agencies are often communication experts. When you send through an enquiry, application, or repair request, one of our friendly team will get back to you within a reasonable amount of time. We can make decisions efficiently and without the red tape. We are proud of our high level of individualised care and transparency.

Our landlords will also benefit from the extra steps we offer in finding a tenant. Our Principal, Pam, will personally screen each rental application to ensure the right tenant is matched to your property. This also strengthens her relationship with both tenant and landlord.

Higher Calibre of Property Managers

Each of our property managers is degree qualified. This means they change this career and are in it for the long haul. This also means our property managers are of a higher calibre than most, so our tenants and landlords can be assured that if an issue arises our property managers will have the focus to find a quick resolution.

Quality over Quantity

Boutique real estate agencies can provide more personalised service because they have the freedom of being a small, close-knit group. We don’t have the ‘numbers’ stress like larger agencies. As a boutique real estate firm, your opinion matters to us, and we will strive to make your dreams come true because your result is of the utmost importance to us.

And, due to our smaller size, you will be able to get to know us, just like we will you. So, when you call our office, there won’t be a different person each time.

Boutique property management

We Aim to Empower and Educate

You need to be able to trust your property managers implicitly. One way we build this trust is by sharing our knowledge. The first step in building this knowledge is by knowing all of your rights, and obligations, as a landlord or tenant. So, with that in mind, we provide any new client of ours with tangible checklists.

These checklists provide convenience and empowerment as our tenants and landlords can refer back to them at any stage of the tenancy and know what their next step might be. These checklists cover everything from what to look for on an entry report, to what happens when repairs are needed to the property and more.

Your Key Takeaways

A boutique property management agency, like Coral Tree Property, is small and customer-focused. We offer exemplary customer service.

For landlords, this means:

  • Understanding of the anxiety you may be feeling in handing-over management of your rental property;
  • Personal screening to find the right tenant for your property;
  • A dedicated, qualified team of agents who know your current rights and obligations and who can handle any enquiry;
  • Up-to-date communications after every inspection;
  • Convenient checklists to make each process a breeze.

For tenants, this means:

  • Compassion for your rental requirements;
  • Assistance in finding a new, suitable rental if your landlord is selling their property;
  • Your rights protected by a qualified, caring team of dedicated property managers;
  • Transparent and regular communication throughout tenancy; and
  • Convenient checklists to make any enquiry or application a breeze.

Avoid Frustration

If your current property manager isn’t delivering on any of the services above, you need to ask yourself, why?

Avoid the frustration of being just another number, and contact Coral Tree Property today for the quality of service you deserve.

How to Keep Your Investment Property Safe These holidays

The holiday season is chaotic! When combining the end of school, travelling, holiday parties and family visits, it’s easy to forget things which you’d typically be on top of. But as a landlord, there are definite safety requirements which you want to ensure are ticked off your list. And, as a tenant, there are also steps which you can do for your own peace-of-mind, as well as that of your landlord and agent. For your convenience, we have compiled this list of ways to keep your investment property safe these holidays.

Electrical Safety

Under the Electrical Safety Act 2002, landlords are liable to ensure the safety of all electrical equipment located on their rented premises. This means smoke alarms must be compliant, and at least one safety switch is installed in the switchboard. Your property manager should, as standard protocol, remind you when these are due. If a safety check has not been completed in the last 6-12 months, we recommend you contact your agent to arrange one.

For tenants who are heading away for the holidays, we recommend you switch off and unplug all unnecessary appliances. This means only the essential items like fridges and freezers will remain plugged in while you are away. Unplugging will not only help protect against potential fire dangers in your absence but also save you money. To help protect those from electrical surges while you are away, we recommend you purchase a surge protector.

For more electrical safety tips, see this handy guide by Work Safe Queensland.  

Malicious Intentions

An unfortunate side-effect of the holiday season is the rise in break-ins due to the number of unoccupied homes. For tenants, there are a few ways to deter potential home invaders, including:

  • Make friends with the neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on your home while you are away. Be sure to leave them your best contact number in case of an emergency;
  • Don’t tempt thieves by leaving valuable items visible in the front yard or through the windows.
  • Play pretend by leaving a light on or boots by the front door.
  • Ask that friend or neighbour to collect your mail so that it isn’t overflowing in the mailbox.
  • Check the perimeter of the property and windows to ensure there are no potential weak spots. This includes locking gates with a padlock if necessary and removing items from the front yard which could be used for climbing over fences.

If you are going away, it might pay to let your agent know so they can do a drive-by or two to check on the property. Also remember to take the agent’s phone number with you, in case you are notified of anything concerning.

If possible, landlords may also wish to drive-by their rental properties during the holiday season. However, please remember to respect your tenant’s privacy; if you are concerned, notify your agent rather than entering the property yourself.

Insurance

Insurance won’t protect you from bad things happening, but it will make life a little easier if disaster strikes.

Because the holiday season signals the start of storm season in Queensland, we recommend all of our landlords and tenants have adequate insurance coverage. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a slightly-above-average number of cyclones during the 2020-2021 storm season (November – April). So, now is the time to check your policies have adequate storm damage cover.  

For landlords, we recommend they get comprehensive building insurance which includes cover for cyclones, hail damage, potential flood damage, broken windows, roof repair etc. When checking policies, remember to insure any extras which you may have added to your home this year. Such things could include solar panels, water tanks, sheds etc. It is important to note, landlord insurance may cover you for ‘accidental’ damage but does not include natural flood damage. This is why we recommend our landlords take out building insurance as well as landlord insurance.

The intent of landlord insurance is to protect both the property and the rental income. Unlike building insurance, this policy covers tenant-specific risks which would not be covered by building insurance. For example, this policy would cover you, the landlord, for damage caused to the property by faulty appliances.  

For tenants, we recommend you have comprehensive contents insurance. Contents insurance covers you for the cost of replacing any of your possessions which may be stolen, lost or damaged.

The Take-Aways

There are several useful tips here for landlords and tenants. To make it easier for you, here are our takeaways before you get into holiday-mode:

For Tenants:

  • Switch off and unplug all unnecessary electrical items before heading away for holidays;
  • Install surge protectors on the items which will stay plugged-in.
  • Secure the property as much as possible to deter break-ins while you are away;
  • Check your insurance policies are up-to-date, and your coverage is adequate.

For Landlords:

  • Do a couple of drive-bys of your investment properties and raise any security concerns with your agent;
  • Ensure electrical safety checks have recently been done on the property;
  • Check your building and landlord insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage.

If you are ever in doubt about your holiday property safety or would like to learn more information, please contact Coral Tree Property.

For our tenants and landlords, we are proud to be available quite frequently throughout the holiday period. If you have any concerns outside of our holiday operating hours, please contact our after-hours operator Pam on 0423 709 882.