Why effective property management is the key to maintaining Melbourne’s rental market | The Stawell Times-News

Why effective property management is the key to maintaining Melbourne’s rental market

The Melbourne rental market has been in a state of flux since the city emerged from its many months of COVID-19 lockdowns. With vacancy rates reaching record lows, and the city’s population of prospective tenants continuing to grow, market analysts are scrambling to find solutions for what’s looking to be a concern that is set to get worse before it gets better.

Many experts and real estate industry leaders are asserting, however, that effective rental property management may just be the key to restoring balance to Melbourne’s rental market for a few notable reasons. Property managers who are able to prioritize tenant retention in the face of fluctuating market conditions, will ensure the best possible return on investment for both landlords and tenants alike.

So what should tenants and landlords expect from their property management team in the face of Melbourne’s rental crisis? We’ll be exploring the multi-faceted answer to this question today.

Navigating post-COVID price increases

With the Melbourne rental market experiencing widespread instability over not just 2022 but the past two years in particular, it has become more important than ever before for property managers to keep existing tenants happy.

Less broken leases will provide market stability in a variety of ways, including but not limited to decreasing the rates of housing insecurity amongst Melbourne renters, as well as ensuring that rental rates stay relatively steady in the post-COVID economy.

The one obstacle standing in the way of this market stability is of course, rental rates experiencing an unavoidable spike in rental prices across the face of Melbourne’s rental market as rental rates return to pre-COVID prices.

Whilst regulations surrounding rental increases are in place to protect tenants from having to pay too much, it’s a different story entirely for untenanted properties, who are entering the rental market with readjusted rates as a means of factoring in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Assessing rental rates in accordance with the CPI is essentially a method for ensuring rental rates reflect inflation. With interest rates likely to continue rising over the second half of 2022, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for fluctuations in Australia’s CPI either, meaning that untenanted properties will only continue to increase their rental rates.

There is every possibility that properties that are left on the market for too long may struggle to secure tenants due to their price hikes.

Property managers are the key to reducing rates of vacant rental properties across Melbourne, as well as ensuring that rental price increases are rolled out in accordance with industry standards. Doing so will ensure that this transitional period stays as smooth as possible for both landlords and tenants.

Staying on top of fluctuating market trends

Typically, rental rates can vary greatly depending on which Melbourne suburb your rental property may be based on. This means that although rental prices are indefatigably on the rise, it’s unlikely that price increases will be the same across the board.

Rental providers can gain a firm understanding of exactly how much they can afford to increase their rental rates by drawing on market research, both on the Melbourne rental property market as a whole as well as the suburb where your rental resides.

Property managers are tasked with developing suburb profiles for all their clients, to ensure that the rental properties they manage have the best possible chance of being listed on the market at reasonable price points, both for landlords as well as tenants.

This is precisely why many Melbourne rental providers prefer property management services that are suburb-specific, or agencies that are solely based within particular regions across metropolitan Melbourne.

It’s also worth noting, however, that regional rental providers should expect this same level of specificity and market research from their own property management team, even if their selected agency may be based outside of their locale.

Managing property listings and open inspections

Of course, with the increased competition surrounding rental properties, property managers are also tasked with ensuring that property listings and open inspections are handled with the utmost care and professionalism, even in the face of unprecedented crowds of prospective tenants.

Melbourne rental property providers can benefit from enlisting the support of experienced property managers to ensure that open inspections operate with full transparency and consideration for all parties involved.

As is the case with any property inspection, only one applicant will be able to successfully secure themselves a lease. This naturally means that property management teams are tasked with ensuring that the best prospective tenants attending property inspections are able to secure the property at an optimal rental rate.

This is easier said than done, considering that Melbourne’s rental market has only recently started hosting in-person property inspections following COVID-19 lockdowns. For this reason, having professional property managers with an awareness of Melbourne’s unique market is key to ensuring that open inspections, property advertising, and tenant selection can all be conducted with minimal disruptions.

Conducting tenant screening

Speaking of securing the best prospective tenants, alongside assessing market trends on both a citywide and suburb-specific level, property managers must also maintain tenant screening processes when seeking to successfully arrange lease agreements on behalf of their rental property providers. This is yet another responsibility that grows complicated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as tenancy blacklists haven’t been updated since pre-COVID.

While this has complicated the process of tenant screening, established property management agencies can still use their pre-existing processes to simplify their search for the most ideal tenants for all their listed rental properties. It is also infinitely more favorable for landlords to utilize these resources over renting properties out independently at this point in time.

Although Melbourne’s rental market is undeniably in a state of flux that it’s unlikely to come out of anytime soon, property managers can ensure that the market can operate as usual until the storm passes. Rental providers can do their bit by working with their property managers in order to maintain Melbourne properties at a high standard so that tenants are consistently getting what they pay for. In essence, maintaining respect and open communication from all sides through the representation of your property management team, is what will ensure that fewer Melbourne citizens experience housing insecurity throughout this tumultuous time.

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