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Property Investment Advice For Buy To Let Clients

Updated on January 9, 2014

Using The Right Property Advisors Can Make A Dramatic Difference To Your Property Portfolio

If you're a buy to let investor or thinking of becoming a buy to let investor you could benefit from property investment advice from a leading property planning and development specialist.

Whether you are considering or already own single occupancy residences or multi-occupier dwellings, identifying opportunities to develop your acquisitions could add significant value to your property portfolio in a relatively short space of time.

Oxford Property Development Company
Oxford Property Development Company

Property Investment Advice For Buy To Let Clients

As a buy-to-let property investor you are no doubt aware that building a property portfolio is a shrewd way to maximise your investments.

But did you realise that having the right property advisors on board could actually increase the value of your buy-to-let properties substantially?

Whether you have single occupancy residences or multi-occupier dwellings, identifying opportunities to develop your acquisitions could add significant value to your property portfolio in a relatively short space of time.

No matter what type of buy-to-let property you own, there will most likely be several innovative ways in which you can improve, extend, or develop your current assets. In some cases there could be a whole range of alternative options for developing the property through structural improvements, or extensions to the building, or perhaps creating outbuildings on adjacent land which you own.

This is where making the right decisions is absolutely crucial and should not be rushed into. Unfortunately, some people will carry out such ‘improvements’ on a whim, without truly considering the implications long-term. This is where having a valued property planning and development specialist on your team can really pay dividends.

Your specialist advisor will view your initial plans or concepts with a critical eye and will be able to advise you as to their feasibility and the likelihood of being able to obtain planning consent, prior to making the application. He can also oversee the entire application process for you should you so wish, liaising with the local authority where necessary to ensure your application submission progresses smoothly.

Or maybe you don’t actually have any ideas about developing your property right now, but you’d simply like to know whether your property could attract a higher price tag given some improvements. Your property consultant will quickly be able to evaluate the development potential of your property and advise you accordingly.

Money spent on developing your property or properties should be viewed as an investment, because the improvements you instigate will be designed to add real value to your ‘bricks and mortar’ assets for however long you decide to keep hold of them.

If you’d like an expert property planning consultant to look over your property portfolio free of charge, to see how you might benefit from developing your buy-to-let assets, then simply get in touch with your local property consultancy.

With a no-obligation consultation provided entirely free of charge you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Property Management
Property Management

The Simplest Way To Manage Your Tenancies

If you are a landlord who prefers to handle your property portfolio yourself, then having the right tools at your disposal could make your foray into property management a breeze.

There are any number of reasons why as a property investor you may choose to manage your own tenancies, rather than handing over responsibility to a lettings agent. Agency fees can mount up over the course of several years, though equally it could be argued that the majority of lettings agencies offer reasonable value for money.

However, it may well be that you live in the vicinity of your property or properties and that the responsibilities would not be too onerous an undertaking for you. Another reason you may wish to conduct proceedings yourself, is that you may prefer to personally appraise the tenant living in your property.

To manage the day-to-day running of your properties you will need to be a good organiser and communicator and you will also need to be on hand to deal with any problems as they arise. To this end it would be beneficial to employ property letting software to monitor every aspect of your tenancies including rents, repairs and landlords’ legal obligations such as gas checks, property inspections and so on.

As levels of personal debt rise it is wise to keep in close contact with your tenant(s), even if you do use a property management agent. Ensuring open communication channels should encourage a tenant to approach you if he or she has problems meeting the rent at any time and there will be less likelihood of a default leading to legal action, which can be an expensive option for both parties. It is also possible to take out insurance against missed rental payments, though it is worth weighing up this option properly as the policy costs could prove prohibitive.

Your ideal tenant . . .

So it’s not exactly like dating, but landlords who manage their own properties say that ‘rapport’ and ‘chemistry’ with a prospective tenant is important. Pay heed to your instincts when you first meet someone. Do they seem trustworthy? Of course, you will not simply rely on your gut when engaging your tenant you will need to obtain references from qualified individuals/ organisations.

It is advisable to ask to see the prospective last three bank statements to give you an overview of their current financial situation. One landlord (via his blog) offers a cautionary tale of an applicant for one of his properties whose bank statements showed him constantly overdrawn, with a large chunk of his monthly income flowing out to a high street bookie.Oh dear.

Advertising your properties on established portals like RightMove and Primelocation is pretty cost-effective and you could also provide details of your available rental properties to relocation firms or companies that regularly relocate executives.

And do arrange a personal demonstration of the latest property management software when you get a spare moment. Fair enough, it won’t guarantee to secure you the perfect tenant, but it will make every other aspect of managing your tenancies simpler than you ever thought possible.

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Property Management Software
Property Management Software

Property - Is Still A Worthwhile Investment

Despite the global downturn, investors are still betting on property for growth other a period of years. This is especially true given the slowdown in some parts of the world where traditional growth such as banking and other aspects of the financial sector have slowed.

Property is a great investment because it is generally long term and a dip in value is not a great cause for concern. It is also very broad and the types can vary. There can be industrial property, which again can be broken down into different categories, such as heavy industry, chemical processing, light industry, industrial estates and manufacturing.

Commercial and business parks are currently being viewed with caution in some parts of the world, where there has been a glut of this kind of development and empty office space sits, still waiting to be leased out. Parts of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy are suffering from flat markets within the business park and commercial sectors.

However, in Australia, parts of Canada, parts of the United States, Germany and some South American countries, the business park, light industry and commercial sectors are doing well. In some instances demand is outstripping supply.

Beyond the business and commercial sectors there are of course many opportunities in the entertainment and leisure sectors, with casinos, hotels, golf courses, and similar types of developments offering investors plenty to choose from.

The residential options are attractive too but of course these also depend on location. Some markets are not growing and this is particularly true in the United Kingdom at the moment, with the exception of London and parts of the south east. On the other hand, Australia, South America, parts of Europe, Toronto and Western Canada property markets continue to show promise and entice investors.

For residential, there are two main types of options. The first is buy to let, where you buy a property and find renters. Perhaps there are some minor alterations or improvements to make. The second is development where you purchase it and re do it or renovate it and sell it for an investment.

If you invest in this kind of asset for your portfolio it is possible that you need property management software in order to manage your investment. This kind of software will let you manage anything from a handful to hundreds or even thousands of properties. It can be programmed to be customised to suit your own needs and there are powerful and dynamic features which can be modified to suit customer needs.

The important thing about property management software is that it allows the user to manage tenants. This is the most important aspect of having a successful and profitable portfolio. If tenants and all aspects of their occupancy and vacancy are not taken care of efficiently and effectively then there can be problems. But good software allows you to do this.

Related to this is arrears management. Almost all astute business people understand that keeping arrears in control each and every day is vital to the success of your business. You can only do this if you know which tenants are in arrears and software lets you do this. There are often multiple methods for tracking which makes the work simple and straightforward.

There is the relatively new feature of owner and tenant access to programmes. This means that you can offer clients access to statements so that they can see payment dates and invoices if necessary.

Communication is important and the best systems permit this. Newer systems now allow the sending and receipt of emails, as well as SMS messaging. This can be done with speed and ease. You can send a text message to any group of individuals, including tenants, owners or even service and tradespeople who are doing contract work on the properties.

For your own ease, processing required at the end of the month can be done with the best systems. It is reliable and tailored to what you need to do each time. Equally, the best systems will give you ability to generate many kinds of management reports, or custom reports.

What's your advice to a new buy to letter?

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