WHY CHOOSE US

Finding a great property management company to look after your investment is vital for your peace of mind. There are many companies in NZ available for you to choose from; the right one makes your life as a property owner bliss – choose the wrong one and a nightmare can ensue. This is one area of your investment that you simply do not want to skimp on.

 

So how do you make the right decision for you? Consider the following as to how we can assist compared to other companies. We are always available to have a chat when it suits you.

  • We are determined to meet you before making your decision. Coffee? Phone call? Out of town? How about Skype? We want to make sure you feel like we can give you the customer experience that you require and deserve. We want to be asked the questions that you may have about property management and how we work. We expect to be interviewed! After all we are looking after your investment and you need to know we are equipped to handle the responsibility. You can find the answers to some commonly asked questions as part of our Landlord FAQs.
  • We are a local company that knows the local rental market. We understand that within the main region there can be sub- markets that can attract different styles of tenants and rental income. We can make recommendations that you can trust and act upon in confidence on how best to present your investment property for the market it is situated in. A win/win for yourself, the owner and tenants.
  • We use specialised organisational software, Palace, to manage your property and all its details. By using this efficient property management system, you can be assured that rents, inspections, maintenance/repairs, monthly statements, emails, and conversations are all duly recorded and acted upon.
  • We understand that the financial management of your investment property is an important aspect in your rental income. We are trained in accounting principles so that your financial side is handled with complete accuracy and integrity. We even have on hand accountants as part of our team to get any financial advice, or better yet take care of all your residential accounting needs for your property.

FAQ’s

How many properties do you manage?

HouseSmart Solutions has their property managers’ look after a portfolio of between 80-100 properties. Each portfolio is a unique size to them dependant on the type of properties in it and their experience. The portfolio is run as a complete process with property managers looking after each property from leasing to the end of tenancy and everything in between. Administration assistance as well as great technology is provided for them to be able to be effective and efficient.

How long does it take to find tenants?

There is no set formula in how quickly tenants can be found for a property. There are many factors that we assess during the advertising and vacant stage. Some factors to consider are to ensure the rent is at market level, the property is in its best presentation for marketing, and timing of the year that a property is vacant. When HouseSmart Solutions advertises a property we provide a weekly report to owners giving any feedback that has been received or recommendations going forward to increase the chances of it being rented to receive cashflow.

How do you select tenants?

All prospective tenants that HouseSmart Solutions accepts applications from are ones that we have met in person at property viewings. If out of town, attempts are made to have a skype chat. Once an application for a property is filed we check references that include current landlord, previous landlord, employer, and a character reference. We also check to ensure there are no Tenancy Tribunal orders against the applicant and complete a credit check. We endeavour to do these checks within a 48 hour time frame.

What do you do when rent is not paid by tenants?

HouseSmart Solutions checks rents daily. As soon as a rent payment is missed a courtesy email is sent to the tenants requesting to remedy; if no result, then the next day a phone call will be made – we find most times it has been an error and is remedied by the tenant quickly. If rent has still not been received by day 3 then a 14 day breach notice is issued. If no contact has been made by day 7 then we automatically apply to Tenancy Tribunal to begin the correct legal process; tenants are notified by us that this has occurred. This application may be for an order of the rent arrears or it may even include a termination of tenancy dependent on the circumstances. HouseSmart Solutions will notify the owner throughout this process and any updates that occur. We find prevention of rent arrears lead to prevention of bigger issues!

How often are inspections conducted?

HouseSmart Solutions conducts a full Initial Condition Inspection with every new tenancy and a report is supplied to the owner. This initial inspection has photos taken of the whole property with any defects recorded. Routine Inspections are conducted every 3 months with a report supplied to the owner.  Our reports contain 4 sections; general condition of the property, maintenance we believe that needs to be attended to now, maintenance that we recommend catering for in the future, and any other notes from the property manager. HouseSmart Solutions also conducts a Final Inspection for any ending tenancy with a report supplied to the owner. All our inspections include photos of the property and any maintenance matters that may arise.

When do you pay me my rental income?

Rental income is paid twice a month – 1st and 16th, or the next business day if these dates fall on a public holiday or weekend. If any property incurs costs for repairs/maintenance, fees, or any other costs that may arise this will be deducted from the rental income before payment is made. A remittance is sent to owners to advise expected income that they are to receive in their bank account on the 16th. A full statement for the month showing rental income and expenses, with copies of any invoices, is supplied with the payment on the 1st.

What structure should I purchase my investment property in?

Getting your property investment structure right could save you thousands of dollars. It’s important we understand your situation so we can advise on a structure that will best suit you.  Structuring options may include a trust, look-through company, partnership, sole trader, qualifying company or an ordinary company. 

What expenses can I claim on my investment property?

  • Interest paid on money borrowed to finance your rental property.
  • Rates
  • Insurance and body corporate fees.
  • Property management fees (HouseSmart Solutions fee).
  • Repairs and maintenance.
  • Motor vehicle expenses and travel.
  • Legal fees.
  • Accounting fees.
  • Home office expenses.

Then what can’t I claim?

  • The purchase price of your property – unless you are in the business of buying and selling properties.
  • The principle portion of your loan repayments.
  • Real estate agent fees incurred as part of buying or selling a property.
  • Capital expenditure on the property – additions or improvements to the property.
  • Depreciation on the building from the 2012 tax year.

What about GST?

There is no GST on residential rental properties. However, some investments such as managed apartments may have GST considerations as these are often considered commercial properties for tax purposes.

Do I need to keep invoices and receipts?

Yes it’s important you keep accurate and complete records for 7 years.

Do I need to get a Xero subscription to manage the accounting side of my business?

We can get you setup on Xero and manage your bookkeeping. We will send you a bi-monthly management report providing you with up to date information on the performance of your property(s).

What does my accountant do if HouseSmart Solutions takes care of my accounting?

Unless you have other accounting requirements outside the scope of your rental property – not a lot!

PROPERTY MARKETING

HouseSmart Solutions wants to ensure your property stands out from the rest while reaching the right audience to attract your most suitable tenant. We use a selection or all of the options from the following media:

 

  • TradeMe – This is one of the preferred options in NZ currently for tenants to search for a rental property.  We ensure that your advertised property has its own lifestyle story told in the description highlighting features and their benefits. Photography of course is a big selling point! Our photos will show your property in the best light and we will select a feature photo that is different from the norm so that it can stand out from other advertised properties.
  • HouseSmart Solutions Website – All properties available through us are listed on our own website under the properties tab. Tenants can contact us directly from this page if they have any enquiries regarding the property they are interested in.
  • YouTube – While a property is vacant we take the opportunity to video it in its glory showing the layout. We upload this video to YouTube and provide the link to our TradeMe and website advertising. This is a great tool to show potential tenants what is on offer if they are not able to make a viewing due to being out of town.
  • Local Newspapers – Some suburbs in the Wellington area have tenants that rely on the small local papers for finding their rental properties. We will discuss with you if this is an option to consider and place an advert featuring the benefits of the property.
  • HouseSmart Solutions Facebook page – We will post a link from our website to our page and ask for it to be shared among users.
  • Neighbourly.co.nz– A free tool where a link from our website can be posted to be shared among users.

IMPROVE YOUR INVESTMENT

If you are looking for some inexpensive tips to help improve your investment then maybe some of the following ideas will be suitable for you. If you are looking for a more in-depth report on your property – call us! We are happy to come and visit your investment and provide some tips for you.

 

  • Keep bushes and trees trimmed back from the property and spouting for better access and to give better light.
  • Fit a smoke alarm above the door inside each bedroom – NOT in the kitchen!
  • Change the battery in existing smoke alarms every time the clocks change – it is estimated that 60% of home smoke detectors in use do not work either because they don’t have a battery in them, or the battery is flat.
  • Install door stops on internal doors to prevent damage caused to walls from handles. This can save you a lot of $$$ in repair bills.
  • Place new foil liners in your electric stove top and oven to make your stove look smarter
  • When replacing a power outlet, turn it into a double to ensure there are plenty of them.
  • Hang a new shower curtain and rail.
  • Install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen – set a reminder to check it yearly.
  • Fit sheds with a strong padlock from a Locksmith rather than a cheap little padlock from the hardware store.
  • Fit sensor lights outside the front door / on the pathway.
  • Paint interior walls and ceilings in a neutral colour – avoid wallpaper.
  • Install automatic lights inside pantries or wardrobes so they come on when you open the door.
  • Install a rangehood or an extractor fan in kitchen ensuring it vents outside.
  • Annually have an exterior clean of the building and maintain the paths and decking by water blasting.
  • Replace the kitchen benchtop and repaint unit doors/drawers. Add new handles to complete the look to make a kitchen transformation work wonders.
  • Ensure all windows and doors close properly and securely – install insulation foam around frames and install security latches to help tenants keep properties ventilated.
  • Investigate the insulation grants on offer to landlords and provide heating in the property. Good options of heating include panel heaters or a heatpump.
  • Replace light bulbs with LED – will help the tenants save on energy costs.
  • Build a carport – a simple way to make the property more attractive to tenants AND add capital value
  • Build a new fence or paint the existing one.  If building – check with your neighbours to see if they will contribute to the cost.
  • Install an extractor fan in bathroom.
  • Install a new letterbox.
  • Professionally clean the carpets with spot treatment.
  • Replace curtains with thermal backed ones.
  • Replace louvred glass window slats with a glass pane.