How to rent out your property without an agent
Looking to boost the return on your investment property? Dropping your agent or property manager and handling everything yourself could be just the solution. By becoming a private landlord, you can completely eliminate the cost of commission – and that means more money in your pocket.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to rent out your property without an agent. The good news is, with a little research and dedication, the process can be easier than you might think.
How much can you save as a private landlord?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much you can save by taking responsibility for all landlord duties yourself. Real estate agents and property managers set their own fees, and these can differ vastly across the board.
The majority of property managers will charge you a percentage of the weekly rent. Others will charge a flat fee. Typically, commission falls between 7 and 12 per cent but can be higher.
For example, let’s say you rent out an apartment for $500 a week. Your agent charges a 10 per cent commission. You would lose $50 per week or $2,600 a year. That’s more than a month’s rental income.
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that becoming a DIY landlord requires a significant time investment – at least to start with. You’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons before you decide whether it’s right for you.
Getting started as a private landlord
If you’ve decided to take the private landlord route, getting started will involve the following tasks:
- Preparing your property for renters
- Deciding on a rental price and bond
- Listing your property for rent
- Handling inspections
- Selecting the right tenants
Let’s take a look at these preliminary steps in a bit more detail.
1. Preparing your property for renters
First, you’ll need to make sure your property is clean and ready for tenants. You might need to invest in professional cleaning, renovate tired or broken areas, make any repairs, and ensure the property is safe to live in.
2. Deciding on a rental price and bond
Setting an appropriate rental price is critical to the success of your investment. On the one hand, you want to collect as much rent as possible. On the other, you don’t want to scare away potential tenants.
Start by making an honest assessment of your property. Then, give the following three-step process a go:
- Research median rents in your local area. Focus on dwellings that are similar to your own.
- Compare property features. Determining the value of your property isn’t just about the number of bedrooms and location – you’ll need to consider things like the age of the property, the condition, the size, and any special features (such as a new kitchen, large backyard, or swimming pool).
- Set a justifiable price. You know the median price in your area, and you understand how your property stacks up against similar homes. Now, decide if your rental should be priced above or below average.
Once you’ve set a rental price, you can calculate the rental bond. Bond amount is usually subject to state legislation, with each state and territory having its own rules about bond amount and lodgement.
3. Listing your property for rent
You won’t find tenants unless you advertise your property online. It’s that simple. Without an agent, you might have to do a little more work here, such as writing descriptions and taking photos.
Here at RentEzy, we make it quick and easy to get your property in front of suitable tenants. Our professional property listings showcase your rental with the following features:
- A sleek photo gallery that attracts the right kind of renter
- Plenty of detailed filters, so your property gets found
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) so your property appears in Google search results
4. Handling inspections
You’ve listed your property, and now potential renters want to view it in person so they can better gauge the home’s size, location, and condition. Inspections are also a good opportunity for you to get a feel for the renters’ character and suitability.
Be sure to show up on time, maintain a friendly yet professional demeanour, and be 100 per cent honest with renters. You might find it useful to list the property’s best features beforehand so that you’re ready to ‘sell’ the home and answer any questions.
5. Selecting the right tenants
If tenants are happy with the property, they will submit an application. It’s up to you to sort through these applications and decide who to approve. You’ll want to take a close look at the following:
- Employment status
- Rental history
- References from employers
Do keep in mind that even tenants that tick all the boxes on paper can end up being a real headache. We’ve discussed the tenant selection process in detail in our article, How to Find Good Tenants.
Your property is tenanted – but there’s more to be done
The private landlord’s job doesn’t end once a property is tenanted. It’s crucial to remain diligent throughout the tenancy agreement, or you might be caught off guard. Here are a couple of tips to help you keep on the ball:
- Document everything and be thorough with your record keeping. Everything from initial enquiries and open inspections to emails and phone calls with tenants should be stored on paper or electronically.
- Keep in contact, but don’t bother your tenants. Exchange contact details and ensure your tenants know what to do if, for example, the oven breaks, the washing machine spills over, or a lightbulb blows out.
- Ensure you are meeting your obligations. Rental legislation changes all the time. It’s essential that you keep up with these changes. This can be a pretty tricky task, so you may want to invest in a private landlord coaching service. Remember, ignorance is no excuse!
Is being a private landlord right for you?
There are pros and cons to ditching your agent and taking on landlord responsibilities yourself. Working with an agent gives you peace of mind that you are meeting your obligations – but that peace of mind comes at a significant cost.
Commit to keeping up to date with rental legislation and remaining diligent every step of the way, and you can enjoy an even better return on your investment. If you’d like help getting started as a private landlord, learn more about our professional private landlord coaching service today.