Christine is rarely in the office. Brief moments between client meetings are spent driving to the next one. She’s in hot demand for good reason. Ten years with Goodwins, Christine wears two hats, both as a business development manager onboarding new landlord clients and in real estate sales.

Christine’s eye for detail and marketing flair are a huge asset to Goodwins and our clients. Working as a property photographer for online property listing service open2view before joining Goodwins, Christine has a knack for putting the sparkle into marketing campaigns.

Talking as a business development manager, she says property managers solve two basic needs: Smart investors don’t want the headache of looking after property or facing problematic tenants.

Q: Given the competition for rentals, you’d think tenants would be banging down the door to secure a home. True?

CR: “It all comes down to price – people will pay what they can afford. Landlords must never forget that prospective tenants compare properties. Anything overpriced will just sit there. This is nothing new, but in the current climate of cost hikes, some people are looking harder at what they spend. Also, remember that there’s less churn in the winter – people are less inclined to move. So there are fewer people looking.”

  1. What’s happening with rents – still going up?

CR: “ No – and not that they have particularly. Over the past year, rent increases have stayed below the rate of inflation – unlike the price of certain vegetables. No one’s been creaming it.”

  1. Hot tip

CR: “The best advice is don’t overprice. And in most cases allow six-to-eight weeks to fill a property – two-plus weeks advertising and four weeks for people who have to give notice to their current landlord. Ideally, you should aim for a fixed-term tenancy that expires at the end of January. So, if you’re looking to sign up new tenants at this time of year, go for a six-month fixed-term agreement, knowing that if tenants like living in your property and they’re good tenants then you can present them with a 12-month agreement in January.”

  1. What do private landlords often get wrong?

CR: “Three-monthly inspections – they don’t do them. When the rent is being paid their instincts are to leave tenants alone. But that sometimes blows up in their face at the end of the tenancy when they see the state of the place. Four weeks bond doesn’t go very far when you’ve got to replace all the carpet.”

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in real estate?

CR: “Legislation has changed the economics of property investment and the relationship between landlords and tenants. We’re on top of this – all our staff are trained and familiar with changes and how we should advise our clients. Technology plays an important role in meeting our obligations. With so much of our day-to-day workflow, digitised and automated nothing slips through the cracks. Our systems are very good,”

Managing an investment property is trickier than it used to be. Call Christine on 021 278 7750 to put your property into the hands of a pro.