Monday, June 13, 2016

Hola Amigos!

From moustaches and margarites to tacos and ice cold Coronas, another successful Dixon Kestles social event was held last week. 

In the past, we have had Oscar inspired Friday night drinks with the Owners Corp Department rolling out the red carpet and awarding little gold Oscars to winners and we’ve also enjoyed the Admin Department’s French night. 

Last Friday night it was up to the Residential Property Management Department to create an event to inspire and that they did with their Mexican Fiesta where colleagues were treated to a colourful display of Mexican inspired food and music.  What a great way to bring all of the departments together to create a great team spirit.  Of course, the night ended with a bang especially when the coin filled piñata was smashed to pieces by our Commercial Manager, Natalie Boss  who has a wicked golf swing.  She sure showed that piñata who “the boss” was!!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Property Maintenance Tips Perfect For Winter!

Now that winter has arrived, it’s perfect time to think about the following:  
  1. Clean gutters free of leaves and debris to ensure no rainwater overflow. Use a plumber and have them check the roof space for any potential leaks. Any moisture going into a property can result in mould, which spreads viciously in the cooler months and could cost you more in repairs.
  2. Ensure all pool gates meet legislation.  The Building Act 1993 and Regulations prescribe substantial fines to owners or occupiers who fail to comply with the swimming pool or spa regulations. Contact your local council for more details. They won’t be as busy during winter, so waiting periods should be minimal.
  3. Service any heating and cooling system before your tenant desperately needs them. Engage reputable companies to conduct annual smoke alarm checks, servicing of cooling systems. 
  4. Gas heaters should be checked every two years to ensure there are no carbon monoxide leaks.  It is important that this is conducted by a licenced plumber.
Make sure to speak with your Property Manager if you have any concerns or want to engage the right people to undertake annual maintenance.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our Private Penthouse Viewing

Dixon Kestles held a successful private viewing of a penthouse at 505 St Kilda Road. The invitation only event was enjoyed by some of Melbourne’s elite, who enjoyed 270 degree views of Albert Park Lake and the city skyline from the property’s winter garden. Our Business Development Manager, Daniel Bryan leased the high profile property after only being on the market for one week! With his unique thinking and “outside the box” approach, Daniel allowed prospects to momentarily experience the life style this property has to offer.

As always, Dixon Kestles strive to exceed expectations for our clients, by going above and beyond to gain outstanding results.  Mission accomplished for a very happy investor and now onto the next!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Three Interior Trends to Watch out for in 2016

Bringing the Outdoors In
We are experimenting with how to bring nature into every aspect of their homes, from decorating compact apartments to expansive house backyards. Whether that be colourful blooms in vases in our studies or feature wall plants on our balcony. This can stop spaces from feeling clinical, after all natural is beautiful.

Sourcing Artisan Goods
Did somebody say crochet? Let’s embrace this trend, and support local finds. Don’t be afraid to mix vintage and artisanal items with mass produced goods. That basic side table from Target can now be paired with a Mongolian lambskin pouf and Moroccan rug.

Metallics and Metals

Brass, matte gold and metallic finishes are popular right now. It can give a high end, luxe feel. For example, a matte gold legged side table mixed with softer items such as a fur throw or a wing backed arm chair are the perfect pairs for 2016. Try not to mix different metal colours in one particular area as they will jar. 

Over Supply, Little Demand...

Working as a South Yarra Property Manager for a high end Developer in 2012, I saw the rush of sky rises being erected. Each and every possible space along Chapel Street Become a "Boutique" building. My favourite transformation was a car park along Clifton Street, Prahran. An apartment complex with the car park still surrounding the small complex seemed comical to me.

What wasn't so comical was the oversupply and little demand when it came to leasing. So many humongous buildings were being built with 80-200 apartments in them, so the prospects had too much choice. The finer details then came into play, did you have a pool, a gym, a library with free wifi, sauna or spa's with city views. No longer would a split system or dishwasher get the deal across the line, it was now an expected. Many first time investors or overseas investors were depending on you as property Manager to minimise the vacancies and get the perfect tenant.

No matter how lovely you’re professional photos were or competitively priced you were, the market was slow. I remember standing out the front of a property and thinking “I could hear a tumble weed go past”. If an online enquiry came through to my email, I would jump on the phone and professionally beg for them to make a private appointment with me. It was tough. Over the 12 month period we had so many in one building that if prospects came to view one apartment and it wasn't suitable we would show them others on different levels. The average vacancy period were 6-8 weeks, I could almost finish Michelle Bridges body transformation in that time frame!

 When an application would finally come in via email, Property Managers would do a happy dance whilst making a proud announcement to their neighbouring colleagues 'I got an application'. They knew how hard it was to come by one and would shortly celebrate with you. No longer did we dread the call to the Landlord each week explaining that there was no result. I become a ninja reference checker in 2012, stalking past Property Managers and HR Departments until I got the all clear. The heavens would open and your mind would sing halleluiah whilst wiping that address off the White board. Now it seems this market has followed me to South Melbourne... Show, lease, eat repeat.

Is it too late to enter into the Melbourne Property Market…

How many times have people spoken about the property bubble that is going to pop? However, property prices have continued to rise each year. The only time it went down in the past 10 years was during the global crises. Even then people purchasing properties thought they were paying too much.  Now those properties have increased like no one ever expected.

I met with my mother in-law for a coffee and she expressed her concern for when her Grandchildren needed to buy property in 20-30 years’ time. She wish that she had a crystal ball tell her how much property prices would have risen, for she has purchased her family home in the 1980’s for $200,000. She went on to joke about how she should have bought streets of houses for her future family so they would never have to struggle.

So the ultimate answer to whether it’s too late to enter into the market is, no. Despite paying what seems high right now, paying 2016 house prices isn’t bad as that year will come and go. Buying a house is a long term commitment and your purchase price will be less than its worth in a matter of years. Investors who may have felt they paid top dollar in 2012, now don’t have that opinion in 2015. The trick to property is simply getting started.

How to Profit From a Renovation

It’s important to set your ultimate goal in the early stages of the process. We are going to focus on an Investor increasing your return

There are many ways to profit through property renovation but it all starts with buying well. But how can you tell the difference between an endless pit of trouble or a diamond in the rough? My personal theory is that the structure must be sound and the floor plan should not need altering to work. Also, never see property alone, two eyes are better than one.

Location, Location, Location…

Know the area that you’re buying in. Anyone can buy a property, but how do you know what that area offers or what prospects in that area wants? For Example, South Yarra’s apartment demographic is mostly young professional couples or young share houses & Glen Iris’s demographic is more of a family community. Know who you’re trying to appeal to & what the suburbs style is to maximise your return/ minimise vacancies.

Select one to three suburbs clustering to one another. Study the market and know when something is priced well. Some properties may just need a general tidy up, which would include a re-paint, re-carpet & new roller blinds (more tenant friendly). This can easily be done under $10,000 on an average 2 bedroom apartment.

Don’t Let Your Creativity Break The Bank…

Budgeting can be many’s weak spot. It’s an exciting project to many but how can we stop ourselves from over capitalising? A general rule for Investors is to spend only 2% of your properties value on a renovation. For example a property worth $500,000 should spend no more than $10,000 if using this particular formula.

A cosmetic renovation is your safest bet, obviously over a structural renovation. Updating a kitchen and bathroom can sound like an expensive exercise. I truly believe that paint can be the best money spent, anyone can paint. A bathroom can be cosmetically changed from a daggy shower curtain having a panel of glass installed, re-grouting of tiles if the tiles are neutrally coloured and in good order, a re-spray of the bath tub by a painter & a lick of paint (opt for an anti-mould paint, especially for tenants in a bitter Melbourne winter). The kitchen can be cosmetically updated with a paint job, cabinetry handles changed and a fresh laminate counter top.

If there is anything further that meets the eye and isn’t visually pleasant than action this also. Do not under estimate Bunnings or Masters for handles or light fittings. They surprisingly have fashionable decor items, that won’t break the bank.