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6 simple changes you can make today to improve your cash flow

Photo: Street lamps on the Wanaka Lakefront by John Menard

Think you’ve done all you could to maximise your investment return? These simple ideas can help you get ahead.

1. Is you rent at market rate?

Maybe you have tenants that stuck around for a long time (which is great!) Maybe you got your property appraised few years ago and hasn’t had a chance to think about it again. Whatever the reason, it’s never a bad idea to do your research to make sure that your property rent is at market rate. You need to make sure you rent is still reasonable but that’s also on par with other rental homes on the market. If you don’t keep up with market changes and leave it for too long, it can be very hard to propose a big jump in rent to your current tenants even it’s justified.

2. Considering renting your property furnished.

Depending on your property location, size and your target audience, it could be a good idea to consider renting your property furnished. If your apartment or house is in close proximity to university, polytech or in the middle of business district, you may be naturally attracting students and single professionals. These tenants tend to prefer furnished rental options as they only require them for a limited time. They normally are also willing to pay extra for this convenience.

3. Accepting tenants with pets

Deciding to become a pet friendly landlord is an individual choice. But research shows that tenants with pets tend to pay around $20 more per week than an average renter. They also tend to stay in rental properties no longer. Not for you? Something to keep in mind anyway.

4. Consider renting by a room

Without a doubt this option will create more work for you. But it’s a good way to increase your returns by earning more revenue. Renting by room can also help to make rental income more reliable because it minimises associated with having vacancies.

5. Manage property yourself

Property management fees will be one of your biggest expenses. An average property manager charges anywhere between 7-9% of your rental income. Yes, you can hire a property manager to save yourself time and delegate some work. But you can never delegate the responsibility - if the roof blows off they are going to call you up and say "What do we do now?" To make self-management option less scary, you can consider using professional property management software like [myrent.co.nz}(https://www.myrent.co.nz/management). For a small fee, you can access all the professional tools to manage your property but also gain control over your investment.

6. What about your own property?

To help you earn more money, consider renting out a room in your own property. You can find a permanent flatmate, rent a room to travellers on Airbnb or let your property when you’re away visiting family or holidaying. By doing so, you not only earn extra money but also be able to claim portion of the property expenses on tax.

Property investment is the numbers game, to stay on top of your finances and improve your cash flow it helps to think outside the square.

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