Specialist Team Bucks Downward Rental Trend!!!

By Geordi Pohlman on Jun 10 2016

One of Toowoomba’s largest property manager, LJ Hooker, has bucked the rental property trend to record a vacancy rate of 1.8% across its portfolio - less than half the city average.

LJ Hooker Toowoomba has an established team of staff which solely focuses on leasing untenanted properties, with general property management duties handled by a separate division. Over the last month, the new leasing team fielded 863 tenant enquiries, held 304 open houses and managed 418 inspections.

The office received 90 tenant applications over the period, leading to 57 new leases on investment properties, equating to approximately two per day.

LJ Hooker Principal Mike Stewart said the real estate industry had battled to deal with the volume of new developments that came to the market as developers responded to the wave of new public and private infrastructure activity across the city.

“Off the plan investors and landlords of existing homes throughout Toowoomba were quite concerned about their investments as developers tapped into the opportunities the city has now and into the future,’’ said Mr Stewart.

“Conditions had been very good for property managers in Toowoomba up until that point; most of the time you could advertise a vacant home on a Monday and by the end of the week a new lease would be signed.

“The demand for rental properties is still there, but the days of putting up a sign and waiting for the phone to ring are over.”

Mr Stewart said the decision to separate new leasing activities from general rental property management was driven by the large increase in investor activity in the city and surrounds.

“We have approximately 1300 residential properties under management and about 300 commercial properties,” he said.

“By having a dedicated team of leasing specialists, we’ve been able to better guide prospective tenants around the various opportunities in the city, which in turn delivers greater security to landlords.”

Mr Stewart said commercial, industrial and retail vacancies for the office were ‘less than half a percent’.