When was the last time you reviewed your property portfolio?
Now that winter is coming to an end, it’s time for some spring cleaning – and what better way to start than by reviewing your property portfolio?
When was the last time you reviewed your financial position?
This is a question that Nathan Birch, head of Binvested, thinks we should ask more often.
He says that a lot of people don’t review their situation enough.
Which is pretty silly when you think about it.
After all, if you have spent upwards of a million dollars settling a property portfolio, as well as countless hours of your time negotiating, searching, bidding and securing deals, you’d think you’d remember to review things occasionally.
How can a good property portfolio review benefit you?
By reviewing your portfolio, you may find several things you can tweak to reduce your costs and improve your cashflow while improving your overall position in the current market.
Since the property market and the economy are always changing, Nathan recommends doing a thorough review of your position annually.
“Recently, I have been helping a lot of people in their portfolios because things have changed quite significantly out there in the financial spectrum.”
He says a lot of people have been operating as if it is still 2015 – but, it’s actually 2019.
“You need to prepare yourself and position yourself in the current market,” says Nathan.
And the first step towards doing this is to ask yourself a whole heap of questions.
When was the last time you reviewed your…?
If you have a family, then you know how expenses can change on a yearly basis. Childcare fees, orthodontist payments and schooling costs – all of these can come and go depending on your situation.
This is why your budget needs to be both fluid and functional. You need to be able to pay for necessities while deciding on what luxuries you can afford for the year.
What are you spending on each month? Could you reduce unneeded costs in order to free up more money for investing? Is your Foxtel subscription really needed now that your kids are streaming on Netflix?
Reviewing your budget can help you to streamline your cashflow so that you can look after your family both now and in the future.
It is important to regularly review the amount of rent you are charging. Optimising rents will help to improve cashflow and serviceability.
Could you increase your current rents in line with market trends? It could be that you haven’t considered what other properties are renting for in the current market.
If you are already charging the right amount for your property, could you do a repair or a minor addition in exchange for higher rent?
An investment of $5,000 could be enough to bring in an extra $1,000 each year – just make sure you crunch the numbers and research the market before jumping in.
We all know how hard it is to find a good property manager – one who works for you and not the tenant.
How do your property managers stack up? Are their goals in line with yours? Will they help you to maximise your rental income while reducing your overall costs? Are they ensuring everything is compliant with the law?
Blink clients now have Nathan on their side. He is ensuring they get the most out of their properties by keeping rents upwards and costs down.
How much are you paying in interest each month?
You may be able to refinance to a lower rate now that lenders have passed on the RBA’s recent rate cuts.
If you think this won’t make a difference, consider this – if you have $2 million worth of loans and you cut rates by 1 per cent, you could be saving $20,000 a year on your repayments. This could be quite a boost to your bottom line.
How are those properties going? Look at your portfolio and ask yourself if it is as good as it could be. If things aren’t in line with your goals, think about what you should be doing to improve your situation.
It may be time to sell off some properties. Or, it may be time to buy more.
If you have a property that is holding you back, it may be worth selling it and replacing it with another two. Or, perhaps you bought a dog of a property from a spruiker that is worth half of what you paid for it.
It can be a lifesaver to get someone like Nathan to run their eyes over your portfolio to see how it stacks up against your goals and strategy.
At the risk of sounding like a midday movie commercial break, how would your family cope if you suddenly passed away?
Would they be left with a pile of bills and millions in debt?
Not only is it important to get life insurance to protect your family, it is also important to review your will from time to time. Circumstances can change between partners and dependents, and you should make sure you and your loved ones are protected.
Check in to see if your wealth will go to the right people when you die. Make sure you have the right person set up to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Now that we are in a recession we should be careful to protect our Super. Nathan says the GFC saw some people lose half their retirement savings in the space of a few days.
But aside from this risk, there are heaps of people out there that don’t even know how their Super is invested.
Or, there are those who set up their Super ten years ago and haven’t checked in since.
Do you know how much Super you have? What is it invested in? How is it performing? Will you be protected against any major crashes?
And then we come to the hot topic of taxation. How much tax did you pay last year? Is there something you could be doing over the next 12 months to minimise your taxes?
Having a good accountant who can work in line with your goals is indispensable. It is always worth doing a regular review of your accounting to see how you can streamline your financial position and better yourself for the year ahead.
If you have asked yourself all of these questions and don’t know the solution, Nathan says you can contact him for help. He is currently offering to review the portfolios of those who need a hand and put them in contact with the best professionals for the job.