Unlike other investment classes such as equities or bonds, real estate investment requires a great degree of research, due diligence, it is also a form of active investment that requires investors to do plenty of legwork to uphold and maintain their investments.
It’s worth the effort because not only will it save you plenty of cost by not hiring a property manager, but it is key in unlocking the true value of your property.
The current COVID-19 outbreak and the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) has not only made it challenging to check your property investments, but it also directly threatens your tenant’s livelihoods and their ability to pay off their rent, hurting your return on investment margins.
Not all hope is lost, however. Here are a few tips on how you can safeguard your investments amid this current outbreak.
1. Have open communication with tenants
The first and most important thing is to ensure that your tenant is not only able to pay their rent on time, but is also comfortable doing so. Thus, it is important to have transparent conversations with your tenants moving forward regarding the monthly payments.
Make no mistake, ensuring a consistent flow of monthly rental income is a priority. After all, it is a core pillar of your entire property investment. However, you would also not want to overburden your tenants with financial commitments, especially when they have issues with job security or have a family member in dire need of help.
Some ways to mitigate these problems include opting to defer the payment with interest or interest-free. For example, rather than collecting RM500 this month, opt to waive their rent in exchange for an RM600 monthly rent for the following five months.
Compensation may not necessarily have to be monetary as well. Maybe you can offer your tenants a subsidy in rent if they agree to take advantage of the MCO to repaint the whole house, provided that you are confident in their painting capabilities. This form of compensation can be a direct increase in the valuation of your property as a whole.
Whatever arrangement that you and your tenant have agreed upon, be sure that you keep a written record of it. Better yet, have a digital document with both of your signatures .
These agreements may be an additional clause, or may even be in direct conflict with your current tenancy agreement. However, for many property owners, it might be inconvenient to secure a lawyer remotely or pay legal fees at this point .
But having an indisputable proof of your agreement is crucial in safeguarding your personal interest, as well as your tenant’s. But for commercial property owners with tenants with longer-term leases, it is still highly recommended to rope in your lawyer for any changes in the tenancy agreement, as the stakes are generally higher.
2. Urge tenants to practice safety measures
With the MCO in place, the safety of your property investment is in the direct control of your tenants. Now more than ever, the tenants are your best friends, and they should rightly be so from the very beginning.
A healthy tenant is a paying tenant, so be sure to check up on them and make sure they are taking good care of themselves, as well as the safety and health of everyone else in their household.
You can try sharing guides on how routine cleaning will help remove potential traces of the virus on object surfaces, or articles on how to wash their hands properly to minimise the risk of infection.
The last thing you need now is for your tenants to catch the viral disease, which will put their safety and your property investment in jeopardy. Remember that prevention is always better than the cure.
3. Be ready to market your property
If your property is currently untenanted, or if you are looking to sell off your property, now would be the best time to brush up your marketing skills and prepare to list your property on the market.
Take advantage of the MCO and read up on how to improve your copywriting skills. There are also plenty of videos online illustrating the best angles and ways to take photos of your property. If you already have existing photos, take the time and effort to spice it up a bit to make it more attractive. (Tip: Photoshopping or hiding electrical wires makes any room look neater.)
If you are looking to sell the house you are currently staying in, why not tidy up your living room or spruce up a corner here and there, so that you can take attractive photos of your property for listing purposes.
Ohmyhome allows you to upload videos of your property on the app. Videos are good way of making your listing stand out from the competition as it allows potential property buyers to have a virtual tour of your property from the comfort of their own home.
4. Stay calm
Most important of all, stay calm and be reminded that property investments are one of the safer investment assets in this current market environment. Don’t make any hasty decisions about property.
For the cherry on top, Malaysian banks currently offer an automatic interest-free loan moratorium that allows you to defer your monthly loan instalments, freeing up vital cash flow that you might potentially need for the months moving forward if you do not have an emergency fund.
While things may seem gloomy at this moment, bear in mind that property investments are cyclical in nature, and every crisis will have to come to an end.
What separates an expert from a novice property investor is the ability to safeguard their investments diligently and their willingness to take advantage of any given situation. And make no mistake, opportunity will surely come one way or another.
Or maybe…the opportunity is just right on the corner, and you might have just missed it because you have yet to check out the homes for sale on Ohmyhome!
What makes us special? For one, we do not have duplicate property listings on our platforms. That way, you can be sure that you are getting the best deals available to you on the market.
What are you waiting for? Visit our listings or call +6016-299 1366 today!