8 Steps to Maximise Your Rental Return

Thank you for considering Burns and Burns to manage your rental property. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and we aim to make the rental process as simple and transparent as possible for both landlord and tenant. If you’re reading this, you will be looking to maximise the return on your investment, and that’s where we can help.

The best way to maximise your rental return and attract quality, reliable tenants is to ensure your property is as appealing as possible. Not only does a rental property that presents well have a greater chance of securing a high quality tenant, but chances are they’ll take better care of it too. So, before we launch a marketing campaign tailored to your property and throw open the doors to property hunters, here are our recommendations to ensure your investment has what it takes to get the winning edge over its competitors.

  1. Cover The Basics

Step into the shoes of a prospective tenant and come up with a list of all the basic features and fixtures that you’d expect from a rental property, then see how your property scores against that list. For example, does your property have:

  • phone/internet connection
  • heating and cooling
  • security – changing locks between tenancies is recommended and always have a spare sets of keys for yourself and your managing agent (including window locks, garage and swipe cards).
  • privacy – curtains and/or blinds should be installed on all windows, plus fencing or screening in place, where required.
  • good water pressure
  • smoke detectors

You’ll also want to check whether there is any aspect of your property failing to meet current regulations or safety guidelines. Consider fixtures such as pool fences, stairs, railings, balconies, blinds and curtains, glass and windows. Also, does it meet the electrical and water efficiency standards under the Residential Tenancies Act?

  1. Make The Place Sparkle

Anything less than sparkling clean can be off-putting to a new tenant. It also sets the precedent for the standard of cleanliness expected, when your tenants vacate. We recommend that you invest in professional cleaning so your property looks spotless, smells fresh and is as welcoming as possible. (This is particularly important if the previous tenants had pets).

  • Professionally steam clean or dry-clean carpets
  • Re-polishing floorboards and tiled flooring
  • Cleaning windows, curtains and flyscreens
  • Detail cleaning all interiors and furnishing

      3. If It’s Broken, Fix It

Preparing a property for a new tenancy is the ideal time to attend to those niggling little issues that threaten to balloon into bigger problems. A small amount of money spent at this stage is much better than forking out thousands in repairs down the track.

Look out for problem areas such as:

  • mouldy bathroom grouting
  • leaking washers or taps
  • broken tiles and chipped paint
  • broken light fittings & burnt out light bulbs
  • broken door and window latches
  • clogged guttering and/or drains
  • heating and/or cooling systems requiring service
  • faulty or damaged appliances
  • faulty swimming pool filters &/or equipment
  1. Tidy Up All Outdoor Areas

The exterior of your property is the first thing that prospective tenants see when they attend an open inspection. If they’re confronted with an overgrown garden, masses of fallen leaves and dirt-encrusted windows and doors, they’ll have second thoughts before even walking through the front door. Giving the exterior of the property some TLC is key to making a great first impression!

Pay particular attention to:

  • weeding garden beds and pruning hedges
  • trimming back vines and overhanging trees
  • mowing lawns and reviving dead patches
  • cleaning front entrance and external light fittings
  • cleaning garage door and garage flooring
  • sweeping and hosing down driveways, pathways and paved areas
  • removing all garbage and garden refuse

If the grounds of your home are high maintenance, we can arrange for the gardening to be included in the rental agreement. Alternatively, you could arrange for the tenant to cover the cost of a contractor to conduct regular maintenance, such as lawn-mowing, clearing gutters and pool cleaning, as part of their rental fee.

  1. Add Value With Improvements

Updating the interior of a home instantly lifts its mood and appeal to tenants. New paint, carpet and light fittings are an affordable way to transform outdated spaces and adding extra creature comforts like heating and reverse cycle air conditioning can also potentially add value to a property.

If you can afford to go one step further, then modernising a kitchen or bathroom is a great long-term strategy, one that will immediately elevate the perceived value of the property and increase its rental return.

  1. Organise Services & Utilities

Before a tenant moves in, don’t forget to check final readings for gas, telephone, electricity and water. If you have an alarm connected to a security service, remember to cancel your account or transfer it over to the tenant’s details, if required. Likewise, pool, garden or grounds maintenance contractors may need up-dating or cancelling.

Note: Before cancelling your electricity, gas or water accounts, always check with your Property Manager first, so it doesn’t affect any security systems or ongoing utilities required to maintain your property.

  1. Set Up Landlord Insurance

We strongly recommend you have landlord insurance in place before leasing. Landlord insurance will cover you for things like unpaid rent, theft by the tenant and unforeseeable damages that result from the leasing period, as unlikely as such events may be.

This page is very useful if you would like some more information about landlord insurance.

  1. Style It Up To Stand Out

Prospective tenants are no different to prospective buyers – they’re all attracted to a well-presented property. Just like a stylist can boost the look and feel of a sales property, styling your rental property will dramatically boost its appeal and set you apart from the crowd.

Consider leaving furniture in the home or bringing in a professional styling company for the open inspections. If you don’t wish to go so far as a property stylist, then do your very best to prepare your property for an eye-catching photo shoot and a great ‘first impression’ at every open-for-inspection.


Whether you are just starting out on your investment journey or you are looking to grow your portfolio, we are confident that following these steps will give you the edge in the rental market. And remember, the team here at Burns and Burns are committed to achieving the highest rent for your property, so please get in touch at any stage and we’ll be delighted to help you out with preparing, marketing and managing your prized asset.


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8 Steps to Maximise Your Rental Return