Toowoomba Investors Eyeing Off Warwick

Toowoomba Investors Eyeing Off Warwick

Toowoomba investors are starting to turn their eyes towards Warwick as a potential investment opportunity.

With many large projects coming to fruition in 2018, and more than 450 jobs being created, the Southern Downs Council seem to be more open to growth than previous council committees.

2018 Warwick developments include; the John Dee expansion creating 200 jobs, the Rose City Shopping world 40 mil redevelopment, the Bunnings relocation and expansion creating 50 jobs and the new Church of Christ Regency Park retirement village that will provide support and care for more than 160 elderly residents.

Many residents believe that these new jobs will have a flow-on effect meaning that health, education and retail service jobs will all increase. Warwick has for years performed solidly for long-held property investments with a current yield of 5.6%. Annual growth has been the underperformer with an average of 1.4% but considering the future for Warwick, this may be set to change.

Cr Neil Meiklejohn of the Southern Downs Regional Council has said that the developments will provide a “significant uplift” to the community and that they expect an additional 1,500 people to move to the area.

With only a few subdivisions on offer, developers could also profit from this growth of population.

One of Brisbane’s veteran developers Terry Seirlis of UKL has invested in the Warwick region, supplying more than 60 plots titled with quality built homes perfect for the investor or first home buyer. The new Aleva estate is located on the North East side of Warwick and only one hour drive from Toowoomba.

“I have no doubt the region is poised to start booming and with all the new businesses arriving in town and planned existing expansions, there will be people coming to town to fill jobs and they will all need somewhere to live” said Terry Seirlis.

The future is looking bright for Warwick in these early stages of progress and with the support of the local council we may well see some good growth figures over the next few years.

For more information on the Aleva Estate or investment opportunities in Warwick please contact Simone or Rebecca on 07 4642 0007.

Mistakes buyers make when purchasing

Mistakes buyers make when purchasing

Buying a home is a big commitment and not something to be taken lightly or done on a whim. During my many years in real estate, I have spoken to many buyers that find themselves with buyers regret and uttering the words “if only I had known”. Most of the time, these regrets come to light when the buyer becomes the seller, looking to sell their home and move on. For other buyers, regret occurs when their dream home slips through their fingers because they were not properly prepared.

The saying “you only learn from your mistakes” is very true, but in real estate, when hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line, a mistake can be a costly one. I can admit to making some of these mistakes prior to becoming an agent, so I hope that my series on the top 7 mistakes I see buyers make when purchasing, will aid you in making the correct choices for your journey.

Mistake #1
Not organising a solicitor/conveyancer before finding your dream home

Have a professional review the contract before you sign on the dotted line is vital, so it is essential to know beforehand who you are going to use. A great solicitor/conveyancer should be available for you to talk to over the phone, or in-person to guide you. They should be able to review your contract within 24 hours of receiving the contract.

The cheapest option is not always the best, as there may be additional costs that are incurred later on. You need to find out:

– whether their fee includes all or only some searches
– what are the costs if the contract does not proceed to settlement
– what are the additional fees for each letter they need to write if things get messy
– how quickly will they respond to your queries?

Engaging a solicitor after you have signed a contract can be a recipe for disaster. Even the best solicitor/ conveyancer may find it hard to get you out of a mess once you have placed yourself into it.

Mistake #2
Not obtaining finance pre-approval ahead of time

Before heading out to look at potential homes you need to understand what your borrowing limits are and what you can afford. This will ensure that the house you fall in love with is not out of reach. Buying a home or investment property is one of the most expensive purchases we generally make in our lifetime. It is an exciting time, so it is important to know what can and cannot be achieved to avoid disappointment.

Your mortgage lender or broker will be able to guide you on the specific timeframes required by the lender to turn your pre-approval into final approval once the contract is signed. Armed with this knowledge, you can minimise the finance time period in the contract, making it more alluring to the seller and potentially beating other interested buyers that are also making an offer on the same property.

Organising your finance pre-approval, before signing a contract, will also ensure that you don’t spend money unnecessarily on solicitor/conveyancing fees and building and pest inspections by knowing your boundaries. Your dream home is waiting, it is within reach, and you might even be able to afford more than you think.

Next week

This blog will continue next week with another 2 common mistakes that buyers make when purchasing a home. If you need the name of a great solicitor or mortgage broker please give us a call on 07 4642 0007 or email

Top 10 Presentation Tips To Help Sell Your Home

Blackbird and Finch Blog - Top 10 presentation tips to help sell your home

Top 10 Presentation Tips To Help Sell Your Home

Blackbird and Finch Blog - Top 10 presentation tips to help sell your homeGetting a house ready to be placed on the market can be a big job, especially if it is an unplanned move such as a job transfer. The list of things to do can seem endless so here are my top 10 presentation tips to help sell your house. They don’t cost a great deal of money but will take some time and some elbow grease.

1. De-clutter as much as possible, packing anything that is not needed. The less in a room the better, as it provides buyers with a sense of space.

2. An exterior clean of the home can make a huge difference to appearance – wash down all walls, windows, doors, fascia’s, gutters and paths. Also, if the front fence or gate is mouldy clean it as well.

3. Our sense of smell is extremely strong, although sometimes we do get used to smells we are living with each day such as pets. Ask a trusted friend or family member to come over and give your house the sniff-over.

4. Serious buyers will open cupboards and drawers to not only check that they are in working order but to also determine if their possessions will fit. Ensure that all cupboards and drawers are neat and tidy, and refer back to checklist item #1.

5. Weed and mulch all garden beds and ensure the lawn is neat and tidy, including picking up any pet number 2’s!

6. Do a huge spring clean inside – wipe-over everything from top to bottom, window tracks, skirting boards, fan blades, air conditioning filters, clean the oven and the stove.

7. Clean the dead bugs out of light fittings both inside and outside.

8. Ensure all light bulbs are working, that there are no dripping taps or leaking toilets. We get used to these little things that are wrong in our house and just put up with them. Buyers will assume if these simple things are a problem then there may be bigger ones lurking.

9. What is the weather doing? If it is a hot day, turn on the fans and air conditioning well before an inspection. If it is a cold day, put on a fire or the air conditioning. Buyers will instantly notice the temperature difference when they walk inside.

10. Ensure your home is light and bright for each private viewing or open for inspection. Turn on all lights and open all curtains and blinds, but if the view out the window isn’t great, then don’t draw further attention to what can be seen by opening them fully.

I did say that this would be my top 10, but there is 1 more item I would like to add to the list (although it is not related to presentation) and I am going to use shouty capitals to stress the importance of this one – LEAVE your home for EVERY inspection or open house.  Do not be tempted to hang around. Buyers feel uncomfortable if you are present and are unlikely to provide your agent with constructive feedback on price and presentation of the home or the suitability of their needs.

If you need help to get any of these items done, give us a call on 4642 0007 or email and we can put you in contact with some of our fantastic tradespeople.

Think you have insurance, think again

Blackbird and Finch Blog - Think you have insurance ... think again

Think you have insurance, think again

Blackbird and Finch Blog - Think you have insurance ... think againInsurance is one of those necessities in life where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. We pay premiums for years and never make a claim, but come the time that you do have to make a claim, you can get a nasty surprise and find that things you thought you were covered for are not part of the policy. It can be a rude shock.

Storm damage, floods or fire are common events that we assist investors and tenants with. Generally speaking, these are straightforward. The events that seem to cause the most headaches and heartaches for investors are accidental damage and insurance claims as a result of evicting the tenants.

Accidental damage

All the big name insurers carry basic property and landlord insurance, however comparing policy to policy, they do not match the industry-specific insurance companies. Most policies only cover malicious damage and not accidental damage, which are most common cases of tenant damage. Malicious damage cover is fairly standard – covering instances of vandalized retaliatory damages such as holes in the walls, broken windows or graffiti.

Accidental damage such as an iron mark on the carpet or a tear in the lino, would not be considered malicious and would not be covered under most “big name” policies. You need to ensure your policy includes accidental damage to avoid any nasty surprises if a tenant or one of their friends is clumsy in your investment property.

Eviction cover

Unfortunately, the process of evicting a tenant in Queensland can be a long drawn out affair. It is not uncommon for this process to take 6-8 weeks. A non-urgent QCAT application generally takes 4 weeks to be heard. If a warrant for possession is granted, this has to be completed by the Police which can take another week before we can attend with Police and a locksmith to gain entry, change the locks and start assessing what needs to be done. Generally, if the eviction process gets to this point, there are often weeks of damage, repair and cleanups, but this would be rare.

Standard insurance policies do not cover cleanup costs such as general cleaning, lawns, rubbish removal etc. These costs are to be taken from the Bond.

Capped excess

In many policies, tenant damage events each have their own excess. For example, if a window is broken and there’s a hole in the wall, there would be 2 excess amounts. Loss of rent would also be an additional excess. Landlord specific insurance policies generally cap the excess to a maximum of 2 excesses per claim.

Rent loss

Many policies only allow rent loss to be covered under a fixed term agreement (i.e. not a periodic lease) and after the Bond has been exhausted, which is 4 weeks rent. Remember though that the Bond is also used for the non-covered items such as cleaning and lawns so, if you do not have the correct cover, you would be looking at 4 weeks rent loss that can not be claimed under your policy.

After arranging and facilitating many insurance claims over the last 12 years for investors, it is my opinion that industry insurers are the only option for investors. Industry insurance companies such as EBM and Terri Scheer are aware of these loopholes and ensure owners are aware of what is covered and what is not during these unforeseen events. These companies will also bundle the building and contents insurance for your investment property providing further savings.

If you would like more information on Terri Scheer or EBM please give us a call on 4642 0007 or email


DIY – property management audit

Blackbird and Finch Blog - DIY Property management audit

DIY property management audit

Blackbird and Finch Blog - DIY Property management auditI know the word ‘audit’ makes your eyes glaze over, but when did you last do an audit of your investment property files – 3 years ago, 5 years ago, never? If you have no idea what I am talking about or it has been a while, this 5-minute read could potentially save you money – money lost due to simple errors, oversight or worse still mismanagement that could result in fines and legal ramifications.

In my 14 years as a property manager, I have audited hundreds of files from other agents. This generally occurs when an owner decides to change property managers. You can do an audit yourself to ensure that the most common mistakes and errors that I find are not happening with your investment property, and if they are, it will give you the opportunity to take action now and rectify things before they become a huge issue.

Why do I need an audit?

Having an investment property is a great investment and long-term financial plan. Ensuring you have a good team assisting with the setup and management of this investment is the key to success. You need to develop a trusting relationship with 3 essential services – a good financial planner, accountant and property manager.

Generally, you would have the same accountant and financial planner throughout the term of your investment but depending on your property management agency, you may have had several property managers, as real estate, especially property management, is a high staff turnover industry.

In this case, how do you know that your property is being monitored correctly? An audit of your files will take no longer than 15 minutes if you have all the documents at hand and will give you peace of mind that everything is as it should be.

Where to start?

The first thing to do is to gather all of the documents relating to your property. If your agency provides you access to their online portal, the documents should be located in there. If you don’t have access to a portal you will need to check the emails you have received from your property manager. The documents may have been sent separately in an email or could be attached to your monthly statements. The documents you need for the audit are:

1. Form 6 (Appointment and reappoint of a property agent, resident letting agent or property auctioneer)

2. Form 18a General tenancy agreement

3. Form 1a Entry Condition Report – general tenancies

4. Smoke alarm compliance certificate

5. Pool fencing certificate (if applicable)

6. Last 2 periodic inspection reports

7. Key receipt

If you do not have copies of these documents simply request a copy from your current managing agent. Most agencies are more than happy to supply this information to you if you don’t already have it or have mislaid it.

What things do I need to look for?

Entry condition report not being signed, completed or incorrect

An Entry condition report is the reflection of the condition of a property at the start of the tenancy and the document that is referred to at the end of the tenancy. Having this document correctly completed is essential.

To check your report, ensure you read all of the comments by the agent and the tenant. Check that the agent has signed the report, and ideally the tenant as well. If there is no signature by the tenant, then the tenant has not returned their copy of the Entry condition report on time. A note should state this in the file to prevent issues during the vacate process when tenants are looking for their bond to be refunded.

Smoke alarm certificates incorrect

It is a legal responsibility to have the smoke alarms tested 30 days before a new lease or a lease renewal. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services can issue a fine of $640 for not having these tested within the correct timeframe, but non-compliance can also nullify any insurance claims should there be a fire at the property.

To check this, ensure the smoke alarm test date is within 30 days of the lease start date and/or if the lease is longer than 12 months tested within the last 12 months.

Pool safety certificate lapsed

In Queensland, a pool safety certificate is valid for 2 years. If your investment property has a pool do you know when the safety certificate expires? If you are unsure you can check your property here:

Pool Safety Register

Unlawful clauses in lease agreements

Contracting outside the law is a legal term many courts use when issuing fines to property managers or owners that do not adhere to the law of leasing in Queensland.

Items such as:

“if the dishwasher breaks down it will not be repaired”

“tenants agree to give 1 months notice in writing to leave”

“tenant agrees to pay for smoke alarm testing at the start of the tenancy”

“if rent is not paid on time, a fee of $10.00 will be applicable”

are all common conditions added to the leases illegally and may cost you in fines and legal representation.

Leases not renewed

Do you have a firm lease in place? Did you know that some insurance policies will only cover rent loss if there is a fixed term lease agreement?

If your property manager has not renewed the lease (according to your instructions) this means that the tenancy moves into a periodic agreement. This type of agreement allows tenants to leave giving just 2 weeks notice.  Should there be an insurance claim on the property, a periodic lease may leave your claim null and void.

Ensure your lease is a fixed term agreement unless specifically arranged with your property manager. A periodic lease may suit you if you are looking to sell the property or perhaps you are planning to move back into the property in the near future.

Inspection reports not being completed

Inspections must be completed at a minimum of every 6 months or as agreed in writing on your Form 6 with your real estate agency. Generally, inspections are carried out every 3-4 months unless there are long-term tenants in place. Inspections that have not been completed at least every 6 months may affect any insurance claims.

Application forms not complete

When an insurance claim is made at the property, one of the first documents asked for by the insurance company is a copy of the tenant’s application form. Insurers need to verify that your agent has done every check available on the tenants prior to leasing the property to the tenants. No records or having an incomplete application form could jeopardise any insurance claim.

Bonds not being increased

The bond on any property should be 4 weeks rent. This is a Queensland standard and important to note that all insurance companies know this. If the agent has failed to increase the bond (generally after a rent increase), the insurance company will calculate the claim based on the Queensland standard, not the amount held. Depending on the shortfall of bond money, this could be in excess of $100.

No key documentation

A photocopy of the keys provided to the tenants should be kept on file to compare the set of keys returned at the end of the tenancy. Without this receipt, keys may need to be cut and copied or even locks changed.

Incorrect commissions or fees being charged

For this, you need to refer to your Form 6  – the agreement between you and your real estate agency. This form should show clearly what your agent will charge you and when. Any fees or charges that are not on this form cannot be charged and should be refunded to you.

It is your real estate agency’s legal obligation to ensure you have received a copy of the completed Form 6.

Need help?

If you are unsure of these documents and processes simply ask your agent or get in contact with us.

If your property is located on the Darling Downs and you would like an independent audit of your files completed with no obligation, feel free to contact us on 07 4642 0007 or email

How important is the entry condition report?

Blackbird and Finch Blog - How important is the entry condition report?

How important is the entry condition report?

Blackbird and Finch Blog - How important is the entry condition report?Completing a thorough entry condition report may seem like a tedious task, particularly when you are in the middle of moving, however, this document is one of the most important documents when you are renting a property.

The entry condition report is the basis of the condition of the property when you move in and the document that is referred to at when you move out. For this reason, it is extremely important that the document is valid and correct.

In some offices, the Property Manager that completed your entry condition report may not be the one completing the exit report, so it is important to have a thorough entry report with photographic evidence should there be any issues when you vacate the property.

On move-in day, your Property Manager will provide you with their copy of the entry condition report and ideally would have photos attached to the report to refer to items in the report. It is highly recommended that you don’t sign an entry condition report if you have not checked the condition of the property.

Once you are handed the keys and the report it is your turn to assess the property and ensure that the comments made by the Property Manager are accurate. If there are any comments to add to your section of the report, you will need to provide evidence of this, such as photos.

There are very strict timeframes when completing your entry report. The Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA) has advised that tenants must return the report within 3 days, not 3 working days, therefore if you move into a property on a Friday, then the entry condition report must be returned on Monday.

We recommend completing the report before moving any furniture or items into the property as boxes or other items may limit your view of the carpet or walls.

Keep your comments short and to the point but precise. Stating that there is a ‘mark on the wall’ is not sufficient, however, ‘black mark on west wall 160cm high’ is more detailed and less likely to be disputed.

Another common area of dispute is the word ‘dirty’. If an item is dirty – you need to be more specific. Is it dusty? Is it easily wiped off? Is it a stain that cannot be removed? These are all valid questions that a Property Manager will ask if you have used the word ‘dirty’ on an entry report.

If you have issues with your entry condition report the best course of action is to discuss your concerns with your property manager immediately. Remember that for an entry condition report to be valid it needs to be signed by the Property Manager, signed and initialled by the tenants (where required) and returned within 3 days.

6 Reasons tenants leave

Blackbird and Finch Blog - 6 reasons why tenants leave

6 Reasons tenants leave

Blackbird and Finch Blog - 6 reasons why tenants leaveA vacant property can and does affect not only your cash flow but your yield. A quality property manager and a solid marketing plan can help find a tenant quickly, but often being aware of why a tenant is leaving can save you the added costs of securing a new tenant.

These 6 issues seem to be the most common reason why tenants leave.

1. Lack of maintenance

Good quality tenants love their home and often make suggestions to improve the home. These requests may include cleaning the gutters or fixing small maintenance issues. While some requests/suggestions can be excessive, responding to the maintenance by attending or advising the tenant why it is not proceeding, keeps the tenant informed and demonstrates that they are a part of the process.

2. The Property Manager

Unfortunately, this is a little more common than expected. Many inexperienced Property Managers treat tenants unfairly, often not giving them time to address their concerns or even responding to any issues. Tenants may feel bullied or like second-class citizens and will most likely move as soon as they can if the Property Manager is the issue.

3. Rent increase

Many tenants are aware that rent can be increased by CPI. They monitor the rental market and may are conscious of the current market conditions. Increasing your tenant’s rent in a high vacancy market may prompt them to see what other properties are available.

4. Change of circumstances

The most common reason for a tenant to break their lease or not renew it is a change in their circumstances. Children grow up; marriages and partnerships breakdown and job changes, are all valid reason why a tenant may choose not to renew the lease, and is one of the issues that an owner may not be able to help or prevent.

5. Lack of features

Renting a home in winter with a fireplace seems like a great idea, but often summer comes and the tenants want to be able to cool the home down with an air conditioner or fans.

Including features such as air conditioners, dishwasher, or security screens can all be added incentives for a tenant to remain in a property.

6. Short-term leases

Many new investors are fearful of locking a tenant in a lease for more than 6 months, however, this can make a tenant uneasy as they feel they do not have a long-term secure home. Discussing lease term options with tenants is key in building a good relationship.

Communication is the key to maintaining a good relationship with your tenant. Quality tenants are worth holding onto and if there is something that can be done to ensure they remain your tenant it may be worthwhile. After all, a tenant is an integral part of successful property investment. Don’t let yours get away if they are worth holding onto.

Take your agent for a test drive

Blackbird and Finch Blog - Take your agent for a test drive

Take your potential agent for a test drive (part 1)

Blackbird and Finch Blog - Take your potential agent for a test driveLooking to sell your home or investment property in the near future or rent out your home? If you haven’t selected an agent to work with, a great way to shortlist potential candidates is to take them for a test drive, just like you would if you were buying a car.

I would recommend clearing your diary from 10am-2pm on a Saturday and either buy The Chronicle or check out and select four or five agents to visit. There are many factors to consider when selecting an agent, in fact, you could write a whole book about it. Characteristics important to one person won’t be important to another person, so here are a couple of tests to give you a starting point.

1. The ‘are they on-time test’

A regular complaint about real estate agents, salespeople or property managers is that they are always running late. Prospective buyers or tenants have been waiting out the front of the property to inspect it and the agent arrives 5-10 minutes late. I have even heard of property managers that didn’t turn up at all for a scheduled inspection, leaving the existing tenant to show prospective tenants through.

Yes, sometimes things happen, but an organised, systemised, real estate professional will have processes in place to deal with this. Agents that don’t allow sufficient time to finalise the last open home, lock-up the property, travel to the next inspection and set up the next inspection are doing a disservice to their client and customers.

I recommend arriving for each test drive open homes 5 minutes early to see if the agent is on-site and ready to go and if they aren’t ready to see how late they do arrive.

2. The ‘why are they selling test’

I like to conduct this test on agents that I am conjuncting with (they have the relationship with the seller and I have the relationship with an interested buyer).

It has always astounded me what an agent will tell you just by asking the question “why are they selling”. I’ve heard about the death or sickness of a family member, separation or divorce, the sellers have purchased another house and have bridging finance or they are in financial difficulty.

Some sellers may be comfortable for their agent to disclose their reason for selling, but I believe it is only courteous to ask the Seller what they would like you to say.

Now, it is really nobody’s business why anyone is selling their property. All a buyer needs to know is that the seller has no further use for the property. The reason buyers ask this question is simply to determine if there is an element of desperation to the seller’s reason for the property to be on the market. Or to put it bluntly, is there an opportunity to grab a bargain as the sellers are highly motivated and the property must be sold?

I believe that agents that divulge the seller’s real reason for selling are doing a disservice to their clients. When asked this question, an agent should just deflect this back to the buyer by asking them why they are looking to purchase to try and find out the buyers motivation.

3. The ‘how negotiable are the seller’s test’

On your agent test drive, I would recommend throwing in this supplementary question after the agent has responded to your questions on why the sellers are selling. Again, it amazes me how often an agent will give away money that is not theirs to give away.

Now we all know that most advertised prices are negotiable, but an agent needs to answer this question as though the sellers are in the room listening.

Based on the three tests above, as you leave each open house, ask yourself the question, “do I want that agent representing me and my property?” In the next blog I’ll give you a couple more tests for your potential agent.

How to rent to family or friends and not start a food fight

Blackbird and Finch Blog - How to rent to family and friends and not start a food fight

How to rent to family or friends and not start a food fight

Blackbird and Finch Blog - How to rent to family and friends and not start a food fightRenting to family members can often cause the biggest family disputes. Family barbeques can turn into World War 3 with just a snide comment or overheard word. Somehow the ‘tenant’ is made to feel less of a person than the ‘landlord’ in the relationship which can cause conflict. More often than not, siblings renting to each other seems to be the main relationship that can cause the most tension.

Understanding both sides of the transaction can help maintain the relationship and meet the financial goals of everyone involved. After successfully renting to family myself, I would like to pass on a few of my best tips on maintaining a good family relationship with a business one.

Treat the property like a business

The landlord’s property is a business. It is designed to create wealth through property growth and rental yield, giving them a secure financial future. Making sure that everyone is aware of this at the start makes it a little easier in the long term. Using terms like ‘nest egg property’ and ‘superannuation house’ might help the tenants understand that this is a business and not a favour.

Set boundaries

Depending on your relationship, setting clear boundaries can help maintain a separate relationship. Boundaries could include:

– All queries regarding the property, rent, maintenance and lease should be in email form only
– No talking about the rental at family or social gatherings.

Keep inspections separate

You may wish to negotiate inspections with the tenants as you may be visiting the property more than a standard landlord. I recommend not commenting on the property condition while at the property socially as this can really upset a tenant and you might not be invited back.

Know the rules

There can be tax implications and insurance implications when renting to family members. Insurance policies can state that three-monthly inspections must be carried out and if you fail to do these, you may not be able to claim any insurance. Check your policies thoroughly.

Make the tenants feel important

Why? Because they are. You as the landlord are receiving rent from them, but you also have the peace of mind that they are looking after the property like it’s their own. If you don’t have that peace of mind, you shouldn’t rent to them. If you feel obliged to rent to a family member (e.g. your mother-in-law wants you to) but you are not entirely happy about it – engage a property manager to manage the property for you.

Engage an experienced property manager

You may be thinking that renting to family or friends might save you money in agent fees. Yes, it will, but if things go wrong it could cost you your relationship with the tenant. Are you prepared for that to be an outcome?

If tensions are rising and you are not seeing eye-to-eye, contact an agent immediately, don’t let it get out of hand. Hiring an agent will allow each party to air their grievances and have an expert guide them in what can be done to rectify any problems.

Even if you do engage a property manager, maintain the rule at the family barbeque of not talking about the rental property to ensure that a food fight doesn’t break out.

Why agents collect your details at inspections 

Blog Blackbird and Finch - Why agents collect your details at open home inspections

Why agents collect your details at inspections

Blog Blackbird and Finch - Why agents collect your details at open home inspectionsAs consumers we are rightly very protective of our privacy, and of our personal details and so it can be confronting when you attend an open home inspection and the agent is taking your details before they let you into the property.

However, it is important to understand why agents are collecting your details and what happens to that information and what your rights are around that process.

What information do agents collect?

Typically, the information includes your name and address, your phone number and your email address. Sometimes they may require additional information such as a driver’s licence.

Why agents collect information:

There are no secrets about why we collect this information. Primarily it is a security measure. We are taking groups of people through someone’s home and it’s important to know exactly who those people are.

However, we also collect the information as part of our ongoing research into the market. Your address and/or your postcode helps us understand where the bulk of our potential buyers come from – are they from nearby suburbs or have they come from further afield? This helps inform our marketing decisions and how we advise our clients.

We also collect your details so we can help you further on your purchasing journey. We may take an opportunity to contact you to discuss what type of home you’re looking to buy and to offer similar properties that we are selling.

What you can do:

You are entitled to refuse to give your details to the real estate professional. However, please understand this may preclude you from entry to the property.

You can ask how they will use this information and they may have a privacy statement for you to view. You’re also entitled to ask the agent to not add you to the marketing list, or to only contact you regarding the property you’re visiting that day.

Ultimately, as agents, we are protecting our clients by ensuring we know who is in their property. But we’re also doing our research and offering our services to you as buyers, because that’s what we do.