Kiarna’s New Lease for City Apartment Investors
It’s fair to say that apartments are unlike any investment product on the market. There are considerations and strata regulations that require a different approach in order to fully maximise investor returns.
Kiarna Blythman knows too well about the subtle nuances that put apartments in a category of their own.
This is why, after eight years’ experience across all aspects of property leasing and management, Kiarna has joined M/Property as its Business Development Manager. She has assumed the role with a keen interest in demonstrating the value of specialist apartment management to rural owners of city apartments.
“Trusting your investment apartment to someone who only deals with stand-alone houses is like sending your boat to a car mechanic,” Kiarna said.
“There is no question that an apartment investment offers great benefits to those looking for a low-maintenance foothold in the urban marketplace, but there are definitely aspects where it is advantageous to have someone on the ground with knowledge of strata legislation, maintenance requirements and tenant selection tactics.
“M/Property only deals with apartment leases. It seemed a perfect fit for my scope of experience.”
Kiarna has held both ground-floor to senior positions in property sales and leasing, including Sales Administration, Strata Assistance to Property Manager and Leasing Manager.
She joins a highly experienced team of property experts and is backed by the expertise and resources of M/Group; a company that cut its teeth on apartment developments.
M/Group Managing Director, Mr Lloyd Clark, said the introduction of a property management firm to work exclusively in apartment leasing and management was done to fill a gap in the market.
“As a company, our vision has always been to provide our clients with a holistic experience, and we recognised early that engaging a standard property management business to assist our apartment investors did not provide an ideal outcome,” he said.
“Since we launched M/Property, we have grown to become one of Perth’s largest apartment management companies and have helped hundreds of investors through complex apartment and strata issues.
“Our extensive database of prospective tenants can be effectively matched with a depth of knowledge on most apartments complexes across the Perth CBD, Fremantle and surrounding suburbs.
”Kiarna is a welcome addition to our team and is available to provide more detail about our services and offer to anyone looking to upgrade their current management arrangement.”
For more information or to make an appointment with Kiarna, please contact 0499 909 116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Improve the Occupancy and Profitability of an Investment Property
While REIWA reported its September Quarter vacancy rate at an encouraging 2.9%, the stats drawn from apartment property management specialists, M/Property, were even lower at 1.97%. As experts in this sector, they believe there is always scope to improve the occupancy and profitability of an investment property.
M/Property is one of the only specialist apartment management and leasing companies in the State. With a dedicated leasing team and over 18 years’ experience in apartment management, the company manages over 600 apartments at any one time.
M/Property Senior Property Manager, Tammy Smith, says that even though the vacancy rate is low in WA, Perth apartment investors can still miss out on valuable and quality tenancies simply by not understanding what is important to the renter.
“We are experiencing a market shift in Western Australia towards long-term renting as a lifestyle choice. This represents an incredible opportunity for property investors,” she said.
“Unlike conventional homes where size and space are often the important factor, when it comes to apartments, location, presentation and flexibility are paramount to both the existing and emerging apartment rental market.”
Tammy says apartments close to community infrastructure, those with access to great facilities and ones outlooks tend to get snapped up, there are a range of other factors that a property investor can control to attract and retain great tenants.
- Sell the dream with professional photography
Rental properties traditionally don’t get the same promotional treatment as homes available for sale. However, in a competitive market, owners will get more interest and potentially higher rentals if they ‘sell the dream’ with professional photography during the marketing phase.
- Add value with furniture
While not for everyone, adding a furniture package to the mix can significantly increase the rental return. A well-furnished apartment can rent out for 25%-75% more than unfurnished apartments. The cost of furniture is also often tax deductable.
- Be flexible with pets
Pet-friendly apartments are increasing in demand as more renters opt for making their apartment a long-term home. In fact, many States across Australia are changing legislation to make it easier for pet ownership in rental properties. Why not get ahead of the game to lock good tenants in early.
- Engage an approachable team
There is nothing more off-putting to a renter than being made to feel like a second-rate citizen. Ensure your property management team are approachable and responsive to not only the renters’ concerns, but also yours.
Tammy says a property management team with a sound knowledge of strata management is also imperative for apartment investors, together with a good relationship with building/facility managers and a solid database of good tenants to source the best tenant for the apartment.
For more information on M/Property services visit www.mproperty.com.au.
Apartment Living and Today's Market
Where would you say Western Australia’s unit living/apartment market is currently at?
The property market in general is cyclical. It follows a bell-curve pattern that sees prices peak at the top of the market and level out at the bottom. Investors and market commentators monitor this process carefully to maximise investment potential before an upwards shift occurs. The apartment market is not immune to this cycle and we are currently experiencing a lot of movement from investors. This signals that we might have hit the bottom of the cycle, but also that an expected upturn is likely to take place due to our strengthening economy and record low interest rates.
All this aside, most know that the enduring nature of property means that if you tick the boxes of location, limited supply, quality build and unique design, apartments are likely to hold their value for the long term – regardless of market factors.
Do you think more people are moving into and living in apartments than say, 10 years ago? What traits about apartment living do you think have contributed to this?
When Match started building apartments almost two decades ago, we were conscious of a global shift towards apartment living. There were certainly sceptics that believed Perth would always favour the house and land ‘dream’, but we weren’t so sure. Fast forward eighteen years and our predictions have all come true. There is a definitive lean towards apartment living and awareness of the economic and environmental aspects associated with continuing the urban sprawl. Many are trading that plot of land on the outskirts of the city for lifestyle and location. Apartment living just makes more sense.
What kind of demographic of people are living in apartments in 2019? Is there a mixed variety?
The range of people being attracted to the apartment lifestyle is now as diverse as their reasons for doing so. We see young and upwardly mobile singles and couples wanting to make the most of their proximity to cafes, CBD and nightlife, and we’re also seeing families preferring to raise their children close to the beach rather than in the thick of suburbia. Perhaps the most exciting market group are the downsizers, who are all about creating an idyllic and ‘low maintenance’ lifestyle without moving too far from their families or where they have lived for most of their life.
What future do you see ahead for Western Australia’s apartment market? Do you think it’ll continue to grow, and why is this?
The underlying factors that will continue to support the apartment market include population growth and an increasing market trend towards apartment living. The value-system of the emerging generations will be key for driving demand for new and architecturally appealing apartment designs. As more people gravitate towards apartment living, we will see an increase of amazing spaces. This represents incredibly exciting prospects for individuals as well as the Perth streetscape alike.
We’ve come a long way since the ‘cookie-cutter’ apartment blocks that were primarily built for the investor and rental market. Apartments today are considered architectural spaces that focus on the end user and their varying tastes and preferences.
Just as you would have earlier discerned over the features of a stand-alone house, we are now finding that people are drawn to apartment designs that reflect their personal taste and lifestyle preferences.
The more distinctive, rare and well-located the apartment is, the more value you are intrinsically buying into.
Comments by Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
Trading a 4x2 for the World’s Biggest Swimming Pool
Barry and Jennie had watched their children grow up in their 4×2 Bullcreek home. However, like many others throughout Perth, they decided to trade their big family home for an apartment and chose Form by Match at Port Coogee – an area Barry tells his grandson has the ‘biggest swimming pool called the Indian Ocean’.
Prior to making the move, the couple knew they wanted to stay near Fremantle, although were a little unsure about such a big change.
“We came out and had a look at this site five times. We went to other apartments in the same precinct, but wanted a plan that was quite straight forward with an outlook. We didn’t want to feel claustrophobic,” Barry said.
“What sold us on this place particularly was the position – we’re not over-looked and we’ve got views across the park and the sea – we didn’t actually realise we had sea views until we were about to move in. I think that was the clincher for me.”
The couple moved into one of the many north facing apartments at Form by Match; a boutique 50-apartment complex located just 50metres from Port Coogee Marina and adjacent to parkland.
Designed by reputed Architects, Geoff Warn of Donaldson & Warn, the property was designed to respond to the environment and offer residents an uncompromising lifestyle.
It features a bright, white and timeless interior colour scheme, air conditioning, polished reconstituted stone benchtops and Bosch appliances with breakfast bar.
“I think there are an awful lot of people who live here that have made the same lifestyle change. You can be at the beach and then somebody says, “oh this is so good” and I say, ”yes it is isn’t it”, and then you find out that they’ve done the same thing as you by downsizing and moving here,” Barry continued.
“They often say they’ve bought bikes and like that there are bikeways all the way down to Jervoise Bay, as well as being able to walk into Fremantle. We’ve joined the North Coogee Surf Life Saving Club as social members. It’s got restaurant, bar and music on Sundays, and just up the road in Spearwood there’s the Phoenix Park Shopping Centre and a few other little places we regularly go out to eat. We also go into Fremantle quite a lot.”
“We’ve been told that Coogee Beach was named the second-best beach in Western Australia, and we believe that too because it has so much to go and do; scuba diving, snorkeling and families with their children swimming. No matter what time you go there’s people on the beach, even at eight o’clock at night.”
“(The grandchildren) absolutely love coming down here. They get their ball out and play soccer with their poppy down in the park or they’re down at the beach digging and playing.”
Construction on Form by Match was completed late last year by Match’s in-house construction company, M/Construction, which meant they could achieve a high level of quality control throughout the building process. The project sold over 50% of the apartments prior to completion and is now ‘move in ready’.
“I sat down the with Jennie the other morning and said that I feel so guilty that I haven’t got any gardening to do,” Barry said.
“We sit on the balcony and eat our meals and we just watch the world go by. Neither of us have actually regretted or felt a loss for our last place. We’ve looked forward to moving here and haven’t looked back.”
Form by Match apartments are available in one, two and three-bedroom layouts and are priced from $335,000, $449,000 and $749,000 respectively.
For more information visit www.formbymatch.com.au or call 0432 660 066.
Two Apartments Emerge at ‘Sold Out’ South Terrace
Just weeks before M/28 Apartments by Match on South Terrace is complete and becomes ‘move in ready’, two luxury apartments have been made available in a complex that ‘sold out’ within months of release.
M/28 is a mixed-use building comprising of just 20 boutique apartments on the popular South Terrace coffee strip. The building is deliberately designed to present as understated with naturally inspired materials and palette, which take inspiration from the Fremantle culture and nearby heritage-listed community hot-spot, The Local.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said the decision to release the remaining two apartments was not originally planned by the company, but provides new opportunities for those wanting to live in arguably Fremantle’s most cosmopolitan location.
“The apartments attracted overwhelming interest when we released them. It was clear that the opportunity to live in such beautifully designed apartments in the heart of Fremantle’s busy café strip was extremely attractive,” he said.
“No doubt there were many disappointed parties who missed out on securing an apartment in this tightly held location, which makes the current release an even more exciting prospect for many.”
The apartments have been designed in collaboration with respected and award-winning architects David Barr Architects and Cameron Chisholm Nicol Architects.
Every design detail has been considered to deliver an understated and functional design statement that reflects contemporary coastal living with high quality finishes, such as timber, engineered stone benchtops and concrete-porcelain tiles. The apartments also achieve a comparable 4-star Green Star rating; an aspect sighted as extremely important to people living in the area.
M/28’s exterior façade continues the natural theme which incorporate timber screens. This feature is reflected in the lobby with timber ceilings and concrete-look finishes.
The property also includes commercial sites on the ground floor, offering a potential ‘live and work’ option with an extremely visible South Terrace street frontage.
“The release of the last two apartments at M/28 by Match and availability of commercial space on the ground floor opens a lot of doors for those who really want to embed themselves into the Fremantle culture,” Mr Clark continued.
“This new release is without question a highly attractive proposition that is unlikely to last very long.”
The site falls within the development zone approved for a street upgrade and revitalisation by the City of Fremantle. This includes additional trees, landscaping and upgrade to footpaths between South Street and Douro Road.
M/28 by Match is due for completion in June, and is open for viewing now.
For more information visit www.m28apartments.com.au or contact 0432 660 066.
M/Group Makes Move to Consolidate Apartment Portfolio
Boutique property conglomerate, M/Group, has taken its next strategic step towards providing a fully integrated-service model that supports its work in the apartment sector; a sector it cut its teeth on some 17 years ago.
The company’s recent move into new West Leederville premises has consolidated an offering that includes fund management, apartment development, construction, maintenance, sales and an emerging dominance as Perth’s only apartment specific management and leasing specialists with M/Property.
M/Group Managing Director, Mr Lloyd Clark, said he is particularly excited about the growth of M/Property and the proposition it presents to apartment investors.
“We have worked in the apartment market long enough to know that the sector’s leasing and management demands are extremely different to that of a tradition stand-alone suburban house,” he said.
“Not many would send their car to a boat mechanic, so we figured why would they entrust an investment apartment to a company that does not have an intimate understanding of the product type. The success of M/Property is testament that this notion holds merit in the Perth marketplace.”
M/Property currently manages over 600 apartments making it one of the largest and only specialist apartment management leasing companies in the State. It has a dedicated leasing team, which is unique in the marketplace, reflecting in a vacancy rate well under the current REIWA industry average.
Further, its success has been achieved over the last four years in an environment where the emerging online ‘do-it-yourself’ portfolio is an option. The company is looking to grow its business organically, however, is open to acquisitions from other business operations that recognise the specialist nature of the apartment market.
“Some of our clients had previously explored online service models and soon realise that the process of leasing and management is more complex than expected,” said Senior Property Manager, Tammy Smith.
“M/Property’s success has been a result of good old-fashioned service, backed by the latest technology, software systems and resources. Our clients get access to an in-house 24/7 maintenance service that is trusted by Government, universities and top corporates.”
Mr Clark believes M/Group’s integrated service model ensures its Property Management division has full control over the apartment pipeline.
“Having an inhouse construction and maintenance team is critical to the management of quality control and providing a high standard of outcomes for our clients,” he continued.
“This is particularly pertinent for apartment owners who want to protect their investment and ensure that the people building the complex are also the ones maintaining it.”
M/Group subsidiary, M/Construction is independently engaged by organisations such Curtin University, Programmed and a number of local and State Government agencies for maintenance services and minor works projects.
For more information on M/Property services visit www.mproperty.com.au.
Taking Terrace Home Living to the Next Level
The boutique introduction of 16 exclusive beachside terrace homes is filling a gap for people looking to acquire full ownership of striking low-maintenance architecture within metres of the beach.
M/31 Terrace Homes by Match is located just 4km from Fremantle within Landcorp’s Shoreline coastal masterplan development at North Coogee.
The terrace homes are meticulously designed by award-winning architectural firm, Cameron Chisholm Nicol, and offer full ownership of both home and land title.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of M/Group, parent company of Match, said the terrace home designs are in keeping with Landcorp’s vision to create an environment that delivers something distinctive for the emerging coastal market.
“M/31 Terrace Homes by Match draws inspiration from the surrounding native landscape, with Tuart and Sheoak trees, sand and limestone. However, each residence offers so much more than a stunning façade and interiors,” he said.
“When you acquire an M/31 Terrace Home by Match, you actually take full ownership of the entire beachside property. You can lock up and leave, or simply enjoy a great lifestyle living on the beach, just a short drive to Fremantle. It’s an emerging community environment that is stacked with capital growth potential.”
LandCorp’s new Shoreline precinct is a secure coastal environment with extensive parkland and landscaping. The terrace homes are centrally located within the precinct, and plans are in place for a beachside plaza with shops, cafés and restaurants.
The well-appointed three-bedroom terrace homes include open plan layouts that integrate indoor and outdoor living and offer complete customisation internally. Each home comes with, a double carport, access to a common ‘mews’ area, and is architecturally designed to maximise light, space and breeze.
Construction of the properties will be subject to a streamlined process involving the engagement of Match’s sister company M/Construction. This provides the owner with a high level of quality assurance throughout the building process backed by a strong track record and body of work that includes bespoke homes.
“Match is renowned for taking cues from the environment to develop properties people want to live in. Our internal development model ensures we delivery on this promise and that each residence is of the highest quality,” Mr Clark continued.
“M/31 Terrace Homes by Match introduces beautiful living spaces in a central and highly desirable location. The potential for growth in this coastal region cannot be understated, and the limited number of homes available make the proposition even more attractive.
The first release of just five lots of these three-bedroom M/31 Terrace Homes by Match are affordably priced from $585,000. Titles are scheduled to be issued in March 2018 with construction immediately following.
More information can be found at m31terracehomes.com.au or contact an experienced Match Sales Consultant on 0432 660 066.
Heirloom by Match Wins Coveted Heritage Award
Boutique apartment company, Match, stole the show at the 2017 Western Australian Heritage Awards for its work in transforming Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores into unique residential industrial warehouse apartments.
The $130 million heritage restoration project took home awards including the ‘Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place’, and the prestigious Gerry Gauntlett Award; recognising an outstanding achievement of adaptive reuse in Western Australia.
The project, which was developed in collaboration with Capital Joint Venture Partner, Sirona Capital, is one of the largest heritage renewals in the State, and award judges acknowledged it as a “…massive undertaking that required Match to reach above and beyond to find innovative solutions to conserve and enhance original heritage fabric whilst satisfying building, safety and utility requirements as well as customer expectation.”
The site had sat largely unused for 20 years and the judges said the project is “a testament to the dedication and financial commitment of its owners.”
Managing Director of parent company M/Group, Mr Lloyd Clark, said the awards are a great honour and ‘icing on the cake’ for residents who are now experiencing how it feels to live in the depths of history.
“Drawing on our experience with heritage renewals, we knew from the outset that this project would present challenges, however we also saw it as an extremely important opportunity.
“Match is in the business of developing signature properties. It is our firm belief that people want more from their homes, and today new apartment owners are creating their own space amidst 100 year old Jarrah beams and original heritage features,” he said.
“To be honoured so significantly at the Western Australian Heritage Awards is a credit to the tireless work of the entire project team, who left no stone unturned to make this building as special as it now is. It is an extremely proud moment for M/Group.”
Heirloom by Match was designed by Dominic Snellgrove of Cameron Chisholm Nicol and constructed by national top tier construction company, Built.
The development team worked in collaboration with the City of Fremantle, State Government and heritage authorities to achieve a positive outcome.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said the Fremantle Council is a big supporter of adapting heritage buildings for modern uses.
“It’s hard to imagine a better result than what we now see at Heirloom. After being tired and run down for decades, the east end of Fremantle has become a very attractive place to live and work. The Heirloom development has been a major driver in this ongoing transformation,” he said.
“Congratulations to Match and the development team for their passion and commitment to ensuring our heritage buildings are retained for future generations of people to enjoy.”
Heirloom by Match has retained over 85% of heritage fabric across 183 apartments. It has exposed the buildings infamous saw tooth roof to allow natural light and airflow through a spacious central atrium.
“Heirloom is unquestionably Match’s most significant development project in the company’s 16 year history. Its location close to Fremantle’s café strip and between the river and the beach is ideal, and it has helped to activate the City of Fremantle’s plans to extend Fremantle’s activity centre into its eastern corridor gateway,” Mr Clark continued.
“The renewal process was sensitive in nature and proved extremely complex. However, the recognition and accolades we have received are both humbling and extremely rewarding.”
Match had previously received the coveted Gerry Gauntlett Award in 2008 for its highly acclaimed Home warehouse apartments located in Perth CBD. The company is also responsible for the heritage-listed Maymont in Maylands, which effectively injected new life into the area, as well as a range of cutting-edge design-inspired apartment properties throughout Perth.
Heirloom by Match has available ‘move in ready’ apartments from $450,000 and two-bedroom apartments from $650,000, with a limited number of harbour facing Lofts available from $950,000.
A small number of residential leasing opportunities also exist to approved applicants.
The Heirloom display apartments are open by appointment. For more information visit www.heirloombymatch.com.au or contact 0432 660 066
M/24 by Match Construction Completed
Construction completion has been achieved at M/24 by Match located in Leederville. The striking façade sits proudly on Carr Place giving this apartment development a presence like no other in the area.
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