What does 2019 have in store for you?

Yikes! For most of us, there are only three more working weeks left of the year…

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to think about 2019. What will this year look like to you? What do you want to achieve?

We all have things we want to achieve, whether that be growth within our business, a monetary target, a new job, a promotion, education and learning that we want to do but have never made time for or something as simple as being as being able to organise yourself in your daily activities.

To get to where we want to go we often need to set goals. And though we all know the importance of goal settings, a lot of us think about it, but the implementation and completion are not as successful.

With any goal, the challenge lies in ensuring you break it down into realistic step-by-step mini-goals to ensuring that you can celebrate the small wins along the way whilst knowing that you’re on track to achieving the big picture.

It’s easy to say “This year I want to make x amount” but knowing what you need to actually do to get there is the challenge.  It starts with writing these goals down, setting a realistic time frame of when they should be completed and then putting the energy into reaching them!

Here are a few simple steps to set your goals, so 2019 can become your year of achievement. Follow our SMARTER goal setting….

  • Specific: Define the goal you want to achieve and why
  • Measurable: Be able to quantify the goal
  • Achievable: Determine if you can realise the goal
  • Reasonable: Is the goal worth your time?
  • Time-based: Establish a timeframe for reaching the goal
  • Energy: What energy is required to achieve your goals
  • Risk: What is the risk of achieving or not achieving the goal

If you reach your deadline and you’ve haven’t quite reached your goal, so what? Keep going! Not achieving your goal doesn’t mean failure. It just means you may need to reassess what you want to achieve and break down those mini goals again and again. Assess what you did right and what you could do differently, develop a new plan and keep going. The biggest mistake is not actually trying!

We love helping you set goals and plan for success, so if you’re after some help with your 2019 goals, feel free to get in touch with the Real+ team.

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How to Avoid the Cold Turkey – The benefits of being proactive not reactive

As a Property Manager, there’s nothing worse than getting a call on Christmas Eve from a tenant with a broken oven and who has 30 people coming for a hot Christmas lunch!

To try and avoid these dreaded calls over the summer break, we recommend a thorough audit of repairs and maintenance items including outstanding repairs, appliance services and a pool, gutter and garden maintenance check.

We also recommend you:

  • Speak with your preferred trades and ensure they will be available over the break to help out any tenants with emergency repairs
  • Let them know your closure dates and who to contact if they need to carry out any extensive repairs and give them a limit on small repairs to be done without your authority
  • When sending tenants your end of year closure email, have clear instructions on your preferred tradesmen including, plumbers, electricians, pool companies and locksmiths and ask the tenants to contact you with any new repair issues no later than 2 weeks prior to your Christmas closure date
  • Call any tenants who have outstanding repairs and arrange these to be done before Christmas
  • Speak to your Landlords about any seasonal maintenance required, such as air conditioning services, smoke alarm services, pool pump services or gutter cleans.

With summer set to be a scorcher, keep your cool by being proactive in your repair and maintenance schedules, take the hassle out of the Christmas break and keep your tenants in a merry mindset.

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Commonly missed deductions

Depreciation is a complex area, so unless you’re a specialist Quantity Surveyor or a qualified Tax Accountant, it can be hard to wrap your head around it.

As such, investors miss deductions all the time, meaning they could be losing out on thousands of dollars.

Research shows that 80% of property investors are failing to maximise the deductions claimed from property depreciation.

So why are so many investors missing out and what deductions commonly go missed?

Why are deductions missed?

There are a few reasons why deductions may be missed or not maximised.

  • The first is that many investors remain unaware of depreciation and that it’s even a valid claim. This is possibly because it is a non-cash deduction, meaning the investor does not need to spend any money in order to make a claim. Furthermore, they may not realise the significant deductions available and may falsely consider it a minor claim not worth their time.
  • They may not be getting a specialist to prepare a tax depreciation schedule. Quantity Surveyors are one of a few professionals recognised by legislation (Tax Ruling 97/25) to have the appropriate construction costing skills to calculate building costs for capital allowance claims. You should ensure you seek the services of a Quantity Surveyor who specialises in property depreciation to ensure claims are maximised. A specialist will have up to date knowledge of legalisation and the tools and tricks available to maximise deductions in a legally compliant manner. They will also ensure that no asset goes unaccounted for.
  • Many investors are unaware that they can make a claim for renovations completed by a previous owner. So long as they fall within the qualifying date for capital works, these previously completed renovations are a valid claim and can provide significant deductions for current owners.
  • Unusual or small items often go overlooked. Even if they’re aware of depreciation, many investors don’t realise that things as simple as door stoppers, shower curtains and spa bath pumps can attract a depreciation claim. While they may seem small, these items can really add up in a depreciation claim.
  • Some investors will choose to make a self-assed claim. This is risky for a variety of reasons. Many investors do not have the technical knowledge of a trained professional and as such, they can overlook important items or make an incorrect claim, which may mean it is not compliant and puts them at risk in the event of an ATO audit. It’s always best to get an expert on board to prepare your tax depreciation schedule.

What assets are commonly missed?

As previously mentioned, renovations made by previous owners are commonly missed. Speaking of renovations, if an investor is currently completing a renovation, they may be eligible to scrap any assets they’re getting rid of in the renovation. This means they can claim the remaining depreciable value for certain assets. This can be commonly missed if a specialist Quantity Surveyor has not provided assistance.

Furthermore, a Quantity Surveyor will know how to make use of different strategies and tools to maximise deductions sooner, such as the low value pool. If this is overlooked, it can result in valuable deductions going unclaimed.

Finally, small or unusual items are often overlooked, deemed too insignificant by investors to warrant making a claim.

Some examples include:

  • Garbage bins
  • Door closers
  • Rugs
  • Smoke alarms
  • Exhaust fans
  • Electric clocks
  • Freestanding bathroom accessories
  • Shower curtains
  • Spa bath pumps
  • Garbage disposal units
  • Tennis court nets
  • Automatic window shutters
  • Freestanding garden sheds
  • Intercom system
  • Electric water filters
  • Ceiling fans
  • Solar garden lights
  • CCTV systems
  • Water feature pumps; just to name a few

These deductions may seem small, but they do add up for property investors and should not be overlooked.

What’s the solution?

When it comes to property depreciation, it’s always best to employ the services of a Quantity Surveyor that specialises in tax depreciation, such as BMT, to prepare a tax depreciation schedule for your investment property.

This will not only ensure that these deductions are not missed, but that deductions for all qualifying assets are maximised and compliant with ATO legislation.

This schedule will cover the life of the property, can be easily used by your Accountant when preparing your tax returns and will ensure that these commonly missed deductions will not go unnoticed.

Article provided by BMT Tax Depreciation.

Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.
Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit 
www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia-wide service.

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Honouring our Customer Commitments

We are now on the downward stretch to the end of the year and with this will come lots of festivities and excitement. Also looming is the new years resolution – the commitment for the year ahead! When we make a commitment, we do so with a clear mind on what the outcomes of that commitment will be – we are investing ourselves to the expected outcomes. 

We should consider this with all of our customer transactions and ensure that we are honouring our customer commitments.

  • Discuss and agree on Service Level Agreements – an example of this would be around communication, whether it be online communication, phone communication or email – an agreement  to manage the expectation on response from both parties should be discussed to avoid disappoint or frustrations. It is easy for simple queries to escalate if they are not managed within an agreed upon time frame.
  • Management of funds – Helping your landlords and tenants understand their financial commitments to each other and how you will assist in ensuring a smooth transition to honour your obligations as the agent will help to minimise any stress. Discussing options for payments by the tenant and also the options available for the landlord, how the disbursements are managed for maintenance and utilities and any flexibility you offer in disbursing the landlord funds will show you are engaged with the importance of this function.
  • Data driven decisions – no matter what decision we are making in todays world we look for data to help us, help us compare, help us assess and ultimately to help us decide. So being on the front foot and having data readily available to share to your customers through your marketing channels will help them feel reassured in their decisions. Regularly sharing success stories to your existing clients helps for them to feel secure and comfortable and will also give you great selling tools for attracting new business.

Most importantly, remembering that any decision to invest in a commitment is done so in good faith so the more you can put in place to ensure that you make this a positive experience and show that you have considered the clients needs, will build trust and minimise stress on the partnership.

If you take a small amount of time to find solutions and highlight how this sets you apart you will be confident in the service you can deliver.

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