Twenty twenty has been an unusual year for everyone, and not in the least for everyone in the property industry. So in this post we’ll offer a few tips that will hopefully help landlords, investors, agents and everyone else with a professional interest in property to have a happy and prosperous property new year in 2021.
First, review and update your strategy. First and foremost, a new year is always a very good time to review your portfolio and update your strategy for the coming year. No one can really advise you on the best strategy here other than to say you should have a strategy .... and you should review it regularly!
Property prices are strong right now, so could it be a good time to sell some of your property? Then again, with some landlords exiting the market could now be a good time to buy?
Aim to become more tax efficient. Changing tax laws over the last few years, especially Section 24 changes, have completely altered the investment climate. So it’s more important than ever to plan ahead for tax and aim be as tax efficient as possible.
It’s likely that firm proposals to change the Capital Gains Tax regime will be announced sometime during 2021. So keep tabs on the latest developments and see how higher, or different, Capital Gains Tax rules might impact you. As ever with tax always take professional advice where you need it.
Keep tabs on new legislation. New laws affecting landlords, tenants and agents have been coming thick and fast over the last few years. 2021 is likely to be no exception. Aim to keep an eye on new legislation, and new proposals for it, and assess how it might affect your business.
The law on evictions is in something of a fluid state at the moment due to Covid. But, longer term, new laws may well alter the landlord-renter relationship permanently. It will become more important than ever to retain good tenants, pick new tenants more carefully and ensure you’re compliant with every rule and regulation.
Any progress, or lack of progress, on the delayed Renters’ Reform Bill is something to watch out for during 2021. This is likely to give enhanced security to tenants, remove the Section 21 evictions process yet offer a more streamlined evictions process on other grounds, change the tenancy deposit system, give tenants more rights of redress and impose higher standards on letting agents. It could also clamp down on rogue landlords – something that could actually be to the benefit of professional landlords.
A minor new law, but one that shouldn’t be missed, is that requiring mandatory electrical safety checks. This applied for new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and will apply to existing tenancies from April 2021 in England.
Benefit from new technology. Although technology has been developing apace in the property business, where it’s known as proptech, over recent years Covid has greatly accelerated its progress. Buyers, sellers, renters and landlords are now more willing to do things online than ever before. So it’s important not to be left behind. Look at how you can use proptech to be more efficient, save and make money.
If you don’t use it already, 2021 could well be the time to consider what benefits Apex27 can offer your sales or letting agency.
Give your marketing a makeover. Marketing has changed dramatically in estate and letting agency over the last decade. There’s been a shift change from using press advertising, sign boards and window displays to online marketing. Not just that, but online marketing has moved along fast too. There’s now a huge movement towards using content, images and video to promote property for sale and to let. (Portals Rightmove and Zoopla have even changed their listing formats to take account of this.)
So take a look at how you might be able to use more and better image based marketing, video tours and maybe even live video tours. Also, here’s a useful blog post on how to make better use of content marketing.
Look to the future now. (It’s only just begun!) As one door closes, another door opens is something that’s particularly true in property. Although over the coming years it’s likely that some property investment strategies won’t work as well as they used to, there are bound to be other strategies that will work even better.
Student property has been a sound investment strategy in recent years. But now is definitely a good time to consider the future for the student property market.
If you feel that buy to let doesn’t fit your strategy any longer consider if there might be other opportunities that would suit you better. For example investing in land, or taking advantage of the current turbulence in the commercial property market.
Property investors could consider how they might be able to take advantage of upcoming build, build, build planning reforms. You could also investigate what opportunities the upcoming creation of new national parks might offer.
A trend that has emerged from the Coronavirus situation is working from home. The working from home trends offers both challenges as well as opportunities for everyone in property.
Lastly, whatever your position within the property market, remember this: If you can survive what 2020 has thrown at you, you can probably survive and succeed in anything that 2021 will bring too!