Archive for the 'Positive Relationships' Category

Property Management Advice from Sabine Slade

My name is Sabine Slade and I live with my husband in Kawerau. I came to New Zealand 26 years ago from Berlin, Germany. We own a number of investment properties throughout the Bay of Plenty which I manage myself.  A couple of years ago, other investors started to approach me about their properties and I now manage investment properties for others as well.

I find that being a Property Manager takes patience and the ability to deal with many different personality types, which is a challenge I thrive on.

Tips on looking for new tenants

I locate tenants through a mixture of advertising in the local papers and online via Trade Me.

Interested parties fill out an application form that includes a privacy waiver clause so that I can conduct full reference and credit checks. Sometimes searching for a new tenant can be an adventure, I have seen people give false details on the application form about their employment, credit rating or where they live. I often will have a browse on the internet as part of the checks for my clients. Social media sites can be helpful as well as the Tenancy Information New Zealand (T.I.N.Z) database.

From time to time smaller towns can have problems with unemployment and gang related issues, so every person who wants to move into a property I manage, has to fill out an application form, thus eliminating the chance that the well dressed, well-spoken and mannered working mother, gets the house and then has her gang affiliated partner moving in with her.  This may sound onerous, however there are usually fewer people looking to rent in smaller towns compared to the larger cities, so a strict vetting process  is much preferable than dealing with a bad tenant later on.

Given the size of the market I do not charge a letting fee, however I ask a full 4 week bond.  Once a tenant is found, the key word for retention is service.

Effective property management practices

When I ask prospective tenants why they are moving, the response many times was that the landlord is “slack”. The tenants had problems such as a stove or power point not working, or a leaking roof, notified the Landlord and nothing happened.   I try to solve any issues within 24 hours either by organizing tradespeople to visit and quote for the bigger jobs or we simply perform repairs ourselves if it is a smaller issue such as a dripping tap. This not only ensures a very positive tenant / landlord relationship but tenants will make more effort to keep the place well looked after. Saving money is good, but not at the expense of your tenants.

However quite often the tenants do not ring me with problems, so regular 3 monthly inspections are important. They keep me in contact with the tenant and also to keep up with any maintenance or repair issues.

I check the rents when they are due. If a payment is missed, I ring or visit the tenant letting them know that the rent was not paid and find out how they plan on catching up.
99% of the time they catch up when the next rent payment is due. If this does not happen I will give them a 14 day letter to remedy which is then followed by an application to the Tenancy Tribunal. In bigger markets property managers are stricter, however it can pay to show some flexibility to an otherwise very good tenant – at least for the first occurrence.

As a rental property owner it certainly helps if you have some sort of cash cushion. More houses means more liabilities and you should be in the position to replace a large ticket item like hot water cylinder or wood burner / heat pump if anything goes wrong. We experienced it ourselves when we wanted to insulate one of our rentals and the company giving the quote found several leaking spots in the roof, which had to be fixed before they would install the insulation. It could not be repaired and we had to re-roof the house at a cost of $12000 when we wanted to only spend $2500 on insulation.

Lastly I want to touch on maintenance. Often it can be tempting for an investors to let maintenance slide, however with a smaller buyer pool that has choice, properties in good condition will be vacant for shorter periods and attract better quality tenants who will stay longer.

April 16 2019 | Investments and Positive Relationships and Property Management and Tenants | No Comments »

How to keep your tenants happy

Keeping your tenants happy makes being a landlord a lot less stressful. When the landlord and tenant have a good relationship, issues like late rentals and property damage are kept to a minimum. It takes some work to establish these relationships though. The worst thing you can do is simply ignore a tenant and leave them to their own devices. Here are some tips on how to keep your tenants happy.

Solve Maintenance Issues As Soon as Possible
How quickly a landlord responds to a maintenance issue is an indicator of how much they value the tenant and how they see their relationship with them. Show that you care by addressing the issue quickly and keeping tenants up to date on the progress. It is vital to respond quickly to issues that can affect how much tenants enjoy living in your property. Even if it takes a few days for the repair to take place, tenants are happy knowing the issue was addressed as soon as it was reported. Consider placing a follow-up call to further develop trust.

Regularly Inspect the Property
Regularly inspecting the property is an important step in ensuring the tenant is caring for the property. The rental agreement may set requirements for property inspections, and they could be legally required. These inspections also give tenants a chance to bring any maintenance issues to your attention. Inspecting the property on a regular basis shows the tenant that you care about the property and reinforces the conditions of the agreement between you and the tenant.

Maintain Positive Relationships with Tenants
Maintaining healthy and positive relationship with tenants helps ensure they stay cooperative during their time renting. Listening to their requests and considering them, as well as responding quickly to their concerns and queries, establishes a rapport between the two of you.

You should carefully consider any request to change the conditions of the lease. If you reject their requests then let them know why. There could be clauses in the law or rental agreement about dealing with requests. Establish times for routine maintenance and when any work should be carried out.

Consider Their Needs
If you want to sell the rental property you must consider the tenant’s lease. A change in ownership of a house or unit is stressful for tenants because it makes their future uncertain and could lead to their whole life changing. Give your tenant as much notice as you can that you are planning on selling the property, and help them to determine what they should do next.

Landlords may have the right to regularly raise their rents, so check the agreement to see what your rights are. Tenants aren’t happy about paying more rent, but it could be necessary to increase the rent in order to keep up with the costs of maintaining the property. If you are going to raise the rent, then once again you must let tenants know in advance. If tenants understand that a rent increase is coming – and the reasons for it – they may be more inclined to stick with you.

Keeping your tenants happy is about being realistic. Even a careful tenant could damage a property as accidents happen. Establish a rapport with your tenants and take care of them to keep them happy.

February 23 2019 | Inspections and Positive Relationships and Property Management and Tenants | No Comments »

Tony Alexander on why Westerners are afraid / disrespectful of the Chinese

Tim Manning 阅读了 Tony Alexander 写的文章, Tony 是BNZ银行的首席经济分析师。 他发表了“与中国一起成长”的系列文章,其中列述了很多有趣的观点,值得您的阅读。

Tim Manning read an article by Tony Alexander (Chief Economist) on why Westerners are afraid /disrepectful of the Chinese.  (Scroll down for English translation.)



这篇评论由Tony Alexander 编写,他是BNZ银行的首席经济分析师。 文中观点仅代表个人,与BNZ银行无关。


  • 当中国成功的让世界历史上最多的贫困人口脱贫,
  • 当中国给予非洲的经济支持比西方国家过去上百年所做的还要多,
  • 当中国的经济在全球金融危机时增长超过40%,而其他西方国家疲于挣扎,
  • 当中国为西方国家的消费者提供了上兆亿的廉价产品,
  • 当中国用闭关锁国的五千年历史作为“和平崛起”不插手他国事务的最好举例?


对 这个问题的回答是 – 有很的原因,有的合理,有的则不然,虽然它们都是辩论的好题材。 这篇文章共收录了55个原因,除了第一个, 其他排序不分前后。 对于这些原因的研究始于2012年9月。收集的材料来源广泛 – 主要是从每天的新闻中取得,而不是从学术研究文献中获得。

本文的作者是Tony Alexander, 他是BNZ银行的首席经济分析师,在惠灵顿地区工作, 邮件联系地址为



我 们不知道在中国大陆的人如何生活以及他们在想什么。我们对他们的了解远不能使我们理解他们的家庭,生活,社会环境,欢乐,以及面临的问题。我们不知道在中 国,高,中,低收入家庭的居住环境会有什么不同。我们不知道中国的学校何时入学,何时毕业,不知道他们要花多久在大学里学习,他们的国家运动是什么,他们 的孩子放学后有什么活动,他们有多困难找到工作, 等等。


同 样,对中国领导人的了解也是如此。传统来讲,中国的政治家们远离民众,与民众通过书面交流,而不是口头沟通。他们也不参与任何家庭形式的活动(例如参加棒 球比赛,观看橄榄球和篮球比赛)。虽然在中国国内,前任的胡主席被树立成祖父式的领导者, 新一代的领导者已经开始使用一个类似于推特的网络帐号。


Why do Westerners fear or show disrespect for China when

•    it has produced the biggest movement of people out of poverty in world history,
•    has done more to provide an economic base for Africa than decades of Western aid have been able to achieve,
•    has grown over 40% since the global financial crisis while Western economies have struggled,
•    has delivered trillions of dollars in cheap goods to Western consumers, and
•    when China’s history for five millennia is one of physical containment as a near land-locked civilisation, which professes itself as having a “peaceful rise” advocating non-interference in other states?

There are many reasons, some valid, some not justified, and all good topics for debate. This document runs through 55 of those reasons in no particular order of importance apart from the first item. Research for this list started in September 2012 and although there will be factors relevant to the discussion which are not mentioned here, eventually a cut-off date had to be selected. The material comes from a wide variety of sources – mainly day to day media rather than academic publications.

The author Tony Alexander is Chief Economist at the Bank of New Zealand, is based in Wellington New
Zealand, and can be contacted at this email address

As noted, the 55 factors are presented in no particular order of importance, apart from the first. And it should be noted that one could undertake a similar exercise for every other country, including New Zealand.

Not enough Understanding of the Chinese Culture and Values

We do not know how mainland Chinese live and what they think. In the West people do not know the Chinese well enough to be able to see them in the same family, living, social situations facing the same joys, delights, problems, and procedures that we experience. We do not know what the inside of a low, middle or upper income Chinese house or apartment looks like. We do not know at what time schools start and finish, how long people spend in university, what the national sports are which children might play after school, how hard it is to get a job etc.

This is a problem because plentiful scope exists for imagining the worst about the Chinese, their values, their lifestyles, and their actions.

The same applies to Chinese leaders. Traditionally Chinese politicians have been remote from their people, communicating in written form and engaging neither in communication through oratory nor familiarisation through participation in typical family activities (attending a baseball game, watching netball and rugby) – though domestically efforts were made to portray previous Premier Wu as grandfatherly. The new Premier has started a Twitter-like account.

We cannot form an opinion as to the honesty and integrity of Chinese leaders which is very problematic because we continually judge and have systems in place to facilitate the judging of those who lead us in the West. Our system of rule is based around continual monitoring of those to whom we give power.

To view Tony Alexander’s website, please go to

March 11 2013 | Positive Relationships | No Comments »