It’s a new year, and with that often comes a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration. For many people, it’s also a time of year where work may be quieter than usual, and you’ve got more downtime for reading and research. If you’re spending some time planning your property investing year ahead, here are six tips to help focus your thoughts and attention.

Put together a budget
Whether you’re looking to hold your current portfolio or buy or sell properties in 2020, make sure you do a budget that reflects these needs. This is particularly important as the lending environment continues to be volatile at times. Review all of your expenses and income and earmark if there’s extra money you want to put towards investing in 2020.

Review your leases
Check the leases across your property to take note of the end date and set calendar reminders ahead of time to prompt your property manager to send a renewal to the tenants. Also, think about the different ways you can keep a tenant if the market is favourable for tenants around the lease end date. For example, you could forgo a rent increase. Further, making sure your lease renewals fall around busy periods in the market is helpful too. These busy periods are typically January and July.

Start your market research
Being aware of the sales and rental markets where your investment properties are located, plus the markets where you’re looking to invest is a great way to get ahead before you start looking at property. To get your research started, look at figures on the completed sales or rental agreements in your area for the last six to 12 months. Similar to your leases, you can add a reminder to your calendar to complete this research on a regular basis.

Expand your location horizons
It’s common to default to locations that we know when it comes to buying property. Lesser-known areas, however, could be exactly what you’re looking for in your next investment. If you’re partial to Sydney and Melbourne, expand your research to the smaller capital cities and regional centres to get an understanding of different markets.

Review your investment goals
Based on your market research and where you expect the market to head in 2020, you may want to adjust your investment goals.

Speak with your team
Take the time to check in with your advisers, including your lawyer, accountant and any other professionals who help you on a regular basis. It’s an excellent time to chat through your plans and goals for the year and potentially optimise your strategy.

Investing the time at the start of the year for planning and research will set you up for success in 2020, no matter what your plans are for the year ahead.