|Posted on 6 June, 2020 at 22:35|
I had a memory pop up on Facebook this week and realised I'm on the verge of the first year anniversary of running my own business.
The concept of going out on my own stemmed from a realisation that mentally and physically I couldn't keep running the way that I was. I was in constant fight-or-flight mode.
I love working with people and I love the industry. Most Property Managers will tell you, it's the workload that's the killer. For those with a care-free personality you'll survive fine. The care-free personality is the one where you go into work on a Monday morning and instead of smashing out your repairs and maintenance reported from the weekend, you instead sit and talk about your personal life for the first hour. I wish I could be like that! I needed to start looking after my own health and well being. I needed to be in charge of that.
Before I started out I never planned on establishing an instant portfolio of properties. It doesn't work that way. As business had always been through word of mouth I accepted that my business would be organically grown this way. I never relied on anything else. I can't control the actions of others.
I worked four jobs for the first couple of months. I cleaned in a resort on weekends in Rainbow Bay. I had my hobby candle making, creating my PM business from scratch, trying to support my teenage Son to achieve and a part-time job of an evening. I was working up to 55hrs a week for months with all four jobs requiring a completely different mind-set.
After a couple of months, I had to give the candles and cleaning away. I spent most of winter being sick as my immune system was constantly down. I then gave myself 12 x months to setup building the necessary foundations to offer my clients a strong Property Management service. I did most of my own Accounting, Marketing, I.T., business structure, Bookkeeping and what I didn't know I learnt how.
I was determined to keep my costs down until the business reached a sustainable position where it could outsource some of these jobs.
Today, I'm blessed to be surrounded by quality tenants and owners. I also have interests outside of property management and I'm hoping to eventually squeeze in a little study. I have a great sense of satisfaction. I love my new life. It's been extremely stressful and hard work but the end results are worth it.
I hold dear the friendships with industy colleagues and old bosses (you know who you are!). Thank you so much for your support, I really appreciate it. I couldn't have gotten through without my family, closest friends and trades that I've worked with for the last 15yrs.
I'm looking forward to the next year then the year after that and the year after that. A high performing agency or property professional isn't about the four walls you've surrounded yourself with. It's about true care-factor of the individuals that fill the agency. You strive for your clients to succeed in their property ambitions as much as you want to succeed yourself. This isn't about having the fancy office, the multi-million dollar franchises or a pretty bank balance! It's about sharing your personal experiences, knowledge, PR skills and drive that facilitates your clients to live the life they choose to live. Not the life that consumes them with worry, stress and lack of confidence.
|Posted on 24 October, 2019 at 23:00|
1. Ever heard the saying “no news is good news?" That’s not always the case in Property Management! There’s a multitude of reasons why you may not hear from your Property Manager, such as –
• Ceased employment, (yes it’s a high turnover industry sadly!).
• They've reached a point where they’re so overloaded they just haven’t had the time to let you know the hot water system has been leaking.
• Tenant requests have been disappearing into a ‘black hole’.
• Lack of care to proactively work with your tenant to keep up to date with what’s happening at your property.
Unless you trust your Property Manager 100%, no news is not always good news.
2. It’s very common in the real estate industry for an unhappy Vendor or Landlord to give notice to cease management, or, to enter into an open listing to sell. For Property Management, you’re never ‘stuck’ with your agent. Management Agency Agreements provide a clause where you can give notice to cease management – this is usually 30 x days. Whether you have an existing fixed term Residential Tenancy Agreement in place has no impact on your right to cease management.
The Residential Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding agreement between the tenant and landlord, not the tenant and agency, therefore it can be transferred to new management easily.
3. I’ve leased properties to a wide demographic of both low-socioeconomic, and, high end of the market tenants. In my experience, there are good quality tenants in every demographic and price range. Having an experienced Property Manager with stringent application processes in place, and a high level of service to offer, will dictate the quality of tenant.
The quality of tenant is never dictated by your asking price.
4. When making service comparisons between agencies on the regularity of the routine inspections of your property, ensure you base your decision on the experience of the Property Manager carrying out these inspections. Ask yourself -
• If the maximum of four inspections being offered per year is simply a marketing plan to secure your business?
• Will the Property Manager appointed to do these be highly qualified, and, genuinely concerned your property is being cared for?
The regularity of routine inspections are best customised to suit; location of the property, tenant in residence and the age of the property in relation to repairs and maintenance.
|Posted on 19 September, 2019 at 23:10|
The process of securing a rental property in a high demand market is no different to securing a job. We’ve all been there at least once in our lives and gone through the process. On average, you could be one of 100 other people applying for the position. Each applicant as enthusiastic and well suited for the position as you are. Each employer with their own process of how they go about employing the ‘right’ applicant for the company who will be the best fit for the position. Not all employers will acknowledge you in the way you deserve or expect to be. Not all employers will respond to you - regardless of the time you have invested into attempting to secure the position. If you are unsuccessful - the employer may not give a reason why you were unsuccessful nor are they obliged to provide constructive feedback to the level you desire.
Top 5 strategies to stand out from the crowd –
1. Just like applying for a job, read the advertisement carefully. When a property manager is receiving 40-80 enquiries on each property advertised, they may prioritise their responses firstly to prospective tenants asking questions that the advertising doesn’t already cover. Information typically covered in the advertising is usually; term of the lease, pet preferences, when the property is available and how to inspect.
2. Lodge your enquiry online where the advertising states online enquiries only. It’s not that the property manager doesn’t want to speak with you, it’s just an effective way for them to manage the sheer volume of enquiries. I’ve been saying for years I’d love a job where I just get paid to purely sit around and talk to people all day. Unfortunately, the daily workload an agent needs to plough through prevents them from having this luxury. Online enquiries also equip the agent to have a valuable reference of information to pass onto the landlord. When I’m in leasing mode, I work 24/7 however this is online only whilst outside of business hours. I’ve advertised properties in the past on a Friday and by the following Monday I’ve; closed off enquiries, organised the first group to inspect and taken online applications to commence processing for owner approval. Perhaps if you intend on calling, allow the agent a reasonable timeframe to respond to your online enquiry first then hopefully a chat will soon follow at your convenience.
3. Stand out from the crowd. When submitting your online enquiry, rather than just ticking the standard boxes, (inspect, length of the lease, date available) include a short summary of yourself. For example, family of four with a small outside dog moving up from Melbourne requiring a property within the next month. Look at the comments section as an opportunity for your enquiry to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the agent reading it.
4. When applying for the property ensure you submit all the necessary supporting documents required. If an agent is processing a substantial number of applications on various properties with a line-up of applicants and landlords eagerly waiting for responses, they may not chase you for missing information. Give yourself the best chance of your application being successful by filling out and submitting all the necessary information required. KC uses 1Form which is an online application you can pre-fill and upload your supporting documents into. All that’s then left to do is link the advertised property to it that you wish to apply for on receiving an inspection code from KC.
5. Why not raise the bar and mention a few qualities about yourself beyond the standard expectations of a landlord. I often hear prospective tenants advise they are excellent tenants because they pay their rent on time and look after the properties they have rented. This is a very lucrative trait for a landlord, however, this is also standard expectation of what’s required of a tenant within their Residential Tenancy Agreement. There are also many other prospective applicants with the same qualities. Patience, flexibility, understanding and the ability to effectively communicate during tenancy are also highly sought after qualities that are desirable to a landlord. Hopefully the agent you choose will show you the same qualities in return.
On a final note, we’re all in the same boat. Agents and prospective tenants are both; time poor, dealing with a multitude of people, attempting to remember each parties situation along with attending numerous property inspections. Aside from the process of vacating, it can be one of the most stressful aspects of property management for all involved. It is also the most rewarding when you finally secure that quality tenant, or, for you the property. I look forward to reaching this outcome with you.
|Posted on 21 August, 2019 at 22:10|
The landlord is responsible for pest control during tenancy - false.
• As a general guide, if pests are present on your arrival; i.e cockroaches, spiders and fleas then it is a landlord’s responsibility.
• During tenancy it is generally a tenant’s responsibility.
• Don’t forget, certain cockroaches (i.e. German Cockroaches) love to wreak havoc on the fine electrical components of dishwashers. They normally start in the kitchen so keep an eye out for any damage they might do.
I didn’t return my Entry Condition Report therefore I haven’t agreed or disagreed to anything - false.
• As an Additional Term, where the landlord in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 provides the tenant with a signed Entry Condition Report, and, the tenant has not returned it within 7 x days of receipt then the tenant will be deemed to have accepted the condition report.
• Don’t get caught out on vacating – have your say at the start so there’s no surprises in the end.
I don’t have a lease anymore, it expired - false.
• Unless either party gives adequate notice, (in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010) in the lead up to the lease expiring then the lease automatically falls into a periodic agreement.
• All the same conditions apply until the agreement is terminated, or, a new agreement is entered in to.
My dog only lived outside and didn’t have fleas therefore I don’t need a flea treatment on vacating - false.
• Residential Tenancy Agreements will provide a clause stating that the tenant agrees to have carpets professionally cleaned and property fumigated where animals have been kept on the residential premises regardless.
• Ensuring the property is sufficiently fumigated, along with proof of receipt, gives the landlord and the next tenant peace of mind.
If anything is missed in preparation for my exit inspection I am automatically entitled to go back - false.
• Never assume you will be automatically entitled to access a property once possession is given.
• During the exit inspection “If the agent or landlord raises something that is minor, you may be able to deal with it on the spot” Source: NSW Fair Trading.
• Speak with your agent prior to your exit inspection about any queries on fair wear and tear or damage you’re not sure about.
• Good, open communication between all parties prior to your exit inspection will pave the way for a speedy bond refund.
Sources; NSW Fair Trading, Residential Tenancies Act 2010, Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010.
|Posted on 6 July, 2019 at 13:00|
Choosing the right agent to manage your investment property can be one of the most nerve-wracking decisions you will make in real estate. Will the agent you choose share the same level of care you have toward your property? How will your property look in 5yrs time under their management?
You may decide to base your decision from an emotional perspective allowing the selling agent to manage your property as your purchasing experience was a positive one. Or, you base your decision on the performance of the managing agent. Basing your decision on the performance of the managing agent is a good start. But how do you siphon through the number of agents battling for your business? I'm here to assist by arming you with some questions that will form a solid comparison of service.
Let's start with the most common question prospective clients ask - commission. The old saying you get what you pay for truly applies here. A high performing, hard working and diligent agent is worth spending the extra 1-2% commission on. After all, it will be the experience and quality of service delivery from that agent who will save you money and heartache throughout the management. Property management involves a great deal of logic, common sense and interpretation of the law. You don't want to be dealing with an agent who can't execute this (for your own sanity if anything else!).
In larger offices, you may have a BDM (Business Development Manager) whos sole purpose is to secure your business. Ensure you meet or have the opportunity to speak with the person who will directly be liaising with you on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, the success of your property will rely on the individual agent who is appointed as the main person in charge. This is the person you should speak with.
Never assume agents holding certain positions within an agency have the appropriate qualifications, experience or registrations. Ask your agent how long they've been practicing property management for. Are they suitably qualified with the appropriate registrations required? Give them a couple of hypothetical complex situations and ask how they would handle those situations. I've seen new people enter the industry and on their first day they're suddenly a "Specialist". Your agent could be someone who has never done a day of property management in their life. They could have been a cleaner prior to the job who thought property management would be a glamorous position. They could have been a tenant with also no experience, rising out of the woodwork claiming they'll 'give it a go'. In my experience, the average portfolio a property manager is responsible for, prodominately on their own, is around 50 - 100 properties minimum. Allowing someone to manage a large portfolio with no experience or adequate training is like asking a plumber to carry out the work of a builder. Why settle for the plumber when you can have the builder!
Agencies manage their portfolio in different ways. How the portfolio is managed will have a direct impact on you, your investment and your bottom line. It is a good idea to ask if the portfolio is a POD structure - where various people are working together toward a common goal, you! You might deal with one person for maintenance, or, another for rent, or, another for lease renewals. Property management requires precision in communication. This is where a POD structure can either be a well oiled machine delivering excellence in customer service, or, a ticking time bomb. My experience has been managing all aspects of the portfolio. Having one property manager dealing with all aspects of the portfolio in my opinion works best. Providing that the appropriate support systems are in place for that person.
If you are dealing with an experienced property manager, they won't mind discussing their triumphs with you. Hopefully you will share these triumphs if this is the agent you decide to sign up with. Personally, I find leasing and resolving disputes the most rewarding (in the end!). Ask your agent what was one of the most rewarding triumphs they've had recently and what impact did that have on the client.
I've worked with and know some of the best property managers in the industry, (if you're reading this you know who you are!). I've also seen the worst. Don't be fooled by a shop front, job titles or buzz words in advertising that are just meaninglessness 'fluff' without any substance to them.
Choose wisely, you deserve the best.