We continue or Property Management Challenge Discussion in this 3 part series. (view part 1 here)
The role of the Property Manager continues to evolve and get harder, the responsibilities increase with increased legislation, challenges with communications to landlords, creditors and tenants.
Tribunals are getting tougher and have higher expectations of property managers to provide precise, orderly paperwork and unbiased evidence to support their claims. The need to know all relevant legislation and the upkeep of constant changes. Plus if you manage properties that cross state boarder, you must be aware of both states rules, regulations and legislation.
How you handles these dilemmas and constant change will determine how you cope, mentally, emotionally and physically and how your role really does affect potential business revenue gain or loss.
Mid-2015 we ran a panel of 5 leading professionals in conjunction with Elite Property Manager to answer some of the issues you face on a daily basis and how to deal with them effectively.
Chaired by Fiona McEachran from Console, and videoed in the Console Brisbane office, the featured panelists were:
- Karen George from Richardson & Wrench Caboolture
- Laura Valenti from Solutions Property
- Michael Papantoniou from List Property
- Jess Kindt from Place
- Troy Woodward from Jeff Jones
Part 2 of the Panel (3 part series)
Fiona McEachran: With these changes, are your businesses trying anything new in terms of managing these processes or in terms of your marketing and presenting yourselves?
Troy: We’ve tried you know a lot property compliancy in terms of its safety. So you need to look ways to assist landlords in becoming aware of those issues that not all property managers will pick up on. So you may consider some safety issues on properties. So, you know it’s important to be involved with companies that can do that for you and make your owners aware of those issues too.
Karen: Now I agree with Troy. In our industry, in our area, there are some businesses that we don’t take on from a property management point of view because the property is not in the condition that we can successfully manage it professionally and carry out our job.
Fiona: What is happening with commissions?
Jess: Yeah it’s always, I was just about to say, it has increased dramatically, I remember you know…
Fiona: Oh your commissions have increased dramatically?
Jess: Yeah, I mean our overheads have so why should not our commissions. I guess that’s where we educate our new owners. You know, our overheads increased because we need to ensure that you’ve got the very best staff working on your properties. So why wouldn’t they pay? You know you’re not going to buy the BMW for a Barina price.
Laura: I remember 10 years ago, you just have to go to the property tick, tick, tick. Everything’s “Is it alright Mr Owner, Mrs Owner..”. But now they all expect photos. Some of them are expecting videos. And someone’s gotta pay for that. You know, we invest in software so that we can go out and do these inspections on our mobile devices and take photos. And that takes time, that takes money, and that takes my experienced property managers going out there and doing it. So of course you’ve got to pay.
Michael: The proportionate competition serve the value that you’re adding and that’s why it’s an education to the owners cause a lot of the time, the owners don’t actually know what we’re doing. So actually educating them and showing them what actually is in the background, on what’s happening to their property, that’s how we actually show value.
Fiona: So how exactly do you do that?
Troy: It’s about building the relationship with their property manager. Usually that’s where it starts.
Laura: It starts with the sign-up process. So we don’t promise anything that we know we’re not going to deliver and we’re not gonna go against legislation.
Jess: We have had to, I guess, adapt to the fact that face-to-face is starting to become less frequent. And even people that are local are time poor. So let’s put together something that’s great electronically that’s not only informative and covers us as an agency but is also attractive to the client.
Fiona: Is that in the form of an email?
Jess: We use a streamline free listing kit. It’s designed by head office. I guess from that perspective, we make sure that the communication and our standards are streamlined across all of our offices. That‘s our role. So that we are I guess, under-promising and over-delivering in a sense.
Fiona: The thing is, with these higher expectations, are there things that can be done better and more efficient?
Karen: It comes back to what the landlord needs and what they want, and what time they have. So do they want a quick nuts and bolts report that says “I’m looking after things. I trust you and leave in your capable hands?” Or are they someone who says, “Look, I’m watching every dollar because money’s taught for me, and this is my life investment I’ve got in your hands. So I really need to know who’s doing what, when they are doing, and how much it’s costing me”. So to them they get a full report. Some mainstay owners, this is a financial investment for them that they just want me to really do what they’re paying me to do. “I just want to know, the money’s in the bank, this is being done, my house is in good condition”. It has to be flexible for every property, everyone’s unique and that’s how we treat them…
This article was originally published in the first edition of Elite Property Management
About Fiona McEachran
Marketing Manager, Console and Editor of the ExpertAgent Community
Fiona McEachran is the Marketing Manager for the Console range of real estate software at Onthehouse Holdings.
Fiona manages the Console team, driving the brand strategy and implementing the marketing tactics using both web and traditional advertising, promotions, events and campaigns.
Fiona has over 10 years’ B2B and B2C marketing experience, and has led successful campaigns encompassing planning, website development, email marketing, SEO, SEM, direct mail, e-newsletters and more.