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7 Random Questions with Antonio Mesiti

How is the Rental Market faring so far in 2022!

So far, it’s been busy, very little vacancy has meant that properties are moving quickly and there’s been a lot of demand. I suspect it’s been a mix of open borders, people coming back to Sydney & also a tighter market with many investment properties having been sold to owner occupiers over the last couple of years.

After a couple of years of high vacancy rates and reduced rents this is positive, tenants do need investors to be attracted in investing to keep things levelled out. This tightening means we’re seeing slight increases in rent across Sydney.

Have many of your clients cashed in & sold in Sydney’s crazy market?

Just 3 properties from our portfolio sold in the 2021 “boom” cycle. One client sold so that he could go back to Uni and fund his studies, another sold a property that was going to need a lot of work soon and really need the TLC of an owner occupier.

Lastly an owner sold because of huge Strata Levies, a common problem really where buildings need to raise capital works funds, it can be financially devastating for some owners so I’m not immune to receiving a levy due in a months’ time for $30k at times. That’s especially shocking when owners haven’t been reading their Strata meeting Agendas’ and minutes.

How often do inspect the Properties you manage?

I’ll physically inspect two months after a new tenant moves in and then 8 monthly. Some of our longer-term tenants only have annual inspections as they’re essentially settled. Aside from inspections I see tenants in their homes for many other reasons so essentially, I’m on the front line anyway, not having an office means I’m at the properties I manage for meetings etc. I feel that 6 monthly is really too regular a frequency unless something specifically needs to be monitored.

How do you find good tenants for the Properties you look after?

I find that meeting them and talking to them when I show the properties is the biggest starting off point, I’m not really just checking them on paper after I have their application. I know who I’m checking, what they’re looking for, wanting and what we discussed at the property.

Doing my own showings really sets to scene for the application to approval process which is pretty exhaustive too when considering affordability & other references that we need to check. Finding good tenants really is the Key to everything else!

You really couldn’t come up with many roles that have this much variety, It is never boring.”

“In some of the Traditional agencies I really believe that some Property Managers are set up to fail. The amount of properties they have to manage, tasks and responsibilities consistently increase with little notice and there is never a solid contingency plan for when staff are on sick or annual leave or when they resign. Poor organisation basically and one person can only take so many calls and respond to so many emails.”

Do you find your job to be really difficult?

Well, it’s a career firstly! Ha-ha. I’d say that it’d be best described as frustrating at times, more so than being difficult.

When you’ve been doing it as long as I have it’s more likely you come across a situation that you’ve dealt with before so you know what to do and when.

The frustration essentially comes from people not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

For example, tenants not paying rent, not moving when they’re supposed to move and when you just have so many balls up in the air things can be tough to juggle. Dealing with difficult people well that’s frustrating too but I think we all come across that in any role.

But difficult, not really, I’ve always said, we’re managing properties and not curing cancer so we don’t have to take it seriously all of the time, it’s best described as problem solving.

Why do you think Property Managers don’t have the best reputation?

Because we’re so undervalued & underappreciated, or just overworked and overloaded.

In some of the Traditional agencies I really believe that some Property Managers are set up to fail. The amount of properties they have to manage, tasks and responsibilities consistently increase with little notice and there is never a solid contingency plan for when staff are on sick or annual leave or when they resign. Poor organisation basically and one person can only take so many calls and respond to so many emails.

Sure, this career is not for just anyone, not for the faint hearted but I’ve been in agencies where if you don’t leave you just burn out and leave, leaving chaos and disaster behind for the next poor Property Manager. This is all down to understaffing to maximise the agencies profits. Some agencies, get that they need the right ratios and support staff in place.

As a result of this industries issues though, we now have an ongoing shortage and huge demand for Property Managers out there, many have just given up. Who can blame them post COVID, working with restrictions, doing their day-to-day tasks plus negotiating rental relief in some tough circumstances?

I could go on and on!

What are some things that surprise you in your day-to-day role?

Sometimes it’s surprising how popular a specific property is and how in demand it is from the minute it goes online, almost as though I wasn’t really appreciating the appeal from a personal point of view until the phone won’t stop ringing or an open home is absolutely packed with people!

My inbox can be pretty surprising at times, emails like, can you send someone to change my light globe and other adulting fails that I need to reply to.

I’ve become immune to a lot of the things I see in people’s homes, states of undress etc.

What surprises me the most can be really unexpected situations that arise, like a tenant or client’s death and where my involvement in those situations is needed.

You really couldn’t come up with many roles that have this much variety, It is never boring.

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– Antonio

Director & Property Manager