2021 REI NSW Property Manager of the Year!

19/10/2021

A quick update from me.

I am so proud and honoured to share that I have been awarded the Real Estate Institute of NSW 2021 Award for Excellence. The 2021 Winner of the Tim Anderson OAM Residential Property Manager!

I was already floored to have been selected as a finalist among great company in my field, so very grateful for the win & opportunity to go to the National Awards in 2022.

It’s been really hard work to get here, not only in building The Management Agency but running the day-to-day operations to ensure the satisfaction of our clients & tenants.

The saying is true that hard work pays off, can’t thank everyone enough for their support & encouragement over these past few years, my family, my friends, You all know who you are.

Thank you to each & every one of my clients, for believing in me, my service and my business.

Thank you to my followers and readers, I do truly hope that I am, within my small scale making Property Management better and raising the standard.

Very Humbled,

Antonio

Locked Down… but not out!

19/8/2021

At the time of writing this we are 6 weeks into our 2021 Greater Sydney lockdown.

So future readers, will we be out of lockdown at the end of August? PLEASE let it be.

As Real Estate Agents in this current lockdown we really have to be grateful for the most part that we can continue working, albeit a lot differently but we can still work and carry out necessary tasks. Considering how many others are faring we must be grateful for that.

It sounds odd to write this but dare I say that, luckily enough, we know what the deal is by this stage. We also know how lockdowns work, their impacts and we know what help is available and to whom.

For Sydney what’s difficult this time around is that it feels like a backward step, having seen the economy here and the general mood improves over the first half of 2021.

In my world, the Property Management one that is, we had experienced a great year so far in terms of reduced vacancy rates, rents starting to stabilising and starting to increase as well. After 2020 I felt that we’d found our feet for sure and I think the sentiment is simply that we’ve all had enough of life with COVID-19 around us.

There is certainly less panic and shock that there was last year so thankfully, we still have tenants looking for properties, and those properties getting snapped up. People are still looking for new surroundings, more workspace to separate work & downtime, and trying new suburbs. As we’re now pretty well versed with our “new normal” we are definitely well placed to be able to give our clients, current & new, some certainty surrounding their investment properties especially when their property is coming onto the Rental Market during the current lockdown. While there may be some added concern because of some restrictions, we can thankfully follow the daily updates of the Real Estate Institute of NSW & Fair Trading to know what we can & can do as things evolve.

So, what’s happening at The Management Agency;

  • Plenty of one-on-one Inspections to show Prospective tenants properties, By Appointment & vacant properties only
  • Routine Inspections are delayed until restrictions ease, unless absolutely necessary, realistically we might need a couple of months to catch up on these
  • Urgent Repairs & Maintenance
  • Maintenance where tenants are agreeable to access & under a strict set of circumstances
  • Working through any requests for assistance via the assistance packages available to tenants & landlords
  • A steady stream of new clients coming on board with The Management Agency through July & at currently at capacity into September

As for our rental market, we’re yet to see any real impacts on rents or vacancy rates but of course, we’re monitoring and making any adjustments that are needed. Vacancy rates & rents are currently holding steady from what’s been a consistent year in lettings.

Aside from that, we are essentially working as per normal. Just like most other Sydney siders, we are trying to minimise our movements as well, with only the essential appointments taking place.

We’re here though, working from home as we always have. We just now have to be out of PJ’s and ready to go should someone want to see a property so that keeps us on our toes!

The new sign-off; “Stay Safe!”

Antonio Mesiti is the Principal & Property Manager at The Management Agency, a local Property Management specialist offering a one on one service for his Property Investor clients.

For more information visit; https://themanagementagency.com.au/about/

Happy Birthday to The Management Agency!

24/6/2021

Yes, I will do an anniversary Blog every year simply because every year I pinch myself and think 3 things!

  1. Where on earth did the time go?!
  2. How does this biz go from strength the strength?
  3. Thank god EOFY is over and done with, Happy NEW FY & Happy Birthday TMA!

Oh, then I answer the 2nd question and realise it’s from nothing but HARD WORK and some persevering through some pretty trying times.

I’ll try and keep it short & not too soppy.

Truly though, before I started TMA I honestly, wasn’t even certain if it’d gain the momentum (read clients) that we needed to survive, and then at certain stages over the past year I’ve stopped and asked myself “Where are these clients coming from.”?

The answer to that is essentially, Word of Mouth, and I love that. I like it a lot, so much so that I think I blog and do Social Media to share as much of my knowledge as I can and it’s not so much about marketing.

Second to Word of Mouth, a lot of people find me on Google now when simply searching for a Property Manager. Thanks to my amazing clients I have so many reviews that I simply get floored by.

What I know now that I didn’t know back then was that being a business owner is a tough gig, its hours can seem endless at times. You put in so much time and effort and you really do sacrifice your personal life for a time. You give up mini-breaks, beach days & social events a lot of the time. Oh if you do Mini Break your laptop is just that, in your lap, in the car on the way to said break.

But hey, it’s all worth it in the end. We’re working towards building something for the future, a service that is honest, trustworthy, and real. The other positive is that TMA provides greater freedom. The freedom to choose what we do, when we do it, and how we do it.

So, 3 Years in! Where are we going next? I don’t know. Does anyone know the future nowadays?

I just know our goals;

  • Continue growing, always organically, sustainably and selectively
  • Keep providing our Current clients & tenants the service that they want & expect
  • Share what we know and continue to learn as we go

We, my side kick Nelson & I, love this craziness. We love the running around, the stopping for lunch & coffees & the OH MY GOD moments we have often. We also love the dinners out when we’re too shattered to cook which happens a lot!

Thank you to everyone who supports, follows and spreads the word.

So grateful, beyond measure, for the love & support.

Antonio

For what it’s worth?

14/1/2021

Happy 2021! January has been a busy one already and I really didn’t think I’d get to post here until next month but I thought it might be good to dispel a small myth about Property Management only businesses.

This only just came to mind while writing about this for issue no. 7 of my Client Quarterly newsletter (TMA Clients Only Sorry), reminding my clients to ask if they need up to date & free market appraisals of their properties.

So here goes, a quick blogs’ a good blog!

How does a landlord stay up to date with their property value with no Sales Agents on my team?

This hasn’t really come up as an issue or a concern of potential clients so this is more of an FYI for any of my readers or those curious to know.

Well, it’s simple really, I work with several Sales Agents in Surry Hills, Redfern, Darlinghurst that cover the areas that I work across who are always willing and at the ready to provide any of my clients with an up-to-date market opinion of their property. This usually involves a quick physical inspection of the property and for something broader a quick online appraisal can be carried out; it all depends on my client’s needs.

What my clients do like, sorry salespeople, is that unless they approve of being contacted directly then all of their information remains private & confidential.

So, there you have it, a very practical way of ensuring my clients have access to knowledge across their investment and at the same time have that provided to them with minimal effort on their part.


Antonio Mesiti is the Principal & Property Manager at The Management Agency, a local Property Management specialist offering a one on one and end to end service for his Property Investor clients. For more information visit; https://themanagementagency.com.au/about/

2020 – Wrap it up!

14/12/2020

By this time of any year we’re ready for a fresh start, that takes on a whole new meaning after the year 2020 has been.

It kicked off with Bushfires, Storms & floods then Coronavirus.

We have had new Residential Tenancy Legislation and the ongoing need for many updates to legislation due to COVID-19. The Moratorium on evictions came in along with the Commercial code of conduct and other measures that have been put in place. There has been a lot going on and a lot to keep up with.

On top of this, we’ve seen high Rental Vacancy rates in the Inner Sydney Metro areas, something that I’ve never experienced in my time. A year of negotiating and compromising for all of us.

These last 2 – 3 months I feel like I’m only just starting to get into some kind of a routine when it comes to working in a different rental market. The main shift has been that prospective tenants have been out in force lately so properties are leasing quicker than earlier on in the middle of the year. People are seeing value in moving to larger or simply better properties that offer more in good locations and that’s driving most relocations. The fact that properties are leasing quicker is definitely positive where earlier in the year people were mostly staying put, I feel that’s a sign of consumer confidence coming back after some uncertain times.

I’m also noticing that the Inner suburbs are really starting to open up, foot and vehicle traffic around Surry Hills & Redfern are almost back to pre COVID levels and people are loving the feel of these areas seeming as they’ve picked up a lot of weekdays whilst the CBD itself is noticeably quieter. I suspect these signs of life during the week are driven by the many people that work from home in these areas getting out and about or finding more time to. In any case, that and warming weather is really bringing confidence into the rental market recently.

As we all know, we have a long way to go when awaiting a significant uplift when it comes to the economy. Some suburbs are really feeling it when it comes to demand from University students& international travelers. Areas like Mascot & Kingsford have higher vacancy rates than most and we still have so much available in Furnished Properties.

As for 2020 in Property Management, I’ll be honest, it’s been nightmarish at times. There’s been the need to carry out evictions, debt recovery & sadly the passing of a very long-term tenant of mine. We’ve had wins and losses but overall, I have to say The Management Agency got through unscathed and larger than it was when the year began, significantly. Considering the hardship that many others have experienced in 2020 it’s been tough to complain when we’ve had consistent demand and a workload.

2020. It’s been tough, it’s been super stressful. Let 2021 be nothing but an improvement on what has been.

Next year I’ll be bringing you more Need to know legislation updates, tips & of course New Properties to the market 🙂

Thank you for being along for the ride of us and I wish you all the very best for the New Year ahead!


Antonio Mesiti is the Principal & Property Manager at The Management Agency, a local Property Management specialist offering a one on one and end to end service for his Property Investor clients. For more information visit; https://themanagementagency.com.au/about/

The Management Agency will be closed for a much-needed break from 19/12/2020 and returning to work on 5/1/2021, Antonio

What I Don’t Do

18/11/2020

As a small business owner, I obviously understand that there is a need to focus on the positives, focus on the service offerings, and how the business can help each and every client.

We read, hear, and see all about what a business does all the time, however, we never tend to share or “advertise” what our limits are and what we simply will not do.

That said.

On principle, a lot of what I will not do revolves around not lessening what I do or cheapening the industry that I know and love. The day to day workload is underestimated and so much of it happens behind the scenes.

We all want to go out of our way for clients, but at the end of the day, we all have our limits.

I recently sat down for a chat with Allysha from “The Organised Boss” and we spoke about how liberating it is to simply not offer a service we don’t wish to or one where there’s little value for the client and/or ourselves. Simply not saying yes to everything can be really liberating.

So, here is what I don’t do, won’t do, and why that is. It may be on principle, logistics, or just simply down to profitability, which as a small business is obviously paramount.

Short Term Leasing or Management

I am in it for the long term. I work with property Investors and they all know it is a long-term game. What I focus on is building good relationships with my clients by focusing my time and energy on ensuring that my client’s investments are looked after and grow in value over time. I onboard clients that are on the same page as it is really not worthwhile to onboard clients who are needing rent for just 6 or 12 months and then it is, see you later Antonio!

Casual Lettings

This is where the owner simply needs a tenant placed in a property and then takes over the day to day management for themselves. I don’t offer this service, despite multiple requests, simply because leasing isn’t about putting in the first tenant that comes your way and then passing it over. There is a lot of legislation and regulations that need to be adhered to and since 23 March 2020, it only got more litigious.

Also, regardless if you then pass it on to the landlord to manage, if the landlord does not manage the property appropriately, the tenant still associates the agency that advertised the property in a negative manner and I will not put my business name and brand image at risk.

We are, The Management Agency, so needless to say we’re here to manage properties. 

Furnished Properties

In my experience, furnished properties lead to short term tenancies. I have always felt that it is in my client’s best interest that long-term tenancies are a better investment option. Having to regularly change tenants increases vacancy between tenancies, along with needing to advertise the property, and securing a new tenant, and so on, is not cost-effective for my clients.

As I have written of the advantages and disadvantages of furnished properties here previously, a constant changing over of tenants increases the wear on a property and also sees the owner incurring increased maintenance costs.

The Management Agency will always put its clients first and maximise their investment before profits.

Take on all and every Property

I don’t take on every property that I’m given the opportunity to manage as unfortunately, things don’t always align in that way. If it’s well out of my core area or the owner and I are not on the same page, then I won’t make assurances I can’t fulfill down the line. Further to that, I like to find out why owners are looking to change agents so that I can assure them that I don’t operate in the same way.

Taking on what were Airbnb’s and/or properties where there is animosity between current tenants and the landlord, I can’t always get involved if I don’t think the issues are resolvable. I always have to take into account the focus I need to give my current clients before securing any new business.

Negotiate on Fees

Oh, here’s a Biggy. Over the last year I’ve gotten a lot better at this and have unfortunately not won all the new business I go for because of it and that’s ok. I’ve done my years in agencies underselling or not believing in the service they offer.

I can’t be another flat fee, fee-free, or rent guarantee agent. Property Management is a tough gig at times. There are plenty of agents doing it on the cheap with huge numbers of properties under management but…you get what you pay for!

Keep in mind, for an agency to offer you a flat or low fee, that equates to a Property Manager needing to manage more properties in order for the agency to make a profit. So, if a Property Manager is managing a high number of properties, how much attention can they offer your property? Are they able to respond and attend to your property needs in an efficient and prompt manner?

If as a landlord you’re displeased with the service you’re getting at a Low Management Fee agency, there is a correlation here.

Like one of my clients recently said, you can’t go into Mercedes and expect to buy a car on a KIA budget.

The Management Agency is focused on ensuring that we look after our client’s properties as if it were our own, being able to effectively attend to our client’s property investment needs and eliminating the stress that comes from owning an investment property, so that is why we don’t negotiate on fees.

Make promises I can’t keep

I will never make promises that I can’t keep. Simply put, If I can’t do it, I won’t say I can

For everything that I do, I ensure that it is done well.

We pride ourselves on offering the highest possible service and our online Google Reviews and testimonials from both Landlords and Tenants alike reflect this.

I cover a lot of what I do on Facebook and Instagram, and The Management Agency Website is filled with content spelling out our point of difference.

On that last point, a complete refresh & restructure of our website is currently in the works.


Antonio Mesiti is the Principal & Property Manager at The Management Agency, a local Property Management specialist offering a one on one and end to end service for his Property Investor clients. For more information visit; https://themanagementagency.com.au/about/

The Management Agency – Two Years In

So, you clicked the link, and here is the story behind this photo.

The Management Agency started out in my Garden Studio in Bowral, two years ago. It started some 100kms away from the properties I was listing and managing from Day 1 (my clients knew this).

If it wasn’t for me living away from Sydney, to begin with, it’s likely that I never would’ve started the business. Looking back now, I almost can’t believe that it’s been two years since I hit the ground running and started my own little Property Management business.

So the photo… well, while I was commuting back and forth from Sydney to Bowral, I’d pull into this rest stop on the Hume Highway which was about halfway home. I would pull out my laptop and catch up on my emails that had been coming through whilst I was driving.  I’d then get back on the road, get home and catch up on more admin, calls, and emails. Most weeks, I would likely be repeating the process the next day.

Whilst it wasn’t every day that I was traveling, over time, and throughout 2019, The Management Agency grew more and more, to a point where I knew that a move back to Sydney was inevitable. Earlier this year I made the decision to move back to Sydney, just before COVID-19 hit. Since then, in this short time, The Management Agency has grown by over 50%.

Obviously, this was the right move!

What this picture represents is the hard work and sacrifice that I have made to get to this point. Whilst things have become a lot easier from a logistical point of view, the hard work continues to be put in to ensure that my clients continue to receive the high levels of service that they have become accustomed to.

We’re in a time now where being employed is something we do need to be grateful for, hence “gratefully busy” is my new catchphrase. I can’t recall a time in the last two years, where I haven’t had new business in the works, whether that’s a lead for a new property or a new client in the pipeline. I am fortunate and very grateful for this success.

From the outset, I wanted a slow and organic growth for The Management Agency. As I write this, I have 13 new properties coming on board this month and this reaffirms that from Day 1, I made the right decisions and that clearly there is a market for the style and level of service that I offer. I’m ecstatic that I have exceeded my growth targets in this past Financial Year.

While I’m being reflective here, I have to say, I never could’ve done this without the support of my awesome partner & admin ace, Nelson. With his support and the ongoing encouragement of many friends, family members, and fellow Property Managers, I got from Day 1 to this two year anniversary.

Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Along with my humble beginnings, hard work, and moving back to Sydney, there are absolutely no regrets. The Management Agency has given me the ability to offer a service that I am proud of and one where my clients can be assured that someone is looking out for them. I thank them all whenever I get the opportunity, for being on board and for their support.

It hasn’t been without its challenges, long days, and what seems to be one of the toughest years for us all, 2020. Looking back though, it’s been nothing but liberating and rewarding.

Back to my car picture though; This is where I would set out from on sunny, cold, raining, and hailing days (have the dents to prove it) as I made the journeys between my home office, properties, and appointments. No matter how many people said it wasn’t practical, possible, or had something negative to say when I set out originally, this two year period has shown me that nothing is truer than “You get out what you put in”.

Thank you for coming along for the ride with me.

Antonio

 

Performance VS Trust

30/4/2020

Performance & Trust, these two things matter greatly when we do business. Trust matters more so in life generally but both are of great importance when working through what we’re all dealing with this year.

Performance is getting results i.e. properties Leased as quickly as possible is the goal of any Property Manager or Leasing Team.

Performing is part of the role and it’s greatly important, achieving end goals and results for your clients and your team but what about TRUST.

Trust is well, everything.

Simon Sinek breaks this down beautifully so check out this quick 2 min video.

In Property Management, some level of Trust is SO important understanding that it’s built over time through actions more so than just words.

Why the random blog about Trust and how this ties back to Property Management, well this example below is what got me thinking about Trust in business and the component of Trust when you appoint someone, like in Property Management to manage what may likely be your most valuable asset.

 

Having had a few tenants vacate throughout 2019, I’ve found it pretty concerning that in many cases my tenants had secured their new rental property and I hadn’t had a call or email from their new agent or landlord to seek a Rental Reference.

These tenants would’ve had nothing to hide, they were all great, but it’s a little scary to know that their new landlords or agents aren’t doing their due diligence by making a call to find out more about how their current tenancy has been progressed.

When seeking a rental reference, at the very minimum, you want to know:

  • How a property has been kept and maintained during the tenancy
  • How the tenants have been in terms of timely Rental Payments
  • If there have been any concerns at inspections or in generally working with the tenants

And you’d really seek out proof of rental payments in the form of a rental ledger. While a lot of this can be covered in a questionnaire that agents send to each other, a brief phone call can tell you so much more.

In the cases I’ve had recently, there’s been no questionnaire or call. What if they weren’t ideal tenants?

As I said, my tenants have been great and I would’ve recommended them in any case, but why would the Property Manager take the risk or wait to see how it pans out without making that call. They had my details.

What are these landlords getting in terms of service and basic duty of care if they can’t rely on their appointed agent to look out for them? What if that tenancy goes pear-shaped and it surfaces down the track that no one ever sought out references.

A Self Managing Landlord could also put the first applicant that came forward into their property.

As a landlord, you need a relationship built on TRUST, but as agents, we also need to be doing the right thing by our clients which is our role from the outset anyway.

Most landlords will wait for the right tenant, the right fit for their property and that should also be the Property Managers’ goal, not simply to get it off their books and get it generating income.

I understand the need for minimising vacancy, but there are steps that have to be taken regardless.

Performance and results are important but not as Important as Trust!

This is where The Management Agency is different, Your Property Manager, Antonio meets all prospective tenants at ALL showings of the property and see’s the process through from Showing to letting to the ongoing Management.

There are only a few of us Property Managers that operate in this way, we work hard but diligently and I can tell you first hand, it works well.

Have a read of what real Landlords and Tenants are saying about The Management Agency here. They’ve really been showing me the love lately.

So, who’s got your back? Not just in troubling times, through all times!

Antonio @ TMA

 

Are you in doubt as to whether or not your property is being looked after properly?

Comment below or email me to get a copy of my Landlord Checklist. A simple Tick box list of things your Property Manager NEEDS to be doing.

2020, What lies ahead

9/1/2020

Well, 2020 is now here and while I’m excited to see what that holds for The Management Agency & myself, we can already see it’s going to be a year of change and challenge when it comes to the world and country that we live in.

This Summer spent working from the Southern Highlands outside of Sydney shows us what Australians are made of, I’ve seen the local community here rally to support those affected by fires and doing everything they can. If I personally felt the fear spending days glued to the Fires near me app, local radio, and news, in fear of ember attacks and an approaching fire I can’t begin to imagine what those who were directly impacted have gone through. What we’ve learned is how generous and willing people are to help with their time and money, we also learned when it came to packing up our home ready to leave, just how few items we valued, packed and needed. The fact that material possessions were not important to us was a very real wake up call personally.

What can you do to help? Well I know a lot of us already have donated, I personally felt WIRES needed my donations but all of the causes are worthy ones. Here are some links below if you can donate what you can. The word is that financial donations are making the most impact at this time over food, clothing and other material donations.

WIRES

Red Cross

NSW Rural Fire Service

Or you can donate to the Celeste Barber Fundraiser where we know funds will be disbursed where it’s needed most, between the RFS, Red Cross & to those impacted by the Fires.

The need for donations and support will go on for some time so what we need in 2020 is community action to get behind these causes and pressure on our Government, Local & Federal to act before we see a repeat of these past few weeks. The Management Agency will continue to donate as much as we can consistently throughout the year of course.

Tenants are also reminded of their Rental Rights amid the bushfire crisis in this timely article put together by Kate Burke at Domain.

In the Property Management space;

We’re already set to see some changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, despite a lot of back and forth these are coming into place even though we’re not all 100% clear what they’ll mean for landlords, tenants, and Property Managers. Time will tell and I’ll do my best to keep my blog updated as I learn more and more what this means for Property Investors in NSW.

For the latest updates, I’ve been following the REINSW Latest News and also the Office of Fair-Trading updates. Check them out or ask me for a copy of the latest news. I’ll be blogging through the next few months as more news and updates become available and concentrating on the aspects that will have the most impact on Landlords and Tenants.

The way in which Real Estate Agents are qualified, licensed and their ongoing training requirements will be a lot more involved, and that might not be a bad thing at all as we move towards more detailed and Professional Standards across the board. I hope this will mean a better standard of service and delivery to everyone involved and a clearer picture of everyone’s rights and responsibilities.

As for The Management Agency, 2019 saw consistent growth with many new clients onboard across many Inner Sydney Suburbs. I’m now managing many properties across suburbs that I love working within such as Redfern, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, and the Eastern Suburbs.

Whilst I’ve experienced this growth the 2019 Rental Market was the toughest, I’ve seen in some years in terms of Rental returns and higher than the normal seasonal vacancy rates. Whilst this has meant some great outcomes for tenants searching for new properties as they have been in a better negotiating position it has been difficult for many clients accepting stagnant rental growth and in many cases accepting lower rents. The positive to this though has been a focus on keeping our tenants happy and meeting their needs.

What I hope for 2020 is more consistent growth and the onboarding of new clients, but more so my focus is going to be adding value and being consistent in the servicing of my current clients. Something that most agencies forget is to take care of those loyal clients you already have with you.

More importantly, I hope for some action across the so many issues that we face as Australians in the hope that we collectively recognise the issues and act as we should, now and well into the future.

Like someone I know recently said, let’s strive for progress as we navigate the issues that are affecting our country and its communities.

I wish you all a Safe and Peaceful 2020, Antonio @ The Management Agency

What does a Property Manager do?

1/11/2019

 

Ask any Property Manager that question and you’ll likely get a “What don’t we do” as a response, and in most cases they would be right.

Whilst many might think that a Property Manager’s role is simply monitoring and collecting rent, which let’s be honest, technology helps us a lot in that sense, there’s a lot that we do consistently behind the scenes that Owner’s do not always know about.

The bulk of my work, managing properties for my clients, is carried out behind the scenes, working on the finer details to ensure that their investment interests are always being looked after. Therefore, a lot of the workload is not always obvious or even seen.

If you’re weighing up if you need a Property Manager, consider what you would have to do yourself and if you would be prepared and have the time to do it effectively.

This post will also give investors a good idea of what the value is in having a Property Manager and hopefully dispel the theory that a Property Manager only springs into action when something goes wrong.

So, here’s a behind the scenes snapshot, of what I do for my clients.

 

All things Rent & Accounting Related

Collecting rent is not as simple as just that, there is accounting and a lot of compliance requirements that come with it not to mention the regulations regarding record keeping.

A lot of conversations had with tenants are surrounding rent, particularly due dates, status and the changing of payment frequency.

Reconciling missed or part-payments, following up on rent or tenant invoices, and then there is the allocation of these funds to the relevant clients. Also managing payments for client’s outgoings such as rates and bills, monitoring due dates for these payments to avoid interest and/or penalty fees.

When it comes to rent, we can’t forget regular reviews where all factors are taken into consideration to determine if and when a rent increase can be justified. Communication and compliance requirements come into play when reviewing and increasing any rents.

As an agent, a Trust Account must be in place to hold all monies collected on behalf of clients. In order to hold a Trust Account, legislation requires an agency to undertake on-going and regular self and outsourced auditing in order to be able to operate.

The technology I employ allows me to access records, documents, ledgers and transaction history from everywhere and anywhere.

This information and documentation, such as statements and ledgers need to be easily accessible and easy for all to understand.

 

Compliance

The one that scares most Property Managers is ensuring that their properties are compliant with the many rules and regulations across the Acts that we’re subject to, namely the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) as well as the Property Stock and Station Business Agents Act (PSBA).

The RTA, for example, is reviewed every 5 years and amendments are made at this time. At times amendments may be made within the 5-year period and a Property Manager must know where all parties’ responsibilities lie within the Residential Tenancy Agreement at all times.

An agency and/or agent must ensure the Agreements used are compliant as well as our internal Practices, Policies, and Procedures.

Moreover, we need to ensure our landlords and tenants are complying with their responsibilities within the terms of the Residential Tenancy Agreement, communication and consistent follow up is needed here whilst educating landlords and tenants of their obligations.

There is also periodic compliance required for Smoke Alarms, Water Efficiency and Swimming Pools. These three areas alone need to be certified regularly by outsourced professionals.

It is imperative as a Property Manager to have a system in place which allows for regular monitoring, auditing, and record-keeping to ensure 100% compliance of the properties under management. Some aspects of maintaining records can be the keeping of notes, email records, compliance certification, etc.

In order to renew a Real Estate License, a Property Manager must undergo regular Educational training each year. However due to the nature of the role we are always learning whether it be via conferences or webinars, in order to keep up to date with changes within the industry.

 

Marketing & Securing Tenants

We always have to be at the ready when a tenant gives the notice to vacate to get started on our search for new tenants, and for me, this takes priority whether it’s a new listing or re-letting a currently managed property.

Preparing and editing our marketing to get a property online and Inspections arranged cannot be delayed regardless of the rental market as time is of the essence.

Pricing, Photography and Property Description all need to be on point.

Rental Properties need to be on the major portals in order to gain the most exposure to prospective tenants.

I aim to ensure that my listings are given a high priority with prominent positioning on the major portals that gather the highest levels of traffic.

From experience, landlords looking to self-manage, find that advertising is not that easy or inexpensive on the major portals. These landlords can also find it difficult and overwhelming to manage rental enquiries, let alone the process of securing the right tenant.

On a Recent Listing, I was receiving an average of 25 emails per day for over a week plus text messages and phone calls. Of those enquiries the end result is securing only one tenant for the property. The workload during this period can be demanding.

Beyond the initial Marketing, there are the showings, application processing, and tenant selection and therefore declining unsuccessful tenants. Then comes processes for collecting bonds, rent and preparing the Lease, Condition Report along with supporting documents and fact sheets, ensuring that all of the compliance measures have been covered for each and every property leased. Without missing any steps, they are all crucial in their own way.

 

At the Property

Regular inspections of Rental Properties are a must.

These are an opportunity to identify issues, whether they are concerns raised by tenants, potential issues that pose a risk and to forecast improvements.

Doing so is with the view of being proactive when it comes to ensuring that the property is well maintained and identifying maintenance before or as it arises. These inspections ensure that landlords are aware of what needs to be done and what will need to be done at the property, in order for it to maintain its value as an investment.

All of this needs to be communicated to the landlord within a report that is concise, detailed yet not too overwhelming. These reports document how a property is being maintained by the tenant and at the same time allows a landlord to plan ahead for any future upgrades needed.

Outside of these set inspections, Property visits can be for anything from allowing access for tradespeople, checking completed repairs, valuers, owner visits or anything that needs prompt attention.

I find it valuable to sign leases and lease renewals at the property itself as this provides another opportunity for me to view the property as well as discuss any concerns with tenants then and there.

Being mobile, available and willing to get up and go is a must. A Property Manager is the owner’s eyes and ears and that can’t be undervalued when considering the value of the investment.

 

Working with Tenants

Property Managers communicate with tenants a lot more than their clients might realise. They are essentially working for the client as their middle person. Most of the time, landlords won’t know or need to know what these conversations are about if it doesn’t require their involvement or input.

It could be a query that is easily resolved, a problem that can be solved directly but it’s a regular occurrence in any case throughout a tenancy.

My aim here is to be the client’s problem solver.

I believe in creating a courteous and open relationship with tenants so that I am always in the know about what is happening at a Property.

Therefore, being approachable and available is a must.

This is all of benefit to the owner and they can choose to be in the “know” as much as they like or opt to authorise me to use my judgment as they’re assured that I am keeping their best interests in mind.

It also goes to say that Property Managers have to have all of the difficult conversations. The rent increase and the I’m sorry the property is being listed for sale conversations etc.

 

Repairs, Maintenance & Improvements

Repairs and Maintenance are a significant part of the role. Although most are straight forward such as repairing and replacing fixtures and fittings within Rental Properties, occasionally they can be quite involved and ongoing.

For example, today it was an oven not working, a request for a Pest Treatment (standard as it warms up) but the day is not over yet.

I of course deal with Urgent Repair calls, but The Management Agency has the best tradespeople on board that has been tried and tested and will go above and beyond for me.

 

“A common misconception is that our tradespeople will charge our clients exorbitant rates, I find this is often the reverse. The trades I use are always mindful that Property Managers are the source of a lot of their work and for this, they wouldn’t jeopardize a long term and good working relationship by burning a Property Managers client.”

 

Property Managers coordinate the tradespeople, property access and expenditure whilst communicating options and approvals with clients. At the same time providing tenants with updates as well as dealing with any grievances that the tenants may have.

 A Property Manager can oversee complete overhauls of a Property and essentially become a Project Manager, to budget and time constraints.

More on that in another blog to follow.

If your property is within a Strata Complex, there are certain repairs that will be covered by Strata and your Property Manager should pass these onto your Strata Manager and liaise directly with them.  It is a Property Manager job to know whose responsibility certain repairs fall under.

 

Miscellaneous

Phew! This one could go on so I’m going to list a few odd jobs I’ve done in the last month;

  • Changed light globes (quicker and easier than claiming from a tenant’s bond)
  • Changed a Smoke Alarm Battery, beeping like crazy when I was inspecting a property
  • Multiple locksmiths trips to cut extra keys, particularly letterbox keys that always go missing
  • Ordered and installed spring pins for Plantation shutters, $5.00 on eBay instead of a min $100 call out fee. Thanks, YouTube tutorials.
  • Helped a tenant move Lounges out of a property after the owner ran out of time, arranged council to collect them
  • Left over floorboards in a Property, delivered to the owner’s workplace
  • Surface cleaning & vacuuming, yeah no one should really have to do this when they’re suited up for work but time constraints sometimes mean these things need to be done
  • Disposing of left-over unwanted items, vacating tenants can leave a lot of bits and pieces around after a move

Now!

I’m not advertising that I’ll do any of these odd things as part of my role, but when you’re tight on time or owner’s funds and something needs to be done then sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself, then and there. Hence why the boot of my car is packed with spares parts and supplies.

 

So, it leaves me to wonder, how many Investors want to oversee, manage and generally deal with all of this and the other one-offs I haven’t touched on?

 

“Property Managers are essentially problem solvers and we use our knowledge and our many past experiences to come up with solutions for our owners and tenants.”

 

You might think, as some people have said, “How do you do that job, I could never.” Yes, I’ve made it sound tough because that’s the truth, but it is also a rewarding career and like most, it has it’s good and bad. For the most part, we’re out and about, free to move around and meet people, and when it’s fine-tuned and working efficiently it is manageable.

Similarly, to how we don’t service our own cars, some things are better off outsourced. Just saying!

If you’re weighing up if you need a Property Manager, consider what you would have to do yourself and if you would be prepared and have the time to do it effectively whilst meeting all of the legal requirements.

This turned out to be a very long post but I hope you’ve found this to be insightful and informative.

Thanks for reading!

Antonio