EPMEPM: Ask The Expert

The Perfect Fit

This issue, our experts Fiona Blayney and Melissa Karatjas discuss how you can select the right person for the right role.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate for August 2012 was 5.2 per cent with a labour force participation rate of 65.2 per cent. With a search criteria of ‘Residential Leasing & Property Management – Australia wide’ generating 1,320 listings on seek.com, and some businesses running vacancies extending into months, the continual question comes from candidates and clients: how do we find the perfect fit?


While at times as an employer it can feel like the candidates hold all the cards, in reality this is not the case if you take a considered approach to your employment strategy once you have found a potential new team member.

Something better may not be around the corner

In keeping with the lyrics to Beyoncé’s song Single Ladies, “if you liked it you should have put a ring on it,” follow suit when hiring new team members – don’t waste time just in case there could be something better round the corner. If you know the candidate would make a good match, then put a ring on them that day!

Be prepared to train

With a low unemployment level and a government who has included a ‘job ready’ requirement into all adult learning courses, our talent pool is regularly reskilling or up-skilling, both in and out of industry. Develop a training plan utilising both internal and external resources for each role within your business, allowing opportunity to bring industry new starters into your workforce.

Invest those extra dollars

It has been said that buying at the right price is a key driver in the return on your long-term investment, suggesting ‘go cheap!’ With people this could not be further from the truth. In most cases not negotiating those extra dollars, hours and benefits of the position package may result in a more fulfilled and productive team member, generating a longer-term retention and return.


With a changing face in the employment landscape, it is a misconception by industry professionals that they have the monopoly on current positions based on existing skills and knowledge, and as such this can be traded at an inflated premium. Employers are bucking this trend, so how do you get into the industry, or achieve higher remuneration in a tight financial market where business owners want to minimise financial risk?

Back yourself

We understand that remuneration is one of the key elements of deciding to make a move, but don’t make it the only one. If, putting remuneration aside, you would select a particular business to work for over others but are unable to achieve your desired remuneration today, speak with the business owner about performance payment options. Remember that a business owner is taking a risk by employing you (albeit a calculated one) and wants to ensure that you are that top performer you profess to be. Consider a moderate package and agree on KPIs with associated payments, resulting in a remuneration of a peak performer, when you are performing at your peak. In many instances if you are prepared to take a risk, the business owner will too.

Training and Development

As an industry new starter, or a property practitioner moving specialties, you will require training. Many a business owner will have a fear of the unknown: what happens if you’re unable to improve your knowledge and skills? How will you be trained? Who will do the training?

Have you considered creating your own training plan? This would include an outline of:

  • What training you require
  • Where the training is available
  • When it can be undertake and in what time frame it will be completed
  • The costs associated with the training plan
  • The result for you and the business when it is completed
  • Repercussions should you not complete and be deemed incompetent

Social Media Access

Who are you? Are we the right cultural fit? While an employer cannot ‘require’ access to your Facebook page, you can immediately get access to theirs, so although it’s inevitable that they get to know the real you when you start working together, you may want to provide them with an insight into what they can expect. Imagine providing access to your online space, a behind the scenes look at you and what you will bring to their business! Real estate is a small industry and, with the logic of seven degrees of separation, if you are moving within geographic locations they may already know about you anyway.

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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.