Australian innovator branches out in US

Australian real estate office outsourcing specialist Property Management Virtual Assistant is expanding its operations into the United States.

Company founder Tiffany Bowtell launched the company in 2016 to provide low-cost office administration solutions for real estate businesses.

PMVA operates an office in the Philippines delivering office support for property professionals in Australia and New Zealand.

While the company’s focus is on the residential real estate industry in Australia and New Zealand, the US operation applies the outsourcing model to the short-term accommodation sector, which includes Airbnb, camping grounds and RV parks.

“We are pioneers in outsourcing for real estate in Australia and pretty much since we started, almost seven years ago, we had businesses from the US asking us for help,” Ms Bowtell said.

“As we grew, we kept our initial focus on residential property and that has grown to working with more than 100 clients in Australia and New Zealand.

“Now that we have found the right partnership in the US we feel the time is right to expand but we also wanted to do something different. We are still providing the same kind of office services but to a different sector of the property market.”

PMVA is now supporting the management of 3000 property sites in Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

Virtual assistants in the Philippines handle tasks such as reservations, advertising, social media, rent arrears and website management.

The expansion is delivering efficiencies, which in turn keep costs low for PMVA clients in Australia and New Zealand according to Ms Bowtell.

“To provide services to our American clients we have opened a night shift in our Philippines office,” Ms Bowtell said.

“We didn’t want to follow other providers of these services constantly needing more office space.

“We have the same office, the same management, and I am the sole owner. There were 16 hours a day we weren’t using our office space so the expansion makes business sense.

“A number of our competitors are charging more as they expand. We are expanding as a business without expanding our capital requirements.

“That means we can keep costs low, which is great for our clients.”

The expansion brings other benefits to PMVA and their clients in the residential real estate business in Australia and New Zealand.

“We launched in the US on July 1 and the thing we are learning already is how American clients are very customer-focused,” Ms Bowtell said.

“Every interaction, whether it is with a tenant, with a property manager or an owner, is important to them.

“In Australia, a business might have thought about every part of the legislation but not so much about how that legislation translates to the customer’s experience.”

The expansion in the US gives her company a fresh perspective on real estate industry best-practice, Ms Bowtell said.

“We bring the best of those ideas back to our Australian clients so we can say, ‘Have you thought about doing it this way?’”

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Noel Mengel

Noel Mengel is a freelance journalist and author based in Brisbane.

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