EPMEPM: Best Practice & Legislation

Dedication to Task

Melanie Dennis, Director of Domain Property Advocates, describes how employing a dedicated leasing consultant can greatly improve the service you provide.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT is an ever- evolving industry.

Clients require more support and assistance to maximise return and growth than ever before. Investors are savvy and knowledgeable in the 21st century and looking for more than simple property management; instead they are seeking strategic planning and mapping of their investment path.

Our property management business is bolstered by the investment expertise offered by our advocacy business. Being genuinely independent and impartial allows us to offer the holistic property investment approach so many investors crave.

To further advance and add to our level of service, in January 2014 we changed our property management business structure considerably and employed a dedicated leasing consultant. The plan is to provide better communication and more flexible property inspections, as well as to maintain our low vacancy rates – consistently under one per cent.

The addition of a dedicated leasing consultant has translated to a better-managed prospective tenant database. We are also able to provide an increased number of property inspections, and communicate more frequently with landlords and tenants during the leasing period.

Being tech-savvy as a business has never been more pertinent. Domain Property Advocates (DPA) facilitates an online application which enables prospective tenants to complete and submit their applications faster and easier. Of course we still accept a handwritten application form; however, as a team we could see the frustrated prospective tenants being handed a form at property inspections to complete. Taking advantage of the online application process, they can now get their application to us any time, with little hassle.

Our property open for inspections are in a league of their own. Our professional leasing consultant arrives with ample time to stage the property, not only with the industry standard material relating to the application process and the tenants’ rights and duties under the Tenancies Act, but also a full property brochure, which we complete in-house with a property floor plan. This guarantees our property is remembered and stands out after a busy day of house-hunting for the prospective tenant.

DPA utilises key safes at most properties, making appointments easy at the last minute or after business hours. Having a leasing consultant who is dedicated to finding the right tenant for properties frees up our property managers to focus on providing a superior end-to-end property management service. More often than not real estate companies rely on their property managers to open properties and lease them, leaving them too stretched for time to manage their portfolio effectively.

Knowledgeable investors are keen to improve the growth and return on their investment. For example, we have noticed a sharp increase in the interest and use of our in-house ‘makeover’ division. This is where we obtain quotes, execute small or large scale renovations and, once completed, devise a cutting-edge marketing campaign, complete with slide show, to maximise the property’s online presence and showcase the completed renovation.

Investors generally don’t have the time or necessary expertise to roll out a renovation of any scale without it taking an unreasonably lengthy period of time. This costs them big money with a vacant property while the works are slowly completed. With a crew of preferred trades who satisfy our strictest selection criteria, DPA can negotiate the most competitive price and ensure the work is completed quickly. Experienced in the delivery from start to finish, a planned timetable of works is compiled for all parties to agree and adhere to.

Outsourcing the works doesn’t imply the investor loses the ability to provide a personal touch to their investment, if they desire. Their involvement can be as considerable as they choose, with the ability to make fittings selections and colour choices. As the process can be overwhelming for some, investors can defer the selection to our expertise; our recommendation is a close- to-neutral and inoffensive colour scheme, with durable and good-quality fittings.

As we broaden our service and valuable additions to meet the market, we become acutely aware that investors’ expectations are increasing. Investing in property and parting with a significant sum of money should be a strategic and professional step, and not left to chance.

Positioning ourselves as experts in leasing, managing and renovating, we attract like- minded clients treating the industry with the clout it deserves. Our cohesive business is due largely to our true team approach, with all departments servicing our clients with synergy.

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