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Every Agent Has a Story: Melanie Dennis

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This story comes from Melanie Dennis, Director of Domain & Co, who shares the key lessons she learned during a condition report early in her career.

  • Always keep the keys of the property on you at all times – it’s easy to accidentally lock yourself in!
  • If the neighbourhood or time of day is known to be quiet, have someone come with you to the property, in case of an emergency.

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Hi, my name’s Melanie Dennis from Domain & Co and I’m here to tell you my story today. 

Being in the property management industry for twenty years or more, I won’t say how many more, we have many stories floating around, but one I can remember was way back in my early days. 

I started my business with a five month old and he came everywhere with me. I was out at a property doing a condition report and we took photos of everything in the property at that point. 

So Jackson was sitting in the lounge room of this really big property, just playing with a couple of toys as I walked around taking all of the photos. 

I walked out the front door, taking some photos of the outside of the property and the door slammed. He was locked inside. The keys were on the bench and there was no way in. 

Every single window was closed. I had no way of getting him out. I’m walking around the house looking at him, he’s looking back at me thinking, “Why is mum looking worried?” I didn’t know what to do. 

I got a brick. I’m walking around this big house and every window was massive. I’m thinking, “Which is gonna be the easiest window to break?” So I’m walking around tapping on each window. 

I don’t know what I thought that would tell me but the easiest, or cheapest window I could find to break was the bathroom window and of course, that was up there. 

Scrambled up there in skirt and high-heels as I’m sure many of us property managers have done, broke the window, broke in, and rescued my baby. 

I guess the lesson from that is never leave the keys out of your pocket. Whether my baby way stuck in the house or not, you really need to make sure you can get access back in and a locksmith is never gonna be cheap to get out. So, just make sure you always hold those keys with you. 

I’ve been locked in a property myself another time where I left the keys in the front door and everything was deadlocked. I had to call my boss to get me out ’cause it was a quiet street and no-one was walking by. 

So, I should have learnt that first time, definitely from the second time, always carry your keys.

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