Every Agent has a Story Season 2 is brought to you by
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This story comes from Nhi Chang, Product Owner at Console, who shares the key lessons she learned when one of her tenants fell into arrears.
- Always carry out due diligence; keep a checklist handy to ensure you cover your ground.
- Keep processes simple but thorough, and document the steps taken in case of unexpected audit checks.
Every Agent Has a Story is proudly brought to you in association with Console
My name is Nhi and I’m a Product Owner at Console. I’ve been in the real estate industry for the last ten years and this is my story.
Years ago I moved down to Victoria to help an agency set up their office. During that time there was a situation where a tenant had fallen into arrears and through following the arrears process we’ve got to the point where we found out that the house had actually caught fire.
When we discovered that the house had been on fire we went there and we’ve discovered that it was actually a drug house and inside the house they were growing hydroponics and what not.
We had to first of all inform the owner. Let the owner know that hey, your tenant’s not only in arrears but the house has also caught fire and it’s also a drug house and that the tenant was also in prison.
With that, we then had to start with lodging insurance claims for landlord insurance, building insurance, go through the courts for the tenancy as well. Having to prove that we had carried out our due diligence as property managers that we had properly vetted the tenant, make sure that he was the right tenant for the house. And also, that we were also doing our job and carrying out routine inspections as needed.
The reason why the insurance companies was so hard on us at the time was because there were news reports going around that property managers in that area were under investigation.
Some of them had actually been turning a blind eye and just approving tenants to live, move into a house to carry out criminal activity. They did that just to make sure that we were, we weren’t just covering up criminal activity for that. The whole process took us 18 months before the house was even built again.
So what I learned from that, was the importance of actually carrying out your job as a property manager, making sure that routine inspections were carried out when required and as required, making sure that everything was also documented.
So, part of that documentation I learnt was, even if you did take photos, it was important to be able to know when you took them how you took them as well. And through that when I then went on to manage a team and also now working with a development team at Console.
I’ve learnt the importance of being able to build simplified workflows that, not only as a property manager you can work with to make sure you get the job done, but as a principal or a manager I could track and make sure that the property managers were carrying out inspections, I could spot check, access those documents, see the inspection results as well. Just because you never know when these situations would happen again.