Melanie Attard has been in the real estate industry in the Hills and Hawkesbury areas since 2005. She is a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Strata Managing Agent. She also holds a Diploma in Property and a Certificate IV in Strata Management, and has recently won the Century 21 Property Manager of the Year award. With her sincere, enthusatic approach and ability to build rapport with her clients, she is also passionate about the need for property managers to educate themselves to further their careers.[image credit: Tim Keegan (flickr)]
Melanie, when did you start in real estate?
I started working in real estate 10 years ago, in 2005. I had a passion for real estate from a young age and I enjoy working with people, so I find that property management fits these passions well.
What are your qualifications?
I’m a Licensed Real Estate Agent, Accredited Auctioneer, Licensed Strata Managing Agency Agent and Licensed Stock and Station Agent.
As a property manager, what are the biggest challenges you face?
Technology has allowed many people to be available for contact 24/7. This is generally very positive, but some clients now expect me to be constantly available, which can sometimes be impractical!
What do you enjoy most about property management?
I really love the variety of the job; I’m never bored and no two days are the same. I find there’s always something new happening! I also enjoy establishing and maintaining relationships with clients; I’m fortunate to have many long-term clients and I enjoy catching up with them.
What do you think your point of difference is in your agency?
I believe we are unique because we’re a small boutique agency operating with the strength of a global brand. This means we’re able to offer personalised service as well as having the support, training and technology of a large company.
What are your most important values?
The most important thing for me is always to be honest, and try and do the right thing by everyone.
What are the key features in maintaining healthy relationships with landlords and tenants?
Regular communication is vital. Not only that, but I find it’s very important to be honest and friendly (even if you’re having a bad day!).
Do you have a mentor, or someone who inspires you?
I have come across many inspiring and successful people within the Century 21 network who are more than willing to share their knowledge and experiences with anyone who needs guidance. I like to think of many people in this network as mentors.
What’s the best advice you have been given?
To always learn from difficult situations.
What are your goals for for the future?
I’m passionate about my job and love sharing my knowledge with others. With that in mind, I’d like to explore the possibility of becoming a real estate trainer one day.
How do you relax outside real estate? Are you able to maintain a good work/life balance?
Exercise is very important to me – I train most days and I believe this helps to keep my overall mood positive, with a good sense of wellbeing. It’s the best way to start a day! I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
If you could have any three people at your dinner party, who would it be and why?
There are so many successful and knowledgeable people I have met throughout the Century 21 network. I couldn’t just pick three!
What are your predictions for the real estate industry for the next year?
Currently in the Hawkesbury area the sales market is extremely hot. In my experience, many purchasers are investors and in turn the amount of properties available for lease is growing. However, the property market is always changing; if interest rates remain low the sales market should continue to grow in the short term. I believe that high quality properties will always lease if landlords are prepared to meet the market and be realistic with their rent expectations.
What advice would you give someone starting out in property management?
Educate yourself! You need to have an in-depth knowledge of the Residential Tenancies Act and ensure that you are aware of any changes in legislation. A certificate of registration does not cover the intricacies of legislation. I always encourage people to undertake further education – a Certificate IV in Property as a minimum.
I also believe that in property management you will come across situations in which you can’t please everyone. When this happens, it’s important to remember to learn from the experience and not take it personally.