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Investor Insights – Property Management Round Table: Part 2

As a finale to Transform PM 2016 our four PM Directors were joined by Charles Tarbey, Fiona Blayney, Chris Gray, Richard Bray, Julie Davis and Neil Williams for an industry round table discussion on  the future of property management and how to best serve the needs of property investors. The session was facilitated by Alister Maple-Brown of Rockend.

In this second video of our 8-part series, we focus on Investor Insights, including the importance of speaking to your investors from experience as a property manager.


Trent Shorland: Just a question for Chris. Obviously, looking at purchasing properties in different areas, how do you decide on your property manager? If you’re picking one out in a new area, what makes you decide on that particular property manager?

Chris Gray: The biggest thing with property investing is anyone you deal with, you want them to be a property investor themselves because then they understand what they’re trying to do. They know the difference between getting the rental on a summer-to-summer rental versus a winter-to-winter, say, in the middle of summer. Whereas someone that isn’t investing for themselves, they wouldn’t realise those type of things.

When it comes to renovating, it’s to actually educate the landlords to say, “Rather than constantly be paying a few thousand dollars and $200 every time a guy turns up, let’s just go the whole hog and spend $20k on a kitchen,” (or whatever it is)

Speaking from experience then, there’s nothing better and that’s what the landlords will appreciate. Then it’s a lot harder to be poached, because if you’re getting that and another agency is offering it at 3% or 4%…you need to see your property manager as someone that makes you money rather than cost you money, and that’s a massive difference.

Charles Tarbey: I’ve had a situation with my children having investment properties, and they happen to have an investment property in the same street each. One of them has just moved out into another home they purchased and they’ve rented it out. They’re getting $475.00 a week. My other child up the road has the same style of home. He’s getting $375.00 a week. When I found that out, that really frustrates me. Where do the agents go so wrong? $5,000.00 a year? That’s significant for an investor. That’s another investment property that one can purchase.

Chris: A lot of it is the basic things, because the first time I let my property out, then the property manager didn’t turn up. Then they were so embarrassed, they didn’t return my calls, which was a massive, massive thing. But if they just said, “Look, I’m sorry I missed the appointment. Let’s rearrange,” it’s all done.

The new property manager I went to, I’ve given them 500 managements. Now, they had no idea I was 31 at the time. They don’t know who they speaking to and that’s the whole thing, you don’t. 500 managements is worth $3.5 million to them, and it’s purely because someone didn’t turn up to a meeting.

Charles: How long ago were you 31 at the time?

Chris: 40 years, but back to your comment, I was born in ’71 when you were a property manager.

Charles: Okay, you win that one. You win that one.

Alister Maple-Brown: I think you guys know each other.

Charles: I need to win some points today.

Alister: Expanding the conversation to the directors who are dealing with the landlords everyday, do you see a big difference between the professional investor with multiple properties and the new investor with a single property and the different demands that they provide on you and your teams? Kelley, I’ll start with you.

Kelley-Ann Seaton: I do see a difference in them, but I think it’s about educating the new investors from the set-go. If you start with them and teach them the baby steps along the way, then they’re already set. It’s the other ones that obviously you need to re-train if they’re going down the wrong avenue or that sort of thing.

Chris: I think this is exactly it. It’s pre-framing everything. When you get a client in, it’s, “Well, what do you understand about property management? What’s your perception? What’s your expectations?” Then giving them a reality, to say, “Well, in reality, this is the way it is and this is the way we play it.” Again, for the existing ones as well.

Kelley: Before all this, we use to do the listing presentation, and it was never really, to me, about what their needs were and what their expectations are. We’ve actually changed that whole scope of that now. It’s certainly a lot easier to identify from the very first five minutes of the conversation with them, rather than waiting until an hour later.

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