When did you start in real estate, and what made you choose a property management career?
I started in December 2008, so that’s coming on for eight years in the industry. Having completed my HSC, I was unsure what I wanted to do. I had a family friend in real estate and that ignited my interest, and I started working for Elders Breust in 2008.
As a property manager, what are the biggest challenges you face?
In Wagga Wagga we have a varied client base, with properties located in vastly different socio-economic suburbs. Some areas are harder to manage than others and take up much more time than those clients with brand new houses in newly developed suburbs. Our portfolios are spread over several suburbs, so we have to be very strategic when planning inspections and organising our time.
What makes your agency unique?
Our agency has over 100 years’ combined experience in dealing with all facets of the real estate industry. We cater for property management, residential and industrial sales and commercial management.
What do you love about property management?
I enjoy building relationships with clients; being born and bred in a country city often sees you dealing with clients whose inner circle of family and friends you already know. It really is a close-knit community, so having a good relationship with your property owners is very important, especially when word of mouth is usually the leading source of new business contacts and referrals.
What are the key features in maintaining healthy relationships with landlords and tenants?
I would say communication and building a rapport with your owners is vital. Once trust is established it will make everything so much easier.
What are your most important values?
There are so many important values when dealing with a client’s biggest asset. One of the most important for me would be honesty and transparency with your landlords.
What would be your dream job outside property management?
I enjoy a good coffee, so being a millionaire and owning a niche coffee shop would be interesting!
How do you relax outside real estate?
I find that an active social life keeps the stress levels down. Having said that, winter sees a lot of football being watched in front of the fire, following my favourite AFL club Melbourne Demons. I love to travel too, so having a good holiday planned always makes time off so much more rewarding.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Do your best each and every day, and as long as you can go home knowing you have done that it will make sleeping easier.
What advice would you give someone starting out in property management?
As already mentioned, I believe that honesty with owners is the best policy. Have the conversations you need to have early and get them out of the way, rather than avoiding them and putting off important issues for further down the track.
What are your predictions for the real estate industry for the next year?
Research recently suggested that Wagga Wagga has superior rental yields to those offered by the capital cities. More and more people are looking to invest in or move to regions like ours. There’s so much to attract people here and we’re seeing so many more people making the ‘tree change’ than ever before. With our general living affordability much lower compared to the larger cities, I think that will only increase as more career and business opportunities present themselves to our area.
Developments in both residential and commercial are strong, so growth in general is promising. With regards to industry changes, I think technology will play an even more prominent role, including of course the move towards a paperless office. With iPads, scanning, emails and more and more add-ons to our current systems, the key will be finding that balance of communication with our landlord and tenants for the future.