EPMEPM: Best Practice & Legislation

What It Takes To Be an Administration Superstar

WHEN IT COMES TO the engine room of a real estate business, the importance of the administrator in keeping the business running well can often be overlooked. Heidi Walkinshaw from Real+ explains the skills a good administrator needs to have across both sales and property management.

WHILE THERE are many functions that with technology can now become automated, a personality with a strong systems focus and keen attention to detail is still required to ensure the smooth operation of a successful business.

A strong administrator in a property management or sales department is usually equipped with the skills to support the organisation effectively in a multitude of areas, from arranging appointments, managing accounts and dealing with repairs and maintenance, to arranging inspection times and communicating with clients. To be a superstar administrator takes a love of organisation and order, and these are the people that we will often turn to to find calm in the chaos that can sometimes reign supreme in this fast-paced industry.

In time management training, we often talk about multitasking being a myth. The area of administration is often where we need that two per cent of people who can effectively multitask.

One of the reasons for this is usually that the role requires the ability to stop and start regularly, juggling the demands of not only the clients but other team members as they require attention – often at a moment’s notice.

A top administrator will be ordered and have their day well planned, as well as having a structure around their work processes. Carving out space in your schedule for planning time at the beginning and the end of each day can assist in providing daily organisation. It allows for time to prioritise urgent tasks, as well as manage any frogs that need to be tamed. Working with a preferred week, whether it be by the traditional methods or morning/afternoon scheduling, will assist in providing order to the week and help to ensure that the required tasks are carried through to completion daily.

A high level of attention to detail is imperative in administration, and more so in sales and property management, as the risks associated with errors occurring can be costly not only to the client, but more importantly the business.

When we talk about attention to detail, a keen eye is required to ensure that when it comes to data entry all names, dates and details pertaining to the owner, property and tenant, or vendor and purchaser, are entered into the relevant office software to allow for efficiency when communicating with the client regarding the property. Accurate and highly detailed data entry into the system not only benefits the team member who is entering the details, but also other members of the team who may need to pick up that file in a split second. Getting it right the first time reduces double handling and potential liability to the business and client.

An excellent administrator needs a strong knowledge of the relevant forms that are required in sales and property management, as well as an understanding of how these documents need to be completed in full to ensure that compliance is met and that the correct management or selling of a property is carried out well. Comprehensive compliance of these documents will also aid in protecting the agency from potential fines from regulatory bodies, as well as potential embarrassment to the agency. Checklists for these tasks are a great tool for ensuring nothing is missed when it comes to following the system through to completion. There is the old saying when we talk about real estate processes, ‘all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed’ which, if you are in the administrator hot seat, you have probably heard or even said more times than you can count.

Excellent communication is a skill that will assist in the success of an administrator. This team member will often be the first point of contact when it comes to clients coming through the door, whether it be for sales or property management. They may also find that they become the go-to person in the office for questions, especially if they have a calm demeanour and approachable personality in addition to that high level of organisation.

Remember that in this industry customer service is paramount to ensuring that the doors stay open and we have team members on seats. To achieve this, every team member from the front to the back door needs to be equipped with concise and articulate communication skills, not only verbally but also the written and even physical abilities to communicate effectively and assist with providing the best level of customer service to everyone who walks through the door.

A team member in the administrative hot seat will usually be efficient in their daily tasks and excellent at negotiating, whether it be with clients, trades and services or even other members of the team, in some cases, to assist with achieving the best possible result for the client and the agency.

The bustling hub of a real estate office is an interesting environment, where no two days are ever the same. It is an industry that attracts a host of colourful characters and there will always be a new situation or challenge that arises daily. Most of these challenges will often require immediate attention, quick thinking and rapid decision-making – all key attributes of a superstar administrator.

The administration space in our offices, while evolving, is and remains a vital function in the real estate world. The role of an effective and efficient administrator is an essential cog in the machine to ensure that the best possible service levels can be successfully delivered to our clients and that the property management and sales departments are humming along like clockwork.

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Heidi Walkinshaw

Heidi Walkinshaw has been immersed in property management for over 14 years, dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. For more info visit realplus.com.au.