Jodi Ford started out as a receptionist and secretary in a real estate office. Now 33 years later, she’s Property Management Director at Coronis, managing one of the largest portfolios in the country. With responsibilities including rent roll growth, customer service and profitability, not to mention career advancement for her team members, she tells EPM about how it all started – and what keeps her going.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Coronis.
I have spent my entire career in property management, working my way up from receptionist to property manager to Property Management Director at Australia’s Major Independent of the Year, Coronis, over a period of 33 years.
I have successfully grown Coronis’ property management portfolio from a mere 200 properties in Brisbane to more than 6,800 across south-east Queensland, making it one of the largest portfolios in Australia. It’s serviced by a team of more than 60 property managers, BDMs, trainers, accountants and the leadership team.
My role is to oversee the profitability of the rent roll, including acquisitions and growth, enforce exceptional customer service, career advancement opportunities for every member of my team and manage bonuses and competitions for the team to add extra inspiration to achieve their KPIs. I am also responsible for helping craft the culture of the property management department that contributes to the overall Coronis culture.
What motivated you to get into real estate?
I stumbled into it actually! I had grand ambitions of being a secretary and really wanted to work for a hotel. When I left school in grade 10, I completed my secretarial studies and did my work experience at the Metropolitan Motor Inn. When I started applying for full-time positions, the role I was successful in was as a secretary at a real estate agency and that’s how it all started.
How do you define success?
Success to me is working in a job that you love, where you achieve your goals and have a balanced work/personal life. If I’m helping my team grow, I feel like I’m succeeding. It’s all about making people’s lives better and building something big.
How is the market in your area right now?
I think the market is always good for rentals, but it is slightly more difficult to rent out a property at the moment due to an oversupply of properties, particularly units. The demand has decreased recently which unfortunately has impacted rental returns. However, I’m not worried by that as I know we have the structure, knowledge and experience behind us to thrive in an oversupplied market.
Who or what inspires you?
Andrew Coronis continues to inspire me every day. He honestly is the most remarkable, genuine, down to earth, passionate, humble, driven, innovative thinker there is. He is all about his team and his purpose in life is to make others’ lives better, which is why I think we both get along so well; we have a similar purpose.
In your briefcase right now is…?
I actually don’t have a briefcase or handbag; I just have a little clutch which has my keys, lipstick, phone and money in it.
What is your must-have piece of technology?
My iPhone 6 – it has everything on it so I don’t even need a computer!
Is there something you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without my family. They are my support system and my reason for doing everything.
What do you most enjoy about EPM Magazine?
I love the variety of content and relatability of it. I think the tips and strategies are easy to implement, the advertisements are great and I especially love the information on technology.
What advice would you give someone starting out in real estate?
I think you can make property management either very complicated or very simple.
Never procrastinate on anything; if you procrastinate in real estate you will fail.
Systemise your time by using a ‘perfect week’ guide.
Pick up the phone and build relationships. When you build relationships with people, they will trust you; they will accept your advice and allow you to make decisions relating to their property.
Always do what you say you will do.
Genuinely have your owner’s interests at heart. If you do this you will make the right decisions and be successful.
Love what you do. If you do, it will be a passion, not work.
Any words to live by?
I have two sayings I live by: ‘What we tolerate, we teach’, and ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve already got.’