Mark Taylor has lived and breathed real estate his entire life. A third-generation agent, his family have been stalwarts of the industry since his grandfather first opened an agency in Sydney’s Inner West in 1926.
Along the way, they have witnessed all the market highs and lows of the past century – The Great Depression, World War II, a ’60s boom, and the GFC. Throughout it all the family has stayed true to the ethos that you ‘put the client first’ and that if you do the right thing by people, business will not just survive but thrive.
“Our passion has never solely been about property; it’s always been about people,” Mark reflects. “That was certainly instilled in me by my grandfather who built his reputation on ethics, trust and putting the client first. It was equally important to my father who believed you should do the right thing by everyone you deal with, whether that’s a vendor, landlord, tenant or tradesperson.”
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
In 2016, Mark drew on this people-first approach to reposition the family agency. Rather than focusing on sales, he decided to embrace his passion for property management.
“Property management is often the forgotten part of real estate when it comes to service,” Mark explains. “I felt we could do it differently. Rather than being distracted by sales, I believed we could offer a new level of service by focusing on building our clients’ wealth through property.”
In taking a new direction, Mark was also mindful of his family’s history. He looked to harness the power of heritage while delivering a whole new offering based on building relationships.
“Sales can be transactional, but in property management you have an ongoing relationship with clients where you can help them on their journey,” he says.
“Focusing purely on property management allowed us to step back and really ask ourselves ‘What does the client want?’”
THE CLIENT AT THE CENTRE
In placing the client at the centre of his business, Mark began building an agency focused on offering a complete property management solution. Not only would it handle all the usual tasks of tenanting, maintenance and repairs; the service would also take a big-picture perspective of the client’s current and future needs in terms of wealth building and property investment.
“We fulfil the core role of property managers, but it’s also about having different conversations with our clients.”
These conversations allow Taylors to understand what their landlords are hoping to achieve and work with them, connecting them with further experts and services when the need arises.
“We have a growing list of trusted strategic partners including financial advisors, mortgage brokers, buyers agents and insurance experts who work with us with a view to growing our clients’ wealth,” Mark explains. “It’s a solution-focused approach where at key conversation points, we assist our clients by connecting them with the right people.”
TALENT AND TECHNOLOGY
To facilitate this comprehensive service, Mark assembled a highly-experienced team of four property managers. Each of them boasts between 15 and 32 years’ experience in the industry. “There are few agencies who can offer that level of expertise,” Mark says, noting selecting the right people has been key to his business strategy.
“We seek people who are passionate about property management, not just real estate. Their key values have to align with ours, and they must be a team player.
“Our business has a pretty flat management structure, and because our property managers have a lot of proven experience, they don’t require day-to-day management.
“This maturity also means they bring valuable recommendations and suggestions to the table, and their opinions are highly regarded.”
Supporting the company’s talent is a focus on technology, and Mark notes this emphasis is a nod to his father’s leadership a generation ago.
“In the 1960s, Dad, along with IBM, wrote the first accounting program for property management in Australia. It was housed on a computer that took up a 100m2 room, but when you pressed the go button, it could do tasks in 24 hours that would previously have taken a month.
“We continue that trend by using and being open to new technology that helps property managers focus on the things that matter rather than small, repetitive administrative tasks.
“I am of the mind that if technology can be used to do a task, use it. Then allow your core high-value people to concentrate on those core high-value tasks like proactively speaking with clients and better servicing their needs.”
VALUES BACKED BY PROCEDURE
Along with integrity, passion, communication, and professionalism, proactiveness is one of Mark’s five core business values. It sits neatly with his aim to be so much more than a rent-roll focused business. In practice, he says that means his landlords do not only hear from a property manager when something goes wrong. Instead, the conversations are designed to assist clients to the next level.
“For example, we would know a landlord had owned a property for X years. We would understand what’s happening in the market, and at the right time we would be asking them whether they had considered buying another property,” Mark explains. “It’s about starting conversations that benefit them, and then offering the assistance they require.”
Backing Mark’s business vision are processes and procedures that help deliver these values consistently.
“I’m a very process-driven person in a process-driven industry,” he laughs. “Processes and procedures guide
everything we do. They allow us to consistently deliver a higher level of service.
“Then I look at automating these processes where possible, so I have a team who can do what they’re passionate about, which is looking after people.
“Ultimately, inside the business, the benefit is reduced turnover, greater job satisfaction, greater output and less burnout. But most importantly, it allows my team to remain focused on the client.”
THE ROAD AHEAD
With almost 1,000 properties under their care, Mark says the road ahead includes continued growth for both his clients and his business.
“The beauty of property management is the consistency of it,” Mark reflects. “If you can be good at what you do and consistent with it, the business will grow.
“That’s what we’re aiming for – to be damn good at what we do, which is growing our clients’ wealth through property management.”