EPM: First Person

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  • Photo of How to make Mission 2020 into Mission Possible

    How to make Mission 2020 into Mission Possible

    When people have asked me in recent months how I am, one of my go-to responses has been ‘excitedly exhausted’. While 2019 won’t go down in the books as the best year in my life, I am learning to find the gifts within it. That’s what you’re meant to say when things have been tough…

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  • Photo of Whose goal is it anyway?

    Whose goal is it anyway?

    What do dresses, my parenting skills and real estate have in common? You’ll never guess, so I’ll tell you – goal setting. More to the point, collaborative goal setting and the ability to know when to take over and when to co-operate. I came to the sudden realisation recently that collaborative goal setting may not…

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  • Photo of The value of choice

    The value of choice

    As I continued my crusade in the industry, shouting about the arrival of choice and the departure of disruption, I realised recently that I have started making different choices. Choices I never thought I would make. You see, I love grocery shopping. Yes, I know you may think I am strange, but cooking is my…

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  • Photo of Are your landlords the right fit for your business?

    Are your landlords the right fit for your business?

    I spoke at the PPM National Property Management Conference on the Gold Coast in June and posed the question “who is the real boss”? If you’ve read my recent articles, you will know I strongly believe an agent is a negotiator and not the decision maker. What became clear while attending the conference was that…

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  • Photo of Seeking the truth

    Seeking the truth

    From the moment we are born we strive to communicate. Babies cry to let their parents know they are hungry, tired or need a cuddle, while parents wait patiently for their first word. More often than not, patience quickly turns to impatience as they decide the most incoherent babble is actually a word, albeit one…

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  • Photo of 5 ways to be a better leader

    5 ways to be a better leader

    When it comes to leaders I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly. In every instance, the leader’s style heavily impacts the culture of the team and its success. Harvard Business Review refers to six types of leaders: The coercive leader This ‘do what I tell you’ style of leadership may have worked…

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  • Photo of Tara Bradbury: Back in the game

    Tara Bradbury: Back in the game

    I've got some news. It may the industry's worst kept secret, but I can finally, officially, say I’m heading back to the coalface. The decision to come back into the property management industry isn’t one I’ve taken lightly, or quickly, but something I’ve been contemplating over the past 12 to 18 months. There’s a host…

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  • Photo of The real cost of discounting: Nick Brown

    The real cost of discounting: Nick Brown

    Recently I put forward a proposal to an owner who was looking at changing managing agents, only to find out they thought our fees were too high for the socio-demographics of the property’s postcode. When I asked why they were considering changing agents, they said, “They do an OK job, but I am unsure of…

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  • Photo of Changing a company’s ways: 12 months inside Console HQ

    Changing a company’s ways: 12 months inside Console HQ

    It has been a year since my appointment as CEO of Console, a year of change and significant improvements. I love working with companies that embrace change and are open to new ideas. Due to the commitment and attitude of our team, we’ve made some huge strides towards our goals. I believe our customers, current…

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  • Photo of Why won’t they do as I say?

    Why won’t they do as I say?

    I’ve been thinking about what property managers often say are their stress triggers and the things which make property management difficult at times. Property management is often referred to as the ugly sibling to sales and other sectors of our industry, and that’s because if we all had smooth-sailing tenancies the need for property management wouldn’t…

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  • Photo of How to stop feeling out of control

    How to stop feeling out of control

    Firstly, if you or your team are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you are not alone. As someone who has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, I know this concern has been shared often by many principals and property management team members across the nation. The role of a property manager is extremely…

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  • Photo of Will you survive the future of property management?

    Will you survive the future of property management?

    The way we do things, the technology, software and apps we embrace, artificial intelligence advancements, legislation compliance and the way we communicate and operate a real estate/property management business have rapidly changed and will continue to do so. Before we know it, there will be an Uber-like disruption, unless we stay current, connected to our…

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  • Photo of The secret to handling change: Fiona Blayney

    The secret to handling change: Fiona Blayney

    A single woman doesn’t really need a 4WD, especially when she has nothing that needs carting around in the back of it; a laptop can surely fit in the front seat. After caving to the advice of Dad when I returned from my backpacking adventures, I bought that sensible Green Corolla Hatch instead of the…

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  • Photo of Why you should switch off your phone

    Why you should switch off your phone

    Our love of the bells, dings, whistles supplied by technology has created an addiction. As a result, we find that our brains are in the process of being rewired to cope with the demands that technology places on our everyday lives. Recent studies have shown that our physiology has evolved, leading to altered memory, sleep…

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  • Photo of The best way to handle negative reviews

    The best way to handle negative reviews

    The latest review platform, outside Facebook and Google, for property management departments, is a website called ‘Don’t Rent Me’. I recommend you check it out if you’re not familiar, to see whether you or your agency has been featured on what they call ‘The Wall of Shame’. Following many telephone calls and messages from property…

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  • Photo of How overcoming ‘stranger danger’ can be good for business

    How overcoming ‘stranger danger’ can be good for business

    Green and white stickers once adorned letterboxes across a community; they represented a Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) ‘safe house’. If your letterbox had one of these stickers you were considered a safe house for children in need on their way home from school. They were a fantastic idea back in the day when kids were walking…

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  • Photo of Personal Safety: It’s OK to walk away

    Personal Safety: It’s OK to walk away

    WHEN IT COMES to managing teams in property management, one of the most vital aspects is remembering to keep them safe both in the office and on the road. Heidi Walkinshaw suggests six ways to minimise the inevitable risks. As I prepare training programs and consult with teams, one topic that is regularly raised is…

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  • Photo of Call the Professional: Fiona Blayney

    Call the Professional: Fiona Blayney

    I think everyone has an inner wannabe. I’m not talking about the social wannabe, the one you’d associate with a schoolyard name-calling, but the adult wannabe that exists in us all. There are two types of adult wannabe status. One that invariably rears its head is when we’ve got the time and inclination to dabble…

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  • Photo of Problem Personalities: Debbie Palmer

    Problem Personalities: Debbie Palmer

    Across the nation we are collectively known as property managers – but we should be more aptly known as people managers or relationship managers. Properties don’t complain, get angry or fail to follow through on requests, but tenants and landlords sometimes do. Managing difficult clients is all about understanding relationships, and people’s emotions and behaviours.…

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  • Photo of Relationship Status: It’s Complicated – Fiona Blayney

    Relationship Status: It’s Complicated – Fiona Blayney

    It's been some 27 years since I started in the workforce. I recall with much amusement a group of us girls switching out of our school uniforms, Clark Kent-style, and into our ‘Woolworths Checkout Chick’ fashionable wear in the rather private space that was the back seat of the 107 bus heading straight from school…

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  • Photo of How to consult, prescribe and close as Dr Property Manager: Debbie Palmer

    How to consult, prescribe and close as Dr Property Manager: Debbie Palmer

    If I were to telephone or visit your agency today and enquire about your services, what would you say? How would you respond to questions like, ‘What do you do for your management fee?’, ‘Why should I choose you?’ or ‘What do you do differently?’ To successfully win new business it is important that you can…

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  • Photo of How Transparency Creates Trust: Jess Kindt

    How Transparency Creates Trust: Jess Kindt

    It is widely known that real estate agents are categorised amongst the least trustworthy of professions within Australia. So how do we turn this stigma around with our clients? How do we establish a relationship of trust so that we can build loyalty amongst our client base? No one has all the answers, but since…

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  • Photo of Lauren Kirk: Is Your Customer in Control?

    Lauren Kirk: Is Your Customer in Control?

    When it comes to service, consciously or unconsciously your customers expect you to provide an excellent experience at every point of the transaction. Lauren Kirk looks at what you can do to meet their expectations while staying in control of the process. Think about the way you communicate: emails, texts, Facebook messages, WhatsApp, phone calls,…

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  • Photo of Fiona Blayney: How to Handle Tough Conversations and Decisions Like a Hero

    Fiona Blayney: How to Handle Tough Conversations and Decisions Like a Hero

    Tough decisions and difficult conversations: at times like these you need to find your inner superhero and put on your big girl pants, says Fiona Blayney. I've never really been a fan of big girl pants. I’ve never found mine a natural fit and as such, if I’m honest, I still find them pretty uncomfortable.…

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  • Photo of Bridging the Skills Gap

    Bridging the Skills Gap

    REFLECTING ON YOUR own professional experience and performance over the last 12 months can help you develop the right actions and create the right type of change. But first you need to work out where your own gaps are. Vasili Hadzellis explains. ONE OF MY favourite songs of all time is ‘Man in the Mirror’…

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  • Photo of 2018: Your Best Year

    2018: Your Best Year

    With almost two decades’ experience at the coalface, I will admit that I didn’t always do things right. There have been a lot of learning curves along the way. On my very first day on the job, I was given an empty desk and a phone, and that was it. I didn’t know the first thing…

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  • Photo of Insurance and the ‘share economy’

    Insurance and the ‘share economy’

    The number of people offering their homes on sites like Airbnb, HomeAway and VacationRentals is snowballing. There are now more than 115,000 Australian properties listed on Airbnb alone. What started out as an opportunity to rent a room for a couple of days and earn a few dollars has turned into a business for many…

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  • Photo of Is technology leaving your team behind?

    Is technology leaving your team behind?

    The return on investment on technology for an agency owner is generally high; the monthly subscription cost of most apps pay for themselves by decreasing the workload and increasing the number of properties that can be managed by their staff. Isn’t that what technology is supposed to do: enhance our life by offering us greater…

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  • Photo of You Thought You Were a Property Manager, Didn’t You?

    You Thought You Were a Property Manager, Didn’t You?

    THREE YEARS AGO, you were employed by your agency to run a portfolio of 150 properties and had the title ‘Property Manager’ on your business card.  As times have changed, many agencies have resorted to outsourcing their administration tasks. Lauren Kropp examines the effect has this had on the traditional PM role. A few years…

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  • Photo of Why Small is Big Again: Randal Sharp

    Why Small is Big Again: Randal Sharp

    When it comes to property management, there’s not much Randal Sharp hasn’t seen. Co-Director of thriving real estate startup Think Property & Co in Melbourne, Randal has worked across all facets of the sector, managed large teams and surveyed portfolios with assets numbered in their thousands. Yet he and business partner Martine Bannister have gone…

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  • Photo of ‘Can I Claim for This?’

    ‘Can I Claim for This?’

    It's a very rare day when a property manager doesn’t receive at least one call about repairs and maintenance. As you call your owner for authorisation, it is handy to be familiar with the different types of deductions investment property owners can claim. All property managers are familiar with managing the careful negotiation which can…

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  • Photo of Getting Mobile: Work is Something You Do, Not Somewhere You Go

    Getting Mobile: Work is Something You Do, Not Somewhere You Go

    Recent years have seen the rise of the ‘new-age property management client’ who has access to information at the click of a button. To withstand this client’s rigorous expectations of property managers, Jess Kindt explains that luring in top talent with flexible working arrangements is the way to go. Haven’t we seen a dramatic shift in…

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  • Photo of What Investors Want

    What Investors Want

    Just as there’s not one single property market, there’s not one solution for property management businesses. It all depends on the particular investor you’re dealing with and the local property market in your area. I’m a contrarian and tend to do the opposite to what most regular people do, and that goes for business and…

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  • Photo of Training for property managers: keep it relevant!

    Training for property managers: keep it relevant!

    WITH OVER 12 YEARS in the property management industry, Jess Kindt has a call to action for principals who do not consult with their staff about the type of training they need, and don’t think outside the box. I have a confession to make. In my early career as a junior property manager, I often…

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  • Photo of The ‘Gabby Effect’

    The ‘Gabby Effect’

    Fiona Blayney had her hands full when a moment of stress led to a domestic mishap. Saved by the kindness of a stranger, she points out how everything we do impacts on other people – and why we should all pay kindness forward. I had a knock on the door this week. Turns out it…

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