EPMEPM: Feature Interview

Why your customer service needs to be different: Adam Freitas

Adam Freitas grew up in a real estate family and never even considered another career. As a BDM he sets high standards for himself and his clients, supported by his young family – and the thought of a long-awaited holiday.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your agency.

I was born and raised in Sydney’s Inner West. I’ve been around real estate my whole life but started in 2002 and have only worked in the Inner West. I’m highly driven and committed to my clients, and I focus on having a thorough understanding and respect of their individual needs. I demand nothing but the very best from myself every day.

At Raine & Horne Newtown we are deliberately different. We constantly look at innovative ways to better engage with our community. We are an established full-service real estate agency; we’ve been in Newtown since the early ’70s and trading under our licensee for almost 20 years. As the sales and rental market leaders in Newtown, our team consists of 25 staff in total, with our property management team consisting of 14.

How did you get your start in real estate?

My father was in real estate before I was born, so growing up real estate was always, and remains today, the topic of conversation. I still remember our weekly Sunday family drives. Dad would point out all the houses he had sold or had coming onto the market. There wasn’t a chance I was going to end up doing anything else.

I demand nothing but the very best from myself everyday

What is the market like in your area right now?

Currently the market in our city fringe core area is going through the traditional sluggishness we’ve come to expect at this time of year. It’s hit-and-miss, with the quality properties moving well and the less desirable properties sitting on the market for longer. Prospective tenants are price-sensitive; we make it a priority to have the correct conversations with our landlords so their expectations are in line with the market.

What is your secret to maintaining healthy relationships with landlords and tenants?

With home ownership continuing to plunge across Australia and the birth of the ‘rentvestor’, the level of service you provide a landlord and a tenant has become more crucial than ever. Throw in social media and how easy it is to be ‘rated’, and you’ll see there is no room for error. For starters, your tenant might have an investment property that they’d be happy for you to manage if you treat them well, or a landlord can share a disappointing experience with the click of a mouse. Treating your landlords and tenants both as ‘clients’ and providing the same care and respect to each goes a long way to maintaining healthy relationships.

The best piece of advice I could give this – you’re no longer in property management, you’re in sales

Do you have a mentor, or someone that inspires you?

Firstly, my wife and family inspire me every single day; they keep me on track. Away from my family, though, I meet with Kate Benjamin from Real+ every month. Kate helps keep me accountable. We constantly monitor my KPIs and look at ways I can be more effective and efficient. I also work with a great team who lay the platform for me to be the best I can be. I work closely with our Head of Property Management, Bruna Romano, who has over 20 years’ property management experience. She makes for a great sounding-board and always has the answer, even for the more difficult situations.

What changes do you see happening in property management in the next 12 months?

We’re already seeing more and more principals focus on their property management departments and improving where they see necessary. I believe we’ll see a continued focus across the industry, especially now that the sales market is cooling. Offices will learn to become more proactive, better communicators and expert property marketers, amongst other things.

Get the training, implement the training and be the best you can be.

How do you relax outside real estate, or maintain a work/life balance?

Outside work I love spending time with my young family. Nothing brings me greater pleasure. Family is everything to me and really keeps me grounded. I also love training at F45. It allows me to mentally switch off and look after myself which is important, allowing me to be my best for my clients.

What’s next for you?

My goal that I have been working towards for this year is to take my family to Europe for four weeks. I haven’t taken a holiday for that long for at least five years; I’ve been focused on growing our business and giving as much of myself as possible. I think I’ve earned the holiday!

What advice would you give someone starting out as a BDM?

For those starting out as a BDM or transitioning from a property manager role, the best piece of advice I could give is this – you’re no longer in property management, you’re in sales. The property management experience is fantastic and will help you stand out from the crowd, but the skill set you will be using moving forward is entirely different. Get the training, implement the training and be the best you can be.

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Shantelle Isaaks

Shantelle Isaaks is the marketing assistant for Elite Agent and Elite Property Manager Magazines.

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