“We’re immensely proud to announce that Cobden & Hayson Balmain’s Laura Bowd has been awarded the prestigious REINSW’s Property Manager of the Year accolade.”

“I’d never actually entered the award before but the team encouraged me so I went through the extremely detailed process of putting together my submission,” says Laura. “I was pretty surprised when the REINSW called to tell me I’d been selected to go up in front of the panel. It turned out to be quite relaxed – a bit of banter and few questions – and I left feeling really good. I’m always more comfortable face to face than writing about myself. Then they called to say I was a finalist and was invited to attend the official dinner. When they announced the winner I can barely remember what I said when I got up on stage, but I do remember that plenty of industry people that I’ve gotten to know over the years congratulated me, which was really nice.”

“For me success in the property management arena comes down to a few pivotal elements, in addition to sheer hard work and dedication. Honesty is crucial – clients might not necessarily like what you have to say but in the long run it’s best for everyone and they appreciate the candour. Communication is obviously vitally important – you can’t be a good PM if you’re not a good communicator. I’m a little bit old school and prefer to call people – I find it’s more personal and makes it easier to solve problems … and clients welcome the extra care and attention.”

“Trust, of course, is non-negotiable. My clients know they can rely on me. I call when I say I’m going to call. I adhere to the timeframes I give them, and that’s something that really resonates with them. I’m also quite ideas-focused and enjoy thinking outside the square in order to solve problems. You can either just go through the typical property management process or you can tackle things differently, and this is where you can really set yourself apart. It’s the customer experience that matters most and I believe these elements all combine to add a unique layer.”

“We talk a lot about technology these days and I’m fortunate to work for a company that really champions the effective use of industry advancements, however, technology will never be a substitute for the human element. What’s critical is connection and understanding … and you can’t get that from an app. You need to determine people’s individual needs and personality types and act accordingly. For some their investment property is a really emotional thing and they want to talk about the ins and outs. For others it’s purely an investment and they just want you to get the job done with minimal disruption. It’s understanding the difference and the level of interaction they desire that’s key – and technology can’t read that.”

“As for what it takes to be a successful property manager, anyone can go through the motions, but you really need to love what you do. I’ve been in the business for more than 10 years now and there are not too many clients out there who can say they’ve worked with the same PM for a decade.”

“What it really comes down to for me is working for a team that inspires and supports you. Matt Hayson and Danny Cobden really backed me from the start. I began with them in 2005 and just two weeks later it was my 21st birthday and they surprised me with expensive champagne. It was such a nice gesture and a real indication of the culture here. They’ve been my biggest supporters and accommodated and cared about all my personal needs ever since and I hope I’ve repaid them with my efforts.”

“My advice to anyone looking to start out in the industry or at Cobden & Hayson is to focus on your communication skills, have a great attitude and be willing to learn. I’ve been lucky to benefit from the best training and technology in the business and you need to harness that. And work hard to forge close bonds with your clients – little personal gestures make all the difference.”

Cobden & Hayson Property Management Director Kelly Petrini comments, “It takes a special set of skills to elevate a Property Manager from being simply adequate to one who is exceptional and Laura certainly deserves the title of the latter. Her dedication to her role, reliability and ability to consistently provide her clients with first class service definitely set her apart. She has a genuine passion for the industry and approaches every situation with a smile and a positive attitude. This award couldn’t have gone to a more deserving PM. On behalf of the team, congratulations Laura!”

Laura recently attended the REI National Awards in Perth where she was a runner up. We could not be more proud of her efforts throughout the year.

Posted in Balmain Office, Property Management on 3rd December, 2018