PROPERTY MANAGEMENT THRIVING DESPITE CHALLENGES

It’s been an unusual year for the property market to say the least, and our Property Management department has had to navigate unchartered waters and many changes. C&H’s General Manager of Property Management across our network Kelly Petrini and her team have risen to the challenges and tackled all of the curve balls that 2020 has thrown at them. They’re a great example of how clever thinking, adaptability and plenty of hard work has seen them and their clients through the tougher times.

“If we look at what’s been happening in property management over the last six months, it’s been a pretty turbulent time,” says Kelly. “We’ve had COVID, the introduction of new tenancy reforms in March and plenty of media attention on the industry. Vacancy rates climbed as the short-term rental market dried up and landlords moved their properties from short-term to traditional leases, with this abundant supply putting a downward pressure on rents. It really tested the way we do things, however we showed that we could pull together as a team and come up with solutions by thinking on our feet and responding quickly.

With regards to the tenancy reforms, we increased our focus on educating the team to ensure they keep abreast of these legislative changes. In response to COVID we launched a number of initiatives such as digital inspections and pre-approving tenancy applications before inspections to make things as easy as possible for prospective tenants.

When it comes to new technology, we firmly embrace it however we don’t believe in total automation of tasks. We’re service providers first and foremost and while we rely on technology to assist with administrative tasks, we’re very much focused on providing a human experience. Our clients like to deal with people, not robots. Property Management is as much about managing people as property and with the right choice of technology we can spend more time listening to clients and personally addressing their needs.

Importantly, our property managers really take the time to get to know our clients’ investment properties intimately. This gives us an ability to enhance their assets by recommending worthwhile capital improvements, thereby increasing returns. We achieve this by regular rent reviews and regular inspections with comprehensive reports providing insightful advice and recommendations on how to make cost-effective improvements to help maximise rental potential. Our great relationships with trusted, competitively priced tradespeople also help.

Marketing is another area that sets us apart from our competitors. We’re strategic, tailored and have an extensive tenancy database as our greatest resource. We make sure our listings really stand out from the crowd with professional photography and floorplans. Ads are carefully positioned to maximise exposure via premium packages on portals and we make sure to refresh marketing where required.

We’re big believers that a successful tenancy starts with correct tenant selection and we have strict processes in place around this. All of our prospective tenants are thoroughly referenced checked and we have a strict policy on rental arrears.

Property Management departments are often considered the poor cousin of Sales Departments however ours definitely doesn’t play second fiddle, which is really significant for our investors. We’re equally as successful as our sales counterparts because we have equal access to resources, a high level of attention and support from our hands-on directors and the same focus on training. Our staff are equally divided between the two teams, making us pretty unique in the industry. More property managers managing smaller portfolios also makes for better service and we have a dedicated leasing department which means lower vacancy rates. Without a doubt, this is why we’re market leaders with more than 4,000 clients entrusting us to manage their assets.”

Looking for an agency to help improve your asset? Have a conversation with the Inner West’s leading property management team today.