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Mastering the art of property management with Madeleine Smith

With Madeleine Smith LJ Hooker Gosford, East Gosford and Lisarow

Madeleine Smith is proof that mastering the art of conversation on multiple platforms is how to master the art of property management. At only 25 years of age, Madeleine is the Business Development Manager for Property Management at LJ Hooker Gosford. She has just been inducted into the LJ Hooker Captain's Club as a multimillion-dollar member and has been awarded the Customer Experience award for ACT/NSW. Completely customer centric, she knows the value of a good story and is completely focused on building long-term relationships, which is critical in getting people over the line. As the market has become less frenzied, she has continued to drive opportunity by nurturing relationships with her clients to build referrals.

Values Interaction

Madeleine understands the importance of chatting with her clients, sharing stories and anecdotes and maintaining contact. She says, “At the end of the day, I do know what I'm talking about. I own an investment property myself so I can relate to people on that level and I've yet to have a question that I can't answer in terms of what happens if the tenant doesn't pay their rent, what happens if the apartment floods, what happens if, if, if? I've been a property manager. I know how it works. I'm always going to keep on top of the legislation that is ever-changing. I think that's probably my advantage - just being able to tell them how everything works.”

She is also very committed to her clients. She says, “What do we class as out of hours in real estate? The office closes at 5:15. Any given day, I'm there until whenever I need to be really. It's flexible. I say I'm there until 7 or 7:30 but that's not every night. I might do an open house or a market appraisal on a Sunday but that's not every Sunday. Real Estate is 24/7 and I think doing what I do, I've got to be available. I've got to fit in around mums and dads that work Monday to Friday and need to do soccer and things on their Saturday and really only have their Sunday."

Works With The Sales Team

Madeleine sees open homes as a good opportunity to start a relationship with an investor as it allows her to start the property investment conversation in the right context. She explains, “When I first meet a potential investor at an open home for sale I say, ‘Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Madeleine. Thanks for coming to the open home. What are you looking for today?’. If I identify the property as an investment, I have that conversation with them. ‘How does this compare to other properties that you're looking at? Where are you in your purchase process? Are you ready to buy? Have you seen other properties? What's happening?’” She follows up with a call on Monday and continues the conversation by asking the client, “’Which one did you like? Did you make any offers?’ A lot of the time, they have.” From there, she is in the right place to be seen as the agent to manage the property. It’s a strategy that’s working as she says, “I've probably got four or five clients that will email me on a Friday the properties they're going to look at the following Saturday to get my opinion on the rental return.”

Makes The Most Of Technology

While not seeing herself as a tech guru, Madeleine does make the most of property management Apps that are available. She really likes Homepass - the open house app. She explains, “It's currently free and it checks people in to the open home. We've been using it for probably six months and we're getting fantastic feedback from our prospective tenants. When they come, you say, ‘Hi. I'm Madeleine. Welcome to the open home. Can I get your details? First name, last name, mobile, email’. That syncs back to our database so by the time we're back to the office, it inputs their requirements, and it sends them a little text message that says, ‘Hi. Welcome to the open house at whatever the address may be’, and it has a little online brochure of the property so when they get home after looking at 10, 12 properties on a Saturday, they can look back and see that it comes from LJ Hooker and they go, ‘Oh, yep. That was that one’." She also likes PropertySafe which she thinks is a great time management tool for property managers. She says, “It's fantastic for keeping everyone in the loop with the maintenance requests that are going on. We can see every time we log in what our risk is, how many jobs are ongoing, if there's anything outstanding.”

Facebook

Madeleine uses Facebook as another avenue to build relationships and maintain conversations with her clients. She doesn’t post every new listing on Facebook but rather comments on the overall market to build her profile and to tell stories about her business to an interested and engaged audience. For example, she’ll do a post ‘Just listed this’ on Sunday, putting up the Just Leased sign and doing her Just Leased letter box drops on the Wednesday. She says, “That's a quick turn around. It's a good story, people can relate to it.” What more could clients want than a property that was tenanted in a few days? Madeleine is showing how good she is, not just telling. She adds, “People seem to like stories – it’s probably not a better result in terms of more interaction but a better result in terms of the people that are interacting with it or have genuine interest in investing in the area.”

Video Walkthrough

Like Facebook, Madeleine is also finding that video walkthroughs are another effective means for telling good stories about property management and she has found that it generates an excellent response. She says, “The last one I did it on was a unit that I renovated for a client so I was excited to go in and see how it came out. So I videoed it from the front door, saying, ‘I'm keen to go in and see it. Do you want to come with me?’. Of course they do!”

And that folks is how you master property management.

 

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