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Revise revise, delivering property management excellence by Colin Rodgers

By Colin Rodgers, McGrath Sutherland Shire

To be successful in today’s ever changing world and to deliver Property Management Excellence, Property Managers need to revise what they do every day to meet and exceed the needs of property consumers. Over the past few years, I have asked Property Managers all over Australia what needs to be done to get their department on track to deliver Property Management Excellence. Overwhelmingly most said that the fundamentals of their department needs to be reworked and revised regularly.

It is therefore vital to have detailed systems so everyone in your department, whether it is made up of 2 or 22 people, does everything the same way. Getting the process and message right from the start facilitates attracting better tenants, lower vacancy rates and a guaranteed better work environment. Consistency builds credibility - which in turn delivers Property Management Excellence.

Scripts and dialogues help deliver the same message to the public in a consistent manner. Think about what are you presently doing that can be changed to save you time, streamline your procedures, get results and deliver excellence. Critically assess inherited or self-imposed rules and consider if there is a better way of completing a task.

If you look at the property management process, there are six fundamentals that need systems and scripts created for each. If you get your “in tenancy” basics right, your landlords will see you as a true Property Management Professional and recommend you to other investors. Similarly, if you perfect your relationship with tenants, your working life will be less stressful.

The six fundamentals of property management are:

ONE. showing prospective tenants properties TWO. processing tenancy applications THREE. signing leases FOUR. inspections during the tenancy FIVE. rent reviews SIX. lease/expiry/renewal

If we look at each fundamental individually:

ONE. showing prospective tenants properties

  • How do you meet and greet over the phone, in the office, in your emails, at the property?
  • How do you conduct the inspection?
  • How do you confirm the inspection?
  • What information is given to prospective tenants?
  • What controls do you have in place to minimise misunderstandings?
  • How do you ensure that you have the right keys and all the information about the property?

TWO. processing applications

  • What do you tell prospective tenants?
  • What are your application requirements?
  • Do you have minimum application turn around times?
  • Who processes applications?
  • Who approves and declines applications?
  • What is said to approved and declined applicants?
  • How do our staff know that an application has been received & holding fee taken?
  • How do you tell the owner about accepting/declining an application?

THREE. signing tenancy agreements

  • Do you make an appointment time for the agreement to be signed. If so, how? If not, why?
  • Where in the office is it done?
  • Does the tenant know what monies to bring?
  • How long does the sign up take?
  • What points do you cover and what do you inform the tenant?
  • What information does the tenant leave the office with?
  • How do you ensure that the documentation is ready?

If you get the basics right before the tenancy starts then you have begun to create and deliver Property Management Excellence.

Your in "tenancy" fundamentals are:

FOUR. inspections during the tenancy

  • How often do you conduct them and why do you conduct them so frequently/infrequently?
  • What time of the day, day of the week do you conduct them?
  • How do you use your software to streamline the process?
  • How do you arrange the inspection?
  • How long does each inspection take?
  • How do you report to the owner?
  • What do you do if the tenant wants to vary the time?
  • What happens or is said if something needs to be rectified?

FIVE. rent reviews

  • How often do you do them?
  • What systems do you have in place and do you use your trust account software to your best advantage?
  • How do you determine if the rent increases or stays the same?
  • How do you inform the landlord?
  • What letters do you send the landlord and tenant?
  • How do you ensure that future reviews are undertaken?
  • How do you know that all rents are reviewed in the same manner?

SIX. agreement renewal/expiry

  • How often do you follow up pending expiries?
  • What systems do you have in place and do you use your trust account software to your best advantage?
  • How do you determine what agreements should be renewed?
  • What do you say/recommend to the landlord?
  • What do you say to the tenant?
  • How and when is the landlord informed about the agreement being signed?
  • How and when is the landlord informed when the tenant doesn’t sign despite saying that they will?
  • What steps do you have in place for future renewals?

By completing the pre-tenancy and in tenancy fundamental checklists above, you will eliminate the bulk of their daily dramas, hassles and stress and streamline your department. A simple process of revision will set you on the path to delivering Property Management Excellence.

Colin Rodgers is the General Manager of McGrath Property Management Sutherland Shire & Property Management Trainer with Real Estate Academy. In the property management game for 25 years, Colin and his team at McGrath monopolise property management in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney. Three years ago, Colin and his team had 900 properties under management and now they have 3,300 properties spread over four locations in two countries – Australia and The Philippines.  


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