Agent insights: Property management

31 October 2010

Agent insights: Property management

There’s no doubting that times have been tough for the real estate market, but there are positive signs that sentiment is now swinging away from doom and gloom to a more positive outlook. We asked agents for their views.


Director and Office Manager at Fitzpatricks Real Estate

Challenges: Higher expectations

The awareness of building safety issues has been growing in recent years and property managers are, more and more, being called upon to deal with issues that are not within their area of training and expertise. This has led to higher expectations, from both landlords and tenants, and has been a real challenge for property managers, often resulting in higher levels of stress.

Actions: Tenancy managers

We’ve been actively educating our clients about the role of property managers. In fact, we’re not really “property” managers at all. We’re tenancy managers. It’s our role to manage the relationship between the landlord and the tenant. We’re not experts when it comes to building and construction issues, and nor should we be expected to be.

Predictions: More demand

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom. With more investors now coming back into the market, there will be an increased need from property investors for professional tenancy management services. But expectations will continue to rise and we need to strive to exceed service standards. Part of this will be educating our clients about what our real role is.


Property Management Director at Elders Real Estate Queanbeyan/Jerrabomberra

Predictions: Changing framework

The last two years have seen a lot of change in the residential tenancies space; for example the new domestic violence provisions. Also, while the implementation of Bonds Online has made the lodgement process easier, there have been unintended consequences such as the restriction of our ability to conciliate with tenants as effectively after their final inspection.

Actions:  Clear expectations

Property managers need to be proactive in educating themselves about changes to legislation. They also need to engage in the conciliation process more strategically to minimise the number of tenants making direct claims for full bond refunds (even where there are unresolved issues). It’s important to remember that from the very beginning of a tenancy, the process needs to have the end in mind.

Predictions: Clear communication

The key to property management has been and always will be clear communication. We’re in a service deliver industry and, into the future, setting clear expectations at all stages of the tenancy process will be more important than ever.


Licensee-in-charge and Property Manager at No Bull Real Estate

Challenges: Lack of stock

Supply and demand has been a big challenge. We’ve had to deal with a shortage of rental properties in a market where the number of prospective tenants attending inspections has been rising. It’s something our agency has never been faced with before.

Actions: Increasing stock

Where a prospective tenant has only narrowly missed out on a property, we keep their application on file, so we can act quickly should another suitable property become available. We’ve also started to market our services to developers and new builds, as well as first-time investors. This has increased our rent roll and enhanced our ability to house future prospective tenants.

Predictions: More investors

It’s worth noting that many regional areas haven’t suffered to the same extent as metropolitan areas. With easing lending conditions and cuts to interest rates, the door is open for investors to make their way back into the market. Rents have risen and vacancy rates are still low, which will come together for a positive outlook for the future.

This article first appeared in the Sept/Oct Journal.

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