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Alison McGavin

Recruitment Team Leader at Real+ 0434 014 012 /

Create a Training Plan for your Office

Training can be unappealing to some, but these days it’s so versatile and varied!  You can watch a TED Talk once a day, you can read a book, you can log in to a webinar.  No longer must you sit in a classroom going over the same old boring scripts and dialogues anymore.

Let’s take a look what steps we can put in place to create a training plan for your office…

  1. If you’re a director, set aside a training budget – it’s a great time of year to get planning for 2018. Set an office budget – this budget goes towards things like Real+ Membership, ARPM and industry conference attendance etc.  In addition to this – set individual budgets for the employees. Have an annual review with your team members and find out what is important to them and where they’d like to develop.  You can also use this individual training budget as a recruitment tool. As cited by seek, the #2 thing that people look for in a role is training and career development.  If you can show recruits that they have a dollar amount set aside for their own development, it will give you an edge over your competitors.
  2. Implement a training calendar and plan the schedule across the year, this will allow you to structure the training in a way that will flow allowing for natural progression. Involve your team and ensure that everyone has access to this calendar.
  3. Instead of making training mandatory – make it something that people don’t want to miss out on. Make it fun and varied and ensure that it’s something people can put into place and action.
  4. Share the knowledge – have a space where employees can share great books they’ve read, insightful TED talks they’ve watched. Encourage discussion and sharing.

The benefit to you and your business will be phenomenal.  When you have a team that is constantly growing their knowledge and developing themselves, you will have a team who are genuinely all about quality and improvement.

I’ll finish with a quote by Christopher Morley – “There are three ingredients to the good life; Learning, earning and yearning”.


Real+ – we’re here for all your Property Management Training needs…contact us anytime

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  • TIP #1. Scheduling time for the unscheduled

    Would you agree that the hardest thing about property management is time management? The issues around this arise generally because there is always something that comes up that was not planned for. So schedule time for the unscheduled. Set aside an hour a day as ‘nothing’ time. This way, when something comes up, you can use this time. Or uou can reschedule another task into this time slot, freeing up time to action what needs to be done.

  • TIP #2. Good news / No news calls

    I used to always feel like the bearer of bad news when I was calling a client, and I generally was. I was either calling them because something needed to be fixed or because their tenant was moving out, or the rent was late. They were never happy to hear from me. With my personality, that killed me. I set about changing that and started to call my owners with either good news or no news. I’d call them to let them know I’d just driven past the house and it was looking good. I’d tell them that the tenants mentioned to me that they would be looking to renew their lease when it finishes. I’d sometimes  just to call and ask if there was anything I could be doing better for them. I also started calling owners after routine inspections to tell them that everything was fine.It completely changed their attitude towards me and they started to look forward to my calls.

  • TIP #3. Weekly planning

    We understand that PM’s are juggling a lot. Without a plan, you jump from task to task, and there are inevitably things that are forgotten.Have a weekly plan for all the ‘big ticket’ items. Maybe on Mondays you do rent reviews and lease renewals, Tuesdays and Thursdays are periodic inspections, and Wednesdays and Fridays are for non-urgent maintenance.

  • TIP #4. Rent arrears

    Jump on rent arrears ASAP. Don’t leave it until day 7 to look who is behind. Check your arrears EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Start making calls on day 3 and don’t forget about them. Also, ensure that if it reaches day 7 you let the owner know. As an owner there is nothing worse than getting to pay day and seeing that no rent has been transferred. Keep them informed and let them know what you’re doing to get the rent for them.

  • TIP #5. Your tenants are your future clients

    Be the Property Manager that you would want to manage your own property. Action the maintenance, respond to calls and emails. Do all the small, expected things, despite how pushed for time you are.I n the long (or maybe even not-so-long) term, you will create for yourself a pipeline that never dies. Your tenants will become your clients, time after time.

  • TIP #6. One-day rule

    Implement the 24-hour rule. Promise your owners and tenants you will respond to every phone call and email within 24 hours. It might be just to say, ‘got your email, I’ll look into this and come back to you by (date)’. Always tell someone when they can expect to hear back from you.

  • TIP #7. Get to work early

    ‘The early bird gets the worm.’ Be the person who gets to work that little bit earlier, even if just 15 minutes. This will allow you to make a cuppa, check emails and your diary, ready for a planned and relaxed start to the day. Being prepared for what you must get done that day will make a real mental difference.

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The Pursuit of Knowledge

As Property Managers, you’ll understand when I say that investing in your growth is just something that must be done to keep the knowledge growing and, therefore, producing.

So what exactly does that mean? In this context, I am referring to training and development.

In the wise words of Brandon Travis Ciaccio “The pursuit of knowledge is never-ending. The day you stop seeking knowledge is the day you stop growing”

Both professional and personal development is something that needs to be a priority.  In fact, let’s take away “professional” and “personal” because really, it’s one and the same isn’t it?  More than ever before, our personal and professional lives have collided and it’s now just our world; there is no differentiation.  The point I am making is that whether we are doing something for the benefit of ourselves or professionally, at the end of the day it’s going to benefit us as a whole..

Maybe when you think of training, you think of having to spend an entire day away from the office, locked inside a room, listening to someone rambling on, not telling you anything you didn’t already know.  No wonder it’s so unappealing to some!

It doesn’t need to be like that.  In fact, it’s actually not like that anymore. Training and development is now so attainable, accessible and worthwhile.

We have so many resources at our fingertips. Think; webinars, online training, mentoring and coaching, networking – even something as small as signing up to one of the many industry-related publications. These are all really accessible and worthwhile resources that are very time effective with maximum return.

In addition to the above things you can be doing on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as part of your development routine, you have amazing events such as AREC and ARPM.  Not only do these events provide a platform where you can be inspired and empowered by some of the thought leaders of our industry, you are given the opportunity to connect with people in your industry.  These events are all about learning.  And you can learn something from just about anyone.

The benefit to you will be phenomenal.  When you are constantly  increasing your knowledge and putting the learned skills into practice, you will surely notice the improvement.

I’ll finish with a quote by Christopher Morley – “There are three ingredients to the good life; Learning, earning and yearning”.

Leaning will lead to earning which in turn, will create a yearning to learn more, so you can earn more! (makes sense to me!).

Happy learning!

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Magic in the People Market – Seven Things You Need to Know About Smart Hiring

Last week, a client and I achieved something magical.  My client (whom, like the Dentist in the Oral-B ads, is so important, they shall remain unnamed) was clever enough to on-board two new team members.  Both of these team members were applying for the same role, and a junior role at that – a Leasing role.  Both team members were very different, in fact they couldn’t have been any more different; everything about them was different – their age, their skill set, their gender, their salary expectations.  Everything.  Well, I tell a fib – almost everything.  What was the same you ask?  They were both extremely well suited to the role, and to the culture of the team.  My client, a savvy business person with the foresight to know that given the climate of the market and the average turnaround of a staff member, he would likely be losing someone in the next 3-6 months anyway, hired them both.

You might currently be thinking that it was perhaps a silly move?  An impulsive buy?  Not at all.  Quite the opposite. This client actually just saved himself time and money.  And of course to do that, he had to invest time and money.   Which leads me to my next point, it wasn’t plain magic that made this happen; it was a plan that was put in place between my client and me that lead to this occurrence which I like to refer to as “Smart Hiring”.

Let me tell you seven things about Smart Hiring that you need to know;

  1. Be available!

You’re under the pump.  And that right there is one of the reasons you need more staff!  Block out time for interviews.  Try and do this over a day if possible, two if not.  My client (bless) gave me an entire day.  He committed to interviewing my entire shortlist in the one day, which was two days after I had sent him the shortlist.

  1. Know what you want

Have a mental (or literal) list of three things that you want the candidate to have (skill/attribute/experience etc).

  1. Have a rating system

My client used the Real+ Human Rating System.  We sat down together at the start of the day and went over all of the candidates that he was meeting that day.  I explained to him our rating system and advised him that it would be the most valuable resource for him to refer back to at the end of the day.  This rating system would naturally work out a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place candidate.  Without a rating system, you will either get confused, or you will meet someone you like and then compare everyone else to that person.  This could leave you in the vulnerable position where the 1st choice (or now, the only choice!) is holding the power.  In this market, candidates are interviewing on average at, at least, three other businesses.  Without a rating system, you could end up with no one at the end of a very long day!

  1. Don’t discuss salary!

In fact, try not to even think about salary. Don’t let it weigh in on this initial decision making process.  I see too often, both candidates and clients, shoot themselves in the foot with discussions on salary.  Finding the right person for your business needs to be the priority.

  1. Have an open mind

If they’re perfect, but not perfect for that role, don’t rule them out! My client felt that one of the candidates he met would actually be much better suited to his Sales team.  Recognising the potential and talent in this person, we worked together to come up with a structure that would work in his business to allow for him to on-board this stellar candidate. He soon realised how brilliant an idea it was to open up this position, which would in turn, free up his own time to focus on the bigger picture.  Needless to say, he saw dollar signs!

  1. Understand the market and what your business’ average internal churn is

You understand and know your pipeline when it comes to listing/selling/renting right? So why not understand what your HR pipeline is?  As they say, history repeats itself.  By uncovering what the average staff turnaround is within your office, you will be able to devise a recruitment plan, and furthermore, a budget.  This will allow you to make these decisions in the moment, without second guessing yourself and whilst understanding who you have room for in your office.

  1. Move quickly!

Is there anything worse than deciding you want something and then realising you were too slow and it’s too late?  I see this happen all too often!  In most cases, it is where there has been a lack of planning.  Perhaps it’s because the interview wasn’t booked at a time where all decision makers could be present and this leads to a second interview needing to be booked, or maybe it’s because you don’t have a rating system in place and therefore you’re left wondering whether you’re choosing the right person. Either way, just remember, if you come up against another company whom have a Smart Hiring procedure in place, then you could run the risk of missing out.

My client was clever and allowed me to work with them to put this Smart Hiring plan in place. That afternoon we discussed all of the candidates at length and went through the Real+ Human Rating System for each and every one of them.  At the end of the day, we had a 1st and 2nd place.  Easy-peasy.

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Break The Habit And Ask For Help

Full disclosure – Busy: I will be encouraging everyone to remove this word from their vocabulary from today.

Today’s world is one in which the word “busy” is thrown around so much that its near deafening.

The reality of the fact is that everyone is busy. Thus, meaning that this is no longer busy, it’s just the new norm!

The challenge with this is that we are often so full to the brim and working at near full capacity that we are merely rolling with the punches, instead of having a plan and being strategic about what we do.

When we get to the point where we are so busy we feel stressed (and not the good stress that keeps us driving and moving forward, but rather the stress that stifles and cripples), we throw our ideal weeks out the window along with all our known systems and processes and the 10 minutes in the morning we spend planning our day.  Chaos ensues.

As humans, we like to consider ourselves considerate.  This can also become our downfall. We have become so “considerate” that we no longer ask for help when its most needed.

This is a habit that we as humans need to break.  There is only so far we can go on our own, and drowning in our own puddle of busyness is good for nothing.  It’s not good for you, it’s not good for your colleagues, it’s not good for your boss and it’s certainly not good for business!

When the workload (or home load or study load or whatever it might be) gets too much, look around and ask for help.  You will be surprised by how many people have been in the wings simply waiting for the permission to assist.



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