Author Archive

Time for a tech review?

It’s easy to get distracted by that bright, shiny object that promises to “make life easier”.

The abundance of new technology promising to save time, improve communication and create better reporting can be exciting, as well as a little overwhelming!

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How clean is your portfolio?

Of course, I hope the answer is spotless! On the surface your portfolio may appear clean and under control, but if you dig deeper, is it all that it seems?

If you know there’s cleaning-up required, you may be unsure where to start to ensure all checks and balances are in place? But it doesn’t need to be a daunting task. The key is to continually track, measure and check the state of your portfolio to ensure it stays as neat as a pin weekly, monthly and annually.

So, what should you measure?

Here are some key areas for you to start with:

  • Key Activities: Each week and month, review your reports and compare how you are tracking. What is your arrears percentage, how many routines and rent reviews are overdue, do you have any maintenance items outstanding over 30 days? Tracking these activities will help you identify areas for improvement.
  • Compliance: Smoke alarm, water efficiency, window locks, pool fencing; the list of compliance items continues to grow, but that doesn’t mean they get swept into the too hard basked. Review your checkpoints and service providers and make sure you and the business are covered.
  • Procedures: Constant improvements to your processes will not only help you increase efficiencies, but also improve client experiences. Reviewing these processes doesn’t mean starting from scratch every month – sometimes the smallest improvements make a world of difference.
  • Technology & Time: Whatever technology you have in your office, are you utilising all of the time saving tools available? An update to ensure you are using the latest version, a review the teams knowledge and of course a check to ensure you are using all of the features available may just save you some precious time.

And last but not least, set aside some time to join us for our Spring Clean Your Portfolio Class on September 11.

For all your Property Management training needs.

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Plan for a productive day

We all get the same 24 hours in a day and to be productive you need to be aware of managing yourself, rather than your time. So, why do we so often get off track? It all comes down to productive vs busy.

Being productive is about planning and prioritising, being organised and knowing exactly what needs to be completed. 

So, here are some quick tips to improve your productivity today:

1. Prioritise

Create your to do list, think about the urgency and importance of each of your tasks, and prioritise them into what must be done now, what can wait and what perhaps could even be delegated.

2. Remove distractions

Whether it’s the constant beep or your team around you, it’s important to minimise the distractions so you can remain focused.

3. Focus on one task at once

Many people think that being able to multi-task is a good thing.  But in the end, it can mean that you’re not focusing on any one thing and you may not be getting anything done well. It’s important to focus on one task at once. 

4. Stick to your deadlines

With a deadline in place, you can’t keep putting things off. Think about what you need to get done today, and set yourself specific timelines to complete these tasks. Set yourself a timer if needed, to help keep you on track.

5. Take a break to re-focus 

Keeping your mind refreshed throughout the day will ultimately help your productivity. 5-10 minute breaks between tasks will help you re-focus on what you need to be working on and help keep your energy levels high. And at least once throughout the day, get outside!

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REAL+ Your Property Management Training Experts

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Fraud, are you Immune?

In the busy world of Real Estate, it can be easy to overlook certain things when you get busy. Couldn’t balance your trust account one day? Out by $50 here, $20 there. Or what if it isn’t that obvious – the accounts balance, but do they?

Having a two person check on your reconciliation, including your bond reconciliations, can often be the difference between right and wrong. Don’t just sign off, really look at the numbers! Even if it’s not malicious, sometimes mistakes happen that can cost you thousands, not to mention the compliance issues that accompany it.

Ask your team for an explanation when you see an ‘unknown’ deposit and ensure that the following day this item has been rectified. Check on all adjustments to uncover what they are and what actions are being taken to rectify them, and check again until they are cleared! All too often these items get put in the ‘too hard’ basket until the trust accounts could potentially be tens of thousands in the red! 

Another issue we see in this industry is identity fraud. Is this person really the owner of the property? Ensuring you identify the owner of a property correctly is essential for compliance when selling or leasing a property. Ask for a copy of the persons driver’s licence and a recent outgoings invoice, which will ensure the correct details are being recorded. When accounting to these clients, ensure that the bank account name matches the property owners name and verify the written instructions with either the acting parties solicitors or with the acting party themselves.

If you suspect fraud, stop any account actions on the property or account. Then contact the State or local Police and Fair Trading and seek instructions on how to manage the dealings going forward before alerting the offending party to your suspicions.

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Real+ The Property Management Training Experts

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Finding the Connection

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One random Sunday a few weeks ago, I found myself lost in the brightness and colour of my phone waiting for the next hit of dopamine as a notification popped onto my screen and it occurred to me how much more time I spent on my screen compared to actual human interaction.

Rather than greeting the girl at the store who was trying to assist, I vaguely mumbled something that was incoherent. As I sat down and looked up from the haze, I realised I hadn’t even given her the courtesy of a good morning or any form of eye contact. As I looked around at others who were in the same phone-dazed state, it was apparent this had become the norm, which is simply just not ok.

So at what stage did we lose that human connection?

I listen daily to Property Management teams working at the coalface as I help them to work through their challenges. Increasingly, I am hearing, and even experiencing, stories of irrationality, demand and general impatience. As we become more driven by the technology around us, our patience and resilience suffers as we struggle to switch off from the demands. One way our training team help PM’s to tackle this is through education around expectations – setting and re-setting along the way.

I recently came across the following quote:

“Even humans perform better if you switch them off and on again.”

So I challenge you to unplug and switch off, if only for a little while, and try and reconnect with those around you. There can be far greater beauty right in front of you than on your Instagram feed.

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