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What does 2019 have in store for you?

Yikes! For most of us, there are only three more working weeks left of the year…

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to think about 2019. What will this year look like to you? What do you want to achieve?

We all have things we want to achieve, whether that be growth within our business, a monetary target, a new job, a promotion, education and learning that we want to do but have never made time for or something as simple as being as being able to organise yourself in your daily activities.

To get to where we want to go we often need to set goals. And though we all know the importance of goal settings, a lot of us think about it, but the implementation and completion are not as successful.

With any goal, the challenge lies in ensuring you break it down into realistic step-by-step mini-goals to ensuring that you can celebrate the small wins along the way whilst knowing that you’re on track to achieving the big picture.

It’s easy to say “This year I want to make x amount” but knowing what you need to actually do to get there is the challenge.  It starts with writing these goals down, setting a realistic time frame of when they should be completed and then putting the energy into reaching them!

Here are a few simple steps to set your goals, so 2019 can become your year of achievement. Follow our SMARTER goal setting….

  • Specific: Define the goal you want to achieve and why
  • Measurable: Be able to quantify the goal
  • Achievable: Determine if you can realise the goal
  • Reasonable: Is the goal worth your time?
  • Time-based: Establish a timeframe for reaching the goal
  • Energy: What energy is required to achieve your goals
  • Risk: What is the risk of achieving or not achieving the goal

If you reach your deadline and you’ve haven’t quite reached your goal, so what? Keep going! Not achieving your goal doesn’t mean failure. It just means you may need to reassess what you want to achieve and break down those mini goals again and again. Assess what you did right and what you could do differently, develop a new plan and keep going. The biggest mistake is not actually trying!

We love helping you set goals and plan for success, so if you’re after some help with your 2019 goals, feel free to get in touch with the Real+ team.

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Training Plan

We are racing towards the end of the year, so now is the time to start your planning. And training should be at the top of the list.

Not sure where to start? Let’s take a look at the steps you can put in place to create a training plan for your office:

  1. What’s your budget?
    Set an office or team budget that can be used towards a variety of training for the PM team. Training that involves the whole team, like a Real+ Membership and ARPM are important for consistency across the team. In addition to a team budget, perhaps you could also set individual budgets. Have an annual review with your team members and find out what’s important to them and where they’d like to develop (this is also a great recruitment tool). This allows your team to take ownership of their learning and development. You can help tailor this to their skill level as well.
  2. Plan ahead
    Map out your annual 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 the whole team and ensure that everyone has access to this calendar.
  3. Do they want to learn more?
    Often, we hear the statement, “I’ve been in the industry for a long time, I don’t need help”. Instead of making training mandatory, make it something that people don’t want to miss out on. Training should be about improvement, achievement and progress, no matter what your experience level. So make your training fun and varied.
  4. Outcomes are important
    We have all been to a training session before, listed a heap of great ideas, only to let them sit at the bottom of the in-tray because we are too busy to implement. It’s not about implementing everything at once, so choose one or two quick wins, and then perhaps delegate your wish list to someone who does have the time to plan and implement.

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The Perfect Rent Listing

We all know that first impressions last, and this is certainly the case for potential tenants who are searching for a new home.

Their wish list and must haves create just a small part of the selection process. It’s important this impression creates a reason for them to not only click through and view more information but of course, attend the inspection. Because without this, there is no way we are getting an application form from them!

So is your listing the “perfect rent listing”? Or are there some areas to improve?

Our partners at realestate.com.au have put together some ideas to help you achieve the perfect rent listing.

  • It’s all about video: Not only do videos boost your ranking in search results, they help tell a story as it helps potential tenants visualise themselves in the property. Keep your video short and sweet for the maximum effect.
  • Information overload: Your potential tenants want to know as much as they can about the property. General information should include all of the obvious, weekly rent price, availability date, property address and type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, land size, bond amount and open for inspection times.
  • Get descriptive: Don’t forget to include additional features the property may have. You could also sell the location and promote lifestyle. If it’s a unit, remember to include the level it’s on, any shared amenities and how many units are in the complex. Why is this so important? 92% of tenants will use the description to shortlist which OFIs they attend*.
  • Use your photography skills: We wouldn’t post an unfiltered photo of ourselves on Instagram, so take the same perfectionist approach with your property photography, because 95% of prospective tenants will use photos to shortlist whether they attend an OFI**. Of course, place your best image first, and kitchen and bathroom photos should be next on the list. Property not looking it’s best? Research tells us that 84% of landlords are willing to spend money on decorating or renovating their investment property, so speak to your landlord if improvements need to be made before advertising***.
  • Imagine the Layout: Floor plans used to be for sales only, but tenants also want to know the layout of the property too! Adding measurements to the floor plan helps tenants know if their furniture will fit.

 Of course, your property marketing is not just about attracting potential tenants, but it’s also there to create a lasting impression on potential landlords who are researching for a property manager.

So make yourself stand out.

The most common criteria used by landlords looking for an agent on realestate.com.au is listings of similar properties, listings in the same suburb as their property, and the quality of listings^.

What can you do to stand out? Take advantage of your agent and agency profiles to boost your brand and help your landlords make an informed decision.

If you would like more tips on how to ensure you achieve the perfect rent listing every time, check out more information in the Agent Marketing Centre on realestate.com.au

*Source: Residential Consumer Omnibus, July 2017  |  **Source: Residential Consumer Omnibus, January February 2017  |  ***Source: Residential Consumer Omnibus, Sept 2016  |  ^Source: Residential Consumer Omnibus, July 2017

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Arrears

As Property Managers, arrears can at times, be a time-consuming task. One that seems to include the same tenants, the same conversations and sometimes, the same outcomes day in day out.

So, what can you do differently to get you different results? I know that it’s tempting to stick with the devil that you know. However sometimes we need a different approach.

These following processes may be worth a review:

  • Whilst a zero arrears policy sounds great in theory, explain your arrears policy at the lease signing is the best approach. Of course, there is no point in explaining how tough you will be in you don’t actually follow those actions
  • Diarise everything, including your follow up. This way, when you start hearing the same excuses you are one step ahead. This also allows you to remind the tenants of the payment promises they make to you. Keep them accountable too.
  • If you can, a conversation is always the best option, but in reality it’s not always easy to talk to the person you are chasing for arrears. An SMS to a late payer is more likely to receive a response rather than a call or email. For those habitual late payers, get in early! An advance SMS notice to remind them that their payment is due, before it’s overdue, just might be the reminder they need.
  • Payment plans are a positive approach, when you tenants are genuinely struggling. Again, accountability is key here, but show you are willing to help them in tough times.
  • It’s important to check your state’s legislative requirements and issue notices on the dates required. If you have a Landlord who is determined not to allow you to issue those notices, make sure you advise them of the reasons why they should and then follow it up in an email, just to cover your office.

Of course, one the most important, and often overlooked area of arrears is communication with your Landlords throughout the arrears process. Keep in constant contact to advise them when the tenant falls into arrears and ensure that they don’t receive a nasty surprise on their monthly statement. And to throw a positive call in the mix, it’s also great to give them a call when the rent has been paid up to date.

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Time for A Mid Year Health Check

Everyone I speak with has the same thoughts – the half way point to 2018 has crept up on us! I hate to say it, but before we know it, Christmas will be here!

So, with the mid-year mark upon us, it’s the time to reset and refocus. Especially when it comes to your portfolio. As you work through to the day to day tasks, your portfolio may appear clean and under control, but it’s time to dig deeper and make sure it really is spotless, so that the last half of the year doesn’t bring any inconvenient challenges.

So, I challenge you over the next week or so to conduct some quick housekeeping items and take stock and ensure that those items that have daily, weekly, monthly and annual checkpoints are all on track.

The 5 key areas for you to check:

  • Gained and Lost properties, year to date. It’s important that this represents a true indication of growth to date. If needed, it’s mght be time to reset the goals for the remainder of the year. If you don’t already have tracking sheets and reporting in place for gained and lost managements, now is the time to implement.
  • All Compliance areas. 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 Review. When was the last time you made changes and improvements to your standard letters, forms and checklists. Reviewing these processes doesn’t mean starting from scratch – 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.
  • Knowledge and learning. Having reached the halfway point, now is the time to reset your teams training plan to ensure they are continuing to learn, upskill and improve their knowledge.

Of course, there are more things to consider when completing your mid-year health check. Interested in knowing more?

Join me for on June 27 for our Health Check Webinar.

(REAL+ members – this is free for you!) Just get in touch with our team to register.

 

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