Kickstart your Career in Property Management

When you’re in an interview for a Property Management role, “they” tell you (whoever they are anyway?) that you should never say “I love houses” as your reason for wanting to get into the industry. I love houses, apartments, and everything in between. I love talking about property, looking at it, understanding it. Meeting the people who live in the homes, the ones who bought them, understanding their what and why, and helping them get it. I love it all.

Right now I am fortunate enough to work with the businesses that are the custodians of all of these things I love, and the truth is, they love it too. Property can get in your blood, I wasn’t born with it there, but it’s taken a firm hold.

If you love helping people, navigating the landscape of the “home” and the relationships that encompass it, the Property Management is a great world to play in.  A career that is peppered with the absurd and the unusual, the process and the jack in the box, the highs and the lows, is one that can create a colourful life and a tapestry of memories.

So how can we manage 100’s of relationships, juggle multiple balls, and stay in line with legislation? These are all elements of Property Management that can be taught in theory and in practice and the never-ending learning is what keeps it all fresh.

I love working with newbies to our space, helping them transfer their skills from other industries, teaching, service, retail, and more. The lights go on, and the fun starts, as we unpack humans with their most primal need – security.

There is a comradery in our industry, one that knows we see too much, we see inside the home, inside the life, and we are privileged in doing so. Whether your in the industry already, or looking at a role change, a reminder of why you chose PM or it chose you, is a great way to keep the love alive.


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Help your strata investors put more back in their pockets

Years ago, strata properties bore the stigma of being simply overcrowded, mass-produced unit blocks. How times have changed. Duplexes, townhouses and units with the same floor space of small houses are just some of the strata properties built and sold today, and they are in more demand than ever.  

Strata properties offer many drawcards for investors. The entry costs are usually lower than those of a freestanding house, the maintenance is minimal, and they can attract a wide variety of tenants.

If your rent roll includes strata property landlords, there is a key thing they can do to put more money back in their pockets – claim depreciation.

How does depreciation make a difference?

Depreciation is the natural wear and tear of a property and its assets over time. For example, we all know a brand-new car drops in value as soon as you drive it out of the dealership. Well, the same happens to property.

Your landlord clients can claim depreciation for up to forty years on their investment properties. This reduces their taxable income, so they pay less tax.  

When an investor rents out a strata property, like a unit, they can claim depreciation on the eligible assets within the unit and its structural component. They also hold the added benefit of claiming ‘common property depreciation’ on the eligible shared assets in the strata complex.

How does common property depreciation work?

Common property depreciation works based on the landlord’s ‘unit ownership’ percentage of the property.

For example, if a landlord’s ownership percentage was 10 per cent of the block and the building’s elevator had a value of $20,000, the landlord would be entitled to claim depreciation of $2,000 on the elevator (10 per cent of $20,000).

Start helping your strata landlords claim more

Too many investors are missing out on claiming property depreciation. You can ensure your landlords don’t become part of this group by educating them on the benefits of claiming property depreciation.

BMT Tax Depreciation are here to help you do this. BMT offers free services, like New to Rent, that automatically provide free depreciation estimates for any property on your rent roll. To learn more about depreciation and how BMT partners with you, contact the team on 1300 728 726 or visit their real estate professionals webpage.

BMT Tax Depreciation is Australia’s leading supplier of residential and commercial tax depreciation schedules.

Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.  Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit for  Australia-wide service.

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10 Tips for Improving your Time Management

1. Focus on Things That Matter

Getting things done during the workday shouldn’t be all about trying to get done as much as you can in an eight hour work day. Whilst, this may be hard to get your head around, there is nothing productive about listing a whole heap of tasks on a long to-do list.

The more resourceful way to get things done is to take a less-is-more approach to your tasks. Create a smaller to-do list and only focus on those things that matter and do them well. Then watch your productivity and efficiency go through the roof!

2. Do You Have Your Priorities In the Right Order?

Setting priorities right is about making intelligent choices and deciding what goals to pursue in which order. To do this you need vision and foresight.

Intelligent people have the ability to see past the hills and valleys of today and to the hills and the valleys of the future and see the invisible and the challenges it holds.

3. How to Manage Your Mornings

Start your day in the best possible way by managing effectively what you do first.

Always check your voicemail and emails as soon as you arrive at the office. Make a list of what needs your attention right away – such as repair concern or maintenance requests.

Prioritize this list so you know where to focus your time. Urgent repairs and maintenance should be handled first, followed by returning landlord’s calls, new business and vacant property enquiries.

4. 4D’s

Do, Dump, Delegate, Decide when.

This simple approach to assessing your task list, email inbox, day will help you work through the items in a faster manner. Can you group all of the ‘Dump’ emails together when you get started to minimise your inbox? Can you ‘Delegate’ any tasks which you have, but someone else would be more suited to? Can you group a larger number of ‘Do’ emails together which will take 2-3 mins each? Are there any tasks which will require a set amount of your time, and you can ‘Decide when’ it is most appropriate to complete this?

5. Make Your Final Hours Enjoyable

When you plan your day, schedule the last few hours to work on the least stressful tasks you need to complete.

You will end the day feeling a lot more relaxed and with a sense of accomplishment for completing at least one thing before the day end. Try listening to some music on Spotify whilst your complete your paperwork, respond to email messages or tie up those loose ends so you don’t have to face them tomorrow.

6. Are You Making Slow Days Work For You?

We all have days that are slower than the rest.

Instead of twiddling your thumbs and wishing away the day, take advantage of a quiet day to tackle the tasks that often get neglected.

Prepare tenant move-in folders, delete old emails you’ve already printed, update your online listings and file away every piece of paper that is lingering on your desk.

7. Arrive on Time

Do you always arrive at your appointments in a hot flustered mess? You won’t be on your game and the client will be able to tell.

Ensure that you are scheduling enough travel time to allow for potential traffic delays, and ensure that you aren’t scheduling appointments too close together so that you are constantly running late.

You need to make a good calm first impression, first impressions last!

8. Can You Say No?

Having a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle work and manage our time. Which can be a great thing. However, you can easily take it too far.

At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.

9. Do You Know How to Manage Your Workload Effectively?

Get creative about the ways you manage your workload.

Instead getting lost in a sea of messy sticky notes, diary entries and emails, streamline everything into one client database management system.

That way, you can manage your clients, marketing and follow-ups all in one place. It will simplify many of your business processes and it will be so much easier to access everything in one system.

10. Go For Three Big Ones

Give yourself three must-complete tasks each day. Make them fairly large tasks that are important but not urgent,

i.e. bond refunds, rent reviews, insurance auditing.

Block out time in your diary to complete these tasks so that you are not booking appointments or taking calls during those times.

Take short breaks between each major task to give your mind a break and switch gears. If you aim to complete 3 big tasks daily your day will be super productive.


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Improving the Application Process

How we treat applicants who apply for our rental properties will have an impact to our reputation in the local community. Weather we accept them and they become a regular tenant for ours whom we will work with for possibly years to come, the way we start this relationship will impact their perception of us. If we need to decline them, and they rent another property in the community, this will also have an impact upon our reputation for years to come. Some points to consider for either option.

When declining.

It is wise to be very careful on how you decline an applicant. If there are some basic reasons like rent arrears, routine inspections and property condition, you may wish to advise the tenant why they are being declined. Many tenants have no idea why their application is declined. They may not be aware that they would be receiving an unfavourable reference, so advice can assist them with further applications.

When approving.

The prospective tenant is advised and an appointment to sign the tenancy agreement is made. Inform the tenant this appointment will take at least 30 minutes, that all applicants must attend the same appointment and that they will need to bring the following:

  • A bank cheque or money order for the rental bond made out to the rental bond board in your state or territory.
  • A bank cheque or money order for the initial rent and agreement fee made out to (Agency name) less any reservation fee already paid. This can be by direct deposit provided that all funds are received prior to the signing of the leases.
  • Bank details including BSB, account name and number for any rent payments via direct debit.

Advise the tenant that until all monies are paid, the documentation cannot be signed unless approval from a department manager is given. Advise the tenant of their obligations to connect utilities. Your office may have a service provider who can assist the tenant with this connection.

It is recommended that a lease not be signed by a tenant where a property is still occupied by either the current tenant or the landlord. Where a new landlord is still in occupation and the lease needs to be signed, some agencies will have the landlord sign a letter advising that they accept all loss, costs and claims, should the property not be ready for the new tenants to move in on the lease commencement date.

Most agencies will now only take this deposit once the application has been approved, however it can be done either way. It is recommended that best practice is not until approval.


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Understanding Landlord Trust Accounts

In a modern workplace it is not uncommon to see an organisation to discuss their diversity of individuals in the team. Diversity gives an organisation a wonderful opportunity to get a realistic cross section of their wider community to better understand and relate to their customers. Regardless of if you have a diverse team or not, can build your team members diversity of skill sets?

By doing so, you can give the team a competitive edge and increase the productivity levels of the whole organisation. This doesn’t mean each individual will need to be able to adequately complete each task in every role within the agency. Are they able to understand the basic core functions of each role? Do they know which tools (i.e. software, reports) are used for which job? They mightn’t need to know exactly the complexity of each role, but if you can increase their skill set so they understand the basic functions you can see results include; faster service time, higher job satisfaction, lower turnover, and then more creativity.

In Real Estate agencies, most people will talk about the relationship between the Property Management business, and the sales team, which is very important to have working well together. A commonly missed opportunity is to increase the whole teams knowledge of the Trust account. Each team member doesn’t need to be able to run the trust account, but having them able to quickly and competently answer common questions from clients will increase your chance to reap the benefits noted here, and ideally retain the best workforce in your marketplace.


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