Having worked in both large offices and smaller boutique ones for over 20 years, in my opinion, it’s the smaller offices that offer a better level of service and more personal care to their landlords.
Blogger: Sarah Latham
There’s usually between one and three people handling the day-to-day running of property management and they tend to be across all aspects of each property. In larger offices, the roles are more defined and tend to get split up, which means a landlord could have as many as three or four different people handling different aspects of their property. It leads to a breakdown in communication and inconsistency in management style.
It was for these reasons that I made the decision to leave being the head of the property management department at a leading franchise, to start my own business with a colleague - I wanted to go back to being more hands on and directly accountable for my actions, and I love it!
It’s a strange evolution the average property manager goes through - to start off as a leasing consultant, which is essentially a sales type role, advance to an admin or property management position, where you are forced to fine tune your organisational and time management skills, then ultimately find yourself running a team of people – a far cry from what you started off doing in the first place which was managing property and dealing with clients.
Since returning to being a property manager for my own business, I have rediscovered immense job satisfaction in offering a pro-active style of management, meeting and taking the time to chat to new clients and on occasion, receiving appreciation from them for facilitating a smooth change-over in tenant or resolving a tricky situation.
Sure, larger offices can offer a benefit to people selling, through their extensive prospective purchaser database, strong internet presence and team of sales agents, but when it comes to personalised property management, smaller offices generally tend to have a better relationship with their clients and thereby, have a deeper understanding of their client’s needs. There is also far less staff turnover where the office culture has a more family feel about it. It is because of these reasons that I have had many landlords move their property across to us from larger franchise groups. They want boutique, they want to know who their property manager is and they want someone with a wealth of experience.
As every property manager will know, one of the biggest gripes from a landlord is inconsistency with managers, and the loss of property and tenant history when they leave. Speaking from experience, property managers tend to start their real estate career in the rental division of a real estate office, and then progress to a sales role – career focused property managers are few and far between and generally those that really know their stuff, tend to leave to start their own businesses, or as I mentioned earlier, advance to a more managerial role, moving away from actually managing properties.
Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in property management on Sydney's Lower North Shore. She previously managed a large property management department for eight and half years until mid last year when she made the decision to team up with an ex-colleague of hers, Jaala Cusack, and open her own boutique property management business called Latham Cusack Property Services. Based in Cremorne, they manage properties along the Lower North Shore. Their main focus is to offer a more personalised and proactive style of property management – one dedicated to listening to and meeting their clients’ individual needs.