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Property managers flying solo

23 October 2014 Emma Shean

It’s never a nice surprise when your boss tells you to stay back on the only Friday you have plans. Thoughts of throwing your paperwork in the air while yelling what you really think come to mind, or maybe images of you being your own boss start to form. Hold the daydream for a minute; while it sounds ideal, being your own boss isn’t always easy, and Beau Miller of Beautique Realty can vouch for that.

Starting out in property management at the young age of 17, Beau has been in the industry for 15 years. Now the owner of her own business, she has fought to get on top of the difficult role of business owner. Armed with $10,000 in savings and loads of ambition, Beau began her journey to becoming her own boss. The next three years proved tough for Beau, with costs far outweighing profit, motivation struggles and feeling isolated. So before you rush to starting your own PM business, have a read of Beau’s priceless insights on what it takes to make sure you’re set up to be the best you can.

Before you begin, research and plan for your business costs, which include:

- Business insurance (approx. $2,000 / year) 

- Applying for licences ( varies per state, can be approx. $1,000-1,500/year)

- Car travel costs (depending on where your properties are located up to $10,000/year) 

- Bank fees (can vary per institution) 

- Technology (internet, computer, software)

- Cost of hiring an auditor, accountant, solicitor  

Spending hours ‘working’ in front of the telly is a perk of being your own boss…right? If you find yourself procrastinating and feeling unmotivated, why not:

- Break your day up and have allocated time for different tasks, and always make sure you give yourself a break away from your computer

- If you’re feeling isolated, join some PM social network groups. There are a few out there that are great for sharing information, asking questions and finding out what’s happening in the industry.

 Don’t neglect having an business and marketing plan before kick off and ensure the following:

- Take a business course so you have a basic knowledge on how to run a business

- Decide early what direction you want your company to go. Will you hire staff in five years? Or do you want to stay working on your own? 

- Create all your procedures and presentation kits BEFORE opening your doors! Checklists, procedure guides, presentation kits can all be done prior to starting your business, so you have maximum time for growing your rent roll

- Register your company name, create your logo, website, email, stationary, etc. prior to launching your brand

- Determine your fees and what others are charging in the market - while it varies from state to state, generally there is a range between six and 10 per cent fee charged of the weekly rent

- Find good quality suppliers prior to starting that are reliable and get the job done.

Property managers flying solo
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Emma Shean is part of the PropertyMe team, a new online trust accounting app for property managers. After completing her communications degree, Emma worked across many large consumer and real estate companies before heading off to London to work with the Federation of Master Builders. Since returning to the sunny shores of Sydney, Emma has found her place in the exciting start-up culture of PropertyMe, where simplicity and the latest technology are vital to ensure the ease of managing a trust account, suppliers, tenants and owners within the app. 

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