Recently Domain released its rental report for the December 2014 quarter. The good news for investors is that rent prices remain at record levels in most capitals. Rental demand continues to outstrip supply, with vacancy rates in most cities remaining tight.
The report states that upward pressure on rents is set to continue through 2015. Increased supply of new units in Brisbane and Melbourne will, however, continue to provide more choice for tenants with lower rental growth a prospect.
As property managers we have a duty to our clients to look after their investments, regardless of the market activity around rental prices and vacancy levels.
At Coronis we have implemented a system we call the Perfect Week to ensure we are delivering the best service possible. It has the added advantage of increased time management for our property managers, making them more efficient and productive. It’s a win-win solution.
The Perfect Week outlines the working week, with tasks broken down into hourly slots on given days. Unexpected items always crop up, as they do in this game, but the Perfect Week helps PMs stay on top of things.
For example, we process applications first thing on a Monday morning as a lot come through over the weekend. We find that if we are proactive about this then it saves time, as otherwise applicants will start phoning in that afternoon to check the state of their application.
With payments – we process rent receipts in the morning and follow up on arrears in the afternoon. If tenants fall into arrears we notify the owners straightaway – we tell them before they tell us.
We have a strict maintenance process too. When a tradesman has been secured for a job one SMS goes to the landlord to let them know the work has been ordered, then another goes to the tenant with the name and contact details of the tradie. The latter helps cut out the middleman – if the tenant has a question they can ring the tradie directly as opposed to the office – this eliminates additional calls to the office and aids our productivity.
Our system prevents staff from jumping from job to job and getting distracted. All of them have the same set of drawers and in-trays are structured into organised categories (maintenance, lease renewal, etc). They prioritise the in-tray and what doesn't get done today in the allocated time goes back in the tray for the next day.
When it comes to phone calls, we have a motto “be the caller, not the callee”. We find that our Perfect Week system means we are generally ringing people before they ring us. If you go in an office and the phone isn’t ringing, you know the PMs are on top of it.
In fact, we’ve found that our Perfect Week system has created time for us to make courtesy calls to our clients to provide greater customer service.
Getting to know our clients better means we’re able to work more closely with them and suggest property improvements that will ultimately aid in rent increases. After all, basic maintenance won’t increase the worth of a property over time.
In an increasingly competitive market it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the game.
When was the last time you had a Perfect Week?