Ensure you never miss an issue of the
real estate business bulletin
Project plan for the cooler months

Project plan for the cooler months

by Heidi Walkinshaw 0 comments
Heidi Walkinshaw

Without trying to get all Ned Stark on you – because we all know how well things turned out for him – believe it or not, winter is on its way.

The year just seems to fly by and once Easter arrives, bringing with it not only chocolate but also the daylight saving change, we start to see the long, hard slog of the cooler months laid out before us. 

Something happens in winter: people tend to want to hibernate and aren’t so keen on moving about. 

If you find in your office that you do have some quieter time, it’s a great opportunity to plan some projects that will help you to be more organised and on top of your game when the busy times are there.

  • Keep on top of your preferred week. If you don’t already have a preferred week mapped out, maybe it’s time to start. The team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. have some great examples to help you with this. 
  • Stay up-to-date with smoke detectors. Your software programs allow you to enter details of the last date of testing so you can audit each property to ensure compliance with legislation. If you aren’t sure of your requirements under smoke alarm legislation, check the fire brigades website for your state: they note all the requirements and recommendations for your tenants, especially as the those heaters start getting fired up ready to keep you roasty, toasty warm.
  • Try a key audit. Now, don’t completely freak out, but when was the last time you actually audited your key cabinet? How many keys are sitting in your cabinets unused, for properties that you no longer manage? Some tips if you would like to try this process:  
    • Print or save a pdf copy of the current key numbers before the audit. 
    • Have some dot stickers to take out with you and the keys when you visit properties. Check all keys at inspections, be it vacates, ingoings or routines, and put a coloured sticker on those that work and another on those that don’t and can be thrown. Often you find over time that locks are changed, old keys that never work are kept and a handful of keys for one property becomes the size of Everest. If you would like to go the extra mile, write which door the key belongs to on the sticker, which will really help you, your colleagues and even your tenants.
    • Have a box for keys to properties that you no longer manage or when you have no idea to which property they belong. This is handy to keep for a few months for “just in case” purposes until you feel comfortable about disposing of them.
    • To make key tracking easier, try some of the new software such as Inspect Real Estate’s key tracker. It will really save you time and stress. If you choose paper, don’t forget to have a key system in place for tracking  key movements in and out of the office.
  • Audit your routine schedule. Sometimes, believe it or not, routine inspections of properties can slip through the cracks. Print out a report from your software to find  when the last inspection was carried out: if it’s behind, get out there and get it done.
  • Get that maintenance up to date. Check your outstanding work orders and if there are any outstanding for two months or more, find out why. Chase up the tradies, check with the tenants if the work has been done and get  invoices in so  the owners have a chance to claim them come the end of financial year.

It’s important to remember to keep momentum during these months as the quieter times can  mean catching up on  maintenance tasks that may not take priority when times are busy.  


Project plan for the cooler months
lawyersweekly logo

Heidi has been immersed in property management for over 14 years’ dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. Adding to the mix with 5 years as a Trainer and Consultant, Heidi has worked with small and medium-sized rent rolls in implementing systems and procedures to increase efficiency, growth and profitability within agencies. 

Heidi brings enthusiasm and energy to Real Plus and is passionate about system implementation; procedures and staff training that can assist in reducing stress and saving time while helping clients have a more profitable property management business. 


More articles from this author:
promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
Listen to other installment of the Real Estate Business Podcast
reb top 100 agents 2017

The REB Top 100 Agents ranking is the foremost ranking of agents in Australia. It has set the bar for excellence in Australian real estate. To be ranked as an REB Top 100 Agent is the standard real estate professionals strive for. See the full 2018 ranking here!

featured podcast

featured podcast
The difference between an average agent and one who dominates

McGrath Crows Nest’s Peter Chauncy is number 10 in this year’s REB Top 100 Agents ranking. Peter, however, is more likely not surprised ...

View all podcasts

Would you consider working for Purplebricks or a similar 'DIY' model?

Yes (7.2%)
No (80.9%)
Perhaps - make me an offer (12%)

Total votes: 209
The voting for this poll has ended on: July 13, 2018
Do you have an industry update?