Many real estate offices are decentralised and operating inefficiently, according to research by a national trades service provider.
CEO of Tradebusters, Laorence Nohra said the outcome for agencies was higher operating costs and an inability to respond to customer needs, which is inevitably leading to lost opportunities and customers.
“Specific operational issues that were identified included high property management personnel turnover and costs due to the pressures associated with managing large portfolios, staff shortages and poorly managed rentals,” she said.
The research also found that agencies were missing opportunities to win prospective vendors due to an inability to support them with property upgrades needed to sell properties and help existing clients achieve higher capital values or rental returns.
Tradebusters, which sources tradespeople for renovation projects, has worked with real estate offices from LJ Hooker, Raine&Horne, McGrath and Belle Property.
Ms Nohra said her service had helped clients to save significant personnel costs and reduce risks associated with staff management and service delivery.
Agents were also able to maximise property values before and after sales through repairs or major renovations, which added speed, expertise and supplier leveraging power to the process.
“Finally, agents’ time is being freed up, thereby allowing them to focus on the growth aspects of their business, with an enhanced service offering to existing and new clients,” Ms Nohra said.
Property managers have been divided over the value of oursourcing maintenance.
Managing director of Keys Property Management Julie Collins told Residential Property Manager she was concerned about the potential loss of control.
“I feel that outsourcing maintenance would remove property managers from the overall general process,” she said.
“It would increase the risk of miscommunication, or lack thereof, create uncertainty and potentially dilute client relationships.”
Ms Collins said poor quality control or “cutting corners” could have major repercussions for property managers.
“We do our upmost to create a sense of trust and confidence, whereby out clients know we will act in their best interests,” she said.
“The more involved we are, the more we can make well informed decisions, maintain control of outcomes and continue to build good business relationships.”
Ms Nohra said good outsourcing using experienced service providers would help property managers maintain the control they wanted, without losing visibility and transparency.
“It’s important to get the processes right, the service agreement right and the expectations right. If you go through that process with your service provider and are clear in these points, you can maintain control but still achieve benefits of outsourcing,” she said.