There has always been a “massive disconnect” between sales and property management divisions in real estate agencies, and it is one of the main problems hindering PM businesses from building a rent roll, says the chairman of a leading real estate network.
Century 21 owner and managing director Charles Tarbey said he believes it is very much a “part of the culture” that sales is sales and property management is property management.
“There is a constant division between the two – rarely do they meet – there has always been a massive disconnect between sales and property management,” he told Residential Property Manager.
“It is very much lacking – property managers in the mainstream, from my personal experience, believe it is not their responsibility.
“And my view is if you are managing somebody's portfolio you are managing a portfolio – in other words you help people grow their portfolios.
“It should be you introducing the next new property to them.
“Keeping an eye out through your sales team for anything that might come up to suit a landlord is the best way to build a portfolio and to retain a strong relationship with your landlords that is well beyond just collecting their rents and paying their rates for them,” he added.
Mr Tarbey said existing landlords are first and foremost the best source of new business.
“A phone call to an existing landlord from a property manager generally is bad news, it generally relates to ‘something is wrong’,” he said.
“So there is a lack of general month-to-month calls to landlords to update them on what is happening, to find out if they are still investors or still looking to invest, to let them know if there is a property that you, as a property manager, have seen come up in the office that you think might suit their requirements.
“And it is those sorts of calls that are lacking within most property management departments,” he added.
Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, Leading Property Managers of Australia (LPMA) executive director Bob Walters said a vast majority of PM businesses in Australia are ‘mixed’ businesses, ie. sales and PM.
“Therefore, clear lines of communication between both divisions are critical to the success of the business,” he said.
“Smart real estate agencies see the importance of sales and PM divisions working as one team rather than two isolated, disparate divisions.
“Sales agents deal with investors who want to either buy or sell properties and therefore any potential ‘lead’ for the PM division that comes via sales should be seamless.
“Unfortunately, in many real estate agencies, there are inadequate systems in place to ensure that all PM leads between sales and PM are captured and properly serviced,” he added.
Mr Walters said in some real estate agencies there are little or no financial rewards for sales agents and PMs to refer business between them and as such, often the leads slip through their fingers.
“This is particularly disappointing when you consider that the asset value of a new management to a real estate agency could be $4,000 or more.”