The Real Estate Institute of Australia’s Residential Property Manager of the Year currently has 511 properties under management. The question everyone is asking – how is this possible?
Winner of the 2014 Residential Property Manager of the Year award, LJ Hooker Parramatta senior property manager Justin Spencer, said he has a “pretty big number” of properties under management, coming in at an astounding 511.
“But we have pod structures, which are slightly different from running portfolios,” he explained to Residential Property Manager.
“I have got two support staff who obviously help me manage that.
“I am the point of contact for all of our landlords and I have got a property officer and property manager who contact the tenants as well,” he added.
Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, LJ Hooker Parramatta principal Nathan Sahyoun said they changed their office structure roughly two years ago.
“We wanted to grow the business and we wanted to, more importantly, grow our people," he said.
“Portfolio was fairly limited; you had to deal with a lot of different people across a whole lot of different things at any given time of the day.
“Portfolio meant that because you were dealing with both landlords and tenants and the work that comes with that, you had to be out of the office a fair bit.”
Mr Sahyoun said they decided to split the roles and have specific people dealing with specific tasks.
“When you look at portfolio management, rather than looking at the number of properties, look at the number of people you have to deal with,” he said.
“So 250 properties, for example, is actually 250 landlords and 250 tenants, so all up it is 500 people.”
Mr Sahyoun said the office is now broken up into four quadrants on a geographical base, with each quadrant managing approximately 500 properties.
“We have a senior property manager who deals with landlords, a property manager who deals with tenants, and they share a property officer and an admin person with another pod,” he said.
“We said if we could create pods around the 500 property mark, from a work point of view you should still be doing the same amount of work, just that you are dealing with 500 landlords or 500 tenants."
Mr Sahyoun said what they can now do is give specific training to specific people.
“So, for example, from a senior PM point of view, their conversations and skills are based around landlords, and for the property manager looking after tenants, we can give them the skills they need,” he said.
“[Also] if the senior property manager is being lazy and not calling an owner to get a repair done, I would never find out traditionally because they could hide it from me, but I now have another property manager to kick him and say ‘I need this done because my tenant is waiting’.”