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No overheads: Property management can work remotely

22 June 2015 Jay Garcia

One property management owner has saved massive amounts of money by managing all her staff and properties from her home.

Rosalie Douglas Real Estate, which has seven staff and 200 properties, has operated without a shopfront for its entire nine-year existence, according to owner Rosalie Douglas.

“I just thought things could be done differently and better, and with the technology available I thought, ‘who needs to be sitting in an office and using all those expenses to keep an office open?’.”

Ms Douglas told RPM the strategy has been so successful her profit has grown about 20 per cent per year since starting the business.


The initial challenge was finding the right people for the organisation – although Ms Douglas noted this is a difficulty for shopfronts too.

“I think working remotely appeals to everyone, so it hasn’t been a problem at all,” she said. “What has been a problem is finding people who can sustain it.”

Rosalie Douglas Real Estate is based in Sydney and the staff in NSW. To reinforce a sense of unity, Ms Douglas arranges regular team days so everyone is interacting.

Another challenge for Ms Douglas was familiarising herself with the technology needed to work remotely, particularly as the business grew.

“All ledgers, documents and checklists are on Dropbox and they can all merge from that – nothing is kept on my staff’s laptops; everything is kept on Dropbox.

“You’ve also got to have a good server. I didn’t need one at first, when there was just the two of us, but as we grew I needed a good-quality server.”

Since starting the company Ms Douglas’ staff has grown to three full-timers who do 35 hours per week and four part-timers who work varying hours.

[Related: Do you need a shopfront to run a successful business?]

No overheads: Property management can work remotely
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