A new property manager has won a prestigious award after perfecting the art of making tenants pay their rent on time.
Alex Micallef, who was recently named Rookie of the Year for Property Management at Laing & Simmons’ annual awards, said she set herself the goal of reducing arrears when she started with Laing & Simmons Woollahra in November last year.
“When I came on board the rental arrears were around the $18,000 mark and I’d managed to get them all the way down to zero in two or three months,” she told RPM.
As a new property manager, Ms Micallef noted that the key to bringing down arrears quickly was being proactive in her communication with tenants.
“If you talk to the tenants and let them know what’s happening, why they need to pay and just communicate, that’s how I’ve managed to get it down to zero,” she said.
“Every now and then someone might slip again, but you just stay on top of it and let them know.”
Ms Micallef manages a portfolio of 120 properties across Sydney’s eastern suburbs, with most properties being units and subdivided terrace houses.
“In a way, you’re acting like a strata manager as well as real estate officer because you’ve got to worry about the neighbours and the common areas as well,” she said.
According to Ms Micallef, being organised and efficient has helped her ease into the new role.
"If you’re managing a large portfolio you need to be very organised so you know what’s going on with each property, where things are up to and just stay on top of it. If you’re not organised then things can slip under the radar very easily," she said.
Ms Micallef said one important element of maintaining good working relationships with tenants and clients is to be positive and happy.
“There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who sounds like they obviously don’t want to talk to you or they don’t want to be there,” she said.
“You’ve always got to have that spirit about you and enjoy talking to people and enjoy your job because then they’ll want to talk to you again.”
[Related: Young gun PM running agency at 22 years old]