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Q&A: Sue Mortimer, LJ Hooker Belconnen

08 September 2015 Reporter

Sue Mortimer's background has largely been in real estate. She's been in the industry for so long she now aims to become a thought leader within the sector.

Sue Mortimer's background has largely been in real estate. She's been in the industry for so long she now aims to become a thought leader within the sector.

When did you first join the PM industry?

I started in July 2002.

Why did you join the PM industry?

I originally started as a part-time leasing consultant, got a feel for the job and then progressed to take on a role as a property investment manager.

What were you doing before PM?

I was in a sales role for a large international company, but my background has always been with the building and real estate industry.

What would you like your next career step to be?

I would like to write a book on property management. It takes many years to master the skills needed to be a good property manager, and I’d like to highlight the funny side of the business as well.

I would also like to do some teaching to impart my knowledge to young property managers just entering the field.

What piece of technology do you find the most useful for your business and why?

Two pieces of technology that change the way I do business are:

1) The iPad – I use it to conduct routine inspections; no more pen and paper.

2) Our online booking system – We use it to view rental properties and enable prospective tenants to view properties at their convenience.

What area of PM needs more training focused around it and why?

I think we need to go back to basics, to understand and educate the basic principles of conducting thorough routine inspections so that potential problems are identified early and dealt with quickly.

What skills does a PM/BDM need to be successful?

Attention to detail

Good negotiator

Time-management skills

Ability to handle conflict

Firm, but fair

Where do you believe PM’s responsibilities should start and end?

Our responsibilities start with building your portfolio through word of mouth, testimonials, networking and building your reputation. It ends with customer satisfaction from both landlords and tenants, particularly with return business and referrals. 

How do you deal with disgruntled and aggressive tenants?

Firmly, but fairly. Hold them to account with in-depth knowledge of the legislation and policy, and have options to resolve the conflict that may or may not involve engaging the tribunal.

What would you be doing if you weren't in the PM industry?

I wouldn’t venture too far from the industry! Most probably something in the sales area, as property management is in effect a sales role.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Winning new business is satisfying; being able to help people fulfil their ambition to build their portfolio of properties and have them managed to the highest standard.

What are the most stressful aspects of your job?

Tenants who have unrealistic expectations!

How do you relax after a stressful day at work?

Switch off. Tomorrow is another day.

How would you describe a perfect property management day?

An ideal day would be when everything you plan to get done … actually gets done! Not too many interruptions and no surprises.

Q&A: Sue Mortimer, LJ Hooker Belconnen
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