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Q&A: Rick Pignetti, True Property

Q&A: Rick Pignetti, True Property

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Real estate is part of Rick Pignetti's family legacy and he's proud to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.

When did you first join the PM industry?

Straight out of school. I finished my HSC in 2002 and was working six days a week straight after.

Why did you join the PM industry? 

My grandfather owned a successful real estate agency in inner west Sydney for many years and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps.

What were you doing before PM?

Showing properties on Saturdays, working weekends at a real estate agency near my home.

What would you like your next career step to be?

I would definitely like to run a team of property managers and keep a small portfolio.

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

Definitely my iPhone – it holds great property-related apps and is also entertaining when waiting for open homes to start or for prospective tenants who are running late. Who doesn’t love checking their Instagram or Snapchat when they can?

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

Tenant relationships – I believe that tenants are still treated as just someone paying the landlord’s mortgage, however with the right service, tenants can be a property manager’s best advertisement as most tenants will either own an investment or know someone who does. PMs should be rewarded for new business and, if they are, they will have a vested interest with their employer to earn extra dollars for themselves, provide exceptional service for their current clients and increase their employer’s rent roll.

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

Patience when things are not going their way, consistency with how they run their day-to-day tasks and passion to excel in your chosen field.

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

I believe that the buck stops with the property manager. They should be responsible in all facets, from the advertising and leasing a property to the routine inspections, along with the ongoing management. It is the only way to have the best possible knowledge of an owner’s property and build a strong foundation of trust from the owner.

How do you deal with disgruntled and aggressive tenants?

I pick up the phone or invite them into the office. I think today many people hide behind emails and messages. However, by showing tenants you are making the time to speak with them and understand their issue, most times it turns out to be a positive ending and a more respectable relationship for the remainder of the tenancy.

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

Love everything about coffee. I’m on my third by 9.30am. I would probably learn how to roast and aim at opening a boutique café.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The fact that I am not stuck at a desk all day and that it is always different.

What are the most stressful aspects of your job?

Definitely dealing with a poor market. Seeing an owner’s property vacant for extended periods of time is never fun, especially if you own your own property. So even though it’s stressful, it is always challenging and rewarding when you achieve a result.

How do you relax after a stressful day at work?

Straight home to my wife and kids. Nothing is more important to me than family, so coming home and remembering why I work the crazy hours makes everything okay. After dinner, a cold beverage and the Fox Sports News channel is also a must to complete the wind down.

How would you describe a perfect property management day?

No arrears, no empty properties, no major repairs and a few new managements sounds like the ideal day to me.

Q&A: Rick Pignetti, True Property
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