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22 January 2013 Reporter

Dianne Mendoza grew her rent roll from just 25 properties to over a thousand, and claims she still managed to maintain the same levels of customer service throughout

 

When awards season rolls around, you will find offices broken down into categories of large, medium and small. There are obviously pros and cons to running each. For instance, having a large rent roll means staff is stretched which could affect service, while profits and income are obviously smaller if the office is small.

According to one award-winning property manager, the best case scenario is a property management department that can maintain the service of a small office, and apply it to a large rent roll. This is something Dianne Mendoza, principal licensee and head of property management at PRDnationwide Ipswich, is proud to have accomplished.

Ranked as head of the number one property management team in the PRDnationwide network Australia-wide, Dianne was thrust into her husband’s business by chance.

“After many years in the Air Force, my husband decided to get into real estate. He was quite successful and ended up in a partnership in a small independent real estate office,” she says.

“The lady who was in charge of sales support and property management fell pregnant. There were only about 25 rentals at that stage, so my husband convinced me to take the position.”

Dianne found she enjoyed the interaction with people and the service role she was providing, even if the position terrified her at first.

“I didn’t have any experience at all and I never had any intention of ever getting into real estate. I was actually quite scared of real estate in general,” she recounts.

“I did things a bit differently because I didn’t know any better. If people didn’t pay rent, I’d go out to their home. I’d chase them around if I had to, so I was a bit more hands on.

“I could do those things because we were only in charge of a small number of properties.”

Being new to the industry and not knowing any better made Dianne act on instinct alone. ‘If I were the landlord, what would I want done?' she would constantly ask herself.

“If I did a routine inspection, I’d ring the landlord from the front gate and have a chat with them about the property. Little things like that I consider standard customer service,” she says.

“The business started to grow through word of mouth, and the next thing I knew I had a hundred properties, then two hundred, then three hundred.”

Once leaving the small rent roll territory, Dianne had to make some changes to keep up with the changing pace of her clients’ needs.

“I couldn’t work from the road anymore; I needed to be in a central location. I started working at the office right at the front,” she says. “That way I could keep my finger on the pulse at all times.”

Eventually, her husband’s partnership dissolved. But, despite the poor outlook, they decided to try their luck themselves.

Fifteen years after opening the doors of their new PRDnationwide office with no houses to sell and nothing to rent, Dianne has found herself with 1,100 managements.

READ the full interview in the latest issue of Residential Property Manager – ON SALE NOW
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