Sarah Thompson from We Love Rentals in Perth learnt the value of customer service working as a flight attendant, but she would love to do volunteer work with children in need around the globe someday.
When did you first join the PM industry?
I began as an assistant property manager in December 2013, and then moved into a property manager role and started managing my own portfolio.
Why did you join the PM industry?
I actually used to rent myself through We Love Rentals. I loved the friendly staff and thought it would be a very interesting job. I gave my property manager a call to find out more and was fortunate enough to secure a vacant position.
What were you doing before PM?
I was working as a flight attendant.
What would you like your next career step to be?
I would love to take the challenge of becoming a licensee one day.
What piece of technology do you find the most useful for your business and why?
Inspect Real Estate Software – it's a great database for storing all tenant enquiries, keeps everyone thoroughly informed and saves precious time.
What area of PM needs more training focused around it and why?
Working as part of a team – it is so important that everyone in the office, no matter what their position, works as part of an effective team for things to run smoothly and maintain a positive workplace. If everyone is on the same page, mistakes are eliminated, people are more productive and confident. A happy and positive team structure results in positive-thinking staff with fewer staff changes.
What skills does a PM/BDM need to be successful?
Great communication skills, being well organised and effective time management.
Where do you believe PM’s responsibilities should start and end?
PM's responsibilities start from the moment a new management commences and don't end until the management comes to an end and the file is handed over to another party. It is, however, important to remember that the PM is there to manage the property and the tenancy – we are not building inspectors, tradespeople, counsellors or the police, so it is our job to refer matters to the relevant people when it is something we are not suitably qualified to comment on or attend to.
How do you deal with disgruntled and aggressive tenants?
By remaining calm, allowing them to express their feelings and then trying to calm and rectify the situation. I always make sure I have all of my facts correct when engaging in conversation and, if the tenant refuses to calm down or communicate in a reasonable manner, I will request they call back or revisit the office once they are prepared to discuss things in a calm and civilised manner.
What would you be doing if you weren't in the PM industry?
I would love to be a volunteer helping all the children in need throughout the world.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love that everyday is different and that I learn something new every day.
What are the most stressful aspects of your job?
Dealing with unrealistic clients when it comes to maintenance and what is considered fair wear and tear.
How do you relax after a stressful day at work?
I enjoy hitting the gym. Boxing is always good, followed by a nice bath!
How would you describe a perfect property management day?
Zero emails and rental arrears! It's also great to receive positive feedback from your clients, which inspires you to work harder.