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Interview with Rob Ham, business operations manager with Harcourts

By Sam Bevan
13 December 2012 | 5 minute read

D9R70x90Welcome to the first in my series of “Property Management Profiles”, where I interview Property Management professionals working in the industry and ask them for their handy hints and advice.


Blogger: Sam Bevan, property management professional

Business operations manager with Harcourts, Rob Ham, kicks off the series, answering a few questions on his career in property management and business operations.


How did you get into property management?

After reading a lot of Robert Kiyosaki books (Rich Dad Poor Dad series) I was determined that I was going to build a property portfolio myself. As part of that I thought how am I going to be able to find the best Property Manager/s to manage my properties?? The answer was to get into Property Management myself so I know exactly what to look for if I wasn’t going to manage my own properties (which I highly recommend no one manages their own properties even if you are a Property Manager). Once I had worked out that I wanted to become a Property Manager I went about finding what courses I should do and if any company offered the training as part of employment. I came across a company ad in the West that said they had Nationally Recognised Trainers so I sent them an email off my phone along with my resume, a few days later I had an interview. The first interview went really well and they asked me back to meet a few of the other staff members. After the second meeting I was offered the job.

Tell us about a mentor, teacher or colleague along the way who has helped guide and shape your career?
The most notable people who shaped my Property Management career are Samantha Bevan (Kelly), Tony Warren, Anne Warren (Twist), Lorraine Wolinski, David Airey and Kerin Kenny. That’s not to say there aren’t many others, I take information on board from everyone but there are too many to list. The ones mentioned are the ones who first come to mind when I think about how I learnt all that I know about property management and where I am today. So to each and every one of them I thank them for their time and effort they spent with me.
What personal quality is most important for a Property Manager to have?
The number one best quality a PM should have is FANTASTIC communication skills. Communication is the key to everything in property management!

What gadgets and technological advancements have improved your day to day job and become necessities?
Definitely the iPhone and iPad! With all the different apps available now for PCR’s, Routine Inspections, Opens etc… it makes my life much easier and streamlined! I find with my iPhone it’s great to have access to my emails when I’m out and about. With an exchange server my emails, contacts and calendar all sync wirelessly which also helps me a lot. Social Media and database/email marketing systems are also fantastic tools that have helped me along the way. If a database is used right it’s an absolute gold mine, especially for new business.

What are the biggest pros and cons of owning a rental property?
Pros – property generally appreciates in both sale & rental value, the tax breaks you get, it enables you to borrow more money against the equity to purchase more property and it’s a great learning experience.
Cons – you do have small risks like possibly getting a bad tenant (but that’s why you employ a professional property manager and take out landlords insurance), having a vacancy period between tenants which means your costs go up as you don’t have any rental income and your asset may decline in value.

In my opinion the pros far outweigh the cons, it’s a no brainer that owning property is a great idea!

Is print advertising dead, and what is your main source of marketing?
Print advertising is rarely used to advertise rental properties that are managed professionally these days. You will still find adverts about property management services as a small percentage of people do still read the paper, however, I only see this declining over the next few years. Internet and Email Marketing are the main source of marketing/advertising going on right now and will continue into the future. Social Media and Video Marketing are also becoming a lot more prominent but has only just begun. I see too many real estate professionals doing this type of marketing wrong. As this is only the beginning it is something everyone will need to adapt to and spend time learning how to do it properly or spend the money to hire someone to do it for them.

About Sam Bevan
D9R200x115Sam Bevan is a real estate professional specialising in Property Management. In her previous role as a consultant, Sam worked closely with new and established real estate businesses in Perth, focusing on marketing, training and mentoring Property Management staff and business owners.
Sam is now part of the Olifents Real Estate team, situated in Peppermint Grove, servicing the Western Suburbs of Perth, and beyond. With the Perth Property Management Blog, Sam shares her years of stories and experience with fellow professionals, owners and tenants alike, to provide vital information and insight on Property Management in Perth.

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