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Not having a shopfront gives me an edge, PM says

By Jay Garcia
16 July 2015 | 10 minute read

One property manager has forged her own path by starting a remote business from her home.

Home Property Management director Tisa van den Heuvel has been operating as a sole trader remote business for two years, with a rent roll of 50 across Sydney’s north shore and Hills district.

“I had about 15 clients come with me when I started, maybe 20 more have been from word-of-mouth and the rest have been from cold-calling places like Gumtree or contacting owners whose homes have been online for a long time, and offering them my services,” Ms van den Heuvel said.

Operating as a sole trader means clients will receive personalised service without the uncertainty of rotating staff, she said.

“I tell people – ‘other property managers get paid to come in 9 to 5 then go home; I get paid if and when you get paid’.

“So it’s in my best interest to put good tenants in who pay their rent on time and don’t cause any problems, which I think really resonates with clients.”

Ms van den Heuvel noted that her clients don’t mind that she has no shopfront, since walk-in businesses are becoming scarcer with the availability online service.

“I know some people who recently started at a franchise and they’re getting listings and leads purely for being with that franchise, not because of the shopfront.”


Ms van den Heuvel initially weighed up the idea of setting up a franchise business with a reputable brand name herself, but felt it wasn’t worth it.

“I’d rather just do it organically and keep it to a size I can manage myself and keep a hand on everybody, rather than delegate to people I may or may not trust.”

She uses Facebook, Gumtree and letterbox drops to market her services and source new leaders.

“I keep in regular contact with my current owners and offer things like movie tickets for referrals of their friends and family,” Ms van den Heuvel said.

“I also make sure I put out signboards and let neighbours know I have leased homes in their street.”

Ms van den Heuvel noted that it’s good to share resources with other remote property managers who aren’t direct competitors, as it eases the financial burden and means they can offer support to one another.




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