Liana Slipetsky was drawn to property management when she spotted some agents getting out of BMWs. Today, she runs a successful business and enjoys the freedom of working from home.
When did you first join the PM industry?
I became a “sub-agent” (that’s what it was called back then) on 4 April, 1989 (had to go pull out my old certificate to check that).
Why did you join the PM industry?
I hate to admit it but I got into real estate for a pretty superficial reason. One day, I was driving down Kerferd Road and saw a bunch of snappily dressed agents getting out of their BMWs. I thought to myself, “That looks like a fun job”.
What were you doing before PM?
I had just finished university and had a brief unsuccessful stint at selling insurance and working in my dad’s clothing factory. Neither appealed to me.
What would you like your next career step to be?
I have run my own boutique property management business for over 10 years so I'm pretty comfortable working from home (property management in your slippers) and growing the rent roll.
What piece of technology do you find the most useful for your business and why?
I am very attached to my iPhone… it’s a love/hate relationship.
What area of PM needs more training focused on it and why?
Negotiation skills underpin much of what we do. Learning how to avoid tribunal appearances and have the confidence to give solid advice to owners and tenants.
What skills does a PM/BDM need to be successful?
Tough love. A property manager has to be professional and courteous but also know when to stand their ground. It’s a fine balance.
Where do you believe PM’s responsibilities should start and end?
This needs to be very clearly defined in your management agreement. I actually think landlords often blur the lines of what we are paid to do and where our expertise lies. Too often our roles are mistaken for legal advisors, cleaners etc.
How do you deal with disgruntled and aggressive tenants?
Let them scream, I say. If you remain silent (it’s a fine art learning to bite your tongue) and let them get it out of their system, it often diffuses the situation. Repetition is good too… “As I said previously, when will your rent be paid?”
What would you be doing if you weren’t in the PM industry?
I’d be a rock star. Um... no, probably a boring lawyer or something like that.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Having my own business gives me the freedom to make my own decisions without having to report to a principal… and take a nap if I need to.
What are the most stressful aspects of your job?
Unreasonable tenants and conflict resolution.
How do you relax after a stressful day at work?
I love nothing more than Foxtel and carbohydrates in my PJs.
How would you describe a perfect property management day?
Five new listings at full fees, an empty inbox and a bunch of flowers!