Property Managers Wendy Page at LJ Hooker & Harley Simcic at Boffo Real Estate, share…
By Mark Hamblyn, Terri Scheer Distribution Manager
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be crowned one of Australia’s best at the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s (REIA) National Awards for Excellence?
We recently sat down with Director and Co-Founder at The Property Collective, Hannah Gill, to find out how the agency earnt its place as the 2023 Residential Property Management Team of the Year – an award proudly sponsored by Terri Scheer – and winner of the Innovation Award.
Interview with Hannah Gill, The Property Collective:
Q: Congratulations on The Property Collective’s recent wins at the REIA National Awards for Excellence. Can you share the story behind these awards and what the recognition means to you and your team?
A: Thank you – we’re incredibly proud. The Property Collective was founded around two years ago to flip the traditional property management model on its head.
My business partner Will Honey and I knew there had to be new thinking and models that could deliver higher client satisfaction and a greater work experience for property managers.
We believed in it so much that we wanted to give it a go ourselves – The Property Collective business today and these awards are proof of the tangible outcomes we’ve achieved by putting our clients at the centre of everything we do.
The two award wins are closely linked. The Innovation component centres around our custom-built BOSS program – Business Operations Success System – which maps out all aspects of our agency and workflow.
Every process in the business has a standard procedure and every point in our workflow has a video, how-to and other relevant resources to guide our operations.
It’s incredibly comprehensive and not your typical method, but it has meant that we can retrain our people with a new way of thinking and ultimately help create wealth for our clients.
Q: How does this contribute to the success of your property management team?
A: The BOSS program was already a key pillar in our sales business, then around 12 months ago we applied the same thinking to the property management division.
We’ve reimagined the roles of our property managers to become Relationship Managers charged with delivering a truly exceptional portfolio service – it’s a unique skill set and we teach our people everything they need to know.
Our Relationship Managers look after more properties than in the traditional model – up to 500 at any one time – and to make that work, we have brought onboard separate teams within the business to oversee the site-based work, including routines, maintenance and vacates.
This means our core client-facing team is responsive, focused on landlords rather than tenants, and has the time to build strong relationships with those landlords.
From calculating yield, looking at cash flow, helping landlords to review interest rates and connecting them with a network of advisors to grow their portfolios, our Relationship Managers know what to look for and how to create value.
Most importantly, BOSS gives us visibility across the entire business and helps our team to perform at its peak.
We’re empowering The Property’s Collective team with a comprehensive 12-week training plan and ongoing support to reduce time-based challenges.
Significant resources have been committed to building out the innovative and custom-made workflow system – it’s not quick or easy to onboard new starters. However, we know it’s worth it.
Q: Is culture a focus for your high-performing team?
A: Culture is the undercurrent of everything we do, what it looks like and feels like to be part of the team.
Real estate agents are really good at procedures and manuals – no one is a stranger to that in our industry. But there is not enough discussion about setting up teams for the best cultural success.
We’ve documented our vision, mission and values in our Culture Playbook which is extremely important to The Property Collective.
We work in a people-centric business and our goal has always been to reimagine the real estate experience for our clients and our team.
This playbook guides everything from recruitment to onboarding, performance management and rewards.
We intentionally chose a mindset that rewards our team for asking how we can succeed and win together, underpinned by the ethos ‘if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together’.
A key measure is the retention of staff. We work in a high-stress, fast-paced industry and reducing burnout is a focus nationwide.
So, for our team to have retained every Relationship Manager who has been brought on within the new model and to only farewell one Relationship Manager across the entire portfolio in more than 12 months is a fantastic outcome.
Other outcomes we’re proud of are our happy clients, who continue to share their satisfaction through sentiment surveys, online reviews and referrals for new business.
We’ve grown our rent roll to more than 1,400 properties in two years – and nearly all our new clients are inbound referrals thanks to existing clients.
We strive to create meaningful, long-term relationships with our clients and it’s always special when that turns into friendships and inherent trust in managing their portfolio.
The results speak for themselves, but at the same time, we know there is still plenty for us to learn and we’re excited to see where we can go from here.
Q: How does The Property Collective support your landlords to reduce financial and tenant-related risks?
A: We always say that landlords achieve the best outcomes when they have a proactive property manager looking after their investment properties.
Someone who ensures that regular and routine checks are in place – that’s not just the rental inspections but also staying on top of industry trends, connecting landlords with the right professionals and expert advice, and encouraging them to review interest rates every couple of years.
Usually, a retained bond won’t cover much in terms of dollar value and restrictions on what it can be used for, so having a good landlord insurance policy is critical.
Landlords tend to come unstuck if they take out a policy that is not fit for purpose, which can leave them exposed financially.
We refer our clients to Terri Scheer landlord insurance so it is relatively seamless when they need to submit an insurance claim.
We emphasise the importance of understanding what they need from their cover to ensure they will be protected in the unfortunate event they need to claim – and not just accepting the cheapest policy.
From our perspective, we strongly prefer that landlords choose an insurer that lets their property manager claim on their behalf.
We’re the experts; we submit claims all the time. When good governance processes are in place, such as rent reviews and regular inspections, a claim should be quite straightforward because the property manager has all the evidence required to achieve a good outcome.
Achieving fast and efficient claim outcomes comes back to how well a property management business is running its portfolios.
From a risk perspective, we’re seeing tenants’ rent-to-income ratios increasing and their ability to make their rent payments becoming more difficult.
That is going to cause some concern for landlords if it hasn’t already.
Off the back of Covid-19-related rent payment issues, this again highlights the need for landlords to ensure they have the right insurance policy in place to protect them financially.
Q: Finally, what do you love about the industry and what makes you proudest?
A: I’ve worked in real estate, specialising in property management, for 14 years, and I always feel so lucky to be in such a dynamic and exciting industry.
It’s certainly evolving quickly and the Covid-19 pandemic has fast-tracked that; traditional businesses have been pushed outside of their comfort zones and it’s driven innovation.
Real estate professionals are highly collaborative and I love the commitment of people around us who also want to raise the bar, innovate and share ideas.
At the end of the day, advancing the industry benefits all our teams and clients, creating a positive benefit for us all.
At the core, property managers and agents are working incredibly hard to give people a place to call home. We do that well, and we should be proud of our impact.
As a major partner of the REIA and Australia’s leading landlord insurance specialist,
Terri Scheer was proud to be involved in the National Awards for Excellence 2023.
This year Terri Scheer sponsored two award categories:
- Residential Property Management Team of the Year – The Property Collective
- Residential Property Manager of the Year – Kristy Copping, Perth Property Management
Congratulations to The Property Collective, Kristy Copping and all National Awards for Excellence winners in 2023.
For further information, call 1800 804 016.
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