Australia called on as property management leaders
RE/MAX LLC, headquarters of the world’s number one real estate brand, invited three Australians to deliver the first-ever property management session at its 2017 R4 Convention in Las Vegas, which attracts more than 6000 delegates each year.
Facilitating the session was Justin Miller, Co-Owner and Property Management Director, who heads up the property management division at RE/MAX Regency on Queensland’s Gold Coast; with panelists Cushla Symons, a licensed real estate agent, experienced trainer and Property Management Team Leader for RE/MAX Regency; and Katie Knight who is widely recognised as one of the best property managers in Australia and owns RE/MAX Success in Toowoomba, Queensland.
“RE/MAX is in more than 100 countries, and while some of the 7000-plus RE/MAX offices have established property management businesses, many do not,” Miller said.
“Australia leads the way. When you look at homeownership rates in the highest-rating 49 countries, the opportunity available for property management business in each country is clear, and we can see that in Australia 33 percent of dwellings are rented. Eight countries present with more renters than the US where the figure is 35 percent, though I’ve heard it as closer to 40 per
Steve Murray, President of REAL Trends in the US, said at the 2016 National Association of Residential Property Managers that US property management would grow as ‘buy-and-hold’ investor opportunity increased.
A growing trend of residential brokerage firms entering the residential property management business was noted, and while franchising in residential sales is well-developed, property management within franchising is not.
“As property management grows in countries such as the US, more people will get into the industry,” Miller said.
“NARPM noted that future franchises which will have the most property management success would devote 30-40 percent of their time on technology and creating systems and platforms that support success.”
Based on their business successes and accolades, Miller, Symons and Knight were chosen to address the interest in property management from around the globe and the need for information about this important part of a real estate business.
Miller said the property management process began with quality, tangible systems including process checklists, key indicator sign boards, workflow pigeon holes, scripts & dialogues, standard forms and key performance indicator reports, paired with the latest technologies in virtual systems, such as Inspection Manager (electronic entry condition reports and routine iphone/ipad inspections, Inspect Real Estate (24 hour online booking system), Rest communicator (allowing tenants and landlords to access important information electronically from the office website) and Maintenance Manager, which allows tenants to log their maintenance using the purpose-built mobile application.
“Having documented and flowcharted every process within our department, our on-boarding and team education becomes a very simple process, allowing us to employ team members with little or no experience trusting that our systems and culture will guide the team members through their day-to-day tasks.
“From our receptionists to the team leader, each member of the team will do whatever is required from assisting with an inspection to making someone a coffee to ensure the best service is provided.”
RE/MAX Regency and RE/MAX Success have adopted and implemented a property management model that has reset the industry benchmark for effective, transparent and results-driven property management.
Knight and Symons explained the four Quadrant Model that tasks leadership and management, operations and communication, support and administration, and business development, allocating roles to team members within the different quadrants to fully utilise their specific skill sets.
“With clearly-defined procedures and policies, each member of the team knows exactly what their responsibilities are,” Knight said.
“Each of the Quadrants has a different leveraging position, with respect to time and task allocation allowing for efficient workflow practices ensuring minimal movement between quadrants.”
The Australians’ session attracted professionals from many regions including Canada, US, UK and Netherlands, with a number in the audience seen to be wearing headphones.
The much-valued ‘property management: 101’ session recognised that while markets and legislative requirements might differ, property management is essentially the same at its core regardless of region, city or country; and is the management of the relationship between the tenant and owner while accepting responsibility for the property asset.
“Property management certainly has global eyes focused on Australia, and it was evident at R4 that other regions are recognising value in the property management side of real estate business,” Miller said.