Kel­ley Seaton is the Di­rec­tor of Prop­erty Man­age­ment HQ. She and her team work from three of­fice lo­ca­tions (Cen­tral Coast and East Mait­land, NSW and from East Bris­bane, QLD) with the vast ma­jor­ity of man­age­ments lo­cated in the gor­geous Hunter Val­ley. Havi

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Kel­ley Seaton

What mo­ti­vated you to get into prop­erty man­age­ment?

I was 18 and had just fin­ished my HSC in Year 12. I had no idea what ca­reer path to fol­low, so I de­cided to take the first job to earn some money and then work out where I was headed. I had one rule: That was I didn’t want to do real es­tate.

Mur­phy’s law: I at­tended my first in­ter­view and got a job as a re­cep­tion­ist in – you guessed it – a real es­tate of­fice. I wasn’t en­tirely mo­ti­vated at first, but the love of real es­tate be­came a way of life. I pro­gressed through many roles then re­alised prop­erty man­age­ment was way more in­ter­est­ing than sales ad­min and re­cep­tion, and I never looked back. About five years in I be­came mo­ti­vated to make this job my ca­reer.

What have been your big­gest chal­lenges so far?

The big­gest chal­lenge was def­i­nitely tak­ing the plunge to work for my­self and open my own of­fice. Be­ing very pas­sion­ate about the in­dus­try the de­ci­sion to do this was quite easy; the hard part was that I had very lit­tle funds to set my­self up and didn’t want to bor­row money, so I had to look at ways to grow my own rent roll or­gan­i­cally. My sec­ond big­gest chal­lenge was de­cid­ing to open an of­fice in Queens­land. Both of these choices have been very re­ward­ing, (and some­what chal­leng­ing) ev­ery sin­gle day.

What or who inspires you?

The great out­doors al­ways pro­vides me with in­spi­ra­tion. We have a beau­ti­ful coun­try and I think it’s im­por­tant to stop and smell the roses and not to take things for granted. Although I love na­ture and beau­ti­ful land­scapes, my fam­ily and friends are my true in­spi­ra­tions. My kids keep things in per­spec­tive too; be­ing a mother is very in­spi­ra­tional in it­self.

In your brief­case right now is…

A lot of pens (I am a se­cret pen thief), my lap­top, charger, two Match­box cars, iPad, post-it notes, busi­ness cards, USB stick, sugar-free chew­ing gum and about four lip­sticks (be­cause I need more than three at once!)

Some­thing you couldn’t live with­out?

This might sound self­ish, but I need one hour set aside just for me ev­ery week, to do noth­ing for any­one ex­cept my­self.

It might change ev­ery week, but it could be tak­ing time out to clear my head, get­ting a pedi­cure or tak­ing a bath (with a glass of wine) and soak­ing it up. It’s a mo­ment of re-bal­ance.

Tech­nol­ogy must haves?

I can’t be with­out my iPhone. I have tried on sev­eral oc­ca­sions not to use it, but I just give into the temp­ta­tion ev­ery time. It’s hard to know how I sur­vived be­fore I had it sur­gi­cally at­tached to me.

What are you most look­ing for­ward to in Elite Prop­erty Man­ager?

Shar­ing, read­ing, lis­ten­ing to the ideas and sto­ries of many amaz­ing like-minded pro­fes­sion­als in the prop­erty man­age­ment sec­tor of our in­dus­try. Prop­erty man­age­ment has played sec­ond fid­dle to sales for so long; it’s about time we as prop­erty man­agers stood tall and were recog­nised as ex­perts in the field. Hav­ing ac­cess to the ex­pe­ri­enced in­di­vid­u­als and those in­volved in EPM is es­sen­tial to ev­ery­one who wants to suc­ceed in real es­tate prop­erty man­age­ment.


What ad­vice would you give some­one just start­ing out in prop­erty man­age­ment?

Be strong, and don’t take things per­son­ally. Sur­round your­self with pro­fes­sion­als and in­dus­try ex­perts and ab­sorb as much in­for­ma­tion from them as pos­si­ble; they can teach you things from their own hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence. Learn the leg­is­la­tion and en­sure that you at­tend reg­u­lar train­ing. Be a good lis­tener, and a good com­mu­ni­ca­tor. This is a ser­vice in­dus­try; if you can com­mu­ni­cate with your cus­tomers on a very reg­u­lar ba­sis, you are half­way there. Ev­ery­one loves com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

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