TAK­ING GOOD CARE

Nurs­ing and real es­tate may not seem to have much in com­mon, but that’s cer­tainly not the case ac­cord­ing to Bev Pel­low, Prin­ci­pal at Ray White Ru­ral Temora and Nar­ran­dera. Af­ter 30 years in nurs­ing, she made the move to real es­tate and hasn’t looked back.

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Wrap-up from rent.com.au Stephanie Challi­nor

BEV PEL­LOW started prac­tis­ing as a nurse back in 1978. “I com­pleted my train­ing at Royal North Shore Hospi­tal in Syd­ney and then worked at a few dif­fer­ent pri­vate hos­pi­tals be­fore mov­ing back to the coun­try.

“Later I moved into teach­ing. I was at TAFE and taught AINs (As­sis­tants in Nurs­ing) who worked in nurs­ing homes. At the time I was also work­ing part-time in a nurs­ing home as a Reg­is­tered Nurse, so it was a nice com­ple­ment.”

When Bev was of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to step into a man­age­rial po­si­tion at the nurs­ing home to fill a 12-month ma­ter­nity leave open­ing, she jumped at the chance.

“That po­si­tion re­ally gave me a solid foun­da­tion, in terms of skills and knowl­edge, to run my own busi­ness,” she says. “I had to deal with ev­ery­thing from staff in­duc­tions, po­si­tion de­scrip­tions and em­ploy­ment agree­ments to in­dus­try awards and work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion. Ev­ery­thing! That ex­pe­ri­ence re­ally gave me a lot of con­fi­dence as I made the move into real es­tate.”

MAK­ING THE MOVE

Chang­ing ca­reer di­rec­tion was not a de­ci­sion Bev took lightly, but she knew it was the right one.

“My hus­band is a stock and sta­tion agent and he worked re­bat­ing through a fran­chise,” Bev re­mem­bers. “He de­cided he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life build­ing a busi­ness for some­one else; he wanted to build one for him­self, for us. So we went looking for op­por­tu­ni­ties and Ray White was a great fit for us.”

At the be­gin­ning Bev worked part-time in the busi­ness while still work­ing part­time in the nurs­ing home. “At the time, we just had Craig, a trainee re­cep­tion­ist and my­self. As sales and prop­erty man­age­ment work came through the door, I did it. But as the busi­ness built, we put on a full-time sales­per­son which al­lowed me to fo­cus on prop­erty man­age­ment and train our trainee in that area of the busi­ness.”

SKILLSET

Ac­cord­ing to Bev, the train­ing, busi­ness man­age­ment and peo­ple skills she de­vel­oped over the course of her nurs­ing ca­reer have stood her in good stead.

“The skills I learnt while teach­ing at TAFE have been a real as­set. From the time we opened the doors to our agency, it’s been my re­spon­si­bil­ity to train ev­ery­one who comes to work for us,” she says. “Oper­at­ing in a coun­try area has meant that the pool of fully trained prop­erty man­agers has been very shal­low. So, out of ne­ces­sity, most of our team have needed to be trained from scratch.”

Her busi­ness de­vel­op­ment skills have also been read­ily trans­fer­able into real es­tate and she uses these each day. But the num­ber one abil­ity Bev draws on is her peo­ple skills.

“Deal­ing with peo­ple, and deal­ing with dif­fi­cult peo­ple at very stress­ful pe­ri­ods of their lives, is com­mon to both nurs­ing and prop­erty man­age­ment,” she says. “Nurs­ing def­i­nitely teaches you the skills you need to deal with all types of peo­ple in all sorts of cir­cum­stances.

“SOME­TIMES IT’S HARD NOT TO GET EMO­TION­ALLY IN­VOLVED WITH WHAT’S GO­ING ON IN CLIENTS’ LIVES – AND YOU DO TEND TO GET COR­NERED IN WOOLIES WITH CLIENTS ASK­ING QUES­TIONS.”

“Real es­tate is all about peo­ple and we are fo­cused on build­ing a cus­tom­erser­vice fo­cused busi­ness. Our aim is to build long-term and last­ing re­la­tion­ships with our clients and pro­vide them with the best ser­vice. In terms of prop­erty man­age­ment, we hold on to our man­age­ments – and when our clients in­vest in their next prop­erty, they come back to us. For us it’s all about pro­vid­ing the best ser­vice, so the peo­ple skills I de­vel­oped over the course of my nurs­ing ca­reer have re­ally been a great ben­e­fit.”

For Bev, it all boils down to al­ways do­ing what you say you’re go­ing to do. “The key in prop­erty man­age­ment is good com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It’s the num­ber one thing clients will com­plain about. But if you com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple and do what you say you’re go­ing to do, it goes a long way.”

COUN­TRY LIFE

Like nurs­ing, prop­erty man­age­ment is al­ways in­ter­est­ing and you never know what the day is go­ing to bring. “We re­cently dis­cov­ered that one of our ten­ants was grow­ing mar­i­juana on the prop­erty,” she re­calls. “The tenant had com­plained that the wa­ter pres­sure was low. We sent some­one out to re­pair it and he dis­cov­ered the plants hid­den be­hind a row of trees.

“Ob­vi­ously they needed wa­ter for their crop,” Bev says, tongue in cheek. “But need­less to say we ter­mi­nated their lease im­me­di­ately!”

Crops aside, Bev loves liv­ing and work­ing in the coun­try. “We get to know our clients re­ally well. It’s part and par­cel of liv­ing in a coun­try town,” she says. “It can be a plus and a mi­nus; a plus be­cause you know who you won’t rent to in a mil­lion years. But a mi­nus be­cause some­times it’s hard not to get emo­tion­ally in­volved with what’s go­ing on in clients’ lives – and you do tend to get cor­nered in Woolies with clients ask­ing ques­tions.”

But it’s def­i­nitely the coun­try life for Bev; she truly en­joys liv­ing and work­ing in the coun­try­side. So much so that each year her team heads to Syd­ney for the Life­style Expo to en­cour­age city slick­ers to make a tree change. “We ac­tively pro­mote Temora and Nar­ran­dera, and we’ve helped many peo­ple re­lo­cate here,” she says. “It’s so re­ward­ing to see them make the move and end up with the life­style they’ve been looking for.”

And the re­lo­ca­tions are good for busi­ness in more ways than one. Bev has even em­ployed a few of these treechang­ers. “It’s been a re­ally pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for us. We live and work in such a won­der­ful com­mu­nity.”

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