FROM THE GUEST EDI­TOR

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - Chris Gray, CEO, YourEm­pire

JUST AS THERE’S not one sin­gle prop­erty mar­ket, there's not one so­lu­tion for prop­erty man­age­ment busi­nesses. It all depends on the par­tic­u­lar in­vestor you're deal­ing with and the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket in your area.

I'm a con­trar­ian and tend to do the op­po­site to what most reg­u­lar peo­ple do, and that goes for busi­ness and for in­vest­ment. If you're good at what you do, you can be suc­cess­ful with­out tech­nol­ogy or even any of­fice, staff or brochures. Of course, you prob­a­bly still need a com­puter, phone and web­site!

Day to day I wear a few dif­fer­ent hats, which have given me a multi-lay­ered in­sight into prop­erty man­age­ment. As an in­vestor with 14 prop­er­ties worth around $15 mil­lion, I deal with prop­erty man­agers as a di­rect client. Then, as a share­holder of a prop­erty man­age­ment com­pany and a buyer's agent who pur­chases 50 to 100 units a year on be­half of my clients, I also know what time-poor pro­fes­sion­als look­ing for pas­sive in­vest­ments re­quire from a prop­erty man­ager.

I'm all for find­ing sim­pler ways of do­ing things and tech­nol­ogy can as­sist with this to a de­gree. As an in­vestor, if I'm go­ing through a re­mort­gage to ex­tract eq­uity and buy fur­ther in­vest­ments, the banks al­ways want copies of my lat­est state­ments. If they're all on­line and easy for me to ac­cess, not only can I get my ap­pli­ca­tion in quicker but I don't need to con­tact my prop­erty man­ager when his time is best spent look­ing af­ter my prop­er­ties.

I built a busi­ness with vir­tu­ally no ad­min­is­tra­tion as I knew my em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers hated it, and I en­cour­age more peo­ple to think like this to min­imise it where pos­si­ble.

Whilst some clients are very par­tic­u­lar and want to know ev­ery sin­gle de­tail of what hap­pens to their prop­erty on a daily ba­sis, I try and get my clients pre-framed to con­cen­trate on the big­ger pic­ture from day one.

Although ev­ery ex­tra dol­lar you make in rent and ev­ery

THERE WILL AL­WAYS BE ANOTHER COM­PETI­TOR WITH NEW TECH­NOL­OGY, SO YOU CAN­NOT LET TECH­NOL­OGY BE THE ONLY FEATHER IN YOUR CAP. I BUILT A BUSI­NESS WITH VIR­TU­ALLY NO AD­MIN­IS­TRA­TION AS I KNEW MY EM­PLOY­EES AND CUS­TOMERS HATED IT, AND I EN­COUR­AGE MORE PEO­PLE TO THINK LIKE THIS TO MIN­IMISE IT WHERE POS­SI­BLE.

dol­lar saved on re­pairs and prop­erty man­age­ment fees makes a dif­fer­ence, it's best not to fo­cus on the day-to-day dol­lars and cents too closely. If a $500,000 prop­erty rises at $25,000 to $50,000 over the long term (five to 10 per cent), wouldn't it be bet­ter to con­cen­trate on buy­ing an ex­tra prop­erty rather than try­ing to squeeze a few cents out of your cur­rent one?

Some clients want to hear from their prop­erty man­agers ev­ery month or quar­ter, but I would pre­fer to pay my agents more not to hear from them. At the start of a new lease, I tell my agents that if any prop­erty re­pairs re­quired are val­ued at un­der $1,000, just go ahead and fix them. If re­pairs will cost over $1,000, I have the agent no­tify me by email be­fore pro­ceed­ing.

We've re­cently in­tro­duced an au­to­matic sys­tem in our prop­erty man­age­ment com­pany where the land­lord, the ten­ant and the trades­man all get no­ti­fied that an is­sue has arisen and it's go­ing to be fixed. I'm sure lots of land­lords love this, but for me, it's just another email that I don't re­ally need.

Many busi­nesses out­source their book­keep­ing (which is then of­ten re-out­sourced over­seas) and then have an in­terim CFO come in, and I think we will see sim­i­lar processes in prop­erty man­age­ment. There needs to be a friendly face or voice to sign up the land­lords and to meet the ten­ants, but most other back of­fice el­e­ments can be trans­acted in vol­ume else­where for a frac­tion of the cur­rent costs.

If you're in prop­erty man­age­ment and want to be the best in the busi­ness, it's al­ways good to be abreast of new tech­nol­ogy. How­ever, re­mem­ber that you're not go­ing to meet the needs of ev­ery per­son with one sin­gle sys­tem; there is still a need to be able to sell to your land­lord and form a re­la­tion­ship with them. There will al­ways be another com­peti­tor with new tech­nol­ogy, so you can­not let tech­nol­ogy be the only feather in your cap.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.