LEARN­ING TO FLY

Elite Property Manager - - Contents -

Tameka Smith, Key2 Prop­erty plus Top take­aways from PM Trans­form 2018

PM TRANS­FORM 2018 brought to­gether more than 100 prop­erty man­age­ment prac­ti­tion­ers and pro­fes­sion­als from around Aus­tralia who were look­ing to im­prove their skills and learn from the best in the busi­ness. In a chal­leng­ing 30 days, par­tic­i­pants won points for com­plet­ing chal­lenges, with the top 10 on the leader­board each re­ceiv­ing a pass to ARPM 2018. We asked the 10 top scor­ers for their Trans­form take­aways, in­clud­ing what's next for them with their new-found PM tal­ents.

Tak­ing out the num­ber one spot in PM Trans­form 2018 wasn’t the goal for Tameka Smith when she de­cided to en­rol. The di­rec­tor of Key2 Prop­erty in Launce­s­ton didn’t even re­alise the pro­gram had a com­pet­i­tive as­pect, just en­ter­ing be­cause of her love of train­ing. But her ded­i­ca­tion to bet­ter­ment in both her­self and the in­dus­try saw her top the leader­board.

“I've been in the in­dus­try now for four­teen years, al­ways in prop­erty man­age­ment. I started out as a re­cep­tion­ist, moved into prop­erty man­age­ment, be­came a prop­erty man­ager and then a de­part­ment man­ager. Then I started my own prop­erty man­age­ment busi­ness.”

One thing that’s quickly ap­par­ent about Tameka is her ded­i­ca­tion. From her pas­sion for train­ing and rais­ing the stan­dards in the in­dus­try to how im­por­tant staff re­ten­tion is in her busi­ness, Tameka is al­ways striv­ing to do more and be bet­ter.

Open­ing the doors at Key2 Prop­erty two years ago, Tameka and her team have grown the busi­ness or­gan­i­cally from zero rentals to 300, with 60 per cent of the busi­ness com­ing from re­peat and re­fer­ral clients. In the first six months the busi­ness dou­bled their tar­gets, and in 12 months they had tripled them. Sur­pris­ingly, with such an im­pres­sive track record, Tameka also finds time to serve on the board for the REIT and works for the body as a trainer.

The clients are ob­vi­ously num­ber one at Key2 Prop­erty, which goes a long way to ex­plain­ing why Tameka choose to pur­sue her ca­reer in prop­erty man­age­ment.

“I like the re­ward of it and that you have clients for life. I have a client with me that was my very first sign-up four years ago. I have life­long friends that are also my clients and I like that it's a re­la­tion­ship-build­ing in­dus­try.

“It's su­per-re­ward­ing – you help peo­ple on their in­vest­ment jour­ney, help fi­nance their prop­er­ties and fill their su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund, or what­ever it may be. Or you're work­ing with a tenant to find a mort­gage bro­ker and buy their first in­vest­ment prop­erty. I like the hu­man side of it.”

Over her 14 years in prop­erty man­age­ment, Tameka has seen a lot of changes. She high­lights par­tic­u­larly the in­tro­duc­tion of tech and how it’s sys­temised the in­dus­try. But she firmly be­lieves that real es­tate still needs a hu­man touch, which is what makes bou­tique man­age­ment busi­nesses like Key2 Prop­erty so im­por­tant.

“I think the prin­ci­ples of prop­erty man­age­ment still re­main very much the same. You still need to pick up the phone and talk to peo­ple; it's still a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship. You talk to peo­ple, you know what's go­ing on in their lives, whether they're hav­ing kids and get­ting mar­ried or di­vorced, or what­ever it may be. The big­gest change has been the tech, which gives us the abil­ity to do a bit more and of­fer more to our clients and cus­tomers.”

When Tameka set up her busi­ness with her part­ners Ananda Cairns and Kate Woods, one of the most im­por­tant fea­tures was that they were se­lec­tive about their list­ings. In the last fi­nan­cial year, Key2 Prop­erty has turned away 33 man­age­ments that didn’t fit the cri­te­ria of their busi­ness.

“That's a huge amount of rev­enue that we turned away from our busi­ness, but it was also a huge amount of headache. We only work in select sub­urbs in our area and find select land­lords that are happy to do the main­te­nance and gen­er­ally care for their ten­ants and their prop­er­ties, and want their in­vest­ments to grow.”

In Tas­ma­nia, the usual time­line for burnout in prop­erty man­age­ment is just eight months. Tameka and her team hope that through im­ple­ment­ing bet­ter strate­gies and stricter pro­cesses in their busi­ness they can im­prove that. One ex­am­ple is Tameka’s as­sis­tant, Zoe Allen, who has been in the busi­ness from day one and is on the same path Tameka fol­lowed 14 years ear­lier.

PM Trans­form came at a per­fect time for Tameka. It was two years af­ter start­ing the busi­ness, which was com­fort­ably off the ground, and she was ready for a re­view.

“I'm ad­dicted to learn­ing, love it, love learn­ing, love teach­ing, so an op­por­tu­nity for me to learn I'll take ev­ery time. I jumped into it, not re­al­is­ing it was a com­pe­ti­tion you

“YOU STILL NEED TO PICK UP THE PHONE AND TALK TO PEO­PLE; IT'S STILL A PER­SONAL RE­LA­TION­SHIP.

could win; I just thought it was a 30-day in­ten­sive train­ing pro­gram and I was all for it. So I signed up and got stuck right into it.”

Tameka opted into the ex­tra train­ing with Heidi Walkin­shaw of Real+, who was the one who even­tu­ally told her about the leader­board.

“For me it was about the learn­ing and the growth, and the win­ning was just an added bonus. It was def­i­nitely about the con­tent they of­fered, and it's one of the best train­ing pro­grams I've ever done.

“I prob­a­bly got more out of it per­son­ally than pro­fes­sion­ally. It was re­ally good tim­ing; I've been do­ing this for two years now and hit some mas­sive mile­stones, but to do that I've had to al­most for­get about the fam­ily and my life. So it was a re­ally good time for me to read­just my com­mit­ment to ev­ery­thing, to read­just where the hours in my day are go­ing and work more on the busi­ness than in it. And also not for­get that I've got a fam­ily.”

Tameka’s kids and her hus­band are a big part of what drives her to suc­ceed. Her next goal straight af­ter Trans­form was to take a break with them and go on a fam­ily va­ca­tion. But when she re­turned to the of­fice it was straight back to work.

“Now that I've done Trans­form, the goal is to have an over­haul and see what we do need and what we don't need. I've got a num­ber in mind of where I want to grow the busi­ness, but I need to work out the why. Why do we want to do that and how are we go­ing to go about it?

“It's set­ting the path and di­rec­tion for the next five years now, re­ally. We've got the busi­ness up and run­ning; when you're start­ing you do what­ever's nec­es­sary to get it to this point, and now it's fine-tun­ing it and set­ting the fu­ture for where the busi­ness is go­ing.”

I'VE GOT A NUM­BER IN MIND OF WHERE I WANT TO GROW THE BUSI­NESS, BUT I NEED TO WORK OUT THE WHY. HAN­NAH BLACKISTON

PM TRANS­FORM WIN­NER TAMEKA SMITH, Key2 Prop­erty

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