Interstate/Digital Property Managers: Leaving the state, but not the company
Having a “sea-change” is a regular feature of Australian life, with roughly 100,000 people moving interstate every three months on average. This often involves finding a new house, new schools, and for many it means finding a new job. But not for everyone.
At the STAFFLINK 2022 Conference panel discussion, Troy Pullar from Harcourts, revealed that one of his property managers is currently working ‘interstate’, handling her Melbourne-based portfolio of 170 properties from her new home in Brisbane.
“She was leaving for a life up here [in Brisbane] but she didn’t want to leave our business.”
“For us that was hugely powerful.”
“It just worked perfectly.”
When the property manager first informed them that she was moving to Queensland but wanted to stay with the business, Troy was initially hesitant about the idea. But having already been working with two international staff members on his team, he had changed his attitude towards ‘remote working’.
“At first we were like that can’t happen, now we look back and go, are we stupid? Hang on, we’ve got staff members in the Phillipines, why can’t we have one in Brisbane?”
What did the clients say?
When the landlords were informed that their property manager was moving interstate but was still keeping her portfolio, the vast majority were supportive. Troy gave every landlord the option of either remaining with the interstate property manager, or transferring them to another Melbourne-based property manager.
“There were probably one or two who wanted someone local, but the rest said ‘thank you for staying on-board’.”
“It was completely seamless, we had no complaints. We probably transferred two properties to another manager, but that was it.”
“They’re not local, they’re digital.”
The digital agent is here
While it is unlikely that interstate & digital property managers are going to be commonplace, the fact remains that it has been shown to be possible.
It is just another example of how the role of property manager is being transformed and redefined. Why wouldn’t you want to keep a great employee in your business? Especially given how challenging recruitment and retention of staff is right now.
Real Estate luminary Lee Woodward, who was hosting the panel discussion, has no doubts how much technology has already changed the role of property manager.
“Do they actually have to physically inspect the property, collect the rent, and do those things? No.”
“The digital agent is here.”