May 27, 2011

The Title “Property Manager" - what does it really mean today?

The Real Estate Industry has worked on the same business model for many years, however the question is, does the traditional model really work in today’s Real Estate Property Management Business. Many people say no, and are challenging the way Modern Property Management businesses are run today.

Many business owners express frustration in regards to the recruitment of property managers with many forced to hire inexperienced staff, which is not necessarily are bad thing, however of course it does come with its challenges. Property Managers also cry out in frustration due to increased workloads and demands. Given that Property Management is so administrative based today, thought should be given in recruiting administrators to support the “Property Manager”.

The Industry today is recommended to consider changing the title of Property Manager to

• Tenancy Relationship Manager/Coordinator/Administrator,

• Landlord Services Manager/Coordinator/Administrator, or

• Property Services Manager/Coordinator/Administrator or words (titles) such as these.

The above ‘title’ suggestions explains more of what property managers does today as the word property manager is not really appropriate in today's industry as it is not only property that is managed and does not clearly explain the actual service carried out nor suit the skill base of some people. Another key observation is the fact that not many people are truly Managers in the business but they are called Property Managers?

Major changes have to start occurring for business success and for some, business survival. With increased legislation, higher risk of litigation and demands from the public for extraordinary services, the Industry is forced to consider change. The changes have to start from within the Industry and within Individual agencies. Business models need to be challenged and the various tasks and skills of staff working in the department need to be scrutinised and evaluated to see which model will best suit your business today. One size does not fit all anymore.

For more information and advice, contact Real Estate Excellence to discuss private consultancy services to assist with the development of your property management business at

May 26, 2011

2 months notice does not apply from one fixed term agreement to another (rent increase) QLD

One of the most common questions that are asked of Real Estate Excellence is in relation to time frames for rent increases from one fixed term agreement to another. Section 91 of the RTRA Act is the relevant section in this regard (below). The key provision in this section is the last two lines (and only apply to QLD);


This section does not apply to an increase in rent from one fixed term agreement to the next.

This means that the two months’ notice does not apply from one fixed term agreement to another. The two months’ notice only applies for a periodic agreement OR when the fixed term agreement from the beginning of the tenancy allows for a rent increase during the tenancy. For example a 12 month fixed term tenancy has a special term drafted by a lawyer or the landlord that rent will increase at the six month term (rent cannot be increased earlier than 6 months). In this example, compliance would mean that at the four month mark of the twelve month tenancy, the tenant must be given two months written notice for the rent to increase at the six month mark.

91 Rent increases

(1) This section applies to increases in rent for the following—

(a) a periodic agreement;

(b) a fixed term agreement, during the term of the


(2) If the lessor proposes to increase the rent, the lessor must give

written notice of the proposal to the tenant in the way required

by this section.

(3) The notice must state—

(a) the amount of the increased rent; and

(b) the day from when the increased rent is payable.

(4) The day stated must not be earlier than 2 months after the

notice is given.

(5) Subject to an order of a tribunal under section 92, the

increased rent is payable from the day stated in the notice, and

the agreement is taken to be amended accordingly.

(6) However, if the agreement is a fixed term agreement, the rent

may be increased before the term ends only if the


(a) provides for a rent increase; and

(b) states the amount of the increase or how the amount of

the increase is to be worked out.

(7) A rent increase is payable by the tenant only if the rent is

increased under this section.

(8) This section applies subject to section 93.

(9) This section does not apply if—

(a) the lessor is the chief executive of the department in

which the Housing Act 2003 is administered, acting on

behalf of the State; or

(b) the lessor is the State and the tenant is an officer or

employee of the State.


This section does not apply to an increase in rent from one fixed term agreement to the next.
(c) Real Estate Excellence Academy Pty provides General Real Estate Advice and Services.

May 22, 2011

AREC 2011 – through the eyes of Stacey Holt – Real Estate Excellence

First impressions count they say, and the first impression of AREC 11 was wow, the organisation and professionalism was second to none! The service from registration (thanks Stephanie Mason) to the actual conference day was nothing short of Excellent!

The first speaker Bob Bohlen (who was moved to first speaker after a late programme change which aptly the conference theme was ‘shift happens’) was amazing. An older gent who started real estate at the tender age of fifty and who has transacted over 9000 real estate transactions in 22 years was truly inspiring. Bob had a simple and gentle approach to his presentation, with a great deal of grace providing many great tips and reminders for us all.

Bob’s tips included

·        Have written personal and business plans – you don’t drive to a new or unknown destination without looking at a map or your GPS – how true Bob!

·        Have an ideal day and week (many agents I work with look at me in disdain when I mention this in my business Real Estate Excellence but they don’t hear  the word ideal and think the word perfect is used – there is no such thing!)

·        Have a weekly prospect list, people who will do business with you in the next 30 to 90 days - buyers and sellers (or landlords)

·        Have time management blocks such as the first hour check emails and then shut your computer down! The next hour is phone calls and the like.

·        Some great sayings from Bob included

o   If you don’t have an assistant, you are an assistant

o   Your job description is “prospecting, selling, listing and negotiating”

o   Welcome change, don’t fight it – embrace change, it provides opportunities

o   Have someone like a mentor/coach who you are accountable to daily

o   Keep your prospect list with you 24/7

o   Revisit your business plan a couple of times a day to focus your energy on what you are want to accomplish

o   What to say to close deals, JAQ – Just Ask Questions

o   Door knocking and letter box dropping work, though expensive due to time taken and printing costs, it is better than not prospecting.

Alan Jones was one of the many highlights for me at AREC11. His ability to capture an audience was magical with so many meaningful tips and advice. There was so much said by Alan that it is impossible to do his session any justice in this article; however some of the highlights include

·        Make the next scene the best scene you have ever done. Onwards and upwards was the key to Alan’s message in my opinion, and in my words, keep striving for Excellence.

·        Success is born with adversity

·        Successful people enjoy (even love) their work!

·        Successful people have a positive attitude and great confidence (fake it till you make it sometimes I say!)

·        Be positive – negativism is corroded (rust starts and if not dealt with takes over)

·        Use negative experiences to discover your strengths

·        Successful people are decisive, disciplined goal setters

·        Believe in something, or you believe in nothing

·        Make sure you gather good people around you

·        Leaders should encourage contributory environments in their teams; identify problems together and creates solutions together as a team

·        When you climb Mt Everest, there aren’t any chairs!

·        Become a headline, not a footnote

Rudy Giuliani was a humble man who struck me as very ‘real’.  His leadership skills were very obvious before today due to the tragedy of 9/11. He was every bit of the person who I have seen on the television; if not more.  

Some of Rudy’s key messages (and again I won’t do his session justice by this summary) were;

·        If you make people dependant, they stay dependant

·        Leaders have to lead by participation

·        You can make a lot of money in a declining market

·        For one hour of presentation, spend four hours preparing

·        Relentless preparation is the key to success

·        To be a leader, you must be an optimist

·        Courage does not mean you don’t have fears; it is what you do with the fear that makes you courageous

·        Leaders must have strong beliefs and be able to communicate them

·        Leaders must have clear consistent vision

·        Tell people what you expect of them

·        Balance your strengths and weaknesses; get someone to help you where you need help!

·        A leader is a motivator and a teacher

Bill Malouf, a selling agent at LJ Hooker Double Bay was exceptional and had some simple yet powerful messages. Simply Bill’s great messages were

·        Be accessible to your clients

·        Have credibility

·        Always be honest

·        Have great product knowledge

·        Nobody can stop you from succeeding other than yourself

·        I want to get paid for the effort I put in and get paid at the end of the month

·        Never make an appointment with a client without doing your research.

Mike Morrison was comical and had a great sense of humour. He had a hard gig coming on just before lunch after a great morning and a later lunch coming. The key to Mike’s message was

·        Have a sense of humour

·        Care for people, don’t just service them

·        Go from service to ‘specialness’

·        People buy people, not processes

Michal Palllier, well wow! A humble quietly spoken agent from Raine and Horne Double Bay who almost made me cry because he was just so ‘real’ and honest. Raw is another word that comes to mind when considering Michael. His manner was nothing short of special, and this session made me feel that I was the only one that he was speaking too. He has that uncanny ability to make you think that you are the only one in the room and that it is a one on one conversation; not 2500 people in front of him!  Michael’s message was one of humility and grace. His key focus is working really hard and doing the right thing by people.

In summing up Michael, and I am far from doing his session justice; I would sell my house with him any day! But regrettably I don’t have one to sell in Double bay (yet!).

Regrettably I had to leave early due to meeting with Clients. I met with some great new people and the exhibitors are fantastic! There are so many great services are available to Real Estate Agents. One of the many things I love about the Real Estate industry is the networking and the wonderful people that are in it!

A few connections I met today include Kylie Davis, the national Real Estate editor of News limited, Brad Pawlyszyn, the state manager for QLD GBC – Renee Lambert from Real Estate Review,, Lyn Wicks from Poolwerx (and old friend), Terri Cooper (another old friend) from Real Estate Mastery assisting Kevin Turner from REUNCUT  and Jennifer and Vas from R&W (great rebranding of the group!).  AREC11 was money worth spent; though it is only half over, I have sure got my monies worth already. I am looking forward to tomorrow!

Stacey Holt

Director, Real Estate Excellence Academy Pty Ltd trading as Stacey Holt Real Estate Excellence

May 3, 2011

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA Act) cites the two types of Residential Tenancy Agreements; fixed term and periodic tenancy agreements.

Fixed term tenancies are defined in the RTRA Act as;

Fixed term agreement— (a) for a residential tenancy, means a residential tenancy agreement for a residential tenancy for a fixed term;

Periodic Tenancies are defined as;

Periodic agreement— (a) for a residential tenancy—means a residential tenancy agreement that is not a fixed term agreement;

When property managers negotiate new or existing tenancies on behalf of lessor clients, the question that should be asked is ‘when is the best time for my client’s property to become vacant?”. For example, from Mid December through to Mid January in most areas would be the worst time for a property to be vacant. This of course can be controlled and negotiated by property managers. There would be other times of the year for some areas known to be difficult for letting.

Having said this, property managers should also remember that a fixed term tenancy is only required to have a definite start date and definite end date. Traditionally tenancies have been per calendar month such as from the 29th May 2010 to 28th May 2012 (for a 12 month tenancy). The fact is that the dates do not have to be calendar. For example, a tenancy that was just negotiated in Lutwyche Brisbane recently (a personal investment property of mine) has a start date of 1 July 2010 and end date of 20th January 2011. Tenancies don’t have to be, and technically should not be the traditional six or twelve month as there are only two lawfully identified types of agreements; fixed or periodic.

In Item 6 of the General Tenancy Agreement, fixed term agreement or periodic agreement should only be inserted; though if six or twelve months is added at the moment, it most likely won’t make the agreement ‘fatal’. If required, refer to the fine print under Item 6 of the agreement to see what the government have written; ‘insert fixed term agreement or periodic agreement’.

For some in the industry, this may require a ‘mind shift’ away from the traditional agency practice ways of six or twelve month tenancies; the important points to remember is not only that the law doesn’t identify with ‘six or twelve month tenancies’ and only focuses on fixed or periodic agreements, but also the fact that a duty of a property manager is to ‘minimise their clients losses and maximise their income’. One way of demonstrating this duty is by taking into consideration when negotiating new tenancies or renewals, when is the best time to re let this property again in the future?

One penalty unit equals $100. The legislation can be downloaded from

(c) Stacey Holt Real Estate Excellence -