December 30, 2013

Kick start into 2014 ! FREE webinar for property managers

The start of a new year is a time for many to reflect on the previous year and a time to plan for what goals and achievements you want to achieve both personally and professionally.

When it comes to property management, it is a great time to reflect on goals, achievements and what your business wants to achieve in 2014.

Most (if not all)  businesses aspire to run a property management department based on 'proactive management' as opposed to reactive management. Upon reflection of your agency, the hard but needed question is what category did you mainly fall into in 2013; proactive management or reactive management?

I am a big believer that no matter who you are, property management always has an element of crisis involved; this is due to dealing with people, money and housing.

The questions to ask yourself and your team include;

Are we running a proactive management division?
Are we focused?
Do we all as a team share a common goal and also have goals in place?
Are there set systems and procedures to streamline the tasks?
Do we attend regular training?
Do we understand that our business is all about people? We are a customer service industry and people are not a burden in our business.
Do we have 'time out' during the day so we aren't too available which leads to burn out, stress and quite often mistakes as tasks get half done due to constant interruption?

If you and your team did not answer YES to all of the above, now is a great time to make changes and implement change so that a better proactive year is had by all!

Happy New Year and may your year be full of happiness, laughter, growth, service and kicking goals set!
FREE Webinar - Kick start into the NEW YEAR - 8th January 2014

(c) Stacey Holt -

Does your office need assistance with help with systems, procedures training or anything property management?

Call 07 3161 1865 or email

December 5, 2013

REINSW voices concerns over possible QLD property guide ban

5 December 2013

REINSW voices concerns over possible Qld property guide ban

Legislation currently before Queensland Parliament, which will prevent agents from
suggesting an appropriate price guide for the sale of a property, has been criticised by
the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.

REINSW Deputy President John Cunningham said the legislation would take away any
transparency that is left with an auction.

“The new legislation, if passed, puts the onus squarely onto the buyer,” Mr Cunningham

“This is something that buyers will respond very poorly to because they really want
some form of guidance in regard to price. They rightly see us as the market experts and
as such seek our professional expertise on market value. Rather than removing the
option of providing price guidance all together we need to focus on the form and
reliability of the information we offer.

“The process leading up to an auction can vary greatly which means that having a one
size fits all control is fraught with danger and distrust.

“The market is very dynamic and having a solution where the agent gives a comparative
market analysis with their information pack for prospective buyers is going some way to
addressing the issue.

“We also believe that allowing a bidding guide as an option, which outlines an opening
bid price level that the market can follow, may be the solution. This would of course
need to be regulated with specific criteria in relation to the agent’s estimate of value
they provided the seller to comply with current regulations.

“Fundamentally the proposal before Queensland Parliament is turning the clock
backwards,” Mr Cunningham said.

The Property Occupations Bill and the Agents Financial Administration Bill 2013 are
currently before Queensland Parliament and will replace the Property Agents and Motor
Dealers Act 2000 (PAMD Act).

For further information or to arrange an interview with REINSW Deputy President
John Cunningham contact Helen at or 0419 642 961.

REINSW  Media release

December 4, 2013

Real Estate Excellence policy position in relation to banning price guides for Auction property in Queensland

I write this submission as Company Director of Real Estate Excellence Academy Pty Ltd and on behalf of my 230 Real Estate Excellence member offices in Queensland.

I have been an industry educator and advisor for over 13 years with prior experience in agency practice.

It is with great concern that the Government have proposed the banning of price guides in clauses 214 and 216 of the Property Occupations Bill.

The concern is for many reasons which include the following;

·        The banning of price guides greatly disadvantages both parties in the real estate transaction; buyer and seller.

·        The buyer is greatly disadvantaged as they are in a position of possible expense and frustration without knowing a price expectation for an auction property.

·        The frustration felt by buyers is commonly targeted at the real estate industry as they feel there is no transparency. This by default may lead to complaints being made against agents in error.

·        The seller as a consumer should have the right as to whether they choose to have price guides exposed to the market place. Given that it is their property they should have freedom of choice as to how they want their property marketed to the marketplace

·        The debate that the banning of price guides will alleviate the allegations of agents under quoting is defunct given that there are provisions in legislation for agents conduct and obligation in relation to misrepresentation.

·        If it is found that agents are in fact misrepresenting through under quoting, then of course appropriate action and enforcement from the Office of Fair Trading should be undertaken

It is believed that total banning of price guides goes against the grain of consumer protection; in fact it appears to have the expected result of the complete opposite.  Transparency in real estate is paramount as is consumer protection.  It is not understood what the actual intent of such as proposed change of legislation such of this is and who is fact is being protected? 


Consumers such as buyers should have the right to access information if the seller of the property allows. It is strongly recommended that this provision be removed and the decision of disclosure be with the seller of the property as ultimately they are consumers that should have the choice in relation to disclosure of the price guide for auction property; not the Government taking away their freedom of choice.

Submission from Real Estate Excellence Academy

November 29, 2013

December Real Estate Excellence Member Update 2013

December Real Estate Excellence Member Update contents

Merry Christmas and a note from Stacey Holt
Member invoices – quarterly and six months
Change is coming – what you need to know about the new legislation
Member Facebook group
PME system users update
QCAT Case attached to member update
Licensee/Administration Best Practice
Staff diaries and day books
Training Video – what we all need to know for now in relation to the upcoming changes to legislation
Sales Best Practice
Best endeavours: court considers real estate contract terms
Property Management Best Practice
Certainty for how to complete the Form 11 Notice to Remedy Breach – rent arrears
PME for Platinum Elite members
Accessing membership information online
Disclaimer – on the last page
Landlord newsletter topic letter
 (attached to the Member update each month)
Landlord sued $300,000 over balcony collapse
QCAT case study - case for review and staff training attached to the member update    
Posted online for members 29th November 2013 - Emailed to members on Monday 2nd December 2013

November 25, 2013

Property Occupations Act - Queensland Real Estate Industry new legislation

Real Estate Excellence has produced a training video on what your agency needs to know about the new legislation coming soon.

The video is available to Members of Real Estate Excellence only.

Real Estate Excellence Academy will be providing the following information in coming months to assist members in preparing for the new laws;

Comprehensive member updates relating to residential sales, licensee, administration and property management

Training webinars

Face to face training throughout Queensland

The PME (property management excellence) system will be updated

Information online for members in new folder called "NEW legislation coming"

Best practice forms for sales, licensee, administration and property management will be updated as pat of Platinum Elite membership.

Members - if you would like to view the training video link, simply email me. The link will be emailed to members early next week with the December member update.

Thank you, have a great week.

Interested in membership? There are many services and benefits for your agency - Two options - Property Management only OR residential sales, licensee, administration and property management.

November 20, 2013

Platinum Elite membership with Real Estate Excellence

Platinum Elite Membership with Real Estate Excellence

·        Industry expertise and best practice support from an industry leader – you only ever deal with Stacey Holt

·        Professional, prompt and personal services

·        Best practice advisory services in the areas of residential property management, sales, administration and licensee matters

·        Up to date best practice advice on areas of agency compliance, risk management and best practice

·        Monthly member update sent via email full of best practice advice, up to date information relevant to the industry to use for staff training and education. The update is in four parts – General Industry update, Licensee/Administration, Residential Sales and Residential Property Management

·        No Lock in Contracts  

·        No start-up costs other than  the first three months membership to be paid in advance upon commencement

·        Monthly Payment option in advance or quarterly/six monthly instalments

·        Services can begin within 24 hours or a date nominated by you

·        PME – Property Management Excellence Policies and Training System (one off cost) – optional additional benefit for only one fee of $900 plus GST 

·        Over 500 best practice forms and information – property management, sales, administration and licensee. (Best practice forms can be designed upon request).

·        Discounted training and discounts on other services including webinars - $70 per person face to face training - $44 for webinars (Property management webinars are free if using PME system) prices include GST

·        Landlord monthly education/information newsletter template
A property management only service is also available.
Individual membership also is an option for staff of non member offices.
For more information and or the full proposal please contact us via the website below

Qld service currently only. NSW coming soon.

November 13, 2013

Listing a rental property for sale - tips for salespeople

All salespeople would agree that common courtesy goes a long way (in most cases) when listing a rental property for sale. Most would understand that for the tenant, there is often a feeling of fear and alarm when they are advised that the property they currently call home is now for sale. Salespeople in the past have learnt the hard way of the questionable practice of only meeting the tenant/s for the first time when they are conducting the first inspection with buyers. As there has been no opportunity to meet, greet and explain the process to the tenant prior, the salespeople if often met with contempt by the tenant.

A best practice tip carried out by most salespeople is to invest is in a courtesy phone call upon listing the property for sale to the tenant explaining the situation and process. This phone call may go a long way in alleviating any fears that the tenant may have plus respond to any questions about the process. A better practice is to make an appointment for a face to face meet and greet; we all would agree that good old fashioned customer service and courtesy is needed in this sometimes quite delicate situation. That half an hour spent out of your day could save you hours of grief in the near future and could assist greatly in having the tenant work with you as opposed to against you.
If you are a member office of Real Estate Excellence and would like a compliance fact sheet for sales staff training and education in regards to listing and selling rental property please contact us.

November 4, 2013

Real Estate Excellence November Member update 2013

Member Update - November 2013 - contents
Scammer arrested; property fraud
Housing minster responds
PME system users update
QCAT Case attached to member update
Licensee/Administration Best Practice
Substitute licensee  
Sales Best Practice
The cooling off period
Property Management Best Practice
Let only and multi listing appointments
Disclaimer – on the last page
Landlord newsletter topic letter (attached to the Member update each month)
Sewerage charges
QCAT case study - case for review and staff training attached to the member update   Michel and Anor v Belle Property Buderim; Bendall v Michel and Anor [2012] QCAT 379

The member update will be emailed to members on the 6th November 2013 and available online today 4th November 2013

October 22, 2013

Natural disaster information for property managers, landlords and tenants of NSW

Natural Disasters and rental property

 Disaster Management Best Practice Guide

The following steps are best practice suggestions for licensees and property managers who face natural disasters. Consider making an email account that all emails can be forwarded to (such as or send to one existing accounts.

  • Start a separate disaster management journal (such as January floods 2011) for entry of all reported damage and incidents of properties managed. This could be kept either electronically or in a paper based manner; as long as it is easily accessible by all staff.  Also ensure appropriate diary notes and paperwork are placed in computer software and the property file. Draw up six columns to record the following;
    • Date
    • Property
    • Damage reported and by whom
    • Insurance policy number (once advised by landlord)
    • Action taken
    • Task completed (once all works are finalised)
  • Alternatively ensure two copies are made of any maintenance forms; one to be centralised in one file for follow up and management over coming weeks and months.
  • Direct staff who are taking phone calls from tenants and any notification of damage that the incident is to be recorded in the disaster management journal.
  • Prioritise the damage to property and tenant situation and work on the highest priority first and make your way through the list.
  • Contact landlords of known property damage and advise of the situation. (further information is below on procedures). Where possible, send a generic email to all clients advising of the situation and request communication to be in writing.
  • Contact tenants of suspected fire damaged property and the tenants of property who have reported damage. Provide them with the FAIR TRADING Fact sheet on Natural Disasters. If the property is completely uninhabitable, advise the tenant that the tenancy most likely will lawfully end. Advise that discussions will be needed with the landlord prior and more information will be provided.  If the property is not completely unliveable and has only sustained ‘minor’ fire /water damage, advise the tenant that the landlord will be contacted to discuss the matter further. as soon as possible. Patience may be needed.
  • In regards to the tenant’s own property being damaged, advise them to contact their personal contents insurance company. Regrettably some tenants will not have their own personal insurance; in this event, advise tenants that the landlord will be advised and all attempts will made to see if the landlord’s insurance will cover the situation. In most cases, the landlord’s insurance will not cover the tenants belongings.
  • There is no legislative duty for landlords to provide tenants with alternative accommodation If available in times of natural disasters; however this may be recommended in some cases as a sign of good faith however many landlords may not be in a situation to afford this option. Landlords may wish to contact their insurance companies to identify if there is any coverage for this situation.
  • Contact landlords accordingly and advise the current status of their property and that more information will be provided where required and when obtained. Provide landlords with the FAIR TRADING Fact Sheet on Natural Disasters available from the FAIR TRADING website type in natural disaster in the search field. If the property is not liveable, advise the landlord that the RT Act allows for the tenancy to end in some cases.
  • Advise landlords to contact their insurance companies (contents, building and landlord insurance) to report the incident and to start the process of making a claim. Advise landlords to start the claim paperwork process.
  • Advise landlords to provide the following information in writing to your agency
    • the insurer, contact phone details (email and phone number) and name of contact (if possible)
    • the insurance policy number;
    •  the claim number and
    • the insurance paperwork (mostly completed) for finalisation once required works are carried out.
  • Explain to landlords that due to the large volume of properties and people affected, all communication to be in writing in regards to this matter.
  • Contact the agency preferred tradespeople/contractors in regards to high priority jobs and allocate work. Follow up the contact with a written work order. In high to medium damage property (or if any doubt), contact the insurer for advice before proceeding.
  • Assess progress of high priority work daily until tasks completed. Keep in regular communication with landlords and tenants as to progress and for great customer service. Ensure the disaster management journal is maintained.
  • Once the majority of the works are considerably under control, arrange for routine inspections to check on properties that have had minor damage. Ensure photos are taken, extensive visual reports are provided to landlords and take action as appropriate (such as advising landlords to make insurance claims for particular cases)
  • Ensure all verbal conversations with tenants, landlords and other third parties are recorded in office files; either hard copy file notes or electronic file notes.
  • If your agency is at risk, ensure all files are safe and easily accessible (such as back ups of site and retrievably remotely).
  • Look after yourself and your team

Source below from

Information for tenants

As a tenant it is vital you know what your renting rights and responsibilities are if you have been affected by a natural disaster, such as a flood, bushfire or storm damage.

What happens with the tenancy

This will depend on the extent of the damage and what you and the landlord want to do about the situation.

If the premises are destroyed or become totally or partly uninhabitable, this does not automatically end your tenancy. Either you or the landlord can give a termination notice in writing to end the tenancy. The notice, once served, can take effect immediately or can specify a later date. If the landlord serves you with a notice and you do not want the tenancy to end you should let them know. You cannot be evicted without a Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal order.

If the premises are only partly uninhabitable, such as one room not being usable as a result of hail damage to the roof, you may wish to stay on in the premises while the repairs are being carried out. You should only consider doing this if the damage is relatively minor and there is no ongoing safety risk to you or your family. Follow any instructions from emergency personnel and talk to the landlord to see if they agree.

If the premises have been more seriously damaged or have become totally uninhabitable another option is to move out temporarily and return once the premises are liveable again. This may be for a few days or weeks or however long it takes. If this is what you want to do you should talk to the landlord or agent  as soon as possible. While the landlord or agent can try to help you as an act of goodwill they are not obliged to find or pay for your temporary accommodation.

You and the landlord/agent can also decide to formally end the agreement and re-sign a new agreement after the repairs are complete. However, be aware that a higher rent could be included in the new agreement.

What happens about the rent

If the tenancy is ended permanently, no rent is payable from the day you move out. Any rent already paid in advance must be fully refunded.

If you move out temporarily or continue living in the partially damaged premises the rent should be waived or reduced. Whether any rent is payable at all and, if so, the level of reduction will depend on the extent of the damage and the amount of use you have of the premises. Any agreement in these situations about the rent, how long you may be away from the premises and what will happen to your possessions while you are away is best put in writing.


If the tenancy is to continue, the first step is for the landlord or agent, preferably with you being present, to inspect the premises and document the repairs needed.

You should discuss with the landlord or agent the timetable for repairs, recognising that there may be unavoidable delays because of the demand for insurance assessments and qualified tradespeople in the area. A landlord is not obliged to compensate you for any damage to your furniture or personal belongings arising from a natural disaster.

Serious storm, fire or flood damage are all considered to be urgent repairs. Such repairs should be done as soon as possible. If you believe the landlord or agent is not acting quickly enough on needed repairs you can apply to the Tribunal or arrange for the work yourself and be reimbursed.


After a natural disaster most repairs needed are likely to be classed as urgent repairs. The landlord or agent does not have to give you any minimum period of notice before sending tradespeople to do this work.

In normal situations you must be given at least 2 days notice if tradespeople need to access the premises to carry out non-urgent repairs. It may be in your best interest to talk to the landlord or agent and agree on a shorter period of notice in order to get the work completed as soon as possible.

Disclosure of previous disasters

The landlord or agent must tell you before you sign the tenancy agreement if the premises have been subject to flooding or bushfire in the previous 5 years. This only applies where they know of the event. If this information was not disclosed before you signed the agreement and it happens again you may be entitled to compensation.


Any tenancy related disputes following a natural disaster can be taken to the Tribunal.

NSW Bushfire response from the CTTT          21 October 2013

If you are adversely impacted by the NSW Bushfires and need assistance from the CTTT we are ready to respond quickly to your application.

How to request an urgent hearing

Clearly mark your CTTT application form 'URGENT'. Urgent applications can be faxed to 1300 135 247. 
Attach a written letter to your application form setting out in detail your reasons for requesting an urgent hearing.  Attach any relevant supporting documents.
If granted, an urgent hearing can be held within 1 to 7 days depending upon the urgency.
Learn more about how to make an urgent application.


The information provided by Real Estate Excellence is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute legal advice under any circumstances.  Individuals should consider their own circumstances before proceeding to rely upon any information provided by Real Estate Excellence.  Whilst care has been taken in best practice advice provided, and the information contained in it has been obtained from sources that Real Estate Excellence  believe to be reliable, Real Estate Excellence (including its directors, officers, employees and contractors) does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of that information. Real Estate Excellence (including its directors, officers, employees and contractors) accordingly does not accept any responsibility, liability, loss or damage whatsoever resulting from the use of the information provided. By using the services of Real Estate Excellence, Clients acknowledge that they have read, understood and accepted this disclaimer of liability. 



October 1, 2013

Real Estate Excellence Member Update October 2013

Member Update - October 2013

October landlord newsletter

Dangers of blind and curtain cords highlighted by child’s death

Amendment to the RTRA Act introduced to Parliament

No Loss to vendor where residential property bidder engages in misleading and deceptive conduct at auction

Members Facebook group

PME system users update

QCAT Case attached to member update

Licensee/Administration Best Practice

Audit reports and the PAMD Act


Sales Best Practice

CMA’s and sales


Property Management Best Practice

Giving the agreement to the tenant – the law and best practice

Sewerage and water bills  

FREE half an hour training webinar to view – binding the tenant lawfully



Landlord newsletter topic letter (attached to the Member update each month)

Landlord insurance – protecting your investment

QCAT case study - case for review and staff training attached to the member update  

Members will be emailed the October member update early next week. Interested in Membership? Contact 07 3161 1865 or visit