Jarrad Mahon, Managing Director of award-winning Investors Edge Real Estate has had his fair share of experience dealing with the extended Perth market downturn and shares his insights into managing client concerns and internal challenges.

Australia’s east coast markets are now experiencing a downturn in demand and the likely negative impact on the rental market may see rental prices fall and demand ease. Learn from an agency head who has weathered the storm and offers some invaluable insight.

What was the most effective method to help minimise vacancy rates?

“We had to become leasing specialists and adopt all the same marketing and skills required to sell properties,” Mahon said. “This meant things like pro-quality photography, walk-through videos, great advert copy, feature listings, after-hours viewings and intensive follow-up and negotiation skills.”

What are your top tips to help PM teams deal with declining rental demand?

“First and foremost, get the presentation and marketing right,” Mahon said. “Then you can be sure that price is the issue. If you don’t get any enquiry after three days, the price needs adjusting. If you don’t get at least three people along to a rental viewing, typically the price is not right. Finally, if you don’t receive any rental applications from two viewings, you need to also look at how the property is priced.”

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How do you communicate with your clients?

Mahon said his team focused on keeping up communication with their landlords so they were ready to make decisions. “We kept our clients informed with our quarterly property market updates. From there, we continued doing a rental review every six months to show them what similar properties were renting for.”

“That way, it wasn’t a surprise if their tenants decided to move out. We made sure to start leasing as soon as we were notified of a vacate and would pass on feedback after each viewing, as well as a weekly summary with recommendations.”

How do you manage your team’s concerns and challenges?

“Our leasing team changed to meeting weekly, with set actions on each property to take in between,” Mahon said. “We also engaged an Employee Assistance Program to support our staff with their mental health by offering a confidential counselling service.”

“We tightened our KPIs and targets. By keeping things tighter, the portfolio was easier to manage, which took real buy-in and new rewards when they met their monthly targets. My head of department and I became a lot more involved and helped the team resolve issues before they became bigger.”

On a personal level, what was the most important thing you did to manage the stress of such a lengthy industry downturn?

“I maintained my resilience by eating better, exercising more and setting very clear goals for how I could best help my team and the business as a whole. My wife and advisers were essential throughout and helped me discuss and brainstorm challenges.”

Property Management Agency of the Year 2018

Earning national recognition, Investors Edge Real Estate was the winner of PPM Group’s ‘Best of the Best’ Award for Property Management Agency of the Year in 2018.

Entries have now opened for PPM Group’s ‘Best of the Best’ 2019 Property Management National Awards, sponsored by rent.com.au. The prestigious ‘Best of the Best’ awards event recognises outstanding achievement on a national level.

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