Management Consultancy

Rental Results Property Management Consultancy.

You know the expression ‘death by a thousand papercuts’? Residential rental property management can be like that.  There are a thousand communications with people, a thousand financial transactions, a thousand opportunities to make an impression.  If it’s a bad impression, there are a thousand complaints, time wasted, and despair at your hard work going unappreciated.  If it is a good impression, there is a thousand compliments, thousands of dollars coming your way, and positive ongoing relationships.

If you’d like to run a better property management company with more of the good stuff and much less of the bad, I may be able to help.

My colleagues and I sometimes joked “property management would be easy, if it weren’t for the people” knowing that without people, there wouldn’t be any properties to manage.  So, we’d make our black humoured jokes then get on with doing the best job we could.

We did all right.  In fact, we did better than all right.  We can show you how to do the same.  We specialise in helping property management companies, but we can also help if you are a landlord struggling to manage your own rentals.

You may need my help if:

  • You are tired of the hours you work, and wish you could have time off, even if it’s just a weekend!
  • You feel you are not given enough recognition for what you do
  • You struggle to get through your daily/weekly/fortnightly to-do list
  • Reporting back to clients (e.g. inspections) takes too long, and happens well after the event
  • You have to deal with complaints and people yelling at you more than you would like
  • Common complaints are ‘we can never get hold of you’ or ‘what is happening with my property?’ or ‘when is that maintenance getting done?’
  • You are attending Tribunal more than once in a blue moon
  • You don’t really know who your tenants or landlords are as real people
  • You struggle to get tradies on the job, you feel you need to chase them, and they do a poor job of it when it’s finally done
  • Clients don’t want to spend much money on their properties, which makes it hard for you to get good tenants
  • You are paying for things and not having time/capacity to on-charge them to clients
  • Overheads and staff costs are eating into your meagre budget
  • You are struggling to keep up with changes in legislation, let alone communicate these to your clients
  • You think you need more staff, but you don’t have time to hire
  • You feel bad putting up rents, and/or you are not sure where they should be at, or don’t have time to do rent reviews
  • You have a proportion of clients and tenants you’d rather not hear from, ever.

If you have said ‘yes, that’s me’ to one of more of these, I can help you.

What I do for you:

I can help you identify the bottlenecks in your business, where things slow you down, or are inconsistent and don’t add positively to your brand.  And not just point them out, but suggest ways you may want to alter your practice to overcome them that will work for you.  I’m particularly keen on ways to streamline finding new tenants that also lowers your risk of getting bad tenants.

I can show you how to build trust with your clients, including how keep people happy even when things go horribly wrong.

I can make you more profitable.  I believe that if my clients are making more money, so am I – this was a mantra from managing properties for my clients, but it also applies to my coaching clients.  I look to ways you can make more money from your portfolio without costing you clients, because they will be making more because of you too.  This starts with analysing your current performance, and projecting what changes will bring you (and them).

I can show you ways of dealing with difficult clients that win them over, or gently end the relationship in a way you are happy with, and engenders respect.

I can help you manage bad tenants to minimise poor outcomes, and avoid getting more just like them.

I can help you talk your clients into spending money on improvements to their properties, not just on the minimum that needs to be done, and make this a habit for them.

I can help you set up your rules for what kind of clients and properties you take by identifying how these impact you and your business going forward.  This simple exercise turns customer service from a chore to a delight.

I can help you cut back your hours of availability without compromising your service.  In fact, feeling better because you will have had time off will enable you to do your job better when you are ‘on’.  It can help with your personal relationships too, because they will get to see you more, and have more of your attention when you are with them.

I can offer templates for form letters that really work and add to your customer satisfaction.  After an earthquake in Wellington our letter asking tenants to report back on damages was a huge asset to our company and resulted in more tenant lease renewals than ever before.  Did you know that asking tenants to do your job could build stronger relationships?  I can show you how this and every other letter you send can do this.

I can help you plan your exit from the business when the time is right for you.   I want to assist you to get the most capital return from your business when you sell, rather than let your client base dwindle.  Your rent roll is a valuable asset.

And I hope to help you find the joy in your business.  We loved providing great customer service, and many of our clients became firm friends in the process.  I can share with you a few things we made habits that made big differences.

What’s in it for me?

What you can expect from your investment in consultancy and training:

I will come prepared to give you excellent value for money, and I believe in working on the things that give you the biggest bang for your buck first.  I’m happy to be guided by you as to what you feel that is. 

There can be as many or as few sessions as you like, spaced at intervals that suit you.  You may want to have time between sessions to implement the changes so we can work through the kinks at the next session, or you may want to have an intense burst of training where we cover as much as possible and you implement it afterwards.

Training will be interactive – it can be a long leap from what you are doing now to what I’m going to be suggesting, and there may be ‘baby steps’ you can take to stay within sight of your comfort zone and still get from here to where you want to be.  I think meeting you where you are and inviting you to move along your journey is the most effective way to create the change you desire.  I’m not going to impose my will on you (although I’m not shy to argue my point of view as strongly as you need to hear it).  At the end of the day, it’s your business, not mine, and you are the one who needs to be happy about how it runs.

Training will be fun.  We will laugh at ourselves and with others because it’s healthy to do so.  I have plenty of ‘there was this one time’ stories to loosen up even the shyest Property Manager about their own professional disasters.  We’ve all had them, it’s what we do with them that matters.

I’ll want to hear about how you are feeling.  Training should be a bit uncomfortable, that’s how we know we are going somewhere new, but it shouldn’t terrify you into inaction.  If you have an ‘I-don’t-think-so’ reaction, tell me about it.  It helps me help you.  If you don’t like me and what I have to say, speak up.  I don’t want to waste our time and your money if the message isn’t going in, so we can work on a way that works better for you, or if we can’t find that, we conclude our session.  You are not paying for things that don’t help you.

This ongoing training can be working with the principle, office manager, senior property managers, junior property managers, office staff, tradespeople (what a great team building exercise – time it to conclude in a thank-you BBQ at the end of a day).  If it is just you in your business, that’s great, all the more time for you to ask those burning questions without reservation.

If you have a large team, we can arrange a series of workshops which I promise will be interactive, humorous, educational, and great value.

Knowing what you should be doing is one thing, but implementing it is another.  For some things I can do them for you, or arrange for them to be done, to get you on the path to greater success.  For most of them, you need to roll up your sleeves, clear space in your day, and get it done.

Process

Sounds great, where do we start?

So, you think you could benefit from picking my brain, where to from here?

Pick up the phone and give me a call on 021 681 481, or fill out the ‘contact us’ form and I’ll give you a call.  No, I don’t publish my email address, I’m not keen on being spammed.

We’ll have a bit of a chat about what you are finding your biggest current frustrations, where you want to be, and what is slowing you down from getting there.  I’m using this call to check that we are compatible with what you need and I offer, and that you are going to be open and receptive to new ways of doing things.  I expect you to be checking if you think I know what I’m talking about and you are willing to take on board the things I present to you.  There is no cost for this conversation, it’s a mutual assessment.

If we are both happy with how that chat went, we’ll book a date for me to come to your office and dig deeper into your operations, how you do various key tasks, how your business stats compare with the industry, and anything else that comes up as we interact in your work space.  Minimum time to allow for this is 2 hours (if you are willing to do some homework beforehand), but four hours to a full day is more realistic if you want a fuller picture – the more you share with me the more I can help you.  There is a charge for this initial meeting of $250 per hour, plus travel if outside Wellington Region.  See more details on our ‘costs’ page.

Following this meeting I’ll give you a report of the key areas you could work on for improvement of your business.  You can then choose to ignore it, deny or argue with it, prioritise it, or go crazy and tackle everything at once.  What you want to do is up to you.  I recommend doing the most important things for you first, and often a lot of subsidiary goals get achieved along the way as the overall process is developed.

If you choose to, we can then book some training days to work on your highest priorities and smooth out some of the road bumps in your business.  It is in this phase I can share with you templates and processes that worked well for me and others.  My rate for this is $2,000 per day (plus travel and accommodation if necessary if outside Wellington Region.  I’m happy to be billeted if that works for you). 

Costs

What will it cost you to engage my services?

I’m a big believer in transparency.  So you don’t need to feel awkward about asking, here is what my service will cost you.

  • My hourly rate is $250 + GST.
  • Daily rate is $2,000 + GST for a full day.
  • If I am away from home,  travel, accommodation, and disbursements are on top of my hourly/daily rate.  I have modest needs and I’m happy to be billeted so long as the bed is comfy, shower is hot, and the food is dairy free.
  • You need to invest your own time and resources.  I teach, but you need to learn and implement.  Your job is harder and takes longer.

I know for some people these costs can make property management training seem out of reach.  It isn’t.  I work with the things that give you the best return on your investment first, and then in decreasing order of importance to you from there.  We will cease working together before we are dealing with the minutia as you will have the hang of things (headspace and time available) to work out the kinks in the little things to finish shaping your property management business into everything you hoped it would be.  I don’t create dependency, this is about empowering you to run the best property management business you can.

Some people may chose their highest priority is increasing income and minimising expenses.  Others feel arranging things so they get more time off is worth more than money.  Whichever is the most valuable to you, that’s what we can start with. 

What is it likely to cost your property management company?

This is what a typical sized property management company (3 – 6 staff) will budget for this process:

Initial Property Management company review: $500-$2000 + GST for initial consultation including comprehensive report with recommendations, depending on complexity of business and what processes you already have in place.   For some people, this will be enough for them to identify the top issues for them to work on individually.  Most will want to continue with assistance to find the solutions for the biggest issues identified, which brings us to on-going training.

Training: Typically, spending $4,000 + GST to train you and your team on the top 8 – 10 burning issues affecting your property management business will have significant impact to reduce stress, increase profitability, increase productivity and lighten the workload.  If this saves you from hiring a new team member for another 6-12 months (because someone doesn’t quit, or the workload can be more easily handled by existing staff), how much have you saved on salary and staff costs?  If this lets you increase your portfolio (and stop clients leaving), how much more profit have you made?  If it increases the value of the rent roll in rental income and capital gain, how much is that worth?   If everyone gets to take that much needed time off, what is the peace of mind worth to workplace culture and harmony?

Some companies choose to have this as monthly training for their team, having a half to full day per month to keep the team tuned up and motivated.  Annual cost would be $12,000 – $24,000 + GST.  In a large team, this is excellent value for the ongoing professional development, a very small investment per person to get overall benefit to the whole company.

If you don’t feel it is worth it to you, we can end our contract at any time, there is no minimum period required.  I provide value only where it is needed and wanted.

About Jackie

I started Rental Results Property Management in 2008 with 1 client, two properties, and a lot of support from genuine people who believed in me (after all, I’d paid my dues working for another property manager for a number of years prior to launch).  What I built was a company that employed up to 6 people, had many satisfied clients (tenants and landlords), was known for our good practice, widely respected by industry professionals, and loved by our tradespeople (‘you are so clear and easy to deal with’).  We were highly profitable, performing very well against indexes.  When I sold the rent-roll, I achieved the highest portfolio multiplier in our region, and had very high retention of my clients to the new company because they trusted me.  I also had a lot of tenants, landlords, and tradespeople compliment me on being the best Property Manager they ever had, and they urged me to change my mind!

I built it up with very little investment of money, spending it only once I had made it, never borrowing.  But I made sure I invested a good deal of intellect, service, bravery, and celebration of success.  There was side helpings of tears, frustration, and fury along the way.

If it was all going so well, why did I sell?  After 10 years of giving it my all (no exaggeration), I had a surplus of long-term stress.  I’m never going to pretend running a business is easy, especially if you find ‘mediocre’ is a word that does not apply to you, and you forget to take regular breaks.  I realised that I wanted to reach some life goals that had nothing to do with money and work, and stress was preventing those goals from being achieved.  And no one gives gold stars for killing yourself through hard work.  I was heading that way with some seriously concerning health issues; my body was telling me loud and clear, it was time to stop.  Looking after me became priority number one.  I sold the rent roll and took a long break.  It was exactly the right thing to do for me at the time (and I’m much healthier now too, thanks for asking).  Your journey can be different.

What did I learn from this?

  1. I was really good at what I did.  Not just my opinion, but from those I worked with.
  2. Many of my competition do an adequate job, but could do better.
  3. While working in the business it is hard to have perspective on the business.
  4. Taking breaks is good for the soul and body.
  5.  There are many property managers who have the same frustrations, same obstacles, and same headaches as I did, but they haven’t yet found their solutions.
  6. I Have a unique set of skill, experiences and insights that can help others bring out their best.

What’s my background?

In roughly reverse chronological order:

Currently coaching and consultancy with landlords and property managers.

I teach landlords how to be better at what they do (and if not, get property management) through Tawa Community Education.

Sold Rental Results Property Management for the highest achieved multiplier in the Wellington Region, and took a long break.

Founded and operated Rental Results Property Management from 2008 – 2018.

Served as President of the Wellington Property Investors Association.  Key achievements: bringing the Association back into the parent body NZPIF after a longstanding schism.  Successfully and profitably ran the NZPIF National Conference in 2013, including an entire change of plans due to earthquake damage to the venue.  Reduced the budget of the Association to a sustainable one, and increased appeal to membership.  Handed over leadership to a capable new President when I had achieved all I set out to do.  Was made a Life Member of the Association, and honoured at a National Conference for services rendered.

Worked for a small Property Management company which had poor systems, which identified the need to be efficient and have excellent processes and good honest service.  No, I’m not going to say who, I doubt you’ve heard of them.

Bought and self-managed 10 (to date) investment properties, beginning in 2000, and continue to own these long term.

Worked as a teacher in ECE.  Very helpful for understanding the human psyche.  We are all big 3 year olds really.  Once you know that, getting others to do the right thing is easy.

Studied at Wellington College of Education for Dip Teach (incomplete).  Turns out I didn’t want to teach at primary school, but it helped me understand learning and teaching better.

Obtained Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Massey University.

Obtained Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) Massey University – with lots of cultural studies, psychology, philosophy and a bit of drama!  Sound familiar?

Worked at Youthline Palmerston North, training the counsellors on many topics and developing their training materials.

And in between all that, did many varied roles I loved, which taught me customer service and life skills, attended much professional development, enjoyed hobbies, and became very skilled at DIY on our properties.  I also live on a farm, which is purely for the fun of it (and because I seem to love hard work).