Welcome to our blog page © Real Estate Excellence

Property Management is the same as Sales

Happy staff = Happy clients

A property management role is the same as being in the sales department. Every contact with an existing landlord is a reminder to the client why your agency should have their valued business.

Every interaction a staff member in the property management department (regardless of their position) has with the public is important. Everyone in the agency plays a selling role. What could seem like a ‘small role’ cannot be overstated.

Every contact matters with a landlord client whether it is about a maintenance matter, a statement matter and or a lease renewal matter; your agency is always selling your services and through the interaction reminds the client why your agency should continue to have their business.

It is useful to remember (when and if required) that the business is lucky to have the client; not the client is lucky to have your agency. Clients (and tenants) are not an interruption to our business, they are the reason we have a business.

Every time there is interaction with an existing landlord client (and tenant) it is a reminder to the client why your agency is superior and why they should have their business with your agency.

Retaining clients is not that difficult; communication and service is all that most require. Having a superior customer service culture is in the main, the most important asset to have. There are so many benefits to having a culture of service and communication including retention of business, but also, staff retention. Happy staff = happy clients.

Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing in order to grow businesses.


Is your investment property being used as a drug lab?

View a free training video from Real Estate Excellence for property managers on drug lab awareness here

October 15, 20151:30pm

A police photo of a suspected ice drug lab.

Michelle Hele Network Online Real Estate EditorNews Corp Australia Network

ILLICIT drug labs have become so common place that cleaning companies now specialise in decontaminating them.

Aside from the risk of fire or explosion before they are detected, the cost of the clean up can run into tens of thousands of dollars.

According to Terri Scheer insurance clean ups of drug labs come under claims for malicious damage.

Malicious damage claims account for nearly 11 per cent of the total insurance claims paid out by the group in the 2014/15 financial year. It is the second most common landlord insurance claim, behind loss of rental income.

Real estate agent’s home inspection uncovers crop house 

She said aside from the cost of repairing damage, landlords could be without rent for some time as well.

Police clean up a suspected drug lab. Picture: Marlon Dalton

Police clean up a suspected drug lab. Picture: Marlon DaltonSource:Supplied


Why landlords and tenants need to ensure they have the right insurance in place

Slippery steps a source of strife



IMPORTANT - Real Estate Excellence Members 

An "As it happens member update" will be emailed to members 15th September 2015 (plus loaded to Member Online - Member Updates folder) for further important information regarding this article.



Slippery steps a source of strife - 15 September 2015

  • Slip
  • Contributory negligence
  • Duty of care
  • Foreseeable risk

In the following Alert, Senior Associate Jacqi Marshall and Solicitor Melissa McGarrity discuss the NSW Court of Appeal decision of Stenning v Sanig [2015] NSWCA 214, upholding the trial judge’s decision with respect to breach of duty of care, but reducing the damages awarded to the Respondent for contributory negligence.  

The facts

The Appellant, a man in his nineties, was regularly visited by the Respondent who assisted the Appellant with his ailing health.

The Appellant had previously installed a set of three steps made from “Caesarstone” on a path leading from his home to the street, which also included a handrail.  The Appellant had slipped on the steps several months after installing them and took some remedial action by placing squares of carpet in the middle of the steps, leaving a small gap at either side of the steps.

On the day of the accident, the Respondent was leaving the Appellant’s property after it had been raining heavily.  The Respondent was aware that the steps became slippery and deliberately intended to avoid using the steps, instead opting to step from the path on to the grass adjacent.  The Respondent did not utilise the handrail.

As the Respondent stepped out onto the grass, she inadvertently placed her foot on the wet Ceasarstone step, slipped and suffered personal injury.  

Proceedings at first instance

At first instance, the Respondent was successful in establishing that the Ceasarstone used for the steps was unsuitable as it was too slippery, particularly when wet.  The Court found that the remedial measures taken by the Appellant were not sufficient and he was found to have breached his duty of care.  There was no reduction for contributory negligence.  

The appeal

The Appellant challenged the findings of the court on three counts:

  • The finding that the risk was foreseeable, not insignificant, and the remedial action taken was not sufficient;
  • The Respondent was contributory negligent; and
  • The award for future care was excessive.

The Appellant failed on the first count, and the Court of Appeal held that the Appellant was negligent, particularly given that the cost of the remedial actions was low and the risk of harm was high.  Further, if it were not for the extremely slippery nature of Caesarstone when wet, the Respondent would not have fallen.

The Appellant was successful in his challenge that the Respondent was contributory negligent.  The Court of Appeal found that the Respondent failed to adequately look where she was going when she stepped off the path, and to ensure that she did not tread on the wet surface of the Caesarstone which she knew to be slippery and dangerous.  Damages were reduced by 15% on account of the Respondent’s own negligence.  

The Appellant was also successful in his challenge in relation to the award for future care which was reduced by approximately $100,000.

Take away points

  • There is a significant risk of a finding of negligence when inadequate makeshift measures are used to address a foreseeable risk of injury.
  • This case is a timely reminder for all home owners to take the time to review their home and contents insurance arrangements to ensure that they have sufficient public liability insurance in place.

Home owners in Queensland who have people attend their property to carry out work such as tradespeople, gardeners, cleaners, carers or baby sitters should consider obtaining a Household Workers’ Insurance Policy from WorkCover Queensland at a cost of $50 for two years.  An application for the policy can be found at:

For more information or discussion, please contact HopgoodGanim Lawyers' Insurance & Risk team.  




Welcome to the Property Management Excellence (PME) system

Welcome to the PME manual and the PME system - Stacey Holt - Author of PME Company Director - Real Estate Excellence Academy Pty Ltd


PME is an acronym for Property Management Excellence. The PME system includes the PME manual in full version plus via chapter reference folders, training videos and hundreds of best practice forms. Your agency also has a tenancy sign up CD presentation that is posted to your office plus a link from you tube provided to enable effective time management, risk management and to ensure that tenants are receiving the same information each time they enter into a tenancy agreement with your agency.

Please ensure that your agency refers to the online version as the online version has the most up to date information and is most current. The version number is on the footer of each page.  The versions are updated online.  If your agency is ever in doubt as to the current version number, please email Stacey Holt. Members are advised of version updates via the Member update each month emailed to members (as per email addresses provided by the agency to Real Estate Excellence). The Member updates are also available to view online in the Member Updates folder. If an urgent change is needed to the PME manual due to a QCAT case and or legislative change, emails are sent to the office to advise that an update to the manual has occurred. Property management is a very diverse, challenging and interesting career. No two days are ever the same. What property managers do is mind boggling to some but to many of us it is ‘all in a day’s work’.


Property management is really about People Management. All property managers must remember that ‘nothing is your problem’ (so to speak) and in the great game that is property management, your key role is the following;

• Maximise your lessor’s income and minimise their loss

• Always act in the best interest (both ethically and legally) of your licensee and the lessor

• Always remember your duty of care to the tenant

And remember; your main duty is the following;

o Educate your lessors and tenants to the best of your ability

o Communicate with your lessor and tenants to the best of your ability;

o Negotiate with your lessors and tenants to the best of your ability.

Most importantly, manage the property professionally and legally to the best of your ability.

Knowledge is power and continual self and professional development is part of the key to successful property management.


Property management is a task related profession meaning that the career is made of up of many tasks which require a system to be followed, following up, following through until there is an end or outcome within a reasonable time frame. All tasks should have an end otherwise there are matters outstanding, dissatisfied lessors or tenants plus extra stress placed on property managers.

Would you like to know more? Please contact us today

Lights bulbs and rental property

Queensland legislation focused

The responsiblity of lights bulbs in rental property is a question that at times causes confusion.


Members of Real Estate Excellence - please email Stacey Holt for more information and or questions if required.

The following information has been sourced from the RTA Residential Tenancies Authority (who do not   look generally at matters of risk for lessors/agents and tenants) – (current as at 30th September   2014).

Light   bulbs

Fast   facts

  • It is   not specified in the Act who is   responsible for supplying or replacing light bulbs.
  • Common   industry practice is that the lessor/agent/manager is responsible for   maintaining specialised bulbs, and the tenant/resident is responsible for the   replacement of everyday bulbs.
  • The   tenant and lessor/agent/manager should discuss this at the start of the   tenancy and agree who is responsible for maintenance or replacement of light   bulbs. This should be detailed in the tenancy agreement.
  • If   changing a bulb requires specialist knowledge or specialist equipment,   changing the bulb may be part of the lessor/agent's responsibility to   maintain the property.

Suggested Best Practice and response to the lessor from Real Estate Excellence (extract from the PME manual chapter 3.3.9

The RTRA Act states in section 185 that lessors are responsible for maintaining their property and inclusions (if needed quote the section in full verbally or in writing)

Although the legislation is broad and does not specifically mention matters such as light bulbs, our agency has a policy that due to risk management, we deem this to be a lessor responsibility. Particularly with the reference in the legislation to inclusions; due to the risk involved with this matter (and others) we strongly urge you to attend to the matter as part of your maintenance obligations.

If you disagree with our position and request that tenants undertake such duties, we request your instruction in writing, plus we will require special terms that need to be drafted for the tenancy agreement in which we cannot supply as only lawyers or landlords can write special terms for tenancy contracts.(as per the Legal Profession Act Section 24) We respectfully also recommend that you contact your public liability insurance company in the event that the tenant is injured whilst carrying out the maintenance obligations to ensure that you are protected should the injury result in claim.