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Today’s guest Lauren Robinson is an industry pocket rocket growing a rent roll from 0 to 550 in 4 years organically, has a special focus on continuous improvement and has managed to set up a very successful business that practically runs without her. All of the team at The Hot Seat have known Lauren from many years ago when she used to work for a business you may have heard of called Pro-Rentals. On top of many other points within the interview, we discuss Lauren’s transition from Employee to a business owner. Highlights within the episode include, why after 17 years, Lauren still enjoys the industry and how Lauren uses personal development to maintain focus and drive, what is High Tech, High Touch and how Lauren empowers her entire team to influence and make decisions to keep driving the business forward, lessons learnt in growing from one team member to multiples, establishing a brand from ZERO to 550 properties organically and the sacrifices in the first year, AND The importance of constant improvement in any business and how Lauren uses that to stay relevant in the industry. Overall the feel of this episode is a little more serious and we actually discuss some of the harder topics we haven’t before, especially around the profitability of a business and assessing if owning a Real Estate business is actually viable today, based on how you’re reacting to constant threats coming over the horizon.
In today’s interview, we’re interviewing Terri Handy who comes with over 25 years of experience in the industry and works with clients in New Zealand and Australia in her businesses Pm Xcite and Lean Property Management solutions. One of the key reasons we were excited to interview Terri is her key focus is around the implementing change which is something that really resonates with the industry right now. A few of the topics we discussed include - The differences between Sales and Property Management the financial balance between the 2 and which of the 2 Terri prefers, Why people that are scared are more resistant to change and what will happen to those within the industry that aren’t prepared to adapt to change, How moving to cloud-based software is allowing agencies to expand the type of people they employ and the type of work/life balance that can be offered, AND Why in Australia 35% of investors manage their own property v’s 65% in NZ and how Terri thinks the NZ PM industry will grow in the future. In an industry that is under pressure on how to improve efficiencies, Terri is able to offer a number of practical pieces of advice on how to implement those changes from her 25 years in the industry and her strong drive to implement change.
In today’s interview, we’re fortunate enough to be interviewing Brad Filliponi who is co-founders behind a company called who handle Professional high-quality photo editing, virtual staging, floor plan redraws, renders & virtual renovation with clients in over 75 countries. In our interview, we caught up with Brad in a room that backed onto the beach that had about a dozen kids playing in the sand in the background which made for an awesome interview. Some of the highlights, the challenges of marketing for Real Estate agents and how Australians set the standard for the rest of the world when it comes to marketing, the initial growth of through an editorial in Inman and how that has flowed onto Brad and others within attending 15 conferences a month across Australia, USA, Chile, Brazil, UK, France and other countries, new Softwares and innovations, how they’re going to disrupt the industry and whether it will still mean you need face to face relationships, AND what is HDR in photography, how you can use it to create a million-dollar image and how smartphones will be the new standard in real estate photography.
Today we have another fantastic guest on what is considered to be a controversial subject… Artificial Intelligence. Yes, we interviewed Patrick Hill from Realm Australia around all things artificial intelligence and what it will mean to the industry. So a few highlights from this episode include: Patrick’s career in psychology and the natural transition to Technology and Artificial Intelligence, Why many people in the industry use the term AI as a marketing ploy when it’s really just an advanced software that does what it’s told and the true definition of AI, The battle of costs going up, fees going down and the entry of low-cost cookie-cutter service offerings Vs high service and flexible solution, What parts of a property management business is AI looking to replace and the impact on the human side of the business, The future of Property Management in 5 years and while it’s critical to look at a higher-end service to survive AND The change of an Acceptable timeframe to respond to a query and why the demand has shifted to INSTANT as a result of Facebook, Google and Amazon I have to agree the term AI is overused as a Buzz Word across many industries and Patrick’s company is one of the first actual AI companies to come into Real Estate that I can see disrupting at the same time driving the industry forward. On top of that, Patrick is really able to concisely outline where he sees the industry moving in the future.
Today’s interview is a little different as we're interviewing Julie George who is considered to be a disruptor in the industry as she is an expert in setting up and running an Airbnb business.  As of recording this interview Julie has released a book called Million Dollar Host which I will link to in the show notes and in our interview we discuss how Julie invested $30,000 to get a 5 million dollar return in 2 years. Anyway, some of the key highlights from the interview include, Julie’s first Airbnb experience where she took a one-bedroom unit in Cairns that was renting for $240p/w to $600p/w consistently through Airbnb, Julie’s first client and how she was able to use Airbnb to create a positively geared property, The realistic risk of whether Airbnb will actually work for an investor and Julie’s formula to make sure the property can at least cover loan repayments, How future competitors like Google are creating platforms to compete with Airbnb and how this will impact their offering AND How property managers are using Airbnb as a ‘Part’ of the big picture of servicing their client and developing stronger long term relationship. Julie’s interview was very funny and educational at the same time. Her journey is fantastic to listen to and if you are considering adding Airbnb into the range of services you offer within your office then you really do have to listen to this interview. This is one of the best interviews we have had on The Hot Seat.
 In today’s episode we’re interviewing Stepfanie Regan who is a Business Strategist at Real Estate Dynamics. Stepf has a large circle of influence outside of the real estate game and was the international property manager of the year in 2014. Some of the key highlights from the interview include the challenge of sales people becoming principles and that flow on effect around gaining business experience, how the massive changes around trust accounting and other technologies are going to ‘Disrupt’ the industry, the move to an uber style agency and how this will mean agencies will no longer need offices, why Real Estate is no longer just a ‘Once off Moment” and why you need to look at the full experience to better understand what MORE a prospective client will get from your business over your competitors AND how not enough BDM’s invest the time in understanding a client's end goals and why piecing the puzzle together to help them achieve that goal will help you to retain more clients Stepf’s interview was very clear and concise and the advice she is sharing is incredibly relevant RIGHT NOW. For example, Stepf talks about the clients end goals and mapping out their journey which is next level customer service and will help agencies to massively differentiate themselves from their competitors. Side note... Stepf also smashed the hot seat questions.
In today’s episode we’re interviewing Kaly Smith Owner and Property Specialist of KS Property Solutions. There are a number of reasons we’re excited to be interviewing Kaly especially that Kaly is out there practicing what she preaches, every day. So, the key highlights of our interview include: How Kaly was able to single handed manage 160 properties, 60 storage sheds while running reception at the age of 21, The importance of being out of the office and in front of clients, How AI and technology will impact the business and whether it will remove the human element in Real Estate, how Kaly has uses Airbnb to create multiple income streams and how Property Managers need to make time to take their business to the next level.  Kaly is out there doing the do every day and over the last 2 years we’ve watched Kaly adapt change and flourish in a competitive industry. In fact when you listen to the interview you can hear why Kaly is the future of the industry and the steps she is taking to ensure she is staying on top of an ever evolving industry.
Today we talk to Greg Waston. Greg is based in Palmerston North New Zealand, holds a strong presence within the industry and 22 years ago entered into the industry with his father and brother. In our interview Greg talks how not delegating ended up in overpaying the tax man 75k over 2 years and how that mistake meant they couldn’t pay themselves, why it’s critical to have a  genuine passion that moves you to be more than a ‘salesperson’, why 65% of all properties in New Zealand are self managed and how NZ PM’s are using that as an opportunity to grow their rent roles. One of the main highlights in Greg’s interview is how Greg is so raw with his answers. He shares his successes and at the same time shares failures that have helped him along on his journey. And I think this is what makes this such an authentic interview, especially as you can see how Greg’s business is continuing to grow and flourish yet you know he has had challenges along the to get there.
Today we’re interviewing a self described ‘Industry Tragic’ Lisa Pentland. Lisa comes with 31 years of industry experience and just over a year ago as we record this video stepped into the role of General Manager of Sales and Service for Property Me. In our interview Lisa talks about her journey from receptionist to business owner and now service provider to the industry, how a Price waterhouse cooper survey shows ‘customers are happy to pay 16% extra’ for a good customer experience, Using software to optimise and streamline a Property Management business AND how continually listening to your customers and to be prepared to be confronted with negative feedback can help you to improve your business.
Today we’re talking to Renee Reynolds of Release Property Management and hearing how Renne started an agency with ZERO properties and has built it to over 1500 properties along with the transition from doing all the work yourself to managing a team of people. Renee also shares her transition as a professional ballroom dancer to real estate, the importance of systems and procedures in a Real Estate business, the challenge of hiring good staff so your business can sustain the RELATIONSHIP with the client and how and Renee’s business has handled the demands of transitioning from a 9-5 business to a 24/7 business The number one stand out from this interview is that Renee has started a business from Zero properties, done the hard yards and has learned the importance of putting your people first combined with a STRONG systems and procedures to grow your business. Renee is an authority as you can hear her first hand experiences come through in our interview.
 In today’s Interview we talk to Debbie Palmer of the PPM Group. Debbie started in real estate industry 30 years ago and around 20 years ago Debbie formed the PPM group. Debbie also runs the PPM conference which is one of the only remaining annual conferences for the Property Management industry and is celebrating it’s 18th year as of 2019. In our interview Debbie shares Why agencies are moving away from a shop front and more towards home based or a shared work space, How the importance of seamless integration of technology into a business can actually be a disruptor, How your focus on customer service can help you differentiate yourself from another business and Why it’s important to use technology to support and NOT to replace people within the industry.  Debbie has been in the industry to watch it go through wave after wave of change and Debbie shares real word knowledge of where the industry is going in the future, while balancing the foundation of what the real estate industry is all about.
In this interview we talk to ‘Power Couple’ Hallie and Brennan Hill, who run 3 separate Ray White agencies in Brisbane. They are clients of Affordable Staff and over our time working with them we’ve watched their rapid growth and at the same time their constant adoption of technology into their business experiencing 17 million in sales in the last month and 45-50 new property managements on average every month. In our interview Hallie and Brennan share How buying habits are changing at a faster rate and how the key to success is around ‘richer relationships’ where they know WHO the real YOU they are buying from, Why you should be able to adapt to every individual clients needs and offer EVERY client irrespective of the size of your business a unique experience, Why you should always give out your ‘GOLD’ and how it positions you as a leader in the marketplace and Why you should always give out your ‘GOLD’ and how it positions you as a leader in the marketplace.
Eva and David interview Tanya Titman who is the director of an accounting firm Consolid8 which recently merged with BDO where Tanya is still the director of Consolid8 and the head of strategic innovation for BDO in Australia. Tanya comes from a business owners background, has experience in operating businesses outside of the accounting space and uses accounting principles to grow those businesses. In other words, Tanya shares ‘Real World’ knowledge. In our interview we discuss Why tough times are coming into the Real Estate industry due to a lack of understanding the numbers in a business, How systematizing a business can have a HUGE impact on the value of a Rent Roll, how cloud has impacted the Accounting industry and how that change will impact Real Estate and the steps a Principal can take to start to understand the performance of a business and never be afraid to ask the Stupid questions.
Eva and David chat to the CEO of First National Ray Ellis, where we gain his insights on where the industry is now and where Ray sees it going in the future. Ray comes from a very varied background running a Casino/ Transportation Company, Managing an AFL club, owned an Advertising agency, Managing Director for Asia Pacific and started off his career in insurance before his role for the last 14 years at First National. In our interview they discuss why the industry needs to be more adaptive to change and why a defined point of difference is more important today than ever before, The importance of an agency becoming the Lord Mayor of their area, becoming an expert and using that to get more business than your competitors, the change in dynamics in the Australian population, how we’re becoming a rental society and how it’s impacting the industry and so much more.
Eva and David interview Hamish Turner who specialises as a property management trainer, consultant and also sells Real Estate businesses. Hamish really understands how to identify the true asset value of a Real Estate business with as of September 2018 selling about a dozen Real Estate businesses with Hamish mentioning at the end of 2018 that he’d had a record year. Hamish shares key areas around how the industry is growing and his simple approach to building the value of a rent roll can be applied to any business of any size. After all a rent roll is the asset of a Real Estate business. It’s a great interview and Hamish is a wealth of knowledge consulting on so many levels with different clients across Australia and New Zealand
David and Eva interview Kasey McDonald from Property Management Training Academy on her experience in the industry as a property manager and now consulting within the industry. Kasey shares her early experience as a property manager,  why staffing is one of the biggest challenges in the industry, the best way to recruit and find the right person to work in the PM industry, the repetitive nature of the industry and how it all comes down to service, the fear of PMs losing jobs and how automation and AI are going to disrupt the industry. One of the benefits of interviewing Kasey is she has worked hands on in the industry but more importantly now works ‘ON’ the industry so she has great insights on what is happening from an overall perspective and a number of great tidbits on how to flourish in Real Estate.
Eva and Damien interview Sadhana Smiles who is the CEO of Property Management Harcourts International. Sadhana discusses The concern of property managers losing their job as the industry changes, Why service is not just about the number of ‘things’ you do for a client and is more about the ‘stickiness’ of the services you provide, How technologies like ‘Google’ will impact a real estate agency in the future, Why your Property Management business is an asset and how you should treat that asset and really so much more.  Sadhana is considered a strong industry influencer and innovator that has real world suggestions and advice on the industry. A great interview!
David interviews our very own Outsourcing Specialist, Damien Barnett. Damien started in the Real Estate industry over 18 years ago and transitioned to work with us over 3 years ago. Damien is sharing his experience as a Property Manager and now a Service Provider to the industry and in this interview we discuss How technology is getting in the way of building relationships, the difference between a Property Manager and Office Administrator and why the industry has too many Administrators, the changing world from ‘One Job’ for life to many jobs in one lifetime, How certain agencies are embracing AirBnB and making a motza and we preview you to the 60 second Hot Seat, which is a heap of fun.
David interviews Karen Coloso who is the GM of operations for Affordable Staff in the Philippines. Karen holds a masters in Accounting, has almost completed a law degree and shares her previous 10 years working for a not-for-profit before a brief stint in a call centre where she was called an ‘Asian Monkey’ on her first tech support call, the difficulties of working with teams in India, why she thinks it’s better NOT to have an Australian GM full time in our office, how to grow a culture of empowerment so you can go on holiday whenever you want to, and the problem with getting people within the Philippines to understand we’re not a call centre.
Damien and David interview Michael Furlong from Rent Roll Maximiser who shares his journey from hospitality to Property Management. This is a very controversial hot seat where Michael explains why purchasing his first 13 investment properties prompted his career change, Why most PM’s are just rent collectors that don’t add any value to the industry, why most property managers don’t understand Investment, tax, don’t understand how to fill in an authority or how GST works and why this needs to change for the industry to grow. Why PM’s make the mistake of positioning themselves as a replaceable services like Jim’s Mowing as opposed to a real profession like a GP and why you should never cross the path of a chef that is holding a knife. Michael takes his sharing to the NEXT LEVEL and you can feel Michael’s passion for the industry.
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