Saturday, June 26, 2010

reduce the rent? or fix the ad?

Our property settled on May 26th so time for a tenant. The agent put it up on the web for rent at $510 per week...and we waited...and waited...and waited.

After one week he told us the bad weather in Sydney was affecting the property market and we needed to drop the price to $490. As you can imagine I was totally unimpressed. But I had to take his word for it - isn't he the professional? I'm over here in HK so what would I know about fair rental values? So the price was lowered.

Two weeks later and still no interest and now he's saying to drop it to $460! I exploded. Countless filthy emails were composed (and deleted) along the lines of how can he call himself a professional and then ask us to drop our price by 10% in less than a month?! The rest of the Sydney market was increasing so why weren't we?! What rubbish methodology did he use to come up with $510 in the first place?!!! (Ok,  b r e a t h e )

After calming down I decided to look at the online ad to see if it held any clues. Real Estate websites are paramount in Australia; they're probably the most important property marketing tool.

Imagine my horror when I saw our advert - OMG it was rubbish! Dreadful! Dull, ugly photos and a short non-descriptive blurb that ignores all the key features. And excuse me but what is a LUG?  No wonder people weren't interested. The properties advertised either side of ours had over 200 views each - mine had only TEN in the same time! And my property was the one with the ocean views and it was closest to the beach.

In a fit I rewrote the ad and forwarded my version to him, demanding he replace it immediately (in the nicest possible way, of course). Then I very cheekily quoted the weather report and told him it would be sunny for the next 2 days so he'd better get out and take new pics :)

To his credit he changed the text immediately and one day later we had 45 hits! Vindication!! 400% increase in views (my boy sarcastically pointed this out to the agent haha).

Three days later with both new pics and new text we were up to 75 hits. Ha! Bad weather my butt. More like lazy real estate agent.

This is the sad reality of property ownership - there's no such thing as set and forget.

Lesson learned - lazy agents try to drop the price as a first (easy) measure. Instead, make sure your property is being promoted properly to show off its best features first! It could earn you $$$ more in income.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


About 12 months ago I started to feel a growing disquiet within...something just wasn't right and I didn't feel completely satisfied with my role (financial planner). This came about for a number of reasons but one in particular was the role's lack of creativity. Trying to speak to my manager about not liking my job in the midst of a global recession seemed like career suicide so I kept it under my hat for a while. Instead, my focus was trying to work out what it was I really wanted to do and what it would take to get there.

Straight out of high school I'd originally studied journalism, and then dabbled in marketing for about 4 years. This was where I felt my heart was wanting to go. There's definitely scope to combine marketing and financial planning, it was just a matter of convincing the boss. The first few conversations didn't go so well. She couldn't understand why anyone would want to change roles when they were doing well in the one they had. Lucky for me the existing marketing person's interest in her role soon expired and a vacancy was created.

So now I've started my new journey in finance marketing/corporate relations. This role comes with management responsibilities so I'm re-learning all those skills too. In the past my previous staff were all a good 10 years younger than me. This time its a whole different kettle of fish with one being about 15 years older and the other the same age.

Given my expanding interests I'm going to expand the themes in my blog...I guess I'm using this as  a personal scrapbook of-sorts to dump great ideas that I've come across in areas of marketing, HR and finance too. Even if no one besides me ever reads this, at least I can use it as my own reference tool :)

Here's to new challenges and opportunities.