From a Survival Mindset to a Growth Mentality
Covid-19 is having a profound and challenging effect on the real estate sector in Melbourne, but since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the Eton Property Group’s property management team has expanded their local footprint by more than 200 per cent.
“From the very outset, we were determined to do more than merely adapt to the virus,” says Jennelle Marden, Director of Property Management, Eton Property Group. “Once we were all on board, we went from a survival mindset to a growth mentality.”
Eton’s coverage extends across the whole of Melbourne’s metropolitan region and Marden credits this recent growth to a range of factors, but the fact that her team was able to quickly digitise the tenanting process has been the most telling.
As an example, Eton agents filmed large tracts of a new Southbank development offering prospective tenants the “walk-through” experience via Zoom, Facetime and Whatsapp calls. Under lockdown, with severe mobility restrictions in place, the take-up has been impressive.
“We believe that this initiative could be a keeper, even when the industry returns to normal,” Marden says. “Our job has always thrived on human interaction, but time-poor people now expect the convenience of digital inspections, at least as an introduction to a property.”
With more than 20 years of experience in residential real estate, Marden has navigated challenging markets before, but the past six months topped them all. However, she believes the implications of the virus has only deepened relationships with existing landlords and tenants.
“Communication has been the key. We constantly update our landlords with new ideas and technologies for attracting tenants. Now that we can conduct inspections again, the team is busy contacting a backlog of prospective tenants who would like to see a property physically, and setting inspection times with them individually.”
Marden and her team spent much of the lockdown period preparing to come out the other side with a strategy in place. “Undeniably, the restrictions continue to be time-consuming for everyone, but we’ve always come from the position that good property management doesn’t cost, it pays.”
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