CPPDSM4013-Topic 3 - Implement Marketing Activities

Once the marketing plan has been agreed to and the budget and methodology of marketing the property have the agreement of both the owner and property manager within the office, it is time to implement the plan. Before the plan can be implemented there are a number of people involved and their roles should be outlined by the listing agent so that there is no cause for confusion or mistakes.

These roles are as follows. Note that this is a suggestive list and not a definitive one. Each agency is different in personnel and methodology.

> Listing Property Manager - This is the person responsible for ensuring everything goes according to plan. If there is a problem, then the fault stops here. They must ensure the advertisement is accurate and goes in on time. They must be ready for open homes, inquiries off the advertisement and any other action that needs to be taken.

> Personal Assistant - PAs are becoming more common every day. Their main task is to assist the property manager in the everyday tasks that the property manager has to perform in order to make successful rentals and have a professional demeanour.

> In the marketing area, the PAs have to write original copy and place the advertisement in the paper, check window display, ring the owner regarding inspection times, field inquiries etc. This person can fulfil every role that the property manager performs but the property manager is ultimately responsible and therefore must check all the work before it goes out of the office.

> Administration Staff - These people need to know when advertising is going in so that they can prepare themselves for the inquiries. These can then be redirected correctly. These staff can assist in making suggestions as to where to advertise, costs etc. The administrative staff will also field initial walk in inquiries on the property. In many instances, the administration staff double as personal assistants and carries out all the duties listed above as the office does not carry PAs

> Licensee - Ensuring that everything that is carried out by the staff is legal and complies with all ethics is the ultimate responsibility of the licensee. This person also ensures that all advertising complies with the agency policy on advertising.

> Owner - The owner has a role to play in the marketing of the property as well. Allowing the property to be open for inspections, maintaining the property in good order so that it has rental appeal, being contactable and paying the marketing fee are but some of the tasks of the owner.

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Once the marketing activities have been agreed upon, it is then up to the listing property manager to ensure they are implemented. This has to be in line with what was agreed to in the marketing plan. The personal assistant to the listing property manager will assist in this as outlined previous.

After being implemented the marketing has to be monitored to ensure that what was paid for has been carried out. This means that every advertisement has to be checked to see it was placed as agreed upon with the media outlet. This is a very important step as many media outlets make mistakes both as to timing and content. Usually the PA can do this but if you don’t have one then the property manager must do it.

The other important reason for monitoring of marketing activities is to ascertain how well they are working. How many people inquired as a direct result of the marketing activity? If the activity is not working, what needs to amended and why? Does the budget allow for a reworking of the advertisement? All of these need to be closely monitored by the listing property manager and his/her team.

Property Advertising Legislation

Advertising in the property industry is regulated by legislation which falls under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002.

Reading 1 – Division 5, Advertisements and Representations

Property Stock and Business Agents Act, 2002. Sections 50-53

The Act requires that all agents promoting a property must identify the business, corporation or licensee. If the licensee has an interest in the property they must disclose that interest.

The licensee must not publish or make any statement that is false, misleading or deceptive. The licensee or property manager must take all due care and diligence to ensure that information published is not false or misleading thereby placing the onus on the licensee to verify information.

For example, it is an offence to publish an advertisement or make a statement in the course of marketing a residential property for rent that estimates a rental range that is not the true estimate.

The provisions stated above mirror those of the Trade Practices Act which endeavours to provide consumer protection in business in general.

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission administer the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. It aims to:

> Preserve competition of private enterprise to benefit consumers

> Strengthen consumer protection.

Section VIA of the Act is devoted to Consumer Protection issues such as, unfair practices, misleading and deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and remedies for breach of these regulations.

Prior to the Introduction of the Property, Stock & Business Agents Act 2002, most plaintiffs relied upon this legislation in regard to unconscionable conduct.

Golden rule: Keep owner informed

One of the biggest criticisms of property managers has been their lack of communication with customers, clients and staff. In this regard, it is absolutely vital that the owner be kept informed at every stage of the marketing campaign. The sorts of issues that should be informed to the owner include:

> When advertisements are being placed

> When open houses are advertised

> The inquiries from advertising

> What customers are telling the agent about the property

> How the advertising budget is going

> Any anomalies that may occur that were unforeseen

These and any other important issues must be told to the owner. If you do not, you are not doing your job and more than likely to incur the wrath of the owner and get a bad reputation as well.

Property inspection reports

Another problem may occur when a regular inspection of the leased property occurs. On occasions, the property manager may find the property in state of needing repairs. Some property managers choose to keep this from the owner in the hope that the tenant fixes up the problem before the owner finds out.

This is an erroneous action. In most cases, the tenant will not fix up the problem without a threat of a negative act being taken against them. If you have been giving the owner false reports about the state of disrepair of the property and the owner finds out, not only are you likely to lose the agency but your agency will get a very bad reputation from this owner and litigation proceedings could be started by this owner.

In short, never try to hide anything from the owner. Remember that, although you may be responsible for putting that tenant in the property, you can’t be there all the time. Yes, you may get a negative reaction from the owner, but this is better than trying to cover something up.

Regardless of how it may appear, never falsify a report to an owner!

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