Real Stories: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
"I grew up in China, surrounded by people from the property industry. My family had a construction company, so you could say that property and real estate is in my blood.
My husband is a builder. He was an admirer of PIA and respected the company’s strong values. He was the one who introduced me to PIA and I’m very grateful to him for it, because I really love my job and working here.
My colleagues all come from diverse backgrounds and have a lot of knowledge. I’ve learned so much from them. PIA offers unique opportunities for us to grow and the ability to use our expertise towards creating our own pathway for success and building our own a business within PIA. I can choose to be a team leader or a business owner. It’s been a really inspiring journey"!
The self-starter building a large team and growth portfolio
"I’ve been working in real estate since 2015, and today I am a Senior Partner in Property Management at PIA. Professionally, I’ve had the fastest career growth in my department. I run a team of 5 people, and between us we manage a portfolio of more than 1,000 properties. I make the most of the strong focus on training and development opportunities available at PIA, to grow my skills and pass on knowledge to other team members. This investment in knowledge has great flow on effects to our clients too - landlords see great results from the proactive way we look after their assets.
I’m successful in my job because I’m very strategic when it comes to managing my client’s portfolio. I’m also detail-orientated and enjoy the challenge in the day-to-day responsibilities in property management such as finding the right tenant, conducting reference checks, property inspections, maintenance, arrears control and rent reviews. My aim is to make sure that everything runs smoothly for the landlord and the tenant. Both parties are equally valuable to our business, and I try to be valuable to them by addressing any concerns the moment they arise.
I’ve managed to climb the career ladder very quickly. My construction knowledge has definitely been an advantage. I know how a building is created from start to finish. That means I know how the foundation is laid, where the plumbing and electricity is, and the source of any issue with the property. Landlords and tenants appreciate how this knowledge can help them. I can usually explain the cause of a problem and resolve it within a reasonable time frame.
In property management communication is everything. If I tell a tenant that I will get in touch with them in an hour, it means that they will definitely hear from me within the hour. I always keep my promises. That’s why my clients trust me.
I’m also really proud of the high ratings I’ve received for service from clients over the past years. I don’t take the trust that customers place in me for granted and I always take my responsibilities seriously. I never cut corners in any of my day-to-day tasks".
Client approach is what differentiates property managers
"One of my key philosophies is to think of my clients – both landlords and tenants – as if they were my friends. I am able to place myself in their shoes and imagine what they are going through. I think about what I would want from a property manager, if I were in their situation, and then strive to deliver it.
I also give their home, or property investment, the same care and attention that I give to my own home.
Building relationships plays a crucial role in real estate. But it’s also important to be strategic, particularly when running and growing a large portfolio. My main focus is on keeping properties leased, occupied, and returning good income for landlords".
Career History: from compassionate aged care worker to empathetic property manager
"Before my career in real estate, I used to work in the aged-care sector. I helped people who struggled with everyday tasks. Physically, it was a demanding job but the emotional aspects came easily to me. My natural instinct is to always help people who need assistance. Today, this extends to my tenant and landlord clients. They know that if they need me, I will always be on the other end of the line. I know how hard it can be to feel that you are heard.
I’ve experienced some challenges myself and can remember a time when I spoke virtually no English. The phrase “self-starter” gets thrown around a lot these days, but in my case it really rings true. In 2003, I arrived in Australia without knowing anyone. It was a culture shock, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I couldn’t understand the language.
Today, being a Cantonese, Mandarin and English speaker is a major advantage. Clients with a Chinese background love working with me because I understand them, and make them feel comfortable, whereas many of my tenants are English speaking. I try to give all my clients that experience".
Passion for the property
"There’s a famous quote by Mark Twain which says: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I definitely think I have that job! I’m lucky to get a lot of fulfilment from my career: it’s a profession, passion and hobby all at once.
Most Sundays I’m in the office. I enjoy the quiet and use that time to organise my schedule. This way I’ve laid out the groundwork for the week ahead, and am prepared to help my clients if anything unexpected pops up".
To contact Ivy for an appraisal or discussion,
P 9192 2828 ext .534 E: email@example.com
2 Australia Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127
[Source: Interview with Ivy (Yane) Cai, February 2020]
The Property Investors Alliance (PIA) is one of Australia’s most exciting and fastest growing property and real estate platforms. Established in 2005, and with more than 400 staff/employees, PIA provide property related services to more than 10,000 private investors and home owners, 6500 landlords and more than 13,000 tenants
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