According to CEO of Barry Plant Mike McCarthy, a growing number of international investors and tenants sparked an overhaul in the company’s training program.
“We’re always trying to look ahead and train for what we expect market conditions to be like in six to 12 months,” Mr McCarthy told Residential Property Manager.
“You can’t just change your mindset overnight, so it’s important to always look ahead.” With property management specialist Yvonne Martin at the helm, the training and support programs have been updated. “We’re looking at targeting more international tenants," he said.
"Particularly with the uplift in the education sector, we’re finding a lot more international tenants.” Mr McCarthy believes there’s more than just a language barrier that keeps international tenants in the dark. “The way the rental market works in many other countries is vastly different, so we’ve helped cater to that by introducing multilingual brochures and promoting our diverse workforce, which boasts a large number of bilingual and multilingual property managers,” he said.
In fact, one Barry Plant office can cater to 19 different languages. “In our training modules we also have sections on customer service and dealing with different cultures and languages,” Mr McCarthy explained. However, the Melbourne rental market has been hit with a major oversupply from developers, increasing the CBD vacancy rate from 5.3 per cent in February 2013 to 6.2 per cent this year, according to SQM Research.
“Because of the spread of our offices, we’re feeling oversupply in different pockets," said Mr McCarthy.
"So we’re continuing to refine how we market rentals in a high vacancy environment. “When the supply is plentiful, it’s about presenting the property in the absolute best way possible. That way it’s at the top of the shopping list for those who are looking. “It’s about marketing it well, presenting it well, pricing it well and running consistent open inspections to give the property the best opportunity to attract a quality tenant.”