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Geared for Growth Property Investing Podcast

May 24, 2018

Leanne Pilkington is the President of Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, the second female since when it was established. She is also the managing director of Laing+Simmons, the founder of the Real Women in Real Estate networking group and an industry heavyweight in the real estate industry.  In this episode, she shared about how she got to where she is, the lobbying work that she's doing on behalf of the Real Estate Institute and her investment tips.

Time Stamped Notes

01:02 –Who is Leanne Pilkington. She is the managing director of the Laing+Simmons, a real estate franchise organization based in Sydney and the president of the real estate Institute of New South Wales

1:32– Real Women in Real Estate. Their vision is to provide a forum where women in the industry can communicate problems or challenges they might be experiencing, workshop solutions and simply encourage each other to achieve their career goals in an open and collaborative environment. They do networking events for women not just in real estate agents but anybody who is in and around would like to take a proactive and collaborative approach in carving out their own successful career paths.


3:09 – Her first $5/day salary. She started answering their family business phone on a Sunday as a 15-year old for $5 a day and her my dad's very proud of it.


04:23 –her career in franchise to real estate. She’s been at Laing + Simmons for years, started as the administration manager franchise coordinator then she had an opportunity in franchising.


09:25–Real Estate Education and reforms. Property buyers and sellers can expect real estate agents new to the industry to be well-trained, educated and offering advice in the best interests of clients in the not-too-distant future, as per Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) which is headed by Leanne. The practice of people becoming agents after as little as three days of training is being shafted in a shake-up driven by the institute.


15:39–her role in Laing + Simmons. The role for her is growth of the brand but satisfaction of the franchise that is their KPI and also the satisfaction of the team around her. They are not the kind of brand that grow for the sake of growth. They want people that are passionate about the industry, ethical, professional and enthusiastic. They want people to get involved in everything that they do. So they offer a lot of training, education and celebration of results.


20:58– Her take on flat fees and commission .She is not against flat fees per se but she is against organizations that charge an upfront fee like in the case with PurpleBricks.


23:01– a real estate agent’s role. According to her you can't be driven to be get the cheapest agent because you won't get the best results. The reality is that a good agent does make a difference to the amount of money you can get for your property.


26:50– technology in property space Real Estate in 10 years. Technology will shake up in the property management space first since property management is very labor-intensive and it's a very expensive division to run and it's not highly profitable but it is the essence that's the way that real estate agencies are valued on their rent model and property managers are getting harder to find they're getting more expensive and so that's where technology can make a huge difference.


In the US for example that  they have in every one of their homes  under management they've got an Amazon Alexa and so instead of the  tenant bringing the real estate agent and saying my hot water is broken it  they'll say - Alexa my hot water is broken and Alexa will then step them through. I then an alert will go to the property manager who will arrange for the trades person.


30:44– property investing and financial planning. The kind of property that she personally look for is something that she can add value to and so in adding value with the properties that they've got they’ve added granny flats which has then obviously increased the yield significantly because you can add a granny flat with not a lot of money and if you’ve got the right kind of property and get a good return.


31:18– Leanne’s best advice for property investing and capital growth.Her focus because it's in her super fund is yield because she need to have a significant percentage of cash already. She need positively geared investments that are growing.


36:42– her negotiation advice.You've got to know the market. You've got to trust your gut instincts and you've got to make fast decisions. Get the research and know that something is worth and when you are pre-approved ready to go you can press the button correct.


37:54– questions to ask a potential property manager.Ask them about their processes, how they go about finding a tenant, what are the conversations they have with their tenants.

You want someone who’s going to set the expectations from the tenant from the outset.

42:16– Leanne talks about mentorship. Yes, the question would be better phrased "what should you look for in a mentor", but apparently that is not always the way it works!”

Her friend recently shared a story with her about one of her team members performance reviews. This team member was asked "if you could have a mentor from within the industry, who would you choose?" Her response was Leanne, which of course was very flattering, but what happened next really made her laugh. Her Principal hadn't heard of Leanne, so he googled her... The Principal was quite horrified when one of the first things that popped up was a photo of Leanne, performing in the Mardi Gras, and advised his team member that Leanne, would certainly not be an appropriate person to have as a mentor. 

44:00– Property management strategy from Leanne. Start early and they buy consistently and don't sell.

Connect with Leann Pilkington:

LinkedIn – Leanne Pilkington

Website – Laing + Simmons

Website – Real Women in Real Estate