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Need a change? Here’s what we do differently…

Not just a ‘hands-on’ director

When you call Ethel & Florence, the owner and director, Adele answers the phone. You will deal with Adele for everything so you can rest assured at every step of the way.

Not a typical real estate agency

No ego, no suits, no flashy cars or watches.

We pride ourselves on being down to earth and personable. We think the industry has become a little too much about the agents and we want to bring our focus back to you.

Property management focused

We aren’t a typical real estate sales business with a property management department. We are a property management business and that is our primary focus.

Exclusivity

Our portfolio is capped in size.

We have a very small and manageable portfolio. We only take properties on board where our values are in line with the property owners. This ensures we can continue to provide the service we are known for.

Service guarantee – this is important!

I’ve never thought that “satisfaction guaranteed” was a very inspiring phrase. I’d like to ensure that you are satisfied of course, but I’d prefer it if you were absolutely thrilled instead. 

We’re so confident that you’ll be happy with us that we offer a no-strings service guarantee.

Your management agreement is filled with fine print that locks you in for a period of time decided by your agent. At Ethel & Florence your business is our business so we believe that if you aren’t 100% happy with our service you should be able to drop us with no strings attached.

Our guarantee is simple… We ask that you give us 48 hours to rectify the problem at hand to your total satisfaction. If not, you are free to leave us and choose another agent. Find a copy of this agreement in our ‘landlord’s guide’ PDF.

Tailored fees and services

We don’t have set fees. Each property and each client is different. We understand there are some things you might want to take care of yourself – like paying your rates, or organising maintenance – we are more than happy to negotiate our services and fees and tailor your agreement to suit you.

7 day inspections

Sunday inspections by appointment and open homes on vacant properties to keep vacancy rates low – try to find another agent who’ll do that!

Live tours/open homes via our powerful social media platforms

For those prospective tenants who just can’t make it.

Stringent tenant screening

We keep a database of prospective tenants who may have applied and missed out on another property. They are qualified and on a waiting list for the right property. We can sometimes lease properties without advertising using this database.

Premium advertising

Who decided that premium advertising should be reserved for properties for sale? Gone are the days where you can get away with fuzzy photos taken on an iPhone and a budget ad placing you in last place on realestate.com.au. We believe in top notch marketing for properties for lease. See more info about this in our ‘landlord’s guide’ PDF.

Rent review 

At every lease renewal, lease end and routine inspection, we will issue a report on your rent and a market analysis along with our recommendations on pricing so you know you are getting the best possible rent.

Sales appraisal and market update

At every routine inspection we will send an un-biased sales appraisal and an update on the market with your routine inspection report so you can keep tabs on what’s happening in Brisbane.

Preventative maintenance and improvements

We will try to report on recommended preventative maintenance before the need arises for rectification maintenance.

We will also report to you between tenancies on any recommended improvements to maintain a good standard of living to your tenants or to increase the value of your property.

The ‘Ethel & Florence Extra Mile’

Another thing you need to check your fine print for is referral commissions or fees for coordinating maintenance. Most agencies or their subsidiary companies will charge their landlords up to 15% on any maintenance or improvements arranged for them. Sometimes this fee is charged to the tradesperson as a “referral commission” and the tradesperson is forced to inflate their invoice to cover this commission. If you’ve ever seen an invoice for a small job like a leaky tap and thought it was a bit too expensive, this is probably why.

We don’t believe in this. E&F charge NO FEES or commissions to coordinate repairs, maintenance, improvements, renovations. This is all part of the job. We have extensive experience in coordinating renovations and improvements for absentee landlords – FOR FREE.

 

Fees explained

Leasing/letting fee

Fee for letting the property including: taking enquiry, conducting inspections, reviewing applications, preparation of lease documentation, preparation of the condition report and collecting and lodging of the bond.

Lease renewal fee

Fee for negotiating a new fixed-term tenancy agreement for tenants at the end of their existing fixed-term.

Management fee

Commission for the day-to-day management of your property including: collection of rent, making payment on property outgoing disbursements, liaising with tenants, organising maintenance where required and conducting routine inspections and rent reviews during a tenancy. The fee also includes, managing a tenant’s vacate, ensuring the property is left clean and tidy and negotiating any bond claims (where required) is also included as part of the management fee.

Advertising – internet

Cost for advertising the property on realestate.com.au. There is no cost for advertising on ethelandflorence.com.

Advertising – board

Cost for placing a ‘for lease’ stock board at the property. This is a fantastic tool for generating inquiry for your property. For properties managed under owners/body corporations, permission will need to be obtained.

Advertising – social media

Cost for a boosted/sponsored post on Instagram or Facebook

Advertising – photography

Cost for professional photography

Advertising – videography

Cost of professional videography

Tribunal application fee

Charge to recover cost of lodging QCAT application.

Tribunal attendance fee

Fee for time spent preparing for and attending a QCAT hearing.

Key cutting

As per the residential tenancy act, enough keys are required so that our office has one copy of each property key and each adult tenant has a copy of each exterior door key in addition to a shared set of other keys including window keys. Keys are charged at cost price.

 

Services explained

(Services already included in the leasing and/or management fee):

Condition report photos

In addition to the comprehensive written condition report, we photograph almost all of the internal surfaces and items within the property. These are added as an attachment to the written condition report as part of the letting fee.

Furnished inventory list

Fully furnished properties require an inventory report in addition to the condition report. We create a detailed inventory and photograph each and every item in the property. This is covered under the letting fee.

Provide estimate of potential rental income

Provide marketing recommendations

Check prospective tenant applications

Submit tenant offers to you

Preparation of lease agreement and relevant documentation

Monitor, collect and account for rent

Lodge bond/bond claim with RTA

Carry out periodic inspections and report to owner

Arrange maintenance as required

Prepare and serve RTA notices

Representation at QCAT hearings & preparation

Monitor expiry of lease and provide advice to owner

Recommend ways and strategise to maximise the property’s appeal to tenants

Arrange and prepare marketing material

Promote the property to our database for prospective tenants

Provide regular reports on prospective tenant interest

Conduct property inspections with prospective tenants

Conduct rent reviews and reports

Liaise with tenants in conducting inspections

Conduct final inspections at lease end and provide report and advice

 

How to interview your agent

When we come to meet you we will ask you a bunch of questions so we can know how best to address your needs. But you should be asking the tough questions too.

Below are some examples of questions you should be asking when choosing an agent to manage your investment – this is important!

  • Is the business owner/director/prinicipal hands on with the property management team?
  • Is the agency property management ‘specialised’ or are they a predominately sales business that has a property management department?
  • Is it better for my property to be management by a big brand/franchise group or a boutique agency?
  • How many years of experience does the property manager have?
  • How many properties do they manage?
  • What is the rental arrears procedure?
  • What is the lease renewal procedure?
  • What is the maintenance procedure?
  • Does the property manager conduct/attend the tenant inspections, open homes, condition reports, routine inspections or are they outsourced?
  • Does the agency hand out keys for vacant properties to prospective tenants?
  • What services do you offer to attract the right tenant? What is your tenant selection process?
  • How often do you conduct routine inspections?
  • Can you show me an example of a routine inspection report?
  • What happens if the tenant has an emergency at the property
  • Does the agency or any of their subsidiary companies charge or receive commission on maintenance/improvements?

Questions you should ask yourself when choosing an agent:

  • Were they prepared?
  • Did you receive a formal appraisal/CMA (comparative market analysis)?
  • Did you receive information about what is currently on the market?
  • Did you receive information about your obligation in regards to smoke alarms? Did you receive information about tax depreciation schedules?
  • Did you receive information about landlord insurance?
  • How was their body language when you asked them the tough questions?

 

Smoke alarms and landlord responsibility

All states in Australia have strict legislation relating to smoke alarms in residential rental properties. In all cases, a person who does not comply with the smoke alarm legislation is guilty of an offence carrying penalties of up to $500.

According to some insurance product disclosure statements, non-compliance to current smoke alarm legislation could result in rejection of claims and penalties applied.

It is your legal responsibility to ensure all state and federal legislation associated with your investment property are complied with. The maintenance required is outside the expertise of property managers as it must be completed to rigorous standards.

To protect you from fines and potential litigation, we must obtain proof in writing that your property/ies comply with current legislation. Did you know that smoke alarms are required to be checked, tested and cleaned within 30 days prior to every lease renewal and changeover?

Smoke Alarm Solutions is the largest and most professional smoke alarm service provider in Australia, offering a service with an annual fee of just $99 per property with unconditional free alarms including 9V and 240V alarms that are required for compliance. They will attend your property as often as necessary during the year to ensure your property remains compliant.

Click the button below to see a brochure produced by Smoke Alarm Solutions outlining how they can assume the risk on your behalf. With professional, highly trained technicians and comprehensive compliance reports, we strongly recommend this service to all of our clients.

Smoke Alarm Solutions

 

Insurance

Ethel & Florence have been appointed as distributors for Terri Scheer Insurance products and we are able to arrange insurance for you. Alternatively, cover can be placed online at terrischeer.com.au or by calling TS direct on: 1800 804 016.

Terri Scheer Brochure   Policy PDS   Financial Services Guide

 

Email us or submit the below contact form for a copy of our complete Landlord’s Guide.

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