MAP leads the way

What does an award-winning property management company do differently?
Let’s check out MAP Real Estate in Melbourne, which beat other members from a range of agencies to win the 2013 Leading Property Managers of Australia Property Management Company of the Year title.
Ideal week
MAP works to an “ideal week” schedule; its doors are open to the public between 10am and 4pm on weekdays (and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays). The agency says that this facilitates better service in the context of a workload which is largely reactive.
Online maintenance form
Tenants must request maintenance in writing, and can access a request form online. Digital photos of the problem are encouraged. The form respects tenants by asking about their preferred time and method of contact. It also notes that the landlord makes repair decisions and tenants will have to pay the bill for any damage they caused.
Formal dispute resolution
MAP has a formal dispute resolution policy, and a compliance officer administering it. The complaint form can be accessed online, and asks not only for complaint details but a suggestion as to what a successful resolution could be.
Level of service agreement
Property managers are expected to live up to a written “level of service” agreement.
Reward structure
According to its website, MAP rewards the property management team for its effort in properly managing properties, in contrast to agencies which only reward staff for new business.
Compliance manager
In addition to handling complaints, the compliance manager also oversees and checks all lease documents, files, authorities, reports, inspections, rent increases, bond transfers and the trust accounts.
Fast payment
MAP pays landlords their rent within four days of it hitting their trust account, with two payment days every week.
Proactive on arrears
Tenants who are five or more days in arrears are contacted twice a week. According to its website, more than 90 per cent of MAP’s tenants pay via direct debit, which eliminates “most” arrears.
Property managers don’t select tenants
Leasing Consultants manage the leasing process, while property managers manage the properties once leased.
MAP’s website provides prominent links to a law firm, depreciation firm and landlord insurer (which we are pleased to note is EBM’s RentCover).
Online applications – and warnings
MAP takes applications online using Its listings include warnings to tenants not to apply if they have a poor rental record or left their last property in a bad condition.
Niche in fully furnished properties
While also handling conventional properties, MAP has a specialist niche in leasing fully furnished apartments – and a tiered rental structure depending on the term of the lease.
You’ll be able to find out who the 2014 Property Management Company of the Year is at the Leading Property Managers of Australia conference, which will take place in the Gold Coast on 3-4 April.