Property Management & Me

Ep4: Taking opportunities — with Katrina Tarrant

June 26, 2023 PropertyMe Season 1 Episode 4
Property Management & Me
Ep4: Taking opportunities — with Katrina Tarrant
Show Notes Transcript

“Everything that's great in my life has come from the property industry. The most amazing experiences, travel, lifelong friendships. I imagine myself with sort of this image in a book one dimensional black and black and white on the paper. And real estate has coloured me in and, and brought me to life.” 
— Katrina Tarrant

This episode features practical tips from Katrina Tarrant from Harcourts and the NSW Property Services Expert Panel and Kate Sunol from PropertyMe on stepping up and taking every opportunity available for your career.
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 Hi, and welcome to Property Management & Me a serious from PropertyMe bringing quick tips and insights that will make a difference to your everyday practice. Today we're speaking with Katrina Tarrant, she's CEO of Harcourts New South Wales and ACT and she's a member of the Property Services Expert Panel for New South Wales, welcome Katrina.


Hi Kate. It's my absolute pleasure to be here. And hello to all of your listeners. 


It's really great to have you here joining us. Can you share a little bit about your background, your story, and your journey in the property industry?  


Yeah, absolutely. So this year marks my 30th year in real estate. Some people are foodies. They just love food. I would call myself a real estate-ie.

I say this all the time. Everything that's great in my life has come from the property industry. The most amazing experiences, travel, lifelong friendships. I imagine myself with sort of this image in a book one dimensional black and black and white on the paper. And real estate has coloured me in and, and brought me to life.

I started like many, many girls of my young age back then as a Receptionist, one of my tasks back then was to empty the ashtrays off the desks every afternoon, if you can believe that. 


Oh my goodness.


I worked my way up through, yeah, I know. It is crazy when you think about it in context, but I was able to learn everything from Reception through to Property Officer, Property Manager, Office Manager, Licensee in Charge, Sales, Sales Manager, working in community housing. I co-authored an affordable housing study for Paramatta Council, and I've worked in corporate for the last 11 years. So quite the gamut of experience, I think, in the real estate industry. 


Absolutely. There's a huge amount of experience there, and it's actually really lovely to see that you're still so passionate about what you do. 

You're now a member of the Property Services Expert Panel for New South Wales and what an incredible achievement. Congratulations. Can you share a little bit about what you're doing there?


Yeah, absolutely, something that I'm completely humbled by still to this day. I received my appointment. Late last year, I think October, November, and it's an immense privilege. So our job is to work with the Property Services Commissioner and to service the panel to give expert advice to the New South Wales government. So that could be around anything property services related if they're looking to strengthen legislation, looking at reforms. Something that obviously is a very hot topic at the moment and would be for many of your listeners and your subscribers to your product.

Obviously with the rental crisis at the moment, things like rent bidding, we just had a new act go to the Parliament, which is the Rental Fairness Bill. So any of those kinds of things do come through the panel first for review in draft form and we take that into consideration. Our job is to be measured, to apply an industry lens, and to try and identify any unintended consequences. 

We're all on the same team. We're all working towards fairness, the most customer-centric industry that we can provide, and it's our job just to have a look at things and think, Hey, that's fantastic. We understand where the government's heading here, but if we applied that, Is there anything that we haven't thought of that may have a negative impact or, you know, an unintended consequence.

And so we really, really thoroughly review all of that information and then we provide our advice back to government on that. 


A huge roll and what an opportunity to really be able to influence decision-making for our industry. How does the PSEP differ from say what REI does for our industry?  


I think, I think that's a really interesting question, and I think at the core of it, we all have the same goals in mind. So in terms of, you know REI New South Wales do a fantastic job and they're our peak industry group where they're out there advocating on behalf of the real estate industry.

When we're looking at the PSEP panel we are bringing together a broad range of knowledge and experience that encompasses strata, livestock, we have, you know, a member from ALPRA on there as well, and short-term rental accommodation, the whole gamut. Also, industry bodies, sorry, members that register training organizations as well. So they're the people delivering training to our industry. 

So in terms of that, we're less advocate. We're not advocating on behalf of the industry. We are more just applying our lens. So we come together from diverse backgrounds and experience. I'm a fairly hands-on CEO having worked at a number of major networks in a corporate capacity, I've walked into a lot of real estate agencies and had a lot of conversations around what does legislation look like in practical application.

So cutting through that red tape. Getting wonderful outcomes for consumers of New South Wales, but making sure we work with industry and small business. The majority of our industry is small business to ensure that they can deliver on those outcomes as well, so I think that's where we've got the same goals.

I think we really do have so, so much commonality in our goals and where we're heading, but we are less about being advocates for the industry and more about just providing our advice on, you know when the government's got a direction that they wish to take. We have a new government now, the Minns government that made some election promises and had a fairly clear direction of where they wanted to take. So we are here just to provide them advice on what their plans are and, and what that looks like in practical terms. 


Sure that makes a lot of sense, very similar goals, but different roles in achieving them essentially.  


Yeah, that's right. It, it's really interesting because we have a number of projects on the go at the moment, Project Elevate, Project Engage, Digital Round Table, and the Future of Strata Living. So outside of the normal panel, I also get the opportunity to sit on different subcommittees and contribute to those subcommittees. And part of that, we bring a lot of key stakeholders together. And what I find really fascinating about that is often some of the stakeholders in the industry were pitted against each other.

But in fact, when we give our feedback or when we have reports we are so… the common ground is just undeniable. What we all want to achieve is so closely, netted, the convergence of that is just extraordinary. And I think it just opens up beautiful conversations of how we can work more closely together and I can take those conversations back into my role here at Harcourts and work with my agents around that as well.

So the collaboration piece is what I really love and I treasure and, you know, It's why it's such a great privilege to serve on this panel. 


Absolutely. Can you share some of the projects that you've been working on or that you're excited about coming up?  


Yeah, so some of the things that I've worked on this year the Future of Strata Living, which was really interesting for me. I came from a property perspective or a “resi” real estate perspective. Obviously I haven't worked in the strata space much myself outside broad terms, but my agents work in strata and we, we touch strata all the time. The percentage of people in New South Wales living in strata is going up every, every, you know, year as we have these more highly populated and higher density living.

Yeah. So what does that look like? Are we getting really good outcomes for people living in strata? So I found that really interesting. What we're looking on, what we're working on there. And some of those points are around the point of sale representation and disclosures. And that brings it right back to industry.

, you know, some of the management of the strata scheme in itself. Education and knowledge around strata and building competence. A lot of people. Come and they sit on their body corporate, but there's not a lot of training or information about what those obligations are and looking about resilience and sustainability in strata.

I think that's a really interesting piece moving forward.  Outside of that, the digital round table looking to how we digitize the property industry and we are making some strides in that the previous government and Minister Dominello was very passionate. About how we can use some of the technology that we already have in New South Wales, the digital licenses and things like that, to bring that into our industry with digital ID and verification checks.

So that takes the responsibility of agents to be collecting but not holding a hundred points of ID or, or different types of application products and you know, the government underwriting or potentially verifying that. So what does that look like?  And another example. The practical one is regulations.

So we also work as part of the PS a panel, , with the fair training commissioner Natasha, and they were looking for some feedback around some best practice recommendations for what agents need to collect when in which part of the process. And what I mean is, you know, when you're doing a tenancy open, what do you need to collect in terms of, you know, data of someone, if they just want to inspect the property?

Then there's the next layer of data you collect if they go to application and so on and so forth. And getting some feedback around that. And I was able to work with my, , property management operations manager and I said to her, would you be keen to give your voice to some of these best practice? And she was absolutely thrilled when, you know, that came out and went to published on Fair Trading's website.

There's Jess's Insights and Realtime Insights. She's out there in the field advising the government. So using my role to pay it forward a little bit as well within my team and my network and my connections is being um, um, really lovely part of the role too. 

Oh, I could imagine, and really great that you're able to collaborate with our industry and bridge that gap between our voices in government, such a fantastic opportunity. 

Any words of advice for property managers coming up through the industry.  

So I think it's really important, and I guess my message to anyone out there listening would be to step up and contribute back to the industry. It's certainly a pinchy moment for me, so, And when I was asked to sit on the panel, you know, I'm like everyone, I have self-doubt. And I thought, why me? There's all these amazing people that could contribute.

But the important thing was I had the opportunity and I leaned in and I'm really relish in the opportunity to sit there and contribute at that level. I learned so much, but I also really proud that I do have meaningful insights for me executing my duty at the highest level I can. Means the world to me.

You know, I, I, I feel like I owe it to the industry. So I would say to anyone out there listening, the opportunities are there for you. Lean in, grab them. That's what I've tried to do my whole career. Pay it forward as well. The two things that I live by in real estate is, The value of relationships and the power of connections.

So let's keep building amazing relationships where we lift people up, but connecting people, because the more we pay that connection forward, the more opportunities we create for all of us. And in terms of the industry, I want nothing more than to see this industry absolutely thrive and be an industry that we are all so proud to work in.

Great advice. Get connected. Get to know people in the industry. Join. Facebook groups go to events, join your local REI. There's one in every state. The people that you're on the journey with could often be there for the entirety of your career. So. Worth building those relationships and stepping up to those opportunities.  

Thank you so much for joining us here today, Kat and sharing your passion and your journey with within the industry. If people want to connect or continue the conversations or just want to chat, I'll get advice about anything we've covered here today. How can they reach out to you?  

Yeah, absolutely. I'm always available if anyone would like to reach out and chat to me. They can either, you can pop up my mobile phone, grab me on LinkedIn, play along on social media.

I do love a bit of social media, , but I'm really abundant and available with my time cuz I so many people over the years were really great to me and I really believe in paying that back forward. So if anyone would like to chat further or would like some advice or some mentoring, please don't hesitate to reach out.

I'll give you all my email, my phone number. Grab me on social media. You can catch me anywhere.