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Interview with Property Manager Deb Murphy

Interview with Harcourts Kiama Property Manager, Deb Murphy

Harcourts Property Manager, Deb Murphy has a lifelong passion for property and a wealth of real estate knowledge having owned her own real estate and stock and station agency in central NSW for over 20 years.


Looking for a change of scene, Deb moved to the beautiful Kiama area and joined the team at Harcourts.


Outside of work, Deb is an active volunteer fire fighter with the Jamberoo Rural Fire Service and is one of the brave people we count on during bushfire seasons. As you would expect from a firey, she is also a stickler for fire safety, ensuring all the smoke alarms in the rental properties she manages are regularly maintained.


We asked Deb to tell us a bit about property management and share her thoughts and experience:


What is the most important ingredient for a successful property management relationship?

In my opinion communication is the essential part of property management. Keeping everyone informed before they feel the need to ask, is the key to ensuring it all goes smoothly.


How do you stay abreast of market values and legislation changes?

We’re lucky at Harcourts that we get a wealth information from our head office and there’s a great range of online and classroom training options too. That, coupled with reports from the Real Estate Institute of NSW and Corelogic, keeps me up-to-date.


How do you know when you’ve found the right tenant for a property?

Having been in the business as long as I have, there’s a certain amount of instinct comes into pairing the right tenant and property! By striking up a conversation and asking the right questions I can usually uncover they type of tenant they will be. However, all the final checks and balances usually determine the final choice.


What are you looking for when you undertake a periodic inspection of a rental property?

When I walk into a property I’m checking to see that it’s being looked after. Is there any damage? Are there any maintenance issues? In this respect I’m being the eyes and ears of the owner. I’m also thinking ahead to any potential maintenance or upgrades that I can advise the landlord about so they can budget for future upgrades.


What are some of the biggest challenges you face day to day as a property manager, and how do you overcome them?

Mother Nature can give me some of my biggest challenges. When a storm passes through the town wreaking havoc, it certainly keeps me on my toes; dealing with insurance companies, making sure repairs are done, keeping tenants happy and landlords informed.


What do you love about real estate?

In my 40-or-so years in the business I’ve had a really interesting and broad clientele. I love successfully managing investors’ assets and matching the right tenants to properties so we can achieve positive outcomes.


And lastly, what nugget of wisdom do you have for anyone looking for a property manager for their investment property?

Always seek a property manager who is prepared to listen and demonstrates good attention to detail. I truly believe communication skills is the number one asset for any property manager.