Meet the Team: Neil Harris
Equal parts down to earth, engaging and professional, Neil Harris is a perfect fit for his role as Business Development Manager at our Port Phillip office.
Equal parts down to earth, engaging and professional, Neil Harris is a perfect fit for his role as Business Development Manager at our Port Phillip office. With a career that spans almost a quarter of a decade, he is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and holds a longstanding connection with the suburbs of Bayside and Port Phillip. Neil loves his local area and fully embraces the benefits of a beachside lifestyle. Read on for an insight into the daily life of a business development manager, and Neil’s best advice for both landlords and tenants.
Can you give a summary of your experience in real estate/property management?
I have specialised in property management for over twenty-one years. For over half of my career I was a department manager for other companies but decided to get back into business development management as I missed working with properties and people.
What are your personal thoughts on the 2018 property market for landlords and tenants?
Tenants have become more particular and have higher expectations. Properties that are presented well are leasing faster than ones without such strong presentation. Tenants’ rental expectations are at a higher standard than we’ve seen before.
What do you love most about your job?
Matching people with properties, seeing Melbourne’s most beautiful homes, meeting great people and the variety that every day is different.
What do you find challenging?
Letting tenants down when you have multiple applications on a property is always tough. Giving clients advice about what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear can be challenging, too. I always endeavour to make clients happy, but sometimes we need to give firm advice to lead them in the right direction.
What’s been the most rewarding aspect?
The opportunity to provide home owners with advice on ways to make their property more aesthetically appealing in order to attract a quality tenant is always rewarding. I get to see how thrilled owners are when their property undergoes improvements and then achieves great results, especially if they didn’t initially see the full potential of their property – gold!
“Tenants have become more particular and have higher expectations. Properties that are presented well are leasing faster than ones without such strong presentation“.
What sort of value does a PM add to a landlord? Why are they essential?
When regulations change, a PM is extremely important. It’s vital to know what you can and can’t do as a landlord. We specialise in this – we know how to select the best possible tenant, have the difficult conversations for the owner and are skilled in negotiating the best possible rental and lease terms. We can give advice based on our wealth of professional knowledge and experiences as well as offer great trades people if something goes wrong. Simply, we are here to make things easier for our clients.
For you, what makes a house a home?
A home to me is somewhere you can relax, take a deep breath and feel at ease. It is a space you want to share with your loved ones. I love to cook and entertain, so a great open plan kitchen overlooking the dining and living area is important. To make a property feel like home it needs to be clean, smell nice, feel bright and happy. I am personally rather minimal (I don’t like clutter), but I do like photos of friends and family, some special pieces of art or vintage pottery and some healthy indoor plants.
Tell us a little bit about your own home and what makes it special to you?
I live in Elwood by the beach and very close to Elwood Village. I like living close to the water and being able to walk with my partner and dogs along the beach or around the corner to my favourite cafes and restaurants. My home is open and spacious – the kitchen is very modern, all white and open plan. It overlooks our living and dining area, which makes it a great for entertaining.
What are your favourite local cafes or stores?
You will find me getting my groceries from Leaf, because I like organic produce. For breakfast or lunch I would choose Plain Sailing or Little Sunflower. Dinner would be at Dandelion and a drink would be at the Milton Wine bar.