FAQ - How can we help you?

Common Questions. Simple Answers.

Why did you start :Different?

Like many people, our family owns investment properties. That’s not surprising, given that Australia has 3 million investment properties.

What is surprising is how much money we are paying in agent’s fees to manage the property. Our parents are retired now. As we reviewed their finances, we realised that by the time they sell their investment property, agents will take ~25% of the profits!

84% of all owners use property managers, who are taking 7-11% of the total rental income from letting and management fees. We see this happening to our family and friends every day, and we don’t think it’s fair.

What services do you offer?

:Different offers a flat rate property management service for owners and operates an app for owners and tenants to easily access their information and raise/approve maintenance issues. This blend of technology and experienced agents ensure both tenants and owners experience a seamless renting experience through both transparency and efficient communication.

Where is your service available?

We currently offer property management in:

  • Sydney metro
  • NSW Central Coast
  • Newcastle
  • Melbourne metro
  • Brisbane metro
  • Gold Coast
  • Sunshine Coast

Our offices are in Paddington (Sydney), Melbourne CBD & Brisbane CBD with more locations coming soon.

Are you a real estate agent or just software?

Both! We employ registered real estate agents to manage your properties, powered by our proprietary technology to automate day-to-day tasks while giving you and your tenants access to self-service portals.

Is :Different a licensed real estate agency?

Yes, :Different is a fully licensed real estate agency with a team of experienced property managers.

What is your experience?

Our team is a mix of experienced property managers and experienced technology professionals. You can learn more about the team here. Our employees are licensed real estate agents in NSW and VIC and we’ve also been renters and owners so we understand the issues on both sides.

How do you manage properties?

We believe that landlords get the best return by following these five principles:

  • Charge the right rent → The most rent, lowest vacancy rate
  • Market aggressively → A wide range of good applicants
  • Evaluate tenants rigourosly → Most problems can be avoided by selecting great tenants
  • Spend money wisely → Perform necessary and regular maintenance, eliminate unnecessary costs
  • Treat tenants well → They’ll stay longer and you’ll spend less

Everything we do is designed to reinforce these five principles. For more information, see our approach to letting.

What are your fees?

We charge a flat property management fee of $30 per week plus GST.

We don’t think it’s fair for landlords to pay percentage fees. For property management, the work required to manage a property is the same regardless of the weekly rent. Some property managers will tell you otherwise. Ask yourself if that makes sense.

If you need new tenants, we charge one week's rent for leasing plus $500 marketing fee (plus GST).

For leasing, it’s the same amount of work to sign a six-month lease or a twelve-month lease. Unlike many agencies, our fee includes double-sized premium plus advertising (~$250), measurements of key rooms, and video walkthroughs of each property. To see our properties for lease in NSW please click here. For properties in VIC please click here. For properties in QLD please click here.

Why is :Different less expensive than traditional real estate agencies or local property managers?

:Different is less expensive than other real estate agencies as we believe property management can be done at a fair price. Traditional property management has a very high margin where the same amount of time and energy is required in managing a $300/w property and a $800/w property, however the management fee highly differs. We believe in transparency, thus we only charge a flat property management fee of $30/week (plus GST). Our technology platform has automated many of the traditional daily tasks that property managers are required to undertake so that they can focus more on the people part of things such as solving your problems and answering your queries.

How are you different to traditional property managers e.g. Ray White, Belle?

Unlike traditional property management agencies that charge a percentage fee on the property's weekly rent, :Different only charges a flat fee of $30/week (plus GST) where you get a dedicated team of localised specialists to look after you and your property instead of a single, individual agent. Our platforms will also ensure you get round-the-clock responses whenever, wherever. We're a traditional property management agency but better in every aspect!

Why should I choose you instead of a discount property manager?

There’s many different ways of finding a property manager. Regardless of how you find them, we think you should always ask yourself three questions. Let’s look at how freelancers stack up, based on those three questions:

  • Will they work hard? Instead of drawing a salary, discount PM’s only income is your fees. If a freelancer isn’t getting enough contracts, they need to find a part time (or full time) job, and manage your property when they have time.
  • Can I rely on them? There’s no brand name behind the freelancer. If they can’t afford to carry or maintain the right insurance or licenses, and there’s a serious problem, then it becomes your problem
  • What if they leave? Property managers usually stay in a job for 12-18 months. Many leave the industry altogether. If they leave, you need to find, interview and train up a new manager, and the cycle repeats

At the end of the day, discount freelance property managers aren’t changing anything about how the service is performed. They are simply changing who provides the service.

We are Different. By automating much of what traditional managers do, and using professional managers (who have an ownership stake in our company) for the rest, we are able to provide a better service at a lower price. And we stand behind our service.

How can you offer a good service at this price?

For traditional agencies, property management is a very profitable, recurring revenue stream.

  • Property management fees make up ~50% of revenues for most agencies
  • Typical property managers earn around $60K and manage ~150 properties.
  • When real estate agents sell their companies, they are valued on the basis of their rent rolls.

Because they charge such high fees, they can afford to be inefficient and hire property managers cheaply.

Our goal is to provide unparalleled service, at a much lower fee. To do this, we started with a clean sheet of paper, and built a proprietary property management platform that automates a lot of the work that traditional agents need to do manually today.

Our technology works 24x7, doesn’t need to take a vacation and doesn’t demand a paycheque. It also doesn’t forget to follow up on what needs to be done.

We know that good property management is about more than technology. It needs people to make the right decisions. That’s why we hire smart people with common sense who focus their time on the problems that only people can solve. And those people own part of the company so they’re motivated to grow the business sustainably.

We are more efficient in everything we do and we pass those savings back to you.

Do I get to meet my property manager in person?

Yes, if you require a face to face chat you can meet with someone from the team, however we find most of the time our customers prefer to communicate over email, phone or live chat.

How do tenants communicate with the property manager?

They can communicate with property managers via the tenant app or by calling and emailing.

What system do you use for rent collection?

We collect rent via the Macquarie Deft payment system.

How do you deal with arrears or other tenant problems?

Good tenant selection stops most big problems before they occur, but all tenants will have concerns and questions.

We take care of problems before they become problems. Our systems automatically track arrears and tenants are contacted by phone, email and SMS. We follow up relentlessly to ensure you get paid. We work with you to create a proactive maintenance plan and deal with urgent maintenance requests immediately.

In the very rare cases where we cannot resolve the problem directly, we will attend tribunal proceedings. Meticulous record keeping is the key to a good outcome at tribunals. We’ve designed our service so that every transaction flows through our proprietary system. At tribunals, we always have a complete paper trail, so we can prove our compliance on your behalf.

Can you get a quote before someone comes out to fix an issue?

We always get quotes if the job is going to be above $300. For some jobs that involve handymen, we can get free quotes but for many others, such as plumbing, electrical work etc, there is usually a call out fee.

Can I claim :Different fees on tax?

Yes, you can! All fees associated with an agent/company in managing your property is tax deductible.

Can you organise to pay my reoccurring outgoings, such as rates, levies and insurance?

Yes, we can! We can organise to have all your invoices to be send to our office for payment which can then be deducted from your statements.

Am I locked into a contract or minimum term with :Different?

No, there are no lock-in contracts with :Different.

What is the notice period for terminating my contract with :Different?

The notice period for terminating your contract with :Different is 48 hours, however you won't be charged a fee as we have no lock-in contracts.

Do you manage commercial properties, AirBnB or rooming houses?

No, at the moment we only manage residential properties.

How do you notify my tenants? What impact does it have on them?

We will contact your tenants via email and communicate to them how to utilise the tenant app to raise maintenance issues and to pay rent. The impact on your tenants should be minimal as we will handle all of the small details for a seamless transition.

Your service seems too good to be true, where can I read reviews?

You can read genuine satisfactory reviews on both our website and on Google Reviews when you search :Different Property Management.

Okay, I’m convinced. How do I transfer to Different?

All we need is your name, email and investment property address to get started.

We’ll follow up with you on any additional questions so that we can generate our managing agency agreement and confirm your ownership of the property.

We handle the entire transfer process. Once you sign our agreement, we do the rest. We notify your tenant, the previous property manager and any other relevant parties. We’ll also work with your previous agent to smoothly transition your file and hand over the keys.

If your previous agency agreement requires a notice period, we’ll give that notice on your behalf. This is typically only a 30 day period. We start managing your property once that notice period has ended.

We charge you nothing until we officially start managing your property.

I still have questions. What about …?

Choosing the right property manager is an important decision. We think that we’re a great choice and want to give you all the information you need to feel that way too. We are happy to talk with you in more detail. Feel free to contact us with any questions at hello@different.com.au.

Can you take care of my bills?

We sure can - when you sign up, you just need to inform us to take care of them. Once we have the details, we can take over bill management for your property. This usually covers council rates, strata, and water.

When do I receive payments?

After we collect rent and pay any bills, we make disbursements to owners twice a month: at mid-month (15th) and end of month, or the last business day beforehand if these days are on a weekend. By default, owners will be set up on monthly disbursements but you can request to change to twice a month disbursements anytime.

Our statements are done and available on your owner portal shortly after each month-end. These will show the dates of all transactions in the given month.

Can tenants pay rent directly to me?

In order for us to effectively manage your tenant's rent payments, chase arrears, serve notices, pay any maintenance organised by us etc - we must collect the rent into our trust account and then disburse it to you. Without this, we are unable to keep track of what is being paid and when and have funds available to pay bills as they come up.