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Easter Holidays indoors!

The coronavirus pandemic means those of us who can are spending a lot more time at home. But that doesn’t mean it’s just you and the couch forever, especially this Easter. We’ve collected the best ways for you to experience Melbourne while staying at home, so you can stay sane, comfortable, fed, watered and entertained at home with your kids – while helping small business owners and creative people.
Melbourne animal shelter Second Chance Animal Rescue has had to send all its animals into foster care and stop taking animals, but its volunteers are still bringing a bit of cheer (and some long-distance cuddles) to the community. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 9.30am the shelter is posting videos to its Facebook page of volunteers reading picture books for kids who are now stuck at home. And yes, they will all be accompanied by fur babies, so if you tune in you can entertain the kids and get a glimpse of some of the shelter’s former residents.
  • Practising social distancing right now? Luckily for you, Melbourne’s zoos have decided to live stream their animals so you won’t miss out on a second of all that cute creature fun. Zoos Victoria has set up live streams at some Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo enclosures, including the adorable snow leopard cubs. These adorable (and frequently napping) cubs were born on January 26 and are starting to explore the world a little more under the watchful eye of their mum Miska. You can also watch over the Zoo’s friendly penguins, lazy lions and wandering giraffes, including recent arrival Kilintun.

  • To make self-quarantine just that little bit more tolerable, Disney+ has brought forward the release of Frozen 2 in Australia. It’s news that will be music to the ears of small children and grown-up Frozen fanatics everywhere, not to mention parents who have decided to take their kids out of school and are gearing up for weeks of child-induced cabin fever. Expect other production companies to make similar decisions in the days ahead and put their new releases on to streaming services well ahead of schedule

Share with us one of your favourite things to do over the break? We’d love to hear from you.
Happy Easter from all of us at Silver Service Real Estate xx stay safe and take care xx

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Meet our new team member Shaun Murray, Licensed Real Estate Agent and Auctioneer

With over 20 years experience in sales and five years in-depth experience in Real Estate with some of the biggest nationally recognised brands as a Sale Agent, saw Shaun began his own Real Estate Agency, Murray’s of Port Phillip in Port Melbourne.

Shaun has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the market having worked across a majority of Inner-city Melbourne suburbs. Shaun has made Real Estate sales and Auctioneering his passion. With a track record of over delivering for vendors and buyers alike, Shaun joins the Silver Service Real Estate team to continue the work the team has done in Real Estate Sales and to be the teams New in-house Auctioneer.

Silver Service clients have already seen the fruits and flair of his experience and approach as Shaun hits the ground running. Mr Murray’s recent engagement has seen him busy listing and selling off market within his first week of joining the team, achieving very positive results and, in record time frame.

Shaun puts his successful track record of customer satisfaction and over delivering due to the positive referrals, related to his down to earth approach, industry knowledge, care for the people he is serving and their outcomes. Shaun has the ability to guide buyers to their perfect property, whilst supporting vendors achieve their goals.

“I enjoy communicating with Owners as well as purchasers to share my broad market knowledge. My decision to join Silver Service Real Estate is based mainly on a compatible value system. I am very excited to be starting this new chapter of my career with the wonderful people at Silver Service Real Estate who share my endeavour is to re-define the “real estate experience. I would love to help you on your property search, please drop me a line or get a free property appraisal Click here “.

Shaun Murray
Licensed Estate Agent
6/8 Bromham Place, Richmond VIC 3121
[email protected]
t] 03 9855 1197
m] 0448 968969

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Diary of a Work Experience Student ( Part 2)

As promised, here is the second part of the blog from our very own Leila! 

Leila decided to do her compulsory work experience placement with us from 2-6 December 2019.  

It was refreshing to have her temporarily join our team and, even more welcoming was to hear her thoughts and opinions of the daily tasks which have now become second nature to us. 

Leila was kind enough to share her daily journal of her experience with us and, we are delighted to share this with you all. 

Day 3: Wednesday 4 December 2019

It seems that it’s that point in the week when I start band-aiding my toes because of the blisters, which are of course due to my work heels!

Again, we began the day in Mariam’s apartment, consolidating knowledge, queries and terms that had surfaced the day before, thus actually putting sense to the “experience” part of work experience. 

We headed to the city soon after, briefly casting our eyes over a short stay property that is managed by one of the SSRE partners. We speedily checked that everything was in order, and updated the inventory just to be sure. Apparently, in real estate, you can never be sure enough. 

What started as my first vacate inspection became much more.  Mariam and I entered, and were immediately confronted with the placement of the furniture. Everything was positioned haphazardly and randomly around the room (it was a furnished studio apartment), and it honestly looked awful. It became more concerning when we realised that there was a film of grime, not just on the furniture, but on most surfaces. The carpet, the kitchen bench, shelves and drawers, the bathroom tiles, the shower, the window sill.

I won’t bore you with the details, but here I am wearing a silk blouse and creamy Ralph Lauren pants, moving around heavy furniture and cleaning an apartment that was supposed to already be clean. Although I was only on my third day of the experience, I was sure that is not the job of a real estate agent to do.

The vacated Tenant was working very close by so came to the property while Mariam and I were still there. They agreed that it was necessary for them to pay professional cleaners to finish cleaning the property so that the condition would more fairly reflect the condition they received the property in. 

Once the property was more organised, I reviewed the itemised property condition report, noting the new condition of each item compared to the original “ingoing” condition. Mariam helped me to identify what was “reasonable wear” and what was damage.

More than two hours and a lot of sweating later, Mariam and I returned to the car-park. By then the parking fee was $48.00. Mariam was actually relieved though. This is because city parking can cost much more and she had anticipated having to pay closer to $80.00.  

We returned to the office for the rest of the day, documenting the inspection and our findings, and uploading the photos taken to the office files to finalise the vacate condition report. One pro of our visit was that we got some nice photos to use as marketing images for the property; they were taken after we’d given the place a once-over, of course.

Like all days, they don’t actually end until, well, the day ends. So of course my shoe broke on the way home. You know, the ankle strap that was keeping the shoe on my foot. Then I dropped my phone. Yeah, let’s just say it wasn’t my best moment.

So today, I got to experience a lot.

 Day 4: Thursday 5 December 2019

This morning was the first real morning that I didn’t have an outfit planned, and I found myself caught very off-guard. I realised I didn’t have anything to wear so I ran to my mum’s room. We ended up finding me a gorgeous outfit, out of some pants Mum had forgotten she owned and one of her favourite, summery blouses. I felt awfully prepared this morning, as I had a lot of time to kill before heading to Mariam’s. Ha, I’m getting good at this.

As always, we began in the apartment doing basic tasks, but this morning instead of heading to any inspections or on field trips, we went straight to the office to finalise the reports from all of the routine inspections we had conducted throughout the week. The morning flew by quickly as we did this, and discussed various aspects of real estate that Mariam, Noune and Argine felt I would benefit from knowing.

Later in the day, Mariam and I departed for an OC (Owners Corporation) meeting for one of the committees she is on. Yes, there are multiple; she likes to contribute to the positive state and wellness of buildings that she is involved with, which I find admirable. We weren’t sure if I would be able to sit in, but the committee generously allowed me to! I tuned in to the issues they were discussing, and their interview of a potential new contractor. Honestly, some of it was interesting. I picked up on some new jargon such as “illegal subletting”, “overcrowding”, “Essential Services” … My ears pricked up when I heard “foyer refurbishment” and “finishes samples”, and it was certainly intriguing to see how a group of professional adults navigate their differences and come to compromises and conclusions. Even though the couch that I was sitting on was pretty comfy, sitting for two hours in a little room in the corner of a carpark wasn’t exactly exciting.

Anyhow, the meeting wrapped up and Mariam took me to briefly view an apartment being “refurbished” for lease by SSRE in the building. I loved it! The view was stunning, and honestly, I could see myself living somewhere like that someday. It was a great way to end another educational day.

Dat 5: Friday 6 December 2019

Wow, today is my last day of work experience at Silver Service Real Estate. I’ve come to the conclusion of my brief venture into the real estate industry. It’s been a ride and I have mixed feelings about it being over.

This morning, we headed straight out into the inner-west to conduct two inspections – a Routine Inspection, and a Vacate/Bond Inspection.

We entered the first apartment and began to look around. Mariam realised fairly quickly that something wasn’t quite right. There was pet food & water bowls about. The immediate problem was that the lease agreement didn’t include the tenant keeping a pet. There were other problems though. The property had cleaning issues, some obviously due to the dog that was living there. We wrapped up that inspection but, suffice to say, the management of the findings had yet to begin.

Next, we headed to the nearby vacate. This time around, Mariam gave me the checklist to do it all by myself! She thoroughly checked the property as well to make sure I wasn’t missing anything but, I don’t think I did (she didn’t miss anything – Mariam).

After this, we went to a really nice local pub to grab some lunch. That is one benefit of working on the road. You also get to learn about the different suburbs of Melbourne and why people like to live there.

After sharing a delicious plate of nachos at Hardimans in Kensington, we headed back to the office and spent the rest of the day there, writing up the inspection reports and tying up the loose ends from over the course of the week.

I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things by now, and I’m happy to say it’s been a successful toe-dip into real estate.

Day 6: Saturday 7 December 2019

Now that I have completed my brief stint in real estate, I see that I’ve gained an impressive amount of knowledge in a short time. I don’t know exactly how other real estate businesses function, but I can tell you exactly what I’ve learned from my experience with this one. A large part of what I’ve learned is that Silver Service Real Estate functions in their own, unique way that ensures they are serving every client. I saw that the relationships between agent, landlord and tenant were valued and treated with respect by SSRE, and I saw genuine care and devotion put into every task required.. 

Every aspect of real estate is dealing with people. Whether it’s a client, a contractor or an owner’s corporation, it’s people. It takes an awful lot of time, patience and social skills from what I’ve seen. The job is a massive commitment. I mean, many are, but this one requires time spent out of work. Out of the regular 9-5 workday pattern. The job is unpredictable. A new day brings new tasks, new difficulties, new clients. Real estate calls forth the skills of negotiation and cooperation with many different characters. Agents at SSRE ensure they work with their clients and find a compromise rather than simply pleasing one party.

I’ve learnt about owner’s corporations, or ‘OCs’ as agents say, close up. How challenging it is to work in a group tasked to solve problems that affect how people live! In that, I’ve seen different personalities work together and challenge each other.

Everything I’ve learnt in this past week, I know will be invaluable to my life and how I will now experience the world of real estate and interact with agents. Through the real estate industry, we have places to call home. We task these people with the responsibility of putting a roof over our heads. Giving us shelter. They hold our livelihoods in their hands. And if you ask me, Silver Service Real Estate does an awesome job honouring that. It’s been a hell of a ride, and I’m so lucky to have had this experience. I’m also honoured you were able to share it with me through this blog.  

What a delightful read, Thank you Leila for your wonderful insights. It was a pleasure having you as a temporary member of our Team!

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Diary of a Work Experience Student ( Part 1)

Leila, who will shortly be entering Year 11, decided to do her compulsory work experience placement with us from 2-6 December 2019. 

It was refreshing to have her temporarily join our team and, even more welcoming was to hear her thoughts and opinions of the daily tasks which have now become second nature to us. 

Leila was kind enough to share her daily journal of her experience with us and we are delighted to share this with you all. 

The paragraphs below highlight her choice of placement and the first two days of Leila’s work experience with Silver Service Real Estate. We will share the rest in an upcoming blog soon.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Hi! I am Leila McDonald, a year 10 high school student studying at Albert Park College. I am the niece of Mariam McDonald, the head of Silver Service Real Estate, and I chose to work there as my compulsory work experience placement.

I chose to do my placement here for a few reasons, starting with the fact that I think the skills involved with real estate are valuable in everyday life. I’m very interested in psychology and how human minds work, however considering the confidential nature of clinical psychology I struggled to find a placement in this specific industry. To me, real estate seems like the next best thing. The marketing and engagement skills essential to the job are so important in interacting with people, and the requirement of knowing how to appeal to people and their needs is a deeply psychological process. I’m interested in exploring the world of real estate, and how it can give me an insight into how people engage with it.

From what I can see, the job of a residential real estate agent entails the marketing of a property being leased or sold, conducting inspections, negotiations between landlords and tenants, being responsible for any difficulties or problems with a property that may arise, and some other, smaller scale tasks. I think it’s quite a demanding job, and as much as the administrative hours of SSRE maybe 9 am-5 pm, I’m fairly sure that the agents dedicate large parts of their own lives to it.

Day 1: Monday 2 December 2019

I pulled myself out of bed as I remembered that it was day 1 on the job. I mean, adults are always nattering on about the inconvenience and pain of their work-life, so my tentativeness to embark on a week long journey of a “9 – 5 grind” (as some would say) was not baseless. However, a small part of me felt excited to begin my stint in the workforce, despite my measly wage of $5 a day.

 Dressed to the nines and perfectly preened, I began my long commute of, well, 3 minutes. That’s right, I met my aunty (or should I say ‘supervisor’ for this week) across the road from my apartment building, in our favourite local cafe. So, perhaps the travel experience wasn’t so reflective of a ‘real’ job. The rest of the day made up for it. We spent some time in the cafe as Mariam talked me through the digital system Silver Service Real Estate utilises to organise their files and access their database remotely. It all seemed pretty nifty, and much more convenient than having to travel all the way to the Richmond office.

 We then hopped in the car to head to a routine property inspection, which I was admittedly eager to experience. Being on the other side of a tenant-agent relationship was interesting to observe, knowing what sorts of things my real estate agent zeroes in on when they inspect the apartment I rent with my dad. We then continued on to some small chores and tasks, everyday occurrences for the standard real estate agent, such as meeting with a painter and choosing a new carpet for a recently flooded apartment.

 A bit after midday, we hit the office which was where we spent the rest of the day. Now, I feel like I should mention that the whole time, Mariam was speaking to me in words that clearly made sense to her, but kind of just went over my head. Real estate jargon, you know? I had many questions by the end of the day, some of which I asked at the moment, but the fast-paced environment meant that some had to be saved for later. I mean, what on earth are arrears? Anyway, I finished up my day scrutinising the website and social media platforms that represent the business. I noticed that there was possibly room for expanding and utilising the accounts to more of an extent than they had been, which I will pitch to Mariam if we get time tomorrow. I want to help with what I understand, and I feel like social media is almost my area of expertise!

The day ended and, lucky me, dad agreed to call an Uber so I could get home speedily and efficiently. Not sure I’m getting that 5-star treatment again, so I may have to look into how I’ll get home via public transport. It sounds kind of exciting though.

So, overall, an eventful day and a great start to a productive and insightful week, and I feel ready to approach the job with an open and inquisitive mindset. Bring it on.

Day 2: Tuesday 3 December 2019

Fortunately, it seems that Mariam has set up the week so that seemingly every one of our days begins in the suburb I happen to live in. I had already chosen my outfit in my mind last night as I tried to fall asleep, so I had a plan of attack when I woke up this morning. I, again, began my arduous commute to Mariam’s apartment where we began our day, sending emails and discussing the difficulties of tenants who are unable to pay their rent and get themselves into “arrears” (that fancy word I learnt yesterday). 

We then headed across for another routine inspection, which I’m beginning to enjoy. It does feel a bit invasive, however, it seems that renting a property warrants these visits. Mariam did share some anecdotes about the people living there so, I did get to appreciate that it is also someone else’s home though.

The next stop was an inspection as well, and the tenants were home and had an adorable little toddler, which makes the job so much more enjoyable. 

We then returned to the office and stayed there until the end of the day. Mariam had a meeting, so she left me in the hands of the team to continue showing me the ropes. Lewis, one of the Hub Support members of the SSRE team walked me through how a tenant is secured, and all the paperwork and contracts that are required. We drew up an offer of tenancy, a lease agreement, a lease schedule and some other basic documents that I forgot the name of. It all seemed very standard procedure, but it was very informative for me to know what process my parents go through when they lease a property.

The day wrapped up, and as I suggested yesterday, I did indeed have to catch a tram home. It was so frustrating, and it took like, an hour. It doesn’t sound long, but it felt like years. I think I’m starting to get an idea of what having a full-time job really feels like.

Thank you for your candidness and authenticity Leila. We look forward to reading the second part of your work diary!

Keep a lookout for the second part of this blog!

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Changes Coming To The RTA And How They Impact You!

Changes Coming to RTA

The Victorian State government recently recommended some changes to the Residential Tenancy Regulations (RTA) that will come into effect on 1 July 2020. The changes increase the responsibility of landlords to maintain smoke alarms, gas safety and electrical safety for their rented premises. 

The Changes and Their Impacts

The key changes to the RTA will affect obligations and mandatory requirements for audit and servicing of smoke alarms, gas safety measures, and electrical safety measures.

Smoke Alarm Requirements:

·         Under the recommended changes, smoke alarm safety service will be an annual mandatory requirement for landlords.

·         Landlords will be obligated to provide renters the instruction manuals for installed smoke alarms.

·         Landlords will have to notify renters that they cannot tamper with the alarms and, that they must notify their property manager of any faults.

Gas Safety Measures:

·         A mandatory requirement will necessitate landlords to complete gas safety audits and services at least every two years.

·         The safety service and audits must be conducted by a licensed or registered gas fitter.

Electrical Safety Measures:

·         The changes to the RTA will also impose mandatory requirements on landlords to get electrical safety audits at least every two years.

·         The electrical safety audits should be completed by a registered or licensed electrician for all electrical appliances, fittings and installations.

Act Early to Avoid Administrative and Financial Burden

Ø  As a landlord, you not only need to be aware of the upcoming changes. Compliance with these changes will avoid any legal repercussions. Detector Inspector, one of our business partners have devised solutions and remedies for landlords and their property managers in anticipation.

Ø  The new obligations and mandatory requirements for landlords come with additional costs and administrative duties. The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2020 along with the deadline for compliance. The demand for registered technicians, electricians, and gas fitters will increase significantly as the deadline approaches and, this will likely result in price hikes.

Ø  Act now and meet the mandatory requirements while avoiding the pressures of a looming deadline and possible increase in prices for the required services for smoke alarms, gas safety, and electrical safety measures.

Speak to one of our agents to learn how this will affect your property and what action you can take beforehand. 

Silver Service already has an established partnership with Detector Inspector and trusts them to be a reliable source. 

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For your Christmas table!

It is our favourite time of the year. The sun is bright, the feeling is merry and we are all looking forward to sitting at our Christmas table with friends & family. To make this time even more magical, we have a special surprise from our very own Masterchef contestant Anushka! She shares with us her favourite Aussie Christmas recipe which is perfect for the holiday table spread. 

This easy and delicious Leek and Cheese Tart is quick to make and packed with flavours. 
Ingredients you require:

For the Short Crust Pastry:

  • 75g plain flour
  • 50g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1tbs cold water
  • Pinch of salt

For Leek & Cheese Filling:

  • 1 small leek (I cut it lengthwise but you can cut it into any size you like)
  • 50g blue cheese (or any other cheese of your choice)
  • 25g cheddar cheese
  • 150ml full cream milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

The recipe is simple and easy to follow, the cheesy flavour is popular with both kids and adults. 

To make the pastry; 
Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it resembles small bread crumbs. Then bring the dough together and form a ball. Don’t mix the dough too much. Put the dough between baking papers and roll it to about 2mm-3mm thickness. Lightly grease tart moulds and shape the dough into the moulds.

Blind bake the tart in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. (Blind baking is the process of baking a pastry without the filling). After 10 minutes, take off the parchment paper (with weights) and bake the tart for a further 10 minutes until golden. Once the tart is ready, take it out and let it cool before putting the filling in.

Chef’s note: This shortcrust pastry can be used with any filling sweet or savoury.

For the Leek & Cheese Filling heat some oil in a frying pan and saute the leeks until softened and then once done set it aside. Heat the milk in a saucepan. Once the milk is hot, add both of the cheeses and stir until it’s melted in and season to taste. Whisk the egg. Slowly add warm milk, whisk together and set aside to cool down. Once the mixture is cool, pour the filling into the ready-made tart shell, halfway through. Add the leek pieces and top it up with more of the cheese mixture. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

When it’s ready, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool. The delicious tart is ready to be served.

Chefs note: This recipe serves 2. 

This recipe is a great way to enjoy our Australian Christmas,  whether the day is cool, mild or scorching hot!

For a more detailed recipe please visit;

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Refresh with A Fresh Coat of Paint!

It is so important to stand out in today’s world. Today, we have more to distract us than ever before. In the world of real estate, to make an impact, little things can go a long way. 

In today’s blog, we talk about how a small investment can lead to big returns. For example, how just a coat of paint can refresh an old home, giving it new life. If you are selling or renting out it’s important to put your best foot forward and brighten up the living space.

We have put together an easy and quick list for you to be able to give a new fresh spin on your home in a few simple ways:

A bright fresh coat on your outer walls attracts so much attention. Sometimes different colour can help grab attention and give the house character. 

Inside, create a feature wall, use wallpaper or bright contrasting colour to get the colour going and engaging.  If you have a lounge which isn’t the most welcoming space, by just adding a nice bright coloured wall it can not only add some colour but also make it cozy and welcoming. 

Give your furniture new character by just painting over it. Not only will it make your furniture look new, it saves cost and, the colour can complement & add an entire new texture to your home.  

With the new year approaching, this is a great time to invest in your place and, to keep its market appeal!

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Short Stay and AirBnB property Myths

Melbourne is one of the highest subscribers of AirBnb properties, attracting a lot of property investors to turn to short stays for higher rental yields.

Of course when attracting more business, the responsibility is increased, and if managed well it can prove to be beneficial to not only to the investor but the community as whole.

Silver Service Real Estate has been in this business for more than 50 years and we pride ourselves for providing the best service to our clients which also resonates with our principles and benefits the community at large.

In this article we we talk about a few myths about short stays and AirBnB properties and answer some frequently asked questions.

Myth 1 – Short Stays are illegal:

Short stay is legal, offering a property for a minimum 1-night stay is not illegal, though we at Silver Service do not recommend that a property be offered for less than 4 or 5 night stay (our minimum terms are 7 nights but we will offer a minimum of 4 or 5 nights if the timeframe is available between guest stays).

Though not illegal, the vast majority of issues caused by a short stay e.g. noise disruption,  damage to common property, misuse of building services etc are mainly due to poorly managed and monitored 1-2 night stays. Certainly,  when its managed poorly this is where an investor’s pursuit of a higher rental yield can be argued to be at the cost of others, notably neighbors and Owners Corporations.

Myth 2 – Short Stays are young people looking for a party venue.

Predominantly short stay guests represent a significantly broader demographic. Short stays attract Tourists, visiting professionals on short term contracts, some are even locals who are in between long term residences, visiting from interstate or even production companies requiring housing for key cast and crew members through to  people requiring specialist health care… are a snapshot of people who are in the market for secure quality short term stays. 

AirBnB was created to provide an immersive global community, for people of all backgrounds wanting a local experience. Where people are seeking to be pampered or to party, they generally fall outside of the service offering of Silver Service Boutique short stay.

Though 1-2 nights as a minimum offering does increase the risk of attracting irresponsible thrill-seekers. We do our best to vet such and steer them towards other accommodations. Depending on the intentions or needs of a prospective short stay guest, we recommend them to seek out these alternatives. 

Myth 3. A Short Stay Landlord is simply motivated by higher yield.

For over a decade we have worked very closely with our clients, we know them all very well. Hand on heart we can say categorically that the Landlords of Silver Service Real Estate Boutique Short Stays truly do care about the effect their endeavours have on their neighbours, building and their own property. 

At the end of the day our Landlords look to the long term opportunity of their investment and are not motivated by a short term return that could impact their properties value and or the buildings value.

Badly managed short stay properties can require a lot of maintenance and turn the “short term return” to a long term cost.

Silver Services Boutique short stays are delighted to have positive engagement with all of the buildings/Owners Corporations that we interact with and, we receive regular referrals from building managers who are being approached by potential short stay landlords.

 We agree that some Landlords are motivated predominantly by the commercial nature of their investment property, and many don’t care for the impact their endeavors cause – again this is not our clients at Silver Service Real Estate, nor is it the type of business activities we engage with.

Myth 5. Easy money.

As a licensed estate agency with over 50 years combined experience, we bring a higher level of rigor and process to rentals for short stay than the average person managing their own property. We have taken on Short Stays in this area of management because our valued clientele have asked us to do so.

The results for the past few years have been overwhelmingly positive for both the guest, building and landlord alike. 

We regularly receive feedback from our happy clients on AirBnB and google reviews praising us for the quality of service provided, the ease of the location and how readily available all the amenities are from the apartments we let. Short stays have now become more popular option for business, individuals and professionals due to the comfort, flexibility and the ease of booking. 

We are delighted to share with you many of the posts and recommendations we have as displayed on our website, AirBnB and across social media. However, if our clients wish to stop offering short stays, we will remove our representation. We are a real estate business that is now, gratefully,  enjoying its second decade of service.

We would be happy to discuss any questions you may have about the short stay marketplace, we welcome your enquiry to help you understand the truth. 

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Is your garden spring ready?

Summer is almost here, and before we get carried away with hosting all those backyard BBQ’s and having picture perfect high-teas, we need to get cleaning up the winter weeds and planting those flowering plants to get the garden in full bloom.

To help you make the best of this spring weather, we’ve compiled a list of To-do’s to bring your garden to life;

Fertilise – Start with an Organic based fertilisers. They help new growth and flowering. Liquid fertilisers are a great way to add nutrients to your plants. 

Prune your Shrubs – Early spring is a great time for pruning. Spring pruning triggers new growth, and helps to prevent disease issues. 

Remove winter mulch – Once the temperature starts to warm up in the spring, you can remove any winter mulch you may have added over your sensitive plants last fall.

Clean up the vegetable garden – Pull out any dead vegetable plants that you didn’t get around to removing last fall. Try to remove as much of the plant debris and roots of the plants as you can as you clean up your vegetable garden beds.

Remove those weeds – Spring is a great time to get a jump on garden weeds, and pull them before they have time to become established. Weeds are easy to see in the spring before all the perennial plants start filling in. Hand weeding and using a good thick layer of mulch will not only keep weeds at bay, mulch helps maintain soil temperatures and soil moisture, providing plants with the support needed to grow and perform better.

Maintain your lawns – For the ideal summer lawn, start weeding and feeding today. To keep it looking its best, top dress any bare patches in the lawn, watering in well. Spray with selective weed killer. Fertilising your lawn in the spring will also help it maintain its vibrant green colour and help maintain moisture during the hot summer months.

Pest and disease – A good horticultural oil will help keep plants pest and disease free. Saturate the plant and repeat in two weeks for best results. Treat all types of plants with a horticultural oil every fortnight to keep them bug free.

Pot seedlings – If you enjoy hanging baskets or pots of flowers, now is the time to plant flowering seedlings in them so they will be ready for Christmas. Salvia, daisies, petunias, dianthus, alyssum, lobelia and begonias all look fantastic and grow well in pots or baskets.

This all does sound like a chore, but once you’ve put in that effort your garden would be the blooming with joy ! Last but not the least, remember to wash all your garden furniture and do a big sweep of the garden to remove any debris if left behind.

Happy Spring Cleaning !

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Want to Change Your Property Manager? It’s Easier Than You Think!

Too many landlords harbour the misconception that they can’t switch property managers during a lease contract and that there’s no exit door. If you feel like you’re stuck with your property manager and unsatisfied with their services, here’s something you should know: You don’t have to put up with poor property management experience.

You, as a landlord, can change property manager at any time if they are failing to manage your investment property to your standards. “Well, I don’t have the time for that”, or “it’s such a hassle” — if you’re thinking along these lines, then rest easy.

The process isn’t as complicated as you think. As Consumer Affairs Victoria puts it: “In most cases, you can terminate your estate agent’s management of your rental property, effective immediately, by written notice to the agent. Check your authority (contract) first.”

So yes, there aren’t any hoops to jump through. Would it cost anything to cut ties with your current property manager? That depends on your existing contract.

The good news is that our professional team, at Silver Service Real Estate can walk you through the switch. To assess whether your current property is delivering the value you expect, we invite you to fill in our property appraisal form so you can get a comparison.

When it comes to evaluating the quality of your property management service, asking yourself these questions is also a good place to start:

  • Are they prompt with their responses to your queries or concerns without you having to constantly call or email for them to pay attention to you?
  • Do you receive your rent consistently every month?
  • Do they have a thorough tenant screening process that includes referee checks to assess reliability, credit history and past tenancies?
  • Are they transparent about their fees, or are you being charged fees that you were not informed about initially?
  • Do you trust them to get your property filled within a quick turnaround time after a tenant moves out?
  • Do they address repairs promptly and ensure they are performed by qualified and registered tradespeople?

If the answer to any of these questions is a ‘No’, you have reasons to feel that you aren’t getting the service you require. And when you’re not 100% satisfied with the service, often the best option is to switch to a new team.

Toying with the idea of switching property managers? You can count on the team at Silver Service Real Estate to handle the entire process for you easily and best of all it’s free (except for the fees in your contract with the previous agents).

Silver Service Real Estate are there to assist you at every step of the way — from putting together all the paperwork and collecting files from your old agent, to notifying the tenants, arranging inspections, and finally, delivering the high level of service you desire and deserve. Bonus? We carry out everything with minimal disruption to your tenants.

Unlike many property agents, we, at Silver Service, stand by our commitment to property management services. So much so that we have created a commitment guarantee, which we encourage all clients to refer back. We consider this guarantee to be the standard when reviewing and managing our clients’ properties.

Interested to know more about changing your property management firm to Silver Service? Just give us a call!