Building on trust

Jane McIntosh loves dealing with people. And she loves real estate. Bring these two passions together and you have the perfect launch pad for a successful investment property management company.

I had worked for most of the other big real estate agencies in town” says Jane. “I had been in the industry for over twenty years. I have done property management, sales and run a sales department, I know the industry inside and out.”

She did take a break from real estate a few years ago and worked for a recruitment agency, but she quickly realised that her true passion is the property market.

“I had always dreamed of having my own agency, I wanted it to be boutique and personal; with a relentless focus on providing the best possible service – every single time.” And so, six and a half years
ago, she went to work on making her dream a reality.

Getting started

When she first launched BonVilla Property, she didn’t have a single property under management. She didn’t even have a name for her business. “It very nearly would have been “Newcastle Prestige Property” but that didn’t sound quite right,” she reminisces. Maybe it was also a bit too generic for a business venture that was so close to her heart, her dream and passion project.

“We had a discussion around the family dinner table and someone suggested that it needed to be a French name, because I love everything French.”

It wasn’t until 2am that morning when Allan, (Jane’s partner) came up with the perfect solution. “‘I have your name’ he said. BonVilla Property – it means good property. And so BonVilla was born. “Of course, Allan being Allan, he had registered the business name for me before I even had the chance to think about it twice,” she laughs.

Jane launched a Facebook page and put her business out there. Her first property was a referral from a manager she had worked with in recruitment. It was the first of many more to come. “I won the business over another prominent company because they liked that I was the only person they would be dealing with.” Getting the listing for this prestige property was an early confirmation that her philosophy of personal, boutique service was spot-on.

Her second property came soon after. Jane had a great, but unsuccessful application from a tenant and was looking for a property for them. She did a letter box drop and her flyer found its way to property owners who had only just purchased in that area. They contacted Jane, she showed the property to her tenants and they were ready to move in by weekend.

“The owner couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been fibbing in my flyer. That I really had a tenant ready to go. He said other agents would claim they had someone, but that was usually just a ploy to get the property under management. “I told him I would always be up front with him. That for me, it’s a matter of trust and that I will never lie just to get the business.”

So now BonVilla Property had two properties and the referrals just kept on coming. To this day, that’s where the majority of Jane’s properties are coming from. BonVilla Property has recently moved into stylish new offices on Parry Street, a tangible sign of the company’s success, and Jane now has two senior property managers working with her, Jane Shaw and Jody Delaforce. All three of them are property investors and understand intuitively what owners want.

“It’s about finding good tenants, minimal downtime between tenants, maximum return on investment and being conscientious and forward thinking about maintenance,” Jane says.

Respecting everyone

“Our whole philosophy is about treating all our clients – landlords, tenants and trades – equally. Owners trust that their tenants will be looking after the property. We trust that if we treat the tenant with respect, they will treat the property with respect too.”

Jane is a rare creature in the property world. She manages to combine genuine honesty and warmth with the work-ethic, energy and can-do attitude of a natural (and very stylish) trail blazer. An absolute pro at what she does, she will tell you straight up what she thinks. It may not be what you had hoped to hear, but she will deliver her advice in such a personal, emphatic way you can’t help but take her advice very seriously indeed.

There is no doubt that the new offices are but one milestone on the path to further success for BonVilla Property, with plenty more ‘good properties’, their owners and tenants coming under the umbrella of this passionate team of real estate pros.