by Mandy Clarke, Resort News Reporter
02nd October, 2017
Baby Ava settles into idyllic life with property manager parents
Paul and Michelle Henriksen are the new residential managers of Dockside Apartments Mooloolaba.
Less than a year ago, this lovely family took over the management rights to an excellent two and three-bedroom, self-contained holiday apartment building located in the heart of the beautiful Sunshine Coast.
Spacious and affordable, the self-contained accommodation with resort facilities is perfect for holidaying in this stunning coastal town. Paul told us why they were so impressed by this property: “Dockside Apartments Mooloolaba is a three-storey complex surrounded by palm trees and gardens, which give it a lovely and relaxing feel. Each unit has a front and back courtyard or balcony that overlooks gardens and our BBQ area. There is also a rooftop space with some outdoor spas.”
“The property has many great features, but the biggest draw is its location; a quiet cul-de-sac street, a short walk to the esplanade restaurants, shops, beach, and The Wharf. We are also very accessible to attractions like Australia Zoo, Aussie World or shopping at the Sunshine Plaza.”
According to Paul, the impressive complex was built by one of the biggest developers on the Coast, Juniper Group. It has recently been updated, with a re-paint, new gates and fencing around the courtyards, as well as a beautiful garden makeover.
Michelle is happy that her and Paul have found their perfect lifestyle and business here at Dockside Apartments Mooloolaba, she says: “We didn’t meet each other until we were both 40 years old, and after a long, stressful IVF journey we were overjoyed to have a gorgeous little girl (Ava) about eighteen months ago. After we had our daughter, we both wanted a lifestyle change to allow us to spend as much time with her as possible.
“We’ve always been interested in the management rights industry and knew this was the ideal time to do it: being onsite managers and working from home gives us precious time with Ava. Although we are busy, we start the day by having breakfast together and can also spend time with relatives when they come to visit.”
Paul is an electrician and carpenter, which means that he can fix just about everything and Michelle has 25 years’ experience as a legal secretary. Michelle continues: “Together, we are the perfect team! We’ve saved our unit owners money by Paul doing maintenance work instead of using tradies and I have well-honed customer service and office skills so together we run the complex proficiently, while also being able to involve Ava. A natural meeter-and-greeter, Ava’s favourite job is to welcome guests!”
Paul adds: “Having both worked for other bosses, it is wonderful to own our own business and work for ourselves. We work long days, seven days a week but the work is enjoyable so we are happy to jump out of bed every day and do what we do.”
After Paul and Michelle found the ideal property, the purchase of the management rights at Dockside Apartments Mooloolaba was a process that took about three months to finalise. Paul says: “We were very lucky to have great solicitors (Stratum Legal) and accountants (KBA) to assist us and we still call on them often for advice as we are still learning the ropes. While our solicitors and accountants did the investigative work, we organised our finances and obtained a Property Agents Licence. Once the due diligence was complete and the contracts unconditional, we did some training with the sellers.”
They recommend that all buyers should use industry expert solicitors, accountants, and finance brokers because: “This industry is very specialised and you really need people with experience to help you through the process and contact a resident manager from a different complex for advice and assistance (don’t just rely on the previous managers). Also, the information nights set up by ARAMA, Mooloolaba Business and Tourism and Visit Sunshine Coast are helpful.”
What is their biggest achievement so far? “At first, we quickly realised that we knew absolutely nothing about this business but, today, we are running like a well-oiled machine. We’ve taken what we were taught and tried to make it better and more efficient; however, it is early days, so we are still learning and there is more work to be done here.”
Michelle adds: “The biggest learning curve for us has been working together. Unlike most couples, we now spend almost 24 hours a day together and both have different ideas on how to manage tasks. It took a little time but we now understand what roles suit each other better and we have an effective daily routine that juggles business, home, and family.”
What do they enjoy most? “Of course, its living on the Sunshine Coast; every weekend we walk along the esplanade and have a glass of wine and something to eat at a different restaurant. We also enjoy getting to know our guests and have met some wonderful people. What surprised us most was the variety of tasks in our day, it’s not just about taking bookings and greeting guests and we love the element of freedom each day.”
What do they do best? “We try to make our guests happy and go out of our way to help them; recently we assisted a couple of senior guests who fell ill, we took them to hospital and returned their hire car to Brisbane. We also pride ourselves on our presentation, by making sure the complex is scrupulously clean and if something doesn’t work, we fix it.”
What has surprised you most? “How friendly the MR industry is… Other resort managers are happy to help and give advice! We thought there would be a lot of competition and managers would keep to themselves but we have found the opposite to be true, and have made many new friends.”
Paul and Michelle also feel that it is important to be involved with the local community, recently they received a certificate of appreciation from the Mooloolaba Bowls Club for sponsoring their winter tournament.
“It was a really enjoyable experience to present the prizes to the bowlers, we had a great night and will be happy to do it again next year.”
Since taking over the management rights, Paul, Michelle and Ava have received a lot of praise from returning guests impressed by how clean and friendly they find the resort.
“We love getting feedback from guests to say that they loved dealing with us as managers. It reinforces that we are doing a good job.”