29th March, 2017
Belaire Place Motel: a wonderful find
Situated in the heart of Caloundra, overlooking the picturesque Pumicestone Passage is Belaire Place Motel.
The property boasts twenty spacious and comfortable one-bedroom apartments positioned over five levels with glorious water and hinterland views. Bill and Anna Morris, along with their daughter Emma, are the new managers of this excellent Sunshine Coast accommodation.
Bill told us: “These are very spacious, motel-style apartments that suit most tastes, including a specially adapted apartment to cater for guests with mobility challenges. Each accommodation has an open plan lounge, dining and kitchen area and a separate bedroom with either a queen or king bed, plus all the apartments have a large balcony. We try to ensure that we offer a great choice to suit every budget.”
The accommodation is close to Caloundra’s favourite picnic spot, the breathtaking Bulcock Beach and the esplanade with its cool strip of cafes and restaurants nearby. This complex is very popular due to its convenient position and value for money but is also renowned for the very personalised service it offers, making it especially attractive to couples and retirees.
Bill and Anna are experienced accommodation industry professionals with Belaire Place Motel the third management rights business they have owned. “We previously managed a 75-unit permanent Gold Coast complex and had a small 17-unit holiday letting at Maroochydore,” said Bill.
“We are very fortunate to have our 21-year-old daughter, Emma, working with us. This is a true family-run business and we are very much involved but Emma is the live-in manager; she looks after reception and manages the everyday running of the business. Emma is currently studying tourism and the feedback from our guests about her skills has been very positive, they love Emma’s youthful enthusiasm and her fresh outlook.
“We are also very lucky to have Ashlee who works part-time at the motel. When she is not studying and attending university she looks after reception. Emma and Ashlee take pride in their work and have become knowledgeable of the industry.
“We really value them and know that they are a very important ingredient in the success of the business,” continued Bill, who takes care of the outside area, pool, general maintenance and assists in the office.
Anna works full-time as an accountant, in addition to looking after marketing, bookkeeping and regularly managing reception at Belaire Place Motel. The couple previously took a 10-year break between management rights, only returning to the industry when they felt that the timing was exactly right.
Anna told us: “We chose this property not only because of its beautiful location but due to the type of guests that these one-bedroom apartments attract; couples, retirees and business people. We find that this is the perfect mix of visitors for us to host. We are also of the strong belief that this particular market is a growing trend and therefore we are in the perfect position to keep our finger on the pulse.
“Our biggest achievement so far has been how smoothly we have all managed to settle into our roles. Emma had to learn an extraordinary amount in a very short time (how to manage a complex) and we are very proud that she has been exceptionally capable of doing this.”
Since purchasing the property, these managers have completed several refurbishments: updating the kitchens, replacing outdoor furniture, refreshing soft furnishings and indoor furniture, as well as tidying the pool area.
“Our next job is to renovate the bathrooms but our accommodation is in so much demand, the work needed for the apartment upgrades might be difficult to organise. Asking owners to put hands in their pockets again and again can also be a tricky task! Happily, we have found that our fantastic owners understand the importance of keeping their apartments in excellent condition,” explained Anna.
The purchase of the management rights has been very satisfying for Bill and Anna so far. They are very happy with their business venture and suggest that if you are interested in buying a management rights business, you must “research, research and research”.
They also advise that you should “talk to other managers”, in order to find out as much as possible about management rights and how they work. But, “be realistic of your expectations”, they warn, because “managing apartments is not same as being on holiday”.
Over the past year, managing Belaire Place Motel has been a very rewarding experience for them but particularly for Emma who has seized her golden opportunity to learn business from firsthand experience in an interesting industry she is passionate about.
Emma told us: “It has been a blast! I have learnt so much and I love meeting all our amazing guests. At times it can get overwhelming but at the end of the day I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so grateful to be in the position I’m in.”
Bill, Anna, Emma and Ashlee all get a huge buzz when they receive positive feedback from their guests and look forward to having their favourite guests return, particularly when guests have recommended the property to others.