From Row’s Desk – Tipping the Scales towards a better Work Life Balance

row-small-photoWhen I told my team the topic for my latest blog, they laughed at me, yes they actually laughed.  ‘You, writing on work life balance, are you kidding?’ Ok, so yes I put in a few more hours than some, but hey, I am in the management team, isn’t that what’s expected of me?  Maybe there could be some merit in what they said and to be honest, writing this blog has been more of a self-help exercise, where in turn I can pass my findings on to you.

A report in the recently stated that 1 in 10 people are checking work emails on phones or tablets up to 3 hours a day outside of work hours.  This amounts to almost 29 days per year, which is more than the standard annual leave allocation here in Australia.

Work life balance –  is there really such a thing?  Work can be a very important part of our lives, but it should not be so all consuming it becomes our entire identity.  We have to stop…or at least slowdown from time to time. But how?

What techniques can we introduce that will actually make a difference?  I am busy, and I don’t want to hear any of that tree hugging nonsense such as ‘simply finish work earlier to be with your loved ones’.   I’ve listed my 5 favourite words of advice,  which I hope may make a difference for you.

1.  Use the Do Not Disturb (DND) function on your phone.

Our iPhone; that beastly device we have a love/hate relationship with.  But it has a cunning little function called Do Not Disturb which can be a saviour when it comes to late night calls.  DND allows you to manually set how incoming calls are dealt with.  I now have mine set where incoming calls between 7pm and 7.30am go directly to message bank (except calls from those on my Favourite list).   You will find DND under Settings and it gives you a number of options on how to schedule your incoming calls.

Side note:  At this point, I still haven’t learnt how to do the same with my emails, but I am working on it!

2.  Health and Wellbeing Days

This is something we recently introduced in to our workplace here at Buckmaster Hawkey and it has proved to be brilliant.  H & W Days are truly that; a day for you, …. a recharge day, if you please.  There are some rules around our H & W days, such as:

  • They must be booked at least 7 days in advance (no you can not phone in after a big night out to use your H & W day!)
  • They can’t be tacked on to the start or end of any annual leave
  • Only one person can take a H & W day at a time
  • H & W days only kick in once you’ve passed probation
  • Depending on how long you have been with the company, you may be entitled to 1 or 2 days per year (for those entitled to 2 days per year, you can take 1 day per 6 month period)

As you can imagine, H & W days are proving extremely popular here with our crew and have been used for spa sessions, a leisurely lunch with friends or family or to complete annual health checks which we just don’t make time for.   If you are an employer, consider introducing these days; the benefits far outweigh the cost.

3.  Lunchtime – time to de-stress and re-energise

There are many reasons why your body and brain needs to take time out during the day.  The quality of  your work diminishes exponentially as the day goes on when you don’t take that break.  You go home exhausted and hating the world.  To overcome this you can try;

  • Join up at a local library (you know that weird place that holds ‘books’ – they are really quite interesting!) even if you don’t get a book out, there are some great books to flick through
  • Pack a lunch and meet a friend in a nearby park
  • At the start of each month, see who has a birthday coming up.  A week in advance,  take the lunch break to go out and find a great card to send or buy a birthday present
  • Once a week/month, set a time in the work calendar and invite work colleagues to bring in a shared lunch and sit together and talk about non-work related matters.
  • Think about friends/family who you haven’t spoken to for ages, go out for a walk and call them. Walk and talk – the ultimate win win!
  • Rather than go out anywhere, see if you can find a quiet place where you can just sit and breathe away the stresses of the morning. Enjoy a nutritious  lunch in peace, to re-energise the brain, to get you through the remainder of the day

4.   Use Your Diary to Plan Time Out

Do you find you want to do fun things, but work gets in the way?  You need to commit to planning designated time away and book it in!  Even better, invite others to join you; once you have others involved it’s way harder to cancel.  Time flies by quickly and special occasions come around faster than you think.  Try to plan something like a weekend away with the girls/boys, attend an upcoming art exhibition or a music event, a weekly date night with your partner – book it in and send out the invite!  It’s always nice to have something fun to look forward to.

5.  Switch off at Night

Have a rule so when you walk in the front door at the end of the day, you can talk/download about ‘work’ for 5 minutes and that’s it.  Disengage the work brain and take a break.  Ask those around you to give you a nudge that the subject is strictly off limits, should you find yourself slipping back in to talking work.  Switching off includes checking emails – they will still be there waiting for you in the morning!

Good luck applying these techniques on finding your work life balance; see if you can hit that re-set button and find a happier medium again!

Rowena Arnold
Department Manager – Permanent Division – Buckmaster Hawkey
0402 606 747

Click through to my previous blogs;

December 2016 – From Row’s Desk – Should I Stay or Should I Go?
October 2016 – Essential Etiquette for Job Hunters 
August 2016The Candidate Short Market and How Things Are Working in your Favour 
May 2016 – How to Get the Most Out of a Recruiter 
April 2016 – Resuscitate Your Resume
March 2016 – Things to Consider When Contemplating a Career Change
February 2016 –The Top 5 Social Media Mistakes when Job Hunting


From Row’s Desk – Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Hands up who is ready for a relaxing break over Christmas??  Calm down, not everyone at once!!  Talking to many people at this time of year, it seems 2016 has been an enormously big year for most of us.

Why is it that as we lead up to Christmas, instead of the brakes being applied, things just seem to get busier and busier, with all sorts of demands and deadlines put upon us? When will it stop?

All too soon we will be picking up the discarded wrapping paper from our Christmas gifts, feeling far too full from the delicious Christmas lunch we have enjoyed, and we sit back and realise…. we are actually on holiday…. hoorah!  For some of the lucky ones, this means the well-earned indulgence of a week or two away from the office, relaxing with friends and family, and time on our hands to think.

Having been a recruiter for many years now, I know that the ‘time on our hands to think’ for some means contemplation on our current job situation and the inevitable question, is it time to take a trip down the whole ‘new year, new me’ pathway?  Again, as a recruiter, I know this is true as our first few weeks in January are often  filled with phone calls from candidates who ‘need to meet to have a chat’.

This brings me back to my original question.  Should I stay or should I go?  When I hear those words, (and this definitely shows my age now), I have a clear recollection of The Clash in 1982, belting out those famous words. (Watch The Clash here)

Why is it that when we take a decent break away from work, our minds can wander to the possibility of change?  And granted, it’s not always about work, it’s sometimes relationships, where we live, or what are we doing with our lives?  Pulling it back to work though (cos that’s what I do!) are we just so tired and burnt out that every aspect of our current job seems sour and the only obvious solution is to start typing up that resignation letter and to jump on to SEEK to start looking at job vacancies.

The trouble with reading these well written advertising scripts when our batteries are so low, is that the words often sing to us like Medusa calling to the doomed sailors in ancient Greece.  Line after line of seduction, promising so much more than we have right now, banging the nail further and further down on the coffin of our current job.

Rather than jumping into a hasty decision, I suggest you take the time to write a pro’s and con’s list to weigh up both sides of the equation.  Remember the grass is definitely not always greener on the other side and it’s vitally important to go through each of the points you write down to ensure you are not jumping for the wrong reasons.

You may have read a blog I wrote earlier this year, 5 Things to Consider When Contemplating a Career Change.   I discussed a variety of important points when you are pondering if the time has come to change jobs.  It’s probably timely to re-read this blog if you genuinely believe that you are wanting to make that move.

I am keeping this blog short and sweet, as I know you are all far too busy or simply too tired to read too much from me.  I would like to thank you for reading my blogs this year, I hope you have found some value in what I have written.  If I can ever be of assistance with any questions you may have about your real estate career, I welcome your call.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday break and may 2017 be your best year yet!

Rowena Arnold
0402 606 747

Click through to previous blogs;
October 2016 – Essential Etiquette for Job Hunters 
August 2016The Candidate Short Real Estate Market and How Things Are Working In Your Favour
May 2016 – How to Get the Most Out of a Recruiter 
April 2016 – Resuscitate Your Resume
March 2016 – Things to Consider When Contemplating a Career Change
February 2016 –The Top 5 Social Media Mistakes when Job Hunting





Hot Jobs

If you are interested in any of the roles below, please contact our office on 9629 5000 and quote the Reference number.

Commercial Administrator
South Eastern
$55 – $60,000 + Super
Reference RA –

Seeking an experienced Commercial Administrator to assist a busy Head of Department Property Manager. Must have excellent time management, computer skills and proficiency in RP Office would be beneficial. Excellent progression in to Commercial Property Management. Immediate start.

Commercial Property Manager
South Melbourne   
Up to $80K (Depending on experience)
Reference DS – 2411019

Join a vibrant and expanding team of professionals in this fantastic Commercial Property Manager role! Manage a commercial portfolio of up to 150 (mix of retail/commercial). Administration support provided. Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm. The ideal candidate will have at least 2-3  years of experience managing a commercial portfolio.

Property Manager
Up to $65k + Super + Incentives
Reference DS –

Seeking an experienced Property Manager for an exceptional brand in the CBD! NO Weekends! No car needed! Monday to Friday ONLY! Manage 2 x buildings – all 5 mins from each other. Ideal candidate will have at least 12 months+ in Property Management.

Sales PA
South Eastern
$40k + Incentives
Reference DS-

Seeking a Sales PA – Inner South/Eastern Suburbs! If you have the desire to get into Sales long term then this role will provide you the learning platform to obtain the right training and experience to ensure a successful long term career. Must have car and current agents rep certificate! Monday to Saturday with half day off in lieu.

Receptionist / Commercial Admin Support
South Eastern
$42,000 – $45,000 + Super
Reference RA-

Exciting opportunity to enter into Commercial real estate. We are looking for a bright and bubbly receptionist for an agency in the South East. Due to the face paced nature of the office, previous reception experience is essential. Agents Rep certificate is a bonus as there is long term progression to Commercial Property Management.


Real Estate People – October 2016

A Strong Market
Mark Applebymark

Hi everyone and welcome to Real Estate People – Buckmaster Hawkey’s update for Melbourne’s property professionals.

As we approach the end of 2016, I’m happy to report there is high demand for Melbourne real estate professionals and our team has been very busy making appointments.

Melbourne’s real estate market is also performing well, which is a solid indicator for our business and your prospects for taking your career to the next level.

The auction clearance rate is hovering around the 80% mark – a very strong indicator – and rental vacancies have fallen to just 2%. While there continues to be a reasonable supply of apartments in the CBD, there is a real shortfall of family houses in the suburbs.

All in all, the future is looking very bright for Melbourne real estate people.

The Forgotten Real Estate Career Path

For many of you, the question where to take your career next is one you ponder often.

The good news is that residential Property Managers with the right skills are in demand in an occupation which was seen a few years back as a backwater for real estate.

A decade ago, Owners Corporations (then called Body Corporates) were focused on the management of small blocks of flats. However, the surge in new apartment towers has generated a pressing need for Owners Corporation Managers – and a correlated jump in their salary expectations.

A background as a Property Manager is a really good start for someone wanting to make the move into Owners Corp management – but there are a few extra skills you will need.

To manage a complex with 200-300 units successfully, you will need the ability to deftly handle a wide variety of issues facing landlords and tenants along with some business management skills.

For a start, you will need the financial skills to manage a budget and higher order problem solving and task completion abilities to ensure your complex runs smoothly.

As the Owners Corp Manager, you will also be required to chair meetings of the committee – and that means you should understand minute taking and conflict resolution management, when disputes arise.

The reward for this is a career with rising salaries. Right now, an Owners Corporation Manager for a larger complex can command an annual salary of $100,000 or more but even at smaller complexes you can expect to earn more than a Property Manager.

If becoming an Owners Corporation Manager sounds like the right role for you, then feel free to contact me for a confidential chat.

Buckmaster Hawkey Breakfast 2016

We recently held our 2016 property industry breakfast at Carousel, Albert Park Lake.

The theme was Leading a Real Estate Team in the 21st Century and 160 senior Melbourne agents heard that while digital technology has made great strides in driving productivity, workplace rules had not kept pace.

The Breakfast featured Charles Cameron CEO of the Recruitment Consulting Services Association, IT Productivity expert Glenn Tranter, who took a look at leading a team in our digital world and legendary AFL Coach Kevin Sheedy.


If you want to know more about what it takes to lead a Melbourne real estate team, then feel free to get in touch with your consultant.

Referral Fee

At Buckmaster Hawkey we are always looking to meet people who want to take their real estate career to the next level.

If you know someone looking for a position in real estate, just nominate them to us along with their contact details and if we successfully place them, we’ll reward you with $500.

Time To Talk

If you would like to have a chat with one of our consultants about how we can make your career take off, then feel free to call.

We always look forward to speaking to Melbourne’s real estate people about their career and how we might help!

Phone             9629 5000

From Row’s Desk – Essential Etiquette for Job Hunters

row-small-photoRefer to any dictionary and you will see that the definition of etiquette states ‘rules governing socially acceptable behaviour’ or ‘the set of rules or customs that control accepted behaviour in particular social groups of situations.’ I cannot stress more strongly that there is also an essential etiquette that applies around job hunting.  Not knowing the correct etiquette, can result in the painful difference between an offer or rejection.  There are many things to keep in mind; I’ve listed them in no particular order of importance as they are all important!

  1. Follow instructions. If you are asked for a cover letter, include one. If they ask for an attachment as a Word doc, don’t send a PDF.  If you can’t follow simply instructions from the beginning, it leaves people wondering how you will follow instructions in the position.
  2. Be courteous – to everyone, everywhere. As a CEO from a large US company once said “be courteous at the gym – you never know if your next boss is the person working out next to you.”  Your behaviour, conduct and attitude make up your personal brand – it’s your job to portray the real you to others.  It doesn’t matter how closely matched your skills or qualifications are for a role, no-one wants to employ a person whose attitude and behaviour is unacceptable – just ask Ben Cousins how he is getting on these days – hey, such is life!  Today’s society now dictates that you will never read on your rejection letter “You were unsuccessful because your attitude/behaviour in the interview was appalling” but many hiring managers would just love to be able to actually say that if it’s true!
  3. Be honest on your resume:  Don’t overstate your experience/qualifications/length of service in roles.  As a recruiter, we see this come back to bite people all the time.  Likewise, don’t understate your experience if you believe you are overly qualified for a position.
  4. Show self-restraint. Don’t be a serial applicant; one of those people who applies for roles they are obviously not qualified for. Quality over quantity works here.  You may be desperately needing work, but use your time to put in a quality application for a role you can actually do, and want.
  5. Lose the slang bro! Resume and cover letters are not the place for slang, casual innuendos and shortened words (I am applying for the Ops Manager position…. are you serious?).  Keep it professional.
  6. Interview attire: It doesn’t matter if you are applying to flip burgers at McDonalds, dress to impress.  For many interviews, corporate attire is the expectation.  If in doubt of what to wear when invited in for an interview – simply ask!
  7. Running late for the interview? Call and let someone know!  We all understand that delays can happen.  It’s 10 times better to ring ahead that you are going to be 5-10 minutes late, than running in late with no apology.
  8. Turn your phone off during the interview.  Don’t put it on silent as it may vibrate in your pocket.  Do not put the phone on the table at the interview.
  9. Smoking – NO, NO, NO.  No matter how nervous you are, do not have a quick ciggy just prior to the interview.
  10. Follow up after interviews. This one is debatable.  If working through a recruiter, ask what the protocol is.  If not through a recruiter, many potential employees appreciate a brief email to say thank you for their time and provide an indication of your interest.  Use the KIS technique – KEEP IT SIMPLE – providing a long winded War and Peace novel of a thank you, can be just weird and you can easily undo all the good you have done.
  11. Take the call. If you have applied for a job, or you have been for an interview but you have changed your mind, don’t avoid the conversation.  Changing your mind is perfectly fine but let people know your decision so everyone can move on.  If you really don’t want to talk to someone, email a polite response, advising them of your decision. You do not even have to give a reason if you chose not to, but it’s just courtesy to bring things to a close.
  12. To Chase or Not to Chase. They said they would call me by Wednesday, it’s now Wednesday afternoon.  Should I call them?  Once again… this one is debateable. One follow-up call, a day or two after they said they would let you know how you went, is acceptable.  Do not chase and chase and chase. Again, we are moving into stalker territory at this point.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve painted a clear picture where, as recruiters, we see people going wrong all the time.  During the course of your job hunt, following these simple suggestions will assist you to be on top of your game and kicking goals towards securing your new job.

Rowena Arnold
0402 606 747

Click through to previous blogs;
August 2016The Candidate Short Real Estate Market and How Things Are Working In Your Favour 
May 2016 – How to Get the Most Out of a Recruiter 
April 2016 – Resuscitate Your Resume
March 2016 – Things to Consider When Contemplating a Career Change
February 2016 –The Top 5 Social Media Mistakes when Job Hunting

Property Breakfast Featuring Kevin Sheedy


We recently held our property industry breakfast at Albert Park Carousel with 160 delegates attending to take a look at leadership in the real estate industry. Agents heard that while digital technology has made great strides in driving productivity, workplace rules had not kept pace.

Buckmaster Hawkey Director, Mark Appleby said “Temporary staff  placements have increased from 15% to 40% of our business over the last four years. Businesses who do it all themselves can find themselves caught out through not paying super or other legal entitlements.”

Charles Cameron of the Recruitment Consulting and Services Association told the audience workplace rules for real estate agents were decades out of date.

“They must be flexible to take advantage of the new economy yet we still have employment conditions framed in the 1980s. Increasingly, agents are hiring what I call Gig-Workers (experts going from one ‘gig” to the next) and casuals hired just for the busy spring selling season. Yet under the Real Estate Award, these people may soon have the legal right to be made permanent after six months.”

Legendary AFL Coach Kevin Sheedy likened the hunt for talent by real estate businesses to his experience looking for sporting talent at the Essendon Football Club in the 1980s.

“One of our programs was to identify Aboriginal or first nation players. In 1981, when I first went to Essendon, there had only been 28 indigenous players get a guernsey at league level. What a contrast to today where we have seen more than 330 indigenous players make the top grade in the AFL. It’s a great lesson for modern business in their hunt for talent, what you are looking for is actually all around you.”

Glenn Tranter, an IT Productivity expert took a look at leading a team in our virtual digital world. This breakfast also commemorated Buckmaster Hawkey’s 35th year in business.