Sofia Ligeros knows the power of going that extra mile. It’s her determination that makes her a great cultural fit for Independent Property Management.
Sofia’s magic combination of professionalism, empathy and high-energy levels enable her to make such a difference to landlords and tenants. Like the prospective tenant she met around a year ago who was desperate to find a place to live.
Sofia, a Leasing Consultant, was holding an open home, with each prospective tenant coming through the door hoping this would become their home. When chatting with one visitor, Sofia discovered that his house had caught fire that morning, and he’d just managed to get his wife and three children out before the property was engulfed by flames. The man was beside himself.
Within 24 hours, Sofia had found a rental property for the family. They signed the new lease and, with a roof over their head, were free to concentrate on rebuilding their lives.
“When I met the gentleman and he told me what had happened, I struggled to fight back the tears. I knew I had to help,” said Sofia. “All they had left were the clothes on their backs. All I could think of was how lucky this man was to be standing before me telling me his story.”
Sofia swung into action, calling on the Independent Property Management team to provide more than just a roof over the family’s head.
The team collected and donated clothing, toys, bedding, kitchenware, mattresses, a lounge, dining table, hundreds of dollars in cash, and almost fully furnished the home to give the family half a chance to get back on their feet.
Sofia and her brother packed everything into a trailer that evening, carried the furniture into the unit and assembled it so the home would be ready to occupy.
“We really work hard to make a difference. Our Property Management team will always go above and beyond for our clients when they need it, or when they least expect it,” she said.
The team also never misses the opportunity for a fundraiser.
For Sofia, that meant shaving her head to raise money to fight cancer. She raised $12,000 by participating in the Cancer Council’s Shave for a Cure. The Property Management team also wears their cool denim for Jeans for Genes Day.
“I can’t describe the fulfilment I get from giving back,” Sofia said.
“I’m in Property Management because I love being part of a major milestone for people. It’s not just helping people find properties, it’s helping them find homes.”
For her efforts, Sofia has received several accolades for her outlook and performance.
She’s acutely aware that competition for properties can be fierce in the Canberra rental market. One challenge she and her team face is trying to accommodate everyone who comes to an inspection. It’s challenging as more than 100 prospective tenants can flock to the two or three open houses Sofia may manage on any given weekend.
“Sometimes the high volume of enquiry and demand, even in the quieter periods, can make us feel a bit overwhelmed, but we try our best to ensure the service we provide never diminishes.”
According to Sofia, the difference is your perspective.
“People aren’t numbers. Inspections and service should never be cold. It should be caring and involve meaningful conversations. That’s why I love my role.
“We’re helping someone with the next step of their life, and this can be equally exciting as it can be daunting, so we work hard to make it a positive experience.”
Positive feedback makes all the effort worthwhile for Sofia and her team. That includes the extra-special email they received from the father of the family whose house burnt down.
“Me and my family were in a traumatic situation … I really thought Independent was just property management, but they’ve helped me become independent and rebuild myself again … You guys answered in an angelic way. The staff at Independent has proved that Australia is our home, and whoever needs help we can do so without difference of race, religion or ethnicity.”
To learn more about Independent Property Management, visit independent.com.au.