Oct. 14, 2020, 4:08 p.m.

Two agents. One agency. Multiple record breaking results.


Brad McHugh and Blake Mariner reach new heights and break records in Property Management for Highland Property Group.

Achieving and delivering extraordinary results has become the new norm for this duo. Brad McHugh, Partner – Property Management and Blake Mariner Business Development Manager at Highland Property Group in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire are reputed as the powerhouse duo in Property Management.

Collectively, the pair have more than 15 years’ experience under their belts with an undeniable specialty in Property Management. The two have created a formula that’s sparking interest not only from their property owners and tenants, but also their industry competitors.

Despite their strategic leadership, the pair are quick to note that the record breaking performance of Highland Property Management is a team effort. With a shared dedication and drive, this team culture is unrivalled.

Records broken during a flat market

In a flat market, Brad is certain they were able to break their own volume and growth records because of their approach and focus on communication with all parties involved.

Snapshot | 2019 - 2020

Since 2019, the Highland new business team have listed and leased approximately 200 off the plan apartments, the result of a high performance team culture.

In the 2019-2020 financial year, the Highland Property Management team, under the leadership of both Brad and Blake, has seen the team on-board 562 new investors, lease 853 properties and action 22,012 tenant enquiries.

These results were accompanied by two record breaking months for the number of properties leased. In May 2020 the team successfully leased 90 properties, with the record soon breaking again in August 2020 with the number of properties leased in a month reaching an admirable 94. Another record was broken for residential apartments with the Property Management team leasing ‘The Pinnacle Penthouse’ for $2100 per week – a result achieved within 2 weeks prior to Christmas.

The teams’ ability to reach new heights makes them the best in the business. Amongst breaking leasing records, Highland Property Management successfully leased 34/34 apartments in the ‘Moani’ development in Gymea within 8 weeks of the campaign going live and 4 weeks of the Occupational Certificate being issued. This block was listed and leased through the middle of COVID-19.

Proving they can do it again, the team successfully leased 26/26 apartments in ‘The Avenue’, Sutherland. Both of these apartment block results were achieved through an aggressive marketing campaign and ensuring maximum visibility and access to both projects.

The list goes on:

  • 17 apartments leased in Woolooware Bay Stage 3
  • 10 apartments leased in The Gallery, Engadine
  • 7 apartments leased in SIA, Sutherland
  • 15 apartments leased in Glencoe Residences, Sutherland
  • 30 apartments leased in Loft, Sutherland
  • 20 apartments leased in Highview Central, Miranda
  • 15 apartments leased in The Tempest, Miranda

Industry recognition

The expertise and results capability of this duo has been recognised industry wide, with the pair being named award finalists and being selected to present at premier events.

Blake Mariner

  • ​Nominated as a finalist in the REINSW 2020 awards for Excellence - Business Development Manager Category. This recognition highlights Blake’s unwavering drive and commitment to providing first class Real Estate service.
  • Nominated as REB 2020 finalist for Business Development Manager of The Year - Property Management. The Real Estate Business Awards recognise the industry's most prestigious, high achieving accolades. The awards pinpoint excellence, professional development and innovative capabilities.

Brad McHugh

  • Presented at ARPM (Australian Residential Property Management Conference) in 2019 at Hyatt Regency, providing guidance around how to support sustainable and fast expansion. Brad dove into which strategies can be implemented to enable teams of growth and ones’ who embrace innovation.

Property Management through a pandemic

“Communication is the key. We see our role as facilitators of conversation and the link between landlord and tenant.

Everyone’s response to the pandemic is unique, and how it’s affecting both property owners and tenants varies greatly. We respect that.”

- Brad McHugh

In place is a process that is easy to understand, as fair as possible for all parties involved, as well as one that takes into account individual circumstance.

So, what sets them apart?

Brad says it’s their dedication to “lease a property as quickly as possible with the best possible rent and the best possible tenant.” But when you take a moment to delve a little deeper into the team and their processes, it’s what they’re doing to achieve these results that’s making them the Property Managers of choice in what is a highly competitive and fluctuating market.

We sat down with the dynamic duo and discussed the Highland difference that makes them Property Management leaders.

The team

Brad, Blake and the rest of the Highland management team have looked inwards to make notable improvements. The result of this is a Property Management team who are in it for the long haul.

They’re dispelling the myth that Property Management is a stepping-stone for better things in the Real Estate industry.

“Our leasing team are continually upskilling in areas like sales. We encourage them to recognise that they have the potential to fulfil a sales role through their continual skill development. It means they are able to focus on maximising returns, as well as quick turn-around times when securing tenants.”

“We don’t just drop the price if a property doesn’t spark quick interest. We alter the way we market it depending on what the rental market is doing at the given time.”

When you deal with Highland, you can expect a cohesive team, minimal staff turnover and undeniable efficiencies in how they manage property that is benefiting both the property owner and tenant. It is safe to say that Brad and Blake are inspiring the new generation to achieve big things in Property Management.

Management pods

Two Property Managers are assigned to every leased or rented property. This unique attribute to the Highland Property Management team is two-fold. Firstly, landlords are assured there is not just one, but two people across all aspects of their property. So in the case that one half of the team is on leave or unavailable, they have another regular contact that can assist. Secondly, it reduces burnout amongst Property Managers and alleviates the subsequent fallout should one leave.

It’s about getting the little things right

From initial marketing and administration, through to final negotiations, agreements and payments, quality and professionalism are at the forefront.

An example – professional marketing campaigns are not just reserved for property sales. The Highland team truly believe in, and utilise, aggressive marketing campaigns. Focusing on quality marketing means there are more eyes on a property and in turn, better results.

The team’s tactics don’t stop there. They adjust how they attract renters depending on what the market is doing. In flat times personalised contact with potential tenants has more successful conversion rates.

Scale means specialists in each role

From small beginnings in 2007, the Highland Property Management division has now grown to a team of 20. With dedicated resources for each phase of the rental cycle, they’re specialists in what they do. And this is good news for tenants too.

Collaboration between Sales and Property Management

Often, these divisions work separately, but that’s not the case at Highland Property Group. You’re just as likely to find Blake and Brad working with the Sales team as you are seeing him lead the Property Management team through training.

It’s a holistic approach and means they offer complete in-house solutions to homeowners, investors and property managers.

Property ownership is cyclical - from purchase, to possible renting, to sale. Highland Property takes the long term view and is committed to all phases of the cycle.

Communication is key

This means communication with the Sales team, within the Property Management team and with their customers. All the team are encouraged to recognise their role as the link between the property owner and tenant.

The Highland touch

Brad and Blake see the value in taking that extra step. Take Highland Concierge for example. Their complimentary and personalised service offered to customers buying, selling, leasing, investing or financing their home through Highland Property Group.

The team provide support and advice on everything - from moving, utilities connection and storage.

It’s this ability to think outside the box, to challenge themselves and their team, that see them kicking goals, keeping their customers happy and sticking with them throughout the lifetime of the property cycle.


The Highland Difference

Client peace of mind and property success are at Highland’s core. With an exceptional reputation for providing client-centred services, achieving optimal results and delivering a seamless real estate experience, expect premium results as you experience the Highland Difference.

Our Offices

Our agents are local experts and provide services nationwide. Pop into one of our Sydney offices today and let’s begin your property journey.


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