- Thursday, 09 June 2011 17:16
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The Pivotal Point tower in Southport is located at such a pivotal point on the Gold Coast that it does not need a website or to advertise to maintain full occupancy.
The building is so recommended by its residents that manager Stephen Hill, 36, has a waiting list of people wanting an apartment there. In the odd event that an apartment is vacant for more than two weeks, a sandwich board at the front of the building is all it takes to let the apartment.
The building is managed by father and son team Alan and Stephen Hill. Mum Lynda also helps out with the end of month accounts but she also works at Gold Coast Airport doing the payroll.
Alan and Lynda sold a timber and hardware business and left New Zealand’s cold behind for the warm weather of the Gold Coast and took up the management rights of Main Beach Tower, a residential complex, in 2004. Stephen had his own construction business in Auckland building retaining walls in the shaky isles, a specialised niche market that soon had him employing 10 people. After selling his business Stephen moved to the Gold Coast to join his parents when they took over the management rights at Pivotal Point.
Being a family operated company fits in with their lifestyle and means there is always somebody available on site to solve problems as they arise.
The tower has 102 residential apartments, 19 commercial units and six retails lots. Tenants in the commercial units mean Stephen does not have to go far to find accountants and other business advisers.
“It makes sense to use the people in the building,” Stephen said. “It adds to the harmony here. We are lucky to have two very good accounting firms in the building, Searle Sessarago and MBA, that we use for all our accounting needs.
“We also have a couple of great restaurants downstairs that residents frequent regularly: Georges Seafood and Hanazono Teppanyaki.
“Also we have Gold Coast’s largest ski shop, Snowbiz, downstairs.”
Indeed harmony is a feature of the building. About 25% of the units are permanent rentals and the balance being owner occupied.
“Some of our residents have developed a social network for lunches and playing cards so they have a good time,” Stephen said. “Our office is open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am until noon and everybody usually drops by for a chat.
“If we don’t see somebody for a day or two, we check to ensure nothing is wrong.
“The majority of our residents are mature so our location is good for them. They can walk out the front to the Broadwater Park or out the back door to Australia Fair which makes it easy for them to go shopping without getting wet.
“In association with the residential committee we have put on some good social functions on level 5. We had 80 at our Christmas function out of a resident population of 130 people.
“We are now planning a wine and cheese evening, which should be a lot of fun.”
In the three-and-a-half years, the Hills have been at Pivotal Point the rental turnover has not been big.
“Most of our tenants stay long term with many being in the building before we arrived,” Stephen said.
Management rights fit in well with Stephen’s active lifestyle. He is an active rugby union referee with Super 15 Rugby. “I am with the national squad and I get to travel all around the country and across to New Zealand and South Africa,” he said. “As I am away travelling a lot, there is always somebody here to look after things, that is the beauty of a family business.”
And being politically correct he says his favourite teams are the Titans for rugby league and the Queensland Reds in rugby.
The trades people and suppliers to Pivotal Point are all part of the Hills extended family, with many having been with them since their days at Main Beach Tower.
They include Jason from Capital Plumbing, Emerlite Electrical Services and solicitor Andrew Manley from Manley and Associates who they have been with for seven years.
At the moment Emerlite is replacing lighting in the common areas with LED lights which, although expensive to install, will last for five years and cost a lot less to operate.
“Electricity is the major cost for a building like this, so Emerlite is advising us on ways to reduce costs,” Stephen said. “Our next project is the parking areas that have lights on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Their greatest enjoyment comes from the camaraderie that has developed in the tower.
“We see same people every day and they always have a different story to tell,” Stephen said.
“We like to help our people and Dad and I have similar personalities. We relate to people and have a beer with them but we are sort of the meat in the sandwich between the residents’ committee and citizens of Pivotal Point.
“Mum does all the end of month and trust accounting, I do more of the face to face while Dad does lot of the behind the scene things.
“We can’t specialise in everything so it works out good balance for everybody.”
All the residential apartments in the building have panoramic views of the Broadwater. The tower opposite the $34 million Broadwater Parklands is in the heart of the Southport shopping precinct, where everything is literally on the doorstep with Australia Fair, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, medical centres, university, colleges and theatres within walking distance.
Amenities include a residents lounge, 25m pool, gym, spa and sauna, barbecue, and library.
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