Life On The Job

Life on the Job

Property Manager - Dennis Morris



I have always been interested in profit & loss & investment. It's easier to be objective. I was not so interested in social sciences.

There was no particular childhood activity or moment of truth when my career path became obvious but there was a progression of different jobs. Firstly I was a Land Valuator for the government to advising the government about which properties they should invest in for the public service superannuation fund. Then I worked out which properties should be brought either shopping malls, building office towers or doing up hotels. Now I look after the up-keep of government buildings, open spaces and even car parks!


2 Years in National Service [Army] when I was 20 gave me a sense of achievement & purpose. I was able to re-train at the end of this time and get a traineeship in Land Valuations.

These were lucky breaks although I never sought to change employer, only to grow in knowledge, authority & renumeration (more money!).

I waited for opportunities to arise while making the most (in terms of my ability) of the present situation.

Property being developed


I'm proud of the school I attended & I believe this gives one confidence in later life. Past teachers would be surprised at what I have achieved in employment.

It's too long ago to remember whether school work is still helpful.


I undertook both tertiary & "on the job" training, mostly on the job beyond the initial TAFE Certificate.

Training is a journey of discovery. I felt as though I was actually using my education when on the job. Training taught me that you never stop learning and the trick was to avoid as many mistakes as possible while you trained.

The educational side of development is generally more prominent today than in my case. I am not a very good student. My training has been going on for 30 years as I moved through various phases as a technician, then through various phases as a manager.


My career path lead to a source of income because it is committed to returning a profit which pays my wages.

I found a job, the boss came with it. I'm preparing for retirement & think about it regularly.

My typical career day is one of not knowing what will come out of the woodwork. My work activity involves others. The outcome of my work is obvious to others as I buy and sell properties.


Regular supervision, meetings, planning of workload, seminars, further tertiary training, short courses. Many staff make some use of professional development when time permits.

I'm not interesed in further study with my existing responsibilities, Productivity is partially linked to professional development especially when "finessing" a task.

I think that you are successful by working hard and having the drive to work hard.




The Joys of getting the right Roof Gutters!

MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority



1. Scenario: As a Property Manager, you are to look after various aspects of a building to make sure that the building is well maintained. One of these aspects is roof guttering. Gutters take away water from the roof either to be retained in a watertank for any gardens attached to the building or for the water to go straight to the mains.

You are currently about to look after a new build and guttering is going to be ordered.

2. You are to create an Excel spreadsheet to see the materials, the long term maintenance options - durability, the dimensions [X,Y,Z mm], compatibility, water capacity [Volume], and, how much leaf litter* will be retained. Don't forget to make sure that you use the guttering that is available in your State or Territory.

Gutter length = 78.75M x 55.3M [Rectangle building] x2

3. Your builder has used Lysaght's in the past and will continue to do so. However, there is a range of different products on offer for you to decide which one is the most suitable.

Go to the following website - Lysaght Professionals

Lysaght Professionals

There are 12 roof gutter products listed - Quad Gutter; Sheerline Gutter & Capping; Trimline Gutter etc.

Click on each product to see the Technical Specifications. Here is the Sheerline Gutter without return specifications.

Sheerline Gutter

4. Start filling out your Excel spreadsheet with the 12 gutters details.

5. There is a beautiful tall Manchurian Pear tree located on the property and it is decidious taking 5 weeks in autumn to lose all its leaves. It also has white flowers in Spring that fall off and small seed pods that attract many birds.

*Leaf litter - fresh leaf litter volume is half that of water while dry leaf litter [it takes 10 days to convert from fresh to dry leaf litter] is only a quarter volume of water. Flower litter is only one eighth of water.

It takes one person only 2.5 hours at the end of autumn to get all the leaves out of the gutters. This includes cleaning with water and making sure that the downpipes are flowing freely. The cost of this service is $290. The cost for the spring cleanout is $165.

If you want this service to collect all the leaf litter and put it into a collection bag for use on any gardens, there is a further cost of $25.

Cleaning out gutters
(Source: Rollsec)

You might think that cleaning the gutters should only be done every two years but... "In the best case scenario, this will eventually lead to a blocked downpipe and overflowing guttering. The worst case result is a leak into your house. That can be expensive to fix and the collateral damage can be highly destructive, damaging the interior and even putting your electrical wiring at risk. Keeping your gutters clean is, therefore, a must-do job." (Source: Rollsec)

Work out the cost each year and additionally, add in the cost of the three occasional storms where the gutters need inspecting. The call out fee is $110 each time.

6. You are to work out the cost of Gutter Guard and durability for this property. Using your Excel spreadsheet, work out the cost for each of the 12 gutter types using: either Whites 160mm x 6m Plastic Gutter Guard; Whites 180mm x 8m Super Gutter Guard; Whites 300mm x 10m Fire Guard Gutter Mesh; Whites 190mm x 10m Fire Guard Gutter Mesh; from Bunnings



7. In your considered opinion, what will you put in place with your builder -

  • What will be the best option for the gutter type? Why did you choose this type - provide reasons.

  • What is the cheapest option?

  • What did you decide: Gutter Guard or opt for cleaning each season? Provide reasons.


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