The idea of sprucing up a house to sell or lease can be daunting. A lick of paint and a tidy up in a garden can go some way to making a home more presentable and achieving the optimum price but where to access skilled-and-reliable tradespeople and creative talent to complete these works can be overwhelming.  Those wanting referrals to either single tradespeople or someone to manage a renovation project can now turn to Kay & Burton’s new venture ‘Kay & Burton Concierge’, a curated suite of preferred partner services that has been developed to help both Kay & Burton clients and non-clients to take care of their property-related needs.  Rosemary Shisler, Kay & Burton’s Senior Marketing Manager, took up this unique service when deciding to lease out her own home in Richmond.

“We had been unsuccessfully trying to renovate our property to get it “rent-ready” for over a decade. There was always a snag, whether it was local council restrictions or builder-related problems,” says Shisler, whose bluestone semi-detached, circa 1880s, once formed part of the original police station. Previously renovated in the 1970s, the added kitchen, dining and living wing, was reminiscent of a farm cottage. Although the barn-style roof, complete with highlight windows, brought in the east and west light, it was overly timbered (think of a Swedish sauna). The other issue was that it only had one bathroom.

Shisler engaged Kay & Burton Concierge who referred the job of making the property rent-ready to one of Concierge’s preferred partners, a building and design company. The highly credentialed directors of this company set to work with both the client and Paul Tunney, Kay & Burton’s Leasing & New Business Consultant, who was able to lease Shisler’s home, post renovation, in just a few days.    

Although the renovation looks expensive, it took the ‘bones’ of the two-bedroom-plus-study house and worked with some of the 1970s features. The kitchen, for example, includes the timber surrounds from the original joinery, simply updated. A new stove was added. An awkward built-in timber unit was removed and the walls, along with some of the red bricks, were painted white. What was previously a corridor has been used to include a new ensuite bathroom for the second bedroom, a feature that designers, builders and agents alike agree can add considerable value to what a place can command on the rental market.

Kay & Burton Concierge’s preferred partners are carefully selected and vetted to ensure that they provide exceptional service and product to both clients and non-clients alike. In this instance, they were able to deliver on the client’s two-fold brief of renovating to make the property rent-ready but also provide an end result that would be suitable for Shisler and her family to live in down-the-track if they decide to return. Unlike many styling companies that come in and place a throw over an armchair or a lounge, and bring in some generic prints to make the place feel like home, here there is actually the sense of one’s home. “When friends came over for drinks, the first thing they asked was, have we bought some new furniture? They obviously thought that it was my taste rather than simply brought in for a quick result.  It’s certainly a home, not a display suite,” says Shisler.

In cases where properties are being made ready for sale or rental, Kay & Burton Concierge’s preferred partners hold discussions with both the owners of the properties, and the agents either selling or leasing them. This ensures that factors such as demographics and who will be interested in the property are considered right from the outset. In this instance, not only did the Kay & Burton Concierge preferred partner perform the tasks such as updating the cabinetry, ensuring the layout worked and painting, but also the sourcing of furniture and art.   

Shisler’s request to be referred to someone to get her place ‘rent ready’ is just one example of the range of broader referrals Kay & Burton’s Concierge now offers.  As Kay & Burton Concierge Senior Manager Kate Emerson explains, “our curated network of qualified professionals, skilled-and-reliable tradespeople and creative talent is available to meet both client and non-client property-related needs.  Some people may require art consultancy, while others need their electricity connected or a removalist. There could be a need for de-cluttering, someone to perform a weekly clean, or even looking after the family pet for a few weeks while clients are away.  Those with wine cellars can even request advice on which wine needs to be stored for perpetuity or opened at the right time to be enjoyed with friends. Referrals to other property-related services such as tradespeople, insurances and home lending also feature. Having just launched, Concierge’s list of referred services will continue to expand as the Concierge business continues to evolve.”

The Kay & Burton Concierge service is provided at no additional cost to clients and non-clients and can be accessed via or phoning 03 98252000 or emailing

Before Renovation Project Management - Kitchen / Lounge

After Renovation Project Management - Kitchen / Lounge

Before Renovation Project Management - Kitchen

After Renovation Project Management - Kitchen

Before Renovation Project Management - Bathroom

After Renovation Project Management - Bathroom

Lifestyle & Design

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