Hi guys, and welcome to the Mingle.
We are fairly new to the business having only had our leasehold for not quite 3 years.
There are a couple of brokerage businesses that offer conferences, they are held in Sydney and Brisbane (and also in Victoria). We went to one in back in 2011, and found it extremely helpful. They not only give you the ducks guts of the business but if you take the P and L's of places that you are interested they will also crunch the numbers and tell you if its worthwhile. They even told us back in 2011 that 2014 would be the year that make or break you, how true they were!! They offer advice on every aspect of the business and have professionals that are not directly associated with their particular brokerage firm. Should you wish the name of the brokerages just email me, unless Mick says its OK for me to put their names up here in the open. (I don't want to give them free advertising but they service they offer is great!)
This business has changed dramatically over the past 3 years, as any honest motlier will tell you.The rep trade has dropped off due to the internet and occupancy rates had dropped drastically also,I believe it had something to to do with the Aussie dollar (as it has started to improve as the dollar is dropping)
Mountain Man's advice on negotiating your lease is ALL important especially if the place is need of repair. Otherwise you pay for all the refurb and he gets all the return. Also the rates and building insurance is also something that you should push for, if you can.
Most landlords will do 5 yearly increments to extend your lease, provided you are doing the 'right' thing.
We were told that leaseholds were the go, but as I said, this business has changed that if we had our time again we too would have gone for a freehold. This is also what the brokers are saying at the moment.
One other important message was, "Coast is for show, west is for dough", so when looking for position, perhaps keep that in mind also.
Should you decide on the freehold, then obviously any improvements you make is only increasing the value of your asset. If you are handymen, then all the better.
The hours are long, and you do "fight" for every dollar, you are really tied to the job, again as Mountain Man said, relief staff are expensive, and its not like you can just close the doors and have 2 weeks off or even a weekend!! You do meet a lot of great people, and if you are a person's person then this is the right fit!
Wishing you luck, whichever way you go.