First National Press Releases

Media Release - 11 June 2019

WINTER SMART SAFETY

With winter now upon us, the principal of First National Real Estate Lewis Prior Brett Lewis, is reminding both home sellers and tenants to be winter smart safe.
 
From checking smoke alarms, electric blankets and property heating right though to mould assessment and slippage risks, Brett has listed the top winter smart safety tips for Australians selling and renting properties.
 
With more property fires occurring in winter than any other time of the year, it’s important that homeowners and tenants check all smoke alarms – test batteries monthly and clear dust regularly’ says Brett.
 
‘It’s also vital to be aware of the four types of open flued gas heaters that have recently been the subject of safety alerts. Some of them might be a lot newer that you would think.’
 
Winter smart safety tips include:
 

  • If your property isn’t fitted with a smoke alarm, do so immediately and, if renting, notify your property manager for urgent action
 
  • Use and maintain electric blankets according to their instructions (to avoid overheating as well as potential fires) and replace if more than 10 years old – only use electric blankets to warm the bed and always switch off prior to getting in
 
  • If your gas heater doesn’t have a flue, service it regularly (every 2 years by a licensed gas fitter) and make sure the room it is being used in, is well ventilated – never use an un-flued gas heater in rooms with no permanent ventilation
 
  • Electric heaters must be checked for obvious damage including rusted reflectors and the power cord
 
  • Properties with fireplaces need to ensure the chimney is clean and properly ventilated with a screen in front of it when it is in use
 
  • Don’t ever leave portable heaters in places where people and/or pets could knock them over and keep wet clothing at least one metre away from heating
 
  • Clean the lint filter of your clothes-dryer each and every time you use it as built up lint can catch fire
 
  • Ensure you have a family escape plan – plan ways out of your property, decide on meeting location and keep exits clear as blocked pathways are a hazard
 
  • Poor ventilation in a home is the main cause of mould – with shorter days, less sunshine and windows mostly kept closed, windows and walls can become traps for mould.  Landlords should consider installing exhaust fans and ensure windows can be opened with ease so that tenants can open during warmer and sunnier times of the day
 
  • Winter also sees a higher chance of slippage risks with the build-up of moss, mildew and algae in damp, shady patios, pathways, driveways and stairways – prevent and maintain with regular sweeping, shrub/tree trimming and a good clean with a high-pressure water blaster
 
  • Lastly, check and monitor product recalls and national safety alerts via www.productsafety.gov.au – just recently, four open flued gas heaters (Regency i31 – purchased after 1 January 2010, Regency F38 and FG38 – purchased after 1 January 2006, Nectre 2000 – manufactured from 2007 and Real Flame Pyrotech – manufactured from 2012) failed safety tests and a national safety alert was issued for owners to stop using them.


Media Release - 30 April 2019

AGENTS STAND UP AGAINST BULLYING

First National Real Estate Lewis Prior is proud to announce that it is partnering with Kids Helpline, Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for children and young people aged 5 to 25.
 
The national helpline has responded to more than 8 million contacts over the past 28 years, helping children; young people and families manage the challenges of life, so they know they are not alone and can contact somebody any time and for any reason.

‘First National Real Estate is proud to support Kids Helpline to enable them to be there to help children and young people access the free confidential counselling support they need to cope with problems like cyber-bullying, depression, homelessness, mental health or suicidal thoughts’ says First National Lewis Prior principal, Brett Lewis.
 
‘The service aligns perfectly with First National’s we put you first philosophy because it puts the families that live in our members’ communities first. We want to help Kids Helpline respond to more contacts for support than ever before, at any time, for any reason, because all children and young people deserve to be heard’.
 
Every 90 seconds, someone’s son or daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, neighbour or friend gets in contact with Kids Helpline via its free call number or web chat service. With First National Real Estate’s support, Kids Helpline will become more powerful and better known across Australia.
 
‘By supporting Kids Helpline and working to raise awareness of the excellent support it provides young Australians, First National Real Estate is helping secure this important counselling resource and we are certain this will have a positive impact on the families we serve on a daily basis’ says Brett Lewis.


Media Release - 25 February 2019

FIRST NATIONAL ANNOUNCES SA/NT GENERAL EXCELLENCE & MARKETING AWARD WINNERS

First National Real Estate Lewis Prior was recognised for outstanding achievement at the General Excellence and Marketing Awards, held at Adelaide’s Intercontinental Hotel on Friday night.
 
The awards recognised the best of First National’s SA/NT agents throughout 2018, with the top 10 individuals and offices now competing for national GEM Awards, which hold the chance of an expenses paid trip to the National Association of Realtors conference in San Francisco this November for top 10 national winners.
 
First National Lewis Prior Principal, Brett Lewis, says the results show how successfully his staff leveraged the network’s customer acquisition strategy to overcome weaker market conditions in 2018, and still deliver outstanding results for clients.
 
‘Nothing beats hard work and a solid commitment to delivering for customers. That is exactly what our staff did in 2018’ Brett Lewis said.
 
At the presentation, First National Lewis Prior received the following awards:
 

  • Top 10 Sales Office of the Year

  • Top 10 Property Management Department of the Year

  • Highest Property Management Gross Revenue

 
Key staff members were also recognised for their individual performances:
 

  • Brett Lewis received the Top 10 Salesperson of the Year award & the Gold award

  • Greg Lewis received the Silver award

  • Nick Rogers received the Silver award

  • Karlie Larson received the Business Development Manager of the Year award

  • Krista Eime received the Administrator of the Year award

 
Brett Lewis said the First National GEM Awards are an important event as they as they encourage First National’s agents to aspire to an ongoing process of performance improvement that benefits customers.


Media Release - 10 December 2018

‘TIS THE SEASON TO KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE AND SECURE

With Christmas and the holiday season fast approaching, First National Real Estate Lewis Prior principal, Brett Lewis, is urging home sellers and tenants to keep their properties safe and secure.
 
From Christmas lights safety, to securing your rental and for sale property before leaving on holidays to bushfire danger precaution, Brett lists his top tips to ensure Australians enjoy a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday.
 
Christmas Lights Safety

  • Check all lights, transformers, leads and power boards for any sign of wear and tear before decorating your property
  • Ensure all electrical equipment is marked compliant with Australian standards – avoid buying cheaper inferior products from overseas
  • Use indoor lights for indoors and weatherproof rated outdoor lights marked for outdoors – indoor lights don’t come with appropriate weatherproof ratings for outdoor use and aren’t suitable for verandas 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and don’t tamper with lights
  • Always turn off decorative lighting and extinguish candles before going to bed, going out as well as in stormy and rainy weather
  • Switch off and unplug lights when watering living Christmas trees
  • Don’t put Christmas lighting around or above swimming pools or have leads lying in water or wet areas
  • Test your smoke alarms to make sure they work
 
Home Holiday Security
  • Always double check your home is securely locked – doors and windows
  • Don’t leave cash in the house and store valuables in a safe place
  • Review home and contents insurance to ensure it is current and you are up to date on payments
  • A wilted garden is a sign that no one is home – entrust a neighbour to give your garden a good hosing ahead of, during and after hot weather
  • Christmas parcels piling up at your door indicate you aren’t home – consider re-directing mail, using a Parcel Locker or having a neighbour collect your mail
  • Turn down your telephone and make sure your voice-message gives no indication that you are away
  • Be mindful of what and when you post on social media – and always ensure your settings are restricted to private so you aren’t broadcasting your every moment to the world
  • If upon returning from your holiday you are the victim of a break-in, vacate your property, call the local police, don’t touch anything and get in touch with your insurance company or real estate
 
Bushfire Safety Precaution
  • Download the ‘Disaster Watch’ app and any available local fire service apps
  • Home sellers and landlords should clear leaves from gutters, downpipes and roofs
  • Check garden hoses are long enough to reach perimeter fences
  • Be aware of fire ratings and fire bans in your local area and any holiday destinations
  • Cut back overhanging trees, mow grass and rake up leaves
  • Check with your local fire brigade for any fact-sheets or checklists
  • Include your pets in your bushfire plan
  • Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house

“At First National Real Estate, we want all our sellers, landlords and tenants to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.  Christmas lights and candles are a great way to signal the holiday season but they come with risks so home sellers and tenants need to make sure they follow a few simple tips so accidental damage to their property doesn’t occur – likewise with getting away for a break, let’s not get caught up in the excitement of a holiday that we become complacent and leave windows open ready for a burglar.  We are coming into fire danger season and we can do our bit to make sure the risk to our property is reduced, clean away leaves and gutters – a five-minute job that can make the world of difference to fire-proofing your property,” said First National Real Estate Lewis Prior principal, Brett Lewis.


Media Release - 24 July 2018

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REAL ESTATE AGENTS SUPPORT RONALD McDONALD HOUSE

First National Real Estate has confirmed its sponsorship of Ronald McDonald House Charities’ 2018 Ride for Sick Kids in South Australia as part of its overall national community support programme.
 
The ride fundraises in support of Ronald McDonald Houses in Adelaide as well as the Ronald McDonald Learning Program.

‘First National Real Estate is proud to have contributed more than $300,000 to the Ride for Sick Kids nationally over the past four years, and we’re delighted to continue this support’ said First National Real Estate Lewis Prior principal Brett Lewis.
 
‘Our SA members are rallying behind the 2018 ride and looking forward to building upon community awareness of this vital programme that supports kids and their families during the most difficult of health challenges’.
 
The South Australian ride starts in Port Lincoln on 18 November before traveling over 1,000 kilometres to Adelaide where it finishes on the 24th.
 
Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and support services to seriously ill children and their families nationally. Its services lift the burden of accommodation costs from families when they most need to provide their children with love and support.
 
‘When children are seriously ill and need medical care a long way from home, regional families can struggle with access to long-term accommodation and its costs’ said Brett Lewis.
 
‘By sponsoring the Ride for Sick Kids and helping raise awareness of the excellent work done by Ronald McDonald House, we’re helping secure this important accommodation resource’.