RE/MAX Australia is targeting growth in key states across the country, promoting a brand that has evolved to better suit the local market, its managing director has said.
Michael Davoren, managing director at RE/MAX Australia, said his company was focused on growing its presence, with events such as this week’s Australian Real Estate Conference (AREC) an ideal forum to promote the brand.
“We’re on the growth path in Australia,” Mr Davoren told Real Estate Business on the sidelines of AREC, where RE/MAX had a booth.
“We’re the largest [real estate group] in the world but not in Australia, and everyone knows that.”
“We’re here to expose the brand, create relationships and talk to as many people as we can. Everyone you talk to you learn something from, so it’s a great opportunity just to create those relationships. Something may come out of it.”
Mr Davoren said while RE/MAX is strong in Queensland, more growth was required in NSW, Victoria South Australia and Tasmania.
Part of the group’s message revolves around how they’ve evolved the company to suite the Australian market.
“When a company is in 90 countries around the world, you’ve got to understand that it can’t be the same model exactly as what works in the United States. So, we’ve evolved the brand and the structures, and now it’s a matter of getting that message out there.”
Now seven months into his role as managing director, Mr Davoren, who worked for a number of other franchise groups and as president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), said the uniqueness of the RE/MAX model is what has excited him the most during this period.
“It’s been a real eye opener for me,” he said. “And the reason I say that is RE/MAX is a totally different model to most of the other franchise groups. And I’ve been involved at some of those other groups, they’re good, but this one [at RE/MAX] is different.
“There’s a different structure, there’s different systems…and it’s truly global.
He said much of his time has been spent developing a really clear strategic plan, and expressing it to current and potential members.
“It’s a long way to go but we’re taking the right steps, we’ve got a great team in the corporate office, and we’ve got a very good group of offices. It’s a good platform to build on.”
As part of this push, RE/MAX recently launched an advertising campaign which will run for seven months, and which features “huge roaming billboards” via transit advertising, including bus backs and ‘24 footers’. It will also include a range of static billboards in selected areas.
Looking more broadly at the industry, Mr Davoren said an emphasis should be placed on bringing in more fresh talent.
“I speak to a lot of people who own real estate businesses and they tell me they’re not going to employ new people,” he said. “That frightens me. It we’re not employing new people in the industry today, it worries me that in five or ten years time when a lot of our current real estate agency owners want to sell or exit the industry, there’s going to be a lot of problems.”
“It’s something we have to concentrate on as an industry. I don’t think we’ve really dealt with that issue at the moment.”
When asked why this is the case, he pointed to the cost of employing new people as one disincentive.
“It’s a very expensive way to go,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are only so many experienced people, and the good ones don’t want to move. So, it’s very important that we do find a way to economically introduce people in.
“Nearly every state has an industrial award, and that’s not a bad thing but it does make it expensive.
“That’s why when someone is introduced to the real estate industry that they are given the time and resources to succeed. You just can’t introduce new people into an industry as complex as this [one] and expect them to be success on their own.”