First National Real Estate has declared the “gloves are off” in its battle for market share, with the group already adding 30 new offices in the past year on the back of a “huge” investment in innovation and its brand.
“By investing in the ideas of our most talented members, we’ve driven new levels of innovation and rolled out new member benefits at the fastest pace in the network’s history,” said chief executive, Ray Ellis.
“We are once again a direct competitor to the largest franchises in Australia and the gloves are off. We’ve long proved that our SEO strategy leads the industry and, in simple terms, that means we drive more business to our members’ doors.”
The cooperative, which has around 430 offices in Australia and New Zealand, said its rapid growth has been the result of a “huge investment” in proprietary technologies, a new brand, and a corporate revival.
The company said it faced serious challenges ten years ago, as a result of an aging brand and limited technology.
“The network made a radical departure from its former management methods, going back to its cooperative roots to determine settings for a new path and an assured future,” it said.
First National said it is experiencing strong growth throughout NSW but has also seen 300 per cent growth across its metropolitan network in Melbourne. South Australia has seen significant gains and in Western Australia, the group has also returned to growth.
The principal of First National Coffs Coast, Barry Booth, who had been with another franchise group for 28 years, said a major reason he joined the network recently was to maintain profitability and increase his market share.
Despite tough market conditions and an oversupply of local competitors in Coffs Harbour, First National Coffs Coast reported a four per cent increase in market share in 2012 and is ranked number one by realestate.com.au.
“An integral part of maintaining our profitability has been the elimination of very substantial franchise fees,” Mr Booth said.
The group recently celebrated its 30 year anniversary, pointing to the independent it offers its network as another core reason behind its success.