LJ Hooker smashes old sales record

Improved productivity and staff retention have helped LJ Hooker produce the best month in its 87-year history.

The group enjoyed record unconditional sales and settlements in December 2014, with unconditional sales up 61 per cent annually and settlements up 15 per cent annually.

The new unconditional sales record was eight per cent higher than the previous record month of March 2013.

One reason for the record result was the 1.7 per cent expansion in office numbers between December 2013 and December 2014.

Chief operations officer Paul O’Regan told Real Estate Business that the strong property market also played a role.

“But over 2014, LJ Hooker rolled out a program of training, workshops, technology innovations and incentives which allowed salespeople to stay ahead of the market rise,” Mr O’Regan said.

“This has not only improved productivity among our offices and salespeople, but also delivered a marked increase in retention.”

Mr O’Regan said there was a strong urge among buyers to purchase their property before Christmas.

“Most capital city markets showed unprecedented strength in the latter stages of 2014, as experts speculated rates will stay stable for much of 2015, or even drop,” he said.

“Our auction campaigns worked very successfully, and the days on market of properties listed through private treaty reduced, in general.”

Mr O’Regan said one consequence of the strong finish to 2014 is that it has lessened the amount of stock on the market for the start of 2015.

“That has created a challenge for LJ Hooker to build a pipeline of listings that can cater to the market appetite that shows no sign of abating,” he said.

LJ Hooker isn’t the only prominent group to enjoy a record-breaking finish to 2014.

McGrath Estate Agents recently enjoyed its best November in history, which chief executive John McGrath attributed to ongoing buyer confidence.

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