Chief executive Angus Raine told Real Estate Business there is still room for growth in Australia, despite the crowded market.
“Last calendar year we opened over 30 offices and we’re probably going to do that easily again this year,” Mr Raine said.
“We’re very, very happy with how our Australian operations are running. When you’re happy with that, you have to look for new opportunities and new markets.”
Raine & Horne opened an office in Dubai last month and is also preparing to expand into China, New Zealand, Indonesia and India.
Mr Raine said the moves into China and New Zealand could occur as early as this year, although the push into Indonesia and India won’t take place until 2016 at the earliest.
What makes the Asian markets attractive are their large, growing and aspirational middle classes, Mr Raine said.
Raine & Horne has more than 300 offices around the world, including Malaysia, Hong Kong and Fiji.
Mr Raine said the group expects any new foreign market to have strong regulations around its property titling system and agency practice.
Raine & Horne’s foreign businesses often outperform Australian offices when it comes to servicing customers, particularly buyers, according to Mr Raine.
He said that was mainly because of the lower cost of labour, which allows them to hire more staff.
However, Mr Raine told Real Estate Business that Australians do a better overall job when it comes to real estate.
“A lot of people don’t realise that we probably lead the world in real estate agency practice,” he said. “Property is part of Australians’ DNA. As a result, the real estate agency side of the business is very sophisticated to cater for the sophisticated consumers.”
Meanwhile, Mr Raine is visiting the Middle East as part of a business delegation being led by Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.
Mr Raine said he had joined the tour to promote Raine & Horne and to highlight the long-term benefits of buying commercial and residential property in Australia.
“There are some fantastic property markets in the Middle East, such as Dubai. However, for investors looking for some international diversification, it’s hard to go past the safety of Australian bricks and mortar, which consistently produces average annual double-digit returns.”
[Related: Angus Raine appointed executive chairman]