Leading independent signs merger deal

Coronis is now almost halfway towards its goal of 50 offices after merging with Toowoomba firm House Estate Agents.

The Brisbane-based group, which was named Major Independent of the Year at this year’s Real Estate Business Awards, has added 27 staff and 400 managements through the merger.

Managing director Andrew Coronis said the group now has more than 350 staff and 7,000 managements across 22 offices in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and now Toowoomba.

Mr Coronis told REB that House Estate Agents will rebrand as a Coronis office, although current owners Emmy Thies and Tye Thies will remain in charge.

“We will be buying 70 per cent of their business at the moment and paying them for that at a market rate. They will hold 30 per cent of the business for the next two years,” he said.

“They have some KPIs to meet over the next couple of years, which is just continuing on the way they’re going, and the goal is in two years’ time once we’ve gotten to know each other better that they will merge their equity into the Coronis brand and have shares in the entire Coronis group.”

Mr Coronis said the group was searching for more merger and acquisition targets as it aimed to expand to 50 Queensland offices in the next three years.

The group is in discussions with three parties in greater Brisbane, and also wants to expand into Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton and the state’s other major regional centres, according to Mr Coronis.

Coronis plans to look interstate once it reaches its target of 50 Queensland offices, he added.

Mr Coronis said the House Estate Agents deal marked a new expansion model for Coronis, which will now target market leaders rather than the “not-as-competitive” offices of the past.

“In the past we’ve had to go and buy offices and we’ve had to then re-staff them, because it’s hard to find offices that run at the same speed that we do,” he said.

Coronis has undergone significant change in the past two years, adding mortgage broking, financial planning, budgeting, conveyancing, project marketing and foreign investor businesses as part of a strategy to become an end-to-end property and finance group.

“One of the things we can offer House Estate Agents straight up is a full marketing team, which you can’t afford to have in a one-office environment,” Mr Coronis said.

“We believe that the real estate industry is in a position where it wants to get more professional. I believe there will be the brands that will grow and the smaller brands that are running successful offices but will find it harder.”

[Related: Coronis wants to do more than collect rent and sell houses]

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