LJ Hooker Lithgow principal Jamie Giokaris says his office has a 63 per cent market share and generates about 65 per cent of its sales from repeat and referral business.
That explains why the regional NSW franchise was able to make 70.67 sales for every staff member during 2014-15 – the best of any business in the Top 50 Sales Offices ranking.
“It’s easier if you know that if you deliver good customer service, people are going to be loyal and come back to you, and the business tends to flow fairly well. We’re not out there rushing around cold-calling and letterbox-dropping,” he says.
So how has LJ Hooker Lithgow managed to generate such loyalty? Mr Giokaris says it has a lot to do with the clever and consistent way the office engages with its local community.
LJ Hooker Lithgow focuses on two vital local institutions – education and sport – which ensures it gets positive year-round recognition with its target market.
The franchise sponsors an academic award at all the primary schools and high schools, with Mr Giokaris presenting the awards himself each December.
LJ Hooker Lithgow also sponsors summer and winter sports in the form of tennis, soccer, hockey and bowling, and also has signage at the hockey, bowling and tennis venues.
It also sponsors a high-profile Lithgow award, the Sports Star of the Year Award, which features monthly and annual winners. Again, Mr Giokaris presents the end-of-year trophy.
One important part of building bonds with the local community is to be strategic, according to Mr Giokaris. No business can support every cause, so it’s important to focus on those that will deliver maximum exposure.
Another point Mr Giokaris emphasises is that people place a premium on long-term commitment – which helps explain why LJ Hooker Lithgow has sponsored the Sports Star of the Year Award for almost two decades.
“You can’t just go sponsor an event and disappear the next year. You’ve got to be showing a bit of consistency and commitment to what you’re doing,” he says.
“It then reinforces to the community that you’re there for the long haul. I think that does repay itself down the track.”
Mr Giokaris says LJ Hooker Lithgow spends about $15,000 to $20,000 per year on sponsorships. This is in a town where the median house price is $260,000, according to CoreLogic RP Data.
“In city terms, that’s probably not a lot of money, but in terms of our country area and relative income, it’s significant,” he says.
By the numbers
Volumes: $50.3 million
Total staff: 3
Sales staff: 1
Support staff: 2
Sales per staffer: 70.67