Stone Real Estate has added to its rising team on Sydney’s buoyant North Shore, with the principals of Ray White Balgowlah, Andrew and Melissah White, integrating their business into the Stone Seaforth office.
Stone said the move follows a growing trend away from the traditional franchise model to boutique brands.
“Particularly in the more affluent areas of Sydney, where generic national or statewide marketing no longer connects with their marketplaces,” it said.
“The shift to boutique enables agents more control over marketing to the niche demographics within their core areas as well as access to bespoke high-tech marketing tools, enabling them to resonate with their marketplace and provide a more personalised, relevant and effective service.”
Principals of Stone Seaforth Maria Cassarino, Phillip Wright and Chris Elliott said they were actively looking for the right people to expand with.
Ms Cassarino said Andrew and Melissah White are exactly that.
“From sharing the same marketplace with Andrew and Melissah, we had first-hand insight as to who they are and how they run their business,” she said.
“There’s always been a mutual respect and we’re ecstatic they came to us to pitch the idea. The most important credentials for anyone joining our team are synergy and teamwork, and from our first meeting it was immediately apparent we could work together. Fortunately, the feeling was mutual, we worked out a way to make it happen and here they are.”
Melissah White said they had decided to make the move for two main reasons: lifestyle and people.
“Although our business was ticking along nicely, the decision to integrate the business within Stone Seaforth was a lifestyle decision,” she said.
“After five years of running the business from a start-up, we decided at this point in our lives to scale down and do more of what we love doing, listing and selling property, without the added stress of running the business.”
Ms White said it was the “whole team” dynamic that sold her.
“Andrew and I ran our own business for five years, which gave us a unique insight into how important a supportive team is. Not just for us personally, but our clients as well.
“When we met Maria, Chris and Phillip, it felt like we were talking to old friends. Our goals and values aligned perfectly, and together we felt like our business and our clients’ needs would be protected, nurtured and supported. This was a natural fit and a business I am very proud to be associated with.”
Andrew White agreed that the fit is excellent.
“When we decided to make the change, we met with many groups and business owners as we wanted this to be our forever move,” he said.
“When we met Maria, Phil and Chris, there was an instant connection, and the deeper we dove, the more synergy we found. We feel we will add a lot to their team and they will add a lot to us with their leadership. We trust them, and all good things start with trust.”
As part of the expansion, Stone Seaforth is commencing a new high-spec “super office” to be located in the heart of Seaforth village.