Damien Keyes has been a real estate agent since he left high school, and more than seven years ago, he decided to break away from the big companies to become independent.
He started Keyes&Co Property with his wife in Townsville because they thought they could navigate the market better.
“Our industry has changed so much with technology,” Mr Keyes told Real Estate Business.
As a result, he would look at the amount of money he was giving to the franchise and struggled to see the value.
“We thought we are a better judge on how to spend that money,” he said.
The freedom allows the agency to maintain a minimum standard of the quality of agents who work for them to ensure their reputation remains high.
“We don’t have cowboys come in and undermine the brand,” he said.
“We are both Townsville locals and reputation means a lot to us. We don’t take it lightly for those coming to work for us; they have to meet the service standards.”
With control over their system, they are agile and able to implement new technology to boost their system and processes.
Four years ago, the agency introduced a 3D virtual tour tool as it found a lot of people from outside the region were buying property there to relocate for work.
The experience gave them a walk-through look at the property and helped minimise the number of trips the buyers had to make to Townsville, Mr Keyes said.
“Technology is something we invest in as a company,” he said. “We want to have the best available.”
Although there are many new technology gimmicks out there, when deciding what Mr Keyes incorporated into his company, he considers whether it helps the consumer.
Mr Keyes took praise from people who came to Townsville from Melbourne to see how they ran their agency.
They had never seen anything like it, which paid homage to Mr Keyes since they were from an advanced real estate market.