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20% more market share in 2020: How has this agency done it?

14 October 2020 Grace Ormsby

Working with new demographics while keeping the transaction process simple are just two of the reasons for one Sydney agency’s sustained success in a turbulent year.

Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point has been labelled as “thriving” in the face of COVID-19, boasting a 20 per cent increase to its market share this year alone.

It comes off the back of the team’s achievement of 83 transactions since the onset of the pandemic back in March.

The co-director of Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point, Jason Boon, is one of the reasons for the agency’s success, having himself made $150 million in sales off 47 transactions since the COVID-19 crisis began.

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Mr Boon recently received the title of most outstanding selling principal across transactions and income earned at the recent Richardson & Wrench awards, with his latest sales including 5/40a-42 Macleay Street, Potts Point, which earlier this month sold $200,000 above reserve for $6.66 million.

He has also sold 1/22-24 Macleay Street, Elizabeth Bay, for $3.85 million — $300,000 above its reserve — while back in June, he managed to achieve a sale of $620,000 above reserve for the vendors of 112 Surrey Street, Darlinghurst, with a sale price of $4.6 million.

While 2020 kicked off one of the strongest ever starts to the year for Sydney’s inner-eastern suburbs, Mr Boon acknowledged conditions changed rapidly with the onset of the pandemic.

But low supply and high demand are again driving prices upward.

“We’re fortunate to be operating in a tightly held, established market where there is still solid demand from downsizers, investors and expats,” the agent said.

“In fact, with the pandemic forcing Australian expats to return home, they are currently one of our strongest vendor demographics, accounting for 20 per cent of our current sales.

“We’re also seeing a lot more properties sold through private treaty, with the current climate forcing us to work more closely with buyers who are concerned about social distancing. These account for up to 40 per cent of our current sales — an increase of 10 per cent from 2019.”

Despite the current downturn, Mr Boon is confident that the area — especially Potts Point — will remain a sound investment, explaining that “the introduction of Sydney’s controversial lock-out laws fast-tracked the diversification of Potts Point, with an increasing number of downsizers and investors realising the advantages of residing in an area that is close to the CBD and Sydney Harbour”.

Calling it “the ‘Soho’ of Sydney”, the agent noted its high-end luxury apartments, famous lifestyle and dining options as drawcards for the area.

Greg McKinley and Andrew Hoggett are the other two directors behind Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point, with the trio all having contributed to the agency’s strong results during the recent difficult period.

Mr McKinley is optimistic that the period of growth will continue, predicting the agency’s market share will be able grow by another 10 per cent by Christmas.

Instrumental to this success has been the realisation of a “need to maintain ‘business as usual’ as best we could”, the director added.

“Having been part of the community for decades, we were ‘there’ to help residents buy, sell and lease; listen to their individual challenges; and help them feel secure during this unprecedented time.”

According to Mr McKinley, the team has worked hard to develop a “family-like” team over the years.

“It’s not so much about the transaction as it is about being honest, transparent and, in a time when remote working and technological solutions are becoming increasingly relied on, keeping it simple,” he said.

“At its core, real estate remains a person-to-person transaction and picking up the phone and offering honest advice has never been so important.”

20% more market share in 2020: How has this agency done it?
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