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Thousands of RE businesses shut their doors

Thousands of RE businesses shut their doors

by Reporter 9 comments

Brendan Wong

Over 67,000 real estate businesses shut down between 2008 and 2012, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The ABS Counts of Australian Businesses report has revealed a decline of 67,764 businesses in the rental, hiring and real estate services sector between June 2008 and June 2012.

The figure represented a survival rate of 69.4 per cent, making real estate the third strongest industry after public care and social assistance at 73.1 per cent, and agriculture, forestry and fishing at 70.7 per cent.  

The survival rates at June 2012 for businesses operating in June 2008 were lowest for public administration and safety (50.9 per cent), accommodation and food services (53.6 per cent) followed by administrative and support services (54.3 per cent).

According to the report, of the almost 300,000 new businesses across 20 industries that commenced during the 2008 to 2009 financial year, only 51 per cent were still operating in June 2012.

“The fact there are fewer property and real estate businesses over the 2012 financial year should come as no surprise,” research director of RP Data Tim Lawless said.

“Housing and commercial market conditions were pretty tough during this time and many smaller or less efficient operators would have felt economic pain. What is perhaps more surprising is that the fallout has not been more significant.”

Western Australian group Crawford Property Group launched in August 2008 shortly before the global financial crisis (GFC) hit, but has enjoyed rapid growth in five years.

“We opened at a time when there wasn’t a great deal of sales and business being done in the marketplace,” CEO Ryan Crawford told Real Estate Business.

“We built the business organically and I would say the first 12 months were quite tough. But we slowly found our niche by providing a level of service that exceeded our competitors and investing in marketing."

While other competitors were shrinking their marketing budgets during the GFC, Crawford Property did the opposite and at one point was committing 20 per cent of their annual budget to advertising.

“We increased our advertising  budget and really putting ourselves out there during a time when large competitors, who had been operating for decades, were pulling back,” he said.

In the five years, the company has grown from one office and only four staff to currently 70 staff members across seven offices. Crawford Property Group was recently ranked 17th in BRW’s Fast Starters list for being the fastest growing real estate company in Australia, and was a finalist for BDM of the Year at the Australian Real Estate Awards

“I’m certainly proud of our growth,” Mr Crawford said. “We've undergone rapid development and we definitely owe a lot of that growth to our recruitment process and the exceptional people we have attracted to the organisation.”

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Thousands of RE businesses shut their doors
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