Professionals Real Estate has appointed the first group chief executive in its history after targeting six people with an invitation-only recruitment process.
Shane Kempton, Professionals’ chief executive for Western Australia and the Northern Territory, will take over as group chief executive of Australia and New Zealand in May.
Mr Kempton has been at Professionals since 2013 and previously ran Harcourts Western Australia and Roy Weston Real Estate.
He is also a licenced real estate agent, a coach and the former chairman of ASX-listed resources infrastructure firm OTOC Australia.
Professionals is a cooperative that operates with a regional structure, which is why one of Mr Kempton’s priorities will be to centralise lead-generation campaigns and marketing activities.
Mr Kempton told Real Estate Business he didn’t expect the new corporate structure to meet any resistance because the centralising would be limited.
“I want to make sure our members are getting maximum value by unifying the group and reducing any duplicated costs such as marketing expenses,” he said.
“The idea of centralisation is getting better buying power and better value for our members so we can enhance what they’re doing at the community level.”
Mr Kempton said another priority would be to expand Professionals, which has about 300 offices in Australia and New Zealand.
He said there was room for growth in most Australian states, particularly in inner-city suburbs and regional areas.
Mr Kempton will be based in Brisbane, but said he would travel regularly, particularly in the first six months as he meets the other business owners and gets a feel for their markets.
Professionals chairman Ian Cornell said the group had appointed Mr Kempton because of his proven track record at Professionals and his diverse work experience.
Mr Cornell told Real Estate Business the board had conducted an invitation-only interview process with six current or former Professionals employees.
The board felt that because the successful candidate would be implementing a new corporate structure, it was important that he at least be familiar with the group’s culture, Mr Cornell said.
[Related: Professionals searches for first-ever CEO]