Driving synergies between sales and property management has helped one regional office win a national small business award.
LJ Hooker Cessnock and Kurri Kurri was named Real Estate Agency of the Year at the Australian Small Business Champion Awards.
Principal Bryce Gibson said he had worked hard to bring sales and rentals together since buying the NSW business eight years ago.
Mr Gibson told Real Estate Business that 14 per cent of all managements are now being converted into a sale, compared to a longer-term average of about 10 per cent.
“Some of it we do lose, because obviously it gets sold to an owner-occupier or the tenant purchases the property. But 80 per cent of the time, we are seeing another investor buy the property and continuing that winning cycle,” he said.
“We continue to manage the property and maintain an income, but in the meantime we have been able to transact from one landlord to the next and continue that relationship.”
The office has 10 staff – four in sales, three in property management and three in admin. It derives about 60 per cent of its revenue from sales and 40 per cent from management.
Mr Gibson said another reason for the office’s success is its focus on training, with each employee doing 40 hours of training per year compared to the LJ Hooker minimum of 20 hours.
“A lot of that is done through the LJ Hooker network. We have got a great online training hub and a private YouTube channel that has more than a 1,000 hours of training content.”
Three other regional offices were nominated for the Real Estate Agency of the Year: Hunter Valley Real Estate of Kurri Kurri, Wiseberry Heritage from the NSW Central Coast and @Home Property Management in Launceston.
The other eight finalists came from Sydney: Devine Real Estate, Laing & Simmons Auburn, Laing & Simmons Granville, Limestar Real Estate, PRDnationwide Nucifora, Professionals Belmore, Pure Rentals and Titles Strata Management.
[LinkedIn: Do agents give property managers enough respect?]