The real estate landscape has undergone significant transformations in recent years. With the rapid evolution of technology, fluctuating market conditions and ever-changing client expectations, what does it take for a real estate business to thrive in 2024?
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At Elders, we’re not just observers of these changes; we’re active participants. Beyond being a franchisor, we own and operate one of Australia’s largest company-owned agencies. Our unique corporate set-up allows us to offer unparalleled opportunities and services, including our home loans and insurance businesses. As an ASX-listed company, we’re committed to delivering consistent returns to our shareholders, driving innovation and ensuring growth year after year.
Our vision for the near future is clear: we aim to grow our agency sales business profitability by 15 per cent and our property management business by 20 per cent. But how do we plan to achieve this, and how can we assist our franchisees in this journey as well?
Here are the top three focal points for 2024:
Embracing technology while ensuring cyber security
In today’s digital age, leveraging the right technology is crucial. However, it’s essential to ensure that any new technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), genuinely enhances productivity. While we believe AI will revolutionise database management, content creation and lead generation in real estate, the core of our industry remains rooted in personal relationships – the role of the agent or a property manager will not be reduced.
Cyber security is another paramount concern that should be top of mind for every principal. At Elders, we prioritise the digital safety of our operations with a dedicated cyber security team, led by a seasoned chief cyber officer. Our risk and compliance teams, coupled with IT support, ensure our technology is fortified with the latest security measures.
Cultivating a robust rent roll
A solid and well-managed rent roll is the backbone of any successful real estate business, providing consistency and diversity of earnings to offset any dips in the sales business. Business owners need to focus on critical measures: growing the rent roll, conducting regular health checks, and reviewing fees and ancillaries. At Elders, we manage 15,000 properties under our company agency, and nearly 80,000 when including our franchise network. Given the scale and size of this operation, we’re harnessing technology to enhance client experiences and using automation to shift our property managers’ focus from time-consuming administration to fostering relationships.
The heart of any business, especially in real estate, is its people. At Elders, we invest heavily in the skills and wellbeing of our team. We offer over 120 training sessions annually, both online and in-person, conferences, retreats and wellbeing initiatives that are designed to nurture and develop our staff. Building culture, loyalty and goodwill takes an extraordinary amount of effort and time – we’ve been doing this for 184 years!
Reward and recognition for top performers is something most agencies do well, but it’s crucial to also appreciate the backbone of the business: the administration staff, property managers and support teams. Our comprehensive reward and recognition program celebrates the efforts of our entire national network, ensuring everyone feels valued.
In conclusion, the road to success in 2024 is paved with the right technology, a commitment to rent roll growth and an unwavering focus on people. At Elders, we’re intent on leading the way, ensuring our business and franchisees are equipped for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Belinda Connor is Elders' general manager, residential real estate and brand.
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