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Streamlining processes pays off for Victorian agency

By Malavika Santhebennur
02 April 2024 | 11 minute read
andrew keleher jellis craig doncaster 2 reb vndj7j

Jellis Craig Doncaster is one of the top 10 Australian agencies in the REB Top 50 Sales Offices 2024 ranking. Its director revealed how it achieved this.

The Victoria-based agency has secured ninth place in this year’s ranking after selling 494 properties for $729.3 million during the 2023 calendar year.

In comparison, it had ranked 27th in 2022 after selling 433 properties for $541.5 million during the 2021 calendar year.

Director Andrew Keleher attributed the achievement of the 13-year-old agency to streamlining processes.

Becoming paperless and working from home in 2019 prepared the agency for the first six months of the COVID pandemic, he said.

“We then broke down the administration department and streamlined our systems and structure,” Mr Keleher told REB.

“This has ensured that every client undergoes the same process when their property is booked for an appraisal or is listed, whether they list with me, my fellow directors, or one of my colleagues.”

The agency integrated digital end-to-end point of sale platforms as well as vendor paid advertising solutions to reduce paperwork, Mr Keleher added.


“Clients get a second voice to listen to them in case they're unhappy with the salesperson assigned to them for any reason,” he explained.

Transparency leads to trust

“We want to be open and transparent with them so they're comfortable dealing with our agency.”

Mr Keleher underscored that transparency with buyers and vendors is critical so they understand the process of selling and purchasing a property, including the databases they scour, the email blasts that are sent, and the social media strategy.

“We often hear stories of buyers who missed out because they didn’t understand the process or felt that they weren’t given a second chance,” he said.

“We don’t do any secret highest and best offers. We’re very open with the offers we receive. If someone wants to challenge the highest bidder, we’ll put them in a room together and give them a chance to discuss it openly with each other.”

“Vendors trust us and our judgement on the best buyer for their property because they understand the journey,” he said.

Family homes and Chinese buyers

Jellis Craig Doncaster primarily sold family homes in 2023 with three or four bedrooms priced at around $1.5 million.

Buyers also sought renovated homes (due to the elevated costs of renovating homes themselves), as well as newly-built townhouses, according to Mr Keleher.

“They didn’t want to risk choosing a builder that may go broke halfway through the build. They were happy to buy townhouses that were already built,” he said.

Alongside this, the local and overseas Chinese markets accounted for between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of all buyers in Manningham, Mr Keleher said.

The agency used migration agents and the WeChat platform to connect with buyers in this market, which he remarked increased sales and the price on many homes due to the competition between multiple prospective buyers.

Build referrals and client relationships

Moreover, robust teamwork contributed to the agency’s success, along with referrals from buyers, vendors, and landlords, Mr Keleher said.

The agency embedded gifting systems to nurture clients after they bought or sold a property as a token of gratitude.

“We work hard with clients but often forget about them after we sell a property,” Mr Keleher said.

“We created a plan to see how we could maintain relationships with clients on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s a vendor or a landlord, we want them to tell their friends to see us when they want to buy or sell a property.”

Get back to basics

When asked how other sales offices could succeed, Mr Keleher encouraged agents to make phone calls and meet clients face-to-face.

He concluded: “Be a team member rather than an individual. Don't feel like you're entitled to everything because the client may not know who you are as an individual. They know who the agency is and want to deal with who they think is best.

“If you're prepared to share your victories, you'll end up having many more wins through your journey.”

Click here to download the complete REB Top 50 Sales Offices 2024 rankings and report.

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