Promoted by UrbanX
Two of Brisbane’s most prominent southside property professionals have bid farewell to directorships at big-brand agencies in order to launch their own business.
Mr Kleinberg was with Ray White Bulimba from 2012 to 2017 before becoming a director at Place Kangaroo Point, while Mr Lombardi had been a director at Ray White and with the brand 14 years before moving to Place in 2018.
Their decision to strike out on their own is particularly bold given current economic uncertainty around the coronavirus, but Mr Kleinberg said with the support of UrbanX, they were ready to build a new type of business.
“The motto for our company is ‘Clients first’. We don’t have those protocols that you’re locked into with a franchise brand. Whatever the client needs, we will accommodate,” he said.
Mr Kleinberg said they’re adapting an old-school ethos to a new business model.
“Where I grew up, you have your family doctor, you have your family veterinarian and you have your family real estate agent, and their number is on your fridge. They become your go-to person if you ever have a quick question or need to chat about anything and best of all they are local.
“I really want to emulate that for the Brisbane inner-city 4171, 4170, 4152 postcodes, we are THE local boutique agency to talk to.”
Mr Kleinberg said accommodating the client is our priority and without the requirements that come with being in a big-brand business we can now be more agile.
“We can now provide better service to the client by not getting caught up in corporate branding. We don’t have to adhere to other’s KPIs, corporate reporting, percentage of market share or analysis of the business that we have to send to a higher authority, we can just focus on the client and providing the best outcome.
“Put simply, our time is better spent dealing with buyers and sellers, and helping people transition between properties.”
He was also excited about breaking free of inter-office competition over listings and service areas, commonly found within corporate brands, but never made public to the client.
“I think a lot of the consumers in the market are unaware of how much internal competition there is within franchises. How much behind-the-scenes time is wasted and the antagonism that works against the consumer. When people compete internally, it can get very messy and the client’s best interests can fall by the wayside.”
Mr Kleinberg said the UrbanX platform - which provides full administrative services and a hot-desking hub, plus comprehensive training and support in exchange for a percentage of the commission - was essential to their businesses success.
“As we’ve now seen due to COVID-19, not having tremendous overheads in a new business is a huge advantage.
“…And real estate should be done by meeting people at their homes and where they require. I don’t feel that having a fully fitted out office is necessary.”
He said instead of the lost time and cost devoted to establishing a bricks-and-mortar operation, he and Mr Lombardi can instead concentrate on building their personal brand among consumers.
“Very few people would walk in the door of an agency and offer a listing for sale or rental – it was always just by agent-name recognition.
“A client might love an agency, but if you get an awful agent they’re not going to hand over their listing.”
Mr Kleinberg believes old-style franchises could be left in the wake of this new business model as high-end agents look to retain more control and more commission.
“There’s a huge market for UrbanX – it’s the way of the future.”