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SUBURB SPOTLIGHT: NEWTOWN

By Real Estate Business
21 January 2013 | 1 minute read

This month Real Estate Business spoke to three agencies from the suburb of Newtown, in the regional city of Toowoomba in Queensland, to find out what techniques they use to grow their market share

MARKET LEADER
RAY WHITE TOOWOOMBA RANGE
INTERVIEWED: TONY FRANKE
PRINCIPALS: Tony Franke and Narelle Hosking
RENT ROLL: 700 plus
SHOPFRONT: We have been in our current location on Tourist Road for just over 18 months

WHY IS RAY WHITE TOOWOOMBA NUMBER ONE?
We have a large sales team of 10 who, on the whole, are very experienced and specialise in a particular area, which helps us maintain a very good market share – particularly in suburbs like Newtown.

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WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE TO MAINTAIN YOUR MARKET SHARE?
We have a large database of buyers, so when we list a property we are able to introduce those buyers to the property straight away. We also have a good position and dominance in the local print media, which is still extremely important in a regional area like ours. And we open properties up at the weekend on both Saturday and Sunday to attract as many buyers as possible.

WHAT IS YOUR OFFICE CULTURE LIKE?
When recruiting, we focus on people with drive and energy. I believe many salespeople tend to over think real estate. We are not performing brain surgery here, so I like people to stop procrastinating and concentrate on action. Success can be contagious, which in turn creates a vibrant culture throughout the office.

HOW CLOSELY DO YOU MONITOR WHAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING?
I don’t monitor my competitors much at all. I am more focused on our own team to make sure everyone is doing their best every day. If that is happening, all is well in my world.


THE CHALLENGER
RE/MAX SUCCESS
INTERVIEWED: IAN KNIGHT
PRINCIPALS: Ian Knight
RENT ROLL: 1,475 residential properties and 240 storage sheds
SHOPFRONT: We have a street office shopfront with our branding prominently displayed.

WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOUR OFFICE DOES BETTER THAN YOUR COMPETITORS?
We are the only office in Toowoomba that services sales and property management with the office open seven days a week (public holidays excluded). We provide the longest opening hours Monday to Friday, and an emergency 24/7 service.

WHAT’S YOUR OFFICE CULTURE LIKE?
It’s best described as ‘collaborative’. It is an open and friendly place to work, where people share a lot of themselves – it is like an extended family. Our leaders are considered to be mentors, or even parental figures, and our group loyalty and sense of tradition is very strong.

WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT DO YOU HAVE?
We have always been a strong supporter of Camp Quality. We also participate in a number of other sponsorships.

HOW CLOSELY DO YOU MONITOR WHAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING?
We always monitor our competitors in the sales arena. If we fail to win business, we want to know why, so we survey those people who do not select our office to sell their property in order to ascertain what is required to be more successful.

WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON DISCOUNTING FEES?
We don’t. If we had to discount our fees for either sales or property management, our clients would not have any confidence in our ability.

THE INDEPENDENT
PETER SNOW AND CO. REAL ESTATE
INTERVIEWED: DAVID SNOW
PRINCIPALS: David Snow and Peter Snow (Jnr)
RENT ROLL: 450
SHOPFRONT: Yes. We have a dominant position in the CBD.

WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE TO ENSURE YOUR MARKET SHARE?
Not being attached to a franchise reinforces the ‘unique business relationship’ brand available from being local, independent and ‘knowing’ the market. Also, we have strong people skills.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOUR OFFICE DOES BETTER THAN YOUR COMPETITORS?
Length of time in the marketplace stands out. A more conservative community such as Toowoomba still values our experience and knowledge. We have seen multiple real estate property cycles, which lend credibility to our advice.

HOW IMPORTANT IS REFERRAL BUSINESS?
Referral business is very important to us. One of our greatest strengths is our excellent long-standing reputation and relationship with the local marketplace, which means the company enjoys a very high proportion of repeat business, and a continuing strong presence. Of course, using a customer contact system linked with an extensive database helps too!

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
To expand the sales team with a deliberate attempt to recruit from outside the industry. We will also continue to strengthen the brand by targeted marketing, and we’ll maintain our strong community ties too.

WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON DISCOUNTING FEES?
We avoid discounting fees at all costs.

SUBURB SNAPSHOT
SITUATED IN the heart of Queensland’s rural city, Toowoomba, Newtown is located directly west of the city centre. While small in area, this inner city suburb recorded the highest number of listings within Toowoomba in the last financial year.

  • 127KM FROM BRISBANE CBD
  • 9,565 POPULATION
  • 1.5 AVERAGE VEHICLES PER DWELLING
  • $239,000 MEDIAN UNIT PRICE
  • 200 DAYS TIME ON MARKET (HOUSES)
  • 62 DAYS TIME ON MARKET (UNITS)
  • 2.2 AVERAGE PEOPLE PER HOUSE HOLD
  • $849 MEDIAN WEEKLY INCOME
  • 4,460 PRIVATE DWELLINGS
  • $1,354 MEDIAN MONTHLY MORTGAGE REPAYMENTS
  • $222 MEDIAN WEEKLY RENT
  • $242,000 MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE
SUBURB SPOTLIGHT: NEWTOWN
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