Word of mouth. That is how “The Agency” say they are getting top agents in the Sydney real estate industry to join in their 18-month-old setup.
Despite being fairly new on the eastern seaboard, many high profile agents in the business have been recruited by the Perth-based and ASX-listed Ausnet Financial Services for its new Sydney office, located at the iconic Bondi beach.
“We’re not overly going out and poaching people. Our best tool for recruitment at the moment has been our reps talking to other agents,” Ausnet chief Paul Niardone told Elite Agent in a telephone interview.
“All I see of this is the real estate industry evolving. The last major evolution in the real estate sector was the introduction of the franchise system in the 1970’s.
“And as the model has been gaining traction, people have called us and wondered, how do we get across? Our reps are talking to other reps in the industry. They’re pulling, helping us recruit. In fact, they’re the best tool for recruitment that we have is our agents,” he said.
Niardone reiterated that said The Agency’s allure was due to the excellent support the company provides to its agents.
“And that’s been the driving force, the platform and the marketing that have come on board. If you picked up the phone and talked to any of our agents in Western Australia, and you asked them – I’d put a hundred dollars on any of them – if you asked them,”What’s the best thing about the agency?” You’d think most of them would say, “I get a higher commission, and I’m making more money.”
“But the number one reply that we get from our guys is, the support and the systems that are in place are fantastic. We’ve worked very hard to create a cloud-based system, with the backing of service from head office, that is there to look after the agents. The motto within our office is, “The agents are our clients,” he said.
But are real estate agents associated with “The Agency” getting higher commissions and better benefits?
“Yes,” says Niardone, “What we’ve have done is provide agents is greater incomes (than traditional franchise models). Our guys start at seventy-five percent and can earn up to eighty-five. We’ll be looking at insurances down the track. We’ve created them the ability to enjoy the creation of assets. So, if you like, giving them the rights to the asset value of property management that they bring in.
“We’ve created an online model that provides them with marketing and sales assistance, and it streamlines administration. Our mantra was, “To give the agents the benefits that a principal would think he has, without the hassle.”
“When you think of a head, most agencies the principal has a few advantages, which is he gets to build an asset, regarding the property management, off the back of the sales team. He takes to access commissions from the sales team. The hassle is, he’s got to deal with compliance, trust accounting, staff issues, HR.
As for the property management side of things, Niardone said when an agent brings an asset into management within the business, “The Agency” will allocate 50 percent of the equity to the agents while the company would hold the remaining stake.
He said the option to buy out the stake occurs either during retirement or when the agents want to quits the business altogether.
“So if we take all of that away and still give you the benefits of a traditional principal of an office which is to create an asset, we will enable you to create other income streams from the introduction of other reps and also other products, and we’ll give your support regarding marketing and sales.
“By using our home-grown software and home inspection app, which are going to roll out is the other benefit. And that’s why we’ve had quite a success in attracting agents,” he said.
On expansion plans, Niardone said the company plans to hire 600 experienced and licensed agents in the next three years on top of the 72 it already has.
The Agency does not plan on recruiting new and inexperienced agents into the company. “Our model looks at experienced (real estate) agents. The way we see the people that we want us to join is the agents that consider themselves of their own business. And we’re providing them with the platform to grow their businesses, and that’s how we see our role is.
“We don’t look at years of experience but more at GCI, and how much they’re earning. It’s going to be different for each state. For example, within Western Australia, we look at a minimum of $250,000 commissions that they earn in a year.
Niardone said the company which has been operational in WA for the past 12 months has already broken even owing to huge investments rendered into the company Ausnet.
“We tested the model in WA for the last twelve months, and we’ve had massive growth. From when we started, so, we’ve been looking at half-year to half-year, so six-months to our second six-months. The growth is nearly four hundred percent,” he said.
Niardone said after Sydney, “The Agency” will open offices in Victoria followed by Queensland by the end of the year.
The Agency’s expansion to the eastern states was made possible after Ausnet signed a licensed agreement and option to acquire between Top Level Real Estate Pty Ltd and itself on Jan 30.