When Danelle Wiseman and Jonathan Pattinson started their real estate agency, they were crystal clear on their core values.
“We wanted to enrich the lives of everyone we touched,” Danelle explains.
“We’ve always had a service orientated mantra where we should give without the expectation of receiving.”
That ethos has served Danelle well in her real estate career, which has spanned more than 30 years, mainly in Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
And it’s that dedication to passion, authenticity, inclusion, growth and excellence that saw Danelle and Jonathan rebrand their independent agency, DJ Property, with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE).
With a magazine and television show also bearing the Better Homes and Gardens name, the brand is well known in the global real estate market.
BHGRE has approximately 350 offices across the US, Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The brand expanded into Australia in late 2018, and Danelle and Jonathan opened BHGRE Coast and Hinterland in November 2019.
In March this year, they opened a second office in Beerwah.
“When I saw that Better Homes and Gardens were thinking of opening in Australia, I was really interested,” Danelle says.
“It was a good, solid, clean brand, and we knew we wouldn’t have any poor reputation or perceptions to overcome if we were to join the brand.
“The corporate stats show that the vast majority of people have heard of the brand, so that was important in terms of developing a public persona but also in terms of recruitment.”
Danelle says the BHGRE values also aligned seamlessly with theirs, focusing on creating an inclusive culture geared towards personal and business growth.
Since rebranding, business has doubled.
“We hit more than $1 million in commission this last financial year,” Danelle says.
“That has been a big goal.”
Hitting that magical $1 million mark comes after 33 years in the real estate industry, with Danelle starting out managing holiday rental properties in 1988.
Working for a large, family-run agency in Caloundra, it was a solid training ground.
Since then, Danelle has run a cleaning contracting business for more than 10 years, which employed more than 100 contractors and was responsible for cleaning more than 800 holiday units.
“When my kids were a bit older, I sold that business and came back into project marketing where I was involved in the sale and promotion of more than 20 new projects in Caloundra and Kawana,” she says.
“I’ve been selling real estate since 2004, and I moved into residential sales in 2007.”
In late 2007, Danelle moved to a large franchise where she stayed for a decade and met her husband and business partner Jonathan.
Formerly a builder, Jonathan had always run his own business, and it wasn’t long before the pair developed the idea to create DJ Property.
Danelle says one of the main driving forces behind going out on her own was her desire to mentor and help other agents.
“I’ve always really enjoyed mentoring people because I had a lot of really good mentors early on,” she explains.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without the help of other people, and I really wanted to pay that back.
“I think having that attitude of abundance has always been a strength of mine because one of the things I learnt early on is that in real estate sales, your career can be impacted by the amount of time you’re down when something goes wrong.
“If you miss a listing or a sale falls over … I’ve known people that are down and out for a week when that happens.
“I’ve learnt that you have to pick yourself up quickly so you can focus on the next thing, and as a mentor, I’ve always wanted to share that knowledge and experience.”
Danelle says rebranding as BHGRE felt right as one of its core values is the growth and development of its business owners and agents.
“They have amazing in-house training for everything in what they call their Be Better University, which is plug and play,” she says.
“Whether you’re a principal, an agent or a property manager, they’ve got training assets to help you learn, develop and grow.”
Danelle says BHGRE Australia and New Zealand Owner Charles Tarbey had continued to mentor her and provide invaluable support to the agency since joining the brand.
“We had come a long way with our independent business, but we still felt we needed mentoring from someone who has even more experience than us,” she says.
“Charles has helped us with a lot of business metrics.
“Even though Jonathan and I have run our own businesses, Charles has still been invaluable in growing our understanding of the things that are unique to real estate.”
Danelle says the BHGRE brand has resonated well with the community too, with many already familiar with it from the magazine and the television show.
Not long after rebranding, Danelle says Jonathan was out door-knocking in Moffat Beach when simply saying the agency name got his foot in many doors.
“Jonathon was door-knocking to invite neighbours to an open home on the weekend, and he knocked on a large, gated fence only to have a lady upstairs stick her head out the window and say, ‘Who are you? What do you want?’
“When he said it was Jonathan from Better Homes and Gardens, she said she’d be right down.
“She ended up showing him two appraisals she’d had from other agents but immediately followed that up with, ‘I don’t need these people. Only Better Homes and Gardens could sell my house and do it justice’.
“Her response, just to the name, was unbelievable.”
The BHGRE Coast and Hinterland, and Beerwah offices have a team of 12 staff, and the plan is to grow that over the coming years with a larger rent roll and more selling agents.
In the immediate future, Danelle and Jonathon will be busy selling 86 units at Bokarina Beach and Beerwah’s first highrise development.
“These two projects will be launching in the next 12 weeks,” she says.
“It’s really exciting.”