Cole + Yarrow founder Darren Cole is a real estate legacy agent, having grown up at the back of his father’s office in Western Sydney.
“Some of my earliest memories are of standing next to Dad’s knee while he called auctions, and letterbox dropping houses for him,” Mr Cole said.
And now, real estate has become his own career – having just opened Cole + Yarrow agency in Brisbane.
Mr Cole has previously worked as a training manager for LJ Hooker and Ray White, as well as running an Elders franchise group and was set to be the CEO of Landmark Harcourt.
Mr Cole and his business partner Craig Yarrow worked together under another franchise but found the company wasn’t a great fit.
Eventually it compelled them to start their own agency.
Mr Cole doesn’t like it when a franchise’s branding is rigid and pushed on the agent’s personal brand, so he wanted to create an environment that recognised the importance of each individual agent.
“We want to build a strong business for our families and over time, as other agents may wish to join us, we’ll make sure it’s not our name at the top of the sales board, but their name up in lights. They’re the ones who bring in their business, not Craig and me,” Mr Cole said.
“People list with people, not franchises. The franchisor is just lucky enough to partner with that successful agent, and not many add value or get the fact that their agents are their partners, not their subordinates.”
Mr Cole said he’d been watching UrbanX for some time and knew it would deliver a range of advantages to Cole + Yarrow.
“I love the idea of the shared services model at UrbanX, and my experience so far with their administration team is that they’re the best we’ve ever worked with and I’ve had countless sales administrators in my career,” he said.
“The structure of the UrbanX agreement works for us. Dan Argent (CEO of UrbanX) basically said if we’re unhappy, we just give 30-days notice and we’re gone.
“He really puts his money where his mouth is. Different franchise agreements we looked at elsewhere were a minimum of three years and average of five years, and once you’re in, you can’t get out even if the other party doesn’t deliver on what they promised.”
Mr Cole added that working with UrbanX allowed them to keep more of the commission they create, which could assist them in growing their brand and building the business in the long-term.
“The back-end sales and admin support at UrbanX simply allow us to focus on the work that generates real value and the highest quality experience for our customers, helping us to build the sort of business that people talk to other people about,” Mr Cole said.
“We’re really interested in the customer’s needs, not jumping through ‘corporate hoops’.
“For our sellers, we’re a coach, counsellor and confidante. So while we’re keen to sell plenty of properties, what’s really most important at this stage is building quality relationships through delivering on what we promise.
“Cole + Yarrow will continue to grow and UrbanX is a great partner to do that with. We look forward to it being a long and productive relationship.”