Harcourts International strengthens leadership with new CEO appointment

Global real estate franchise group, Harcourts International, has announced the appointment of Steve Caradoc-Davies as Chief Executive Officer to lead the 132-year-old company into the next era.

Mr Caradoc-Davies will take over leadership of the 900-office network and approximately 10,000 team members in nine countries from Mike Green, who takes on a new focus within the business. Both changes are effective from October 1, 2019.

“Steve brings a unique understanding from his 30 years in the real estate business, having held roles in property management, sales, office management, owning his own franchise for over 25 years and developing it into the best-performing Harcourts office in South Africa,” Mr Green said.

“More importantly though, Steve is passionate about Harcourts. He loves our culture and values and has a very strong level of integrity and caring. I believe he will take our organisation to the next level.”

The change in leadership forms part of a succession plan and aligns with the organisation’s long-term focus on strategic initiatives across digital marketing, technology, training, people and culture, and client experience.

Mr Caradoc-Davies will lead the executive leadership team to support the long-term vision of the business, while continuing to add greater value to the franchise business owners and their teams, who are the foundation of the Harcourts Group.

“First, I must acknowledge the extraordinary achievement Mike has had leading Harcourts for the last 20 years and creating an incredibly successful business, a strong family culture and a vision where people are at the heart of everything we do,” Mr Caradoc-Davies said.

“Thank you to the Harcourts board for entrusting me with this responsibility. It is a privilege and honour for me to lead Harcourts into the next chapter.”

Prior to joining the corporate leadership team at Harcourts, Mr Caradoc-Davies was business owner of the number one Harcourts franchise office from 2014-2019 in South Africa, Harcourts Platinum, which also achieved an international Harcourts Top 20 ranking from 2014-2019. 

He has played an active role in Harcourts South Africa, serving as a director on the board since 2005.

As only the third chief executive in the history of Harcourts International, Mr Caradoc-Davies’ role is aimed at further strengthening the company’s global presence and service to its franchisees, and he will oversee the network across Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.

An accomplished businessperson, industry thought leader and keynote speaker with specific interest in strategic business and team growth, Mr Caradoc-Davies is based in Brisbane, Australia.

Franchise business owners applaud appointment

The appointment to CEO of Mr Caradoc-Davies has been applauded by Harcourts franchise business owners globally.

From South Africa, where Mr Caradoc-Davies began his real estate career, Louis Barbosa, owner of Harcourts Rhino, the number two ranked office in South Africa and a member of the Harcourts South Africa board, said Harcourts business owners were excited about the new appointment.

“Steve comes from the coal face, having served in the trenches and learnt the real estate trade from the bottom up.

“He fully understands the industry, and more important his blood is truly blue. We are sure that he will lead by example and will take Harcourts International to new heights. We wish him everything of the best in the future and look forward to his visionary leadership.”

Dane Atherton, business owner of Harcourts Coastal, the number one ranked Australia office, based on the Gold Coast said he was excited and confident that Mr Green had hand-selected someone who was proven in the trenches as successful and passionate about Harcourts.

“Steve has real estate in his blood and that is massive for this new role. He’s a Hall of Famer in South Africa and was number one in South Africa, he is a guy who ‘gets’ Harcourts.

“We have total confidence in him because he understands Harcourts and the culture because our culture is our number one differentiator. The Harcourts DNA, Mike’s DNA, is part of every business owner and that includes Steve. I trust Mike’s decision to hand the baton to the next generation.”

Andrew North, co-owner of Harcourts Cooper & Co, in Auckland, and Australasian Auctioneer of the Year, said he had personally been part of the Harcourts family for almost 20 years and had come to have great respect for Mr Green’s vision for the future of Harcourts.

“I am looking forward to supporting and working with Steve. I have no doubt that Mike has chosen someone completely capable of taking the brand to the next level.”

Mr North noted that the accomplishments of Harcourts go hand-in-hand with the efforts of Mike Green.

“As a business owner, the Harcourts story is a magnificent one to tell with so many of our competitors arriving on our shores from Australia, the US and Canada. Because of Mike Green, Harcourts is one of New Zealand’s most successful exports,” he said.

Mike Green Legacy

In 1997, Mike and Irene Green moved to Australia from New Zealand after establishing and operating the most successful Harcourts franchise in New Zealand with nine offices and 150 people, achieving the number one position for four consecutive years. 

In 1999, Mr Green became Managing Director of Harcourts International, responsible for the overall operation and direction of Harcourts’ group of companies, taking it from an initial group of 100 offices in two countries to over 900 in nine countries today.

At the same time, Irene Green took over as Head of the Harcourts Academy, leading the development and delivery of industry leading training and development for the entire Group.

The strategic growth has led Harcourts to be the fastest growing real estate franchise network in Australasia and the number one in New Zealand for 20 years running, as well as number three in Australia after only 18 years’ operating there and number four in South Africa after only 10 years.

The Group achieved a combined $35 billion in sales last year and gained market share in every market in which it operates.  

“The past 20 years has been a wonderful and extraordinary journey – it’s been fun, challenging, hugely rewarding and really quite amazing to be a part of all that we have achieved as a group,” Mr Green said.

“However, I believe the time is right for me personally, to step back and take a little more time away from the business especially now Irene and I have grandparent duties.”

Mr Green began his real estate career at the age of 19, in Auckland for independent office Burrett and Veitch in Parnell, before moving to Christchurch in 1983.

After five years in Christchurch with Collins Real Estate, then Harcourts as it became, Mike and Irene moved to Auckland where Mike became the Assistant Regional Manager for Harcourts.

After two years in this role, he and Irene changed direction and became owners of their first Auckland franchise office, Mike Green Real Estate Ltd (Epsom).

Growing the business to nine offices and over 150 people, the operation achieved number one Harcourts Franchise for Harcourts New Zealand for four consecutive years.

Mike and Irene then moved to Australia in 1997 beginning Harcourts’ international growth.

Mr Green is a co-owner of Harcourts with Irene Green and Paul Wright and will continue to sit on the board of directors and serve the global business in a limited capacity across strategic initiatives.

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