Lisa Pennell has been appointed chief executive officer of the Barry Plant Group just six months after joining the brand as its chief operating officer.
Speaking to Elite Agent today, Ms Pennell said she “couldn’t be more excited” to take the job at the group, which has more than 60 offices.
“This role is the culmination of more than two decades experience in the real estate industry across a broad variety of remits,” she said.
Ms Pennell said when she joined Barry Plant towards the end of 2022, she did so with the view to move into the CEO position.
Former CEO Nigel O’Neil stepped down in November last year and in the interim Mike McCarthy, who was the CEO for 18 years before Mr O’Neil’s appointment, acted as interim CEO until Ms Pennell’s promotion.
“That was always the plan (to move into the CEO role) for both of us, for Barry Plant and for myself,” Ms Pennell said.
“We wanted to make sure that it was absolutely the right fit culturally, professionally and at all levels.”
Ms Pennell said it had been wonderful to work closely with “industry titan” Mike McCarthy and during her first six months with the company she had visited every office and every principal to embed herself with how the network operated.
She said getting to know the Barry Plant team had been one of her most important jobs in that time.
“I feel completely embraced by the network and I certainly feel like I’ve found my tribe,” Ms Pennell said.
“My first priority was actually to go to every single office, every single principal, and really get belly to belly to help them to understand me and for me to seek to understand them.
“That was a tremendously valuable experience.”
Ms Pennell said the corporate team had recently undergone a “significant restructure” and she praised the talent that had come on board, particularly Darren McCoy as the new chief technology officer.
She said the marketing team had also been strengthened and the brand was looking to propel itself forward with further growth in the coming months and years.
“A lot of work has been happening behind the scenes over the past six months and I expect the transformation phase to really step up over the next six months,” Ms Pennell said.
“We want to be the very best we can be.
“I don’t see it as a competition. I think there is plenty of space for every player and certain brands can be for certain people.
“I don’t doubt that our tribe will grow as we telegraph the message of who we are and what we do.
“I’ve been in this industry for 23 years and whilst I knew Mike, and I knew the brand broadly, I had no idea of the level of community and camaraderie and the ability to walk together, which is really unique in franchising.”
Mr McCarthy said he looked forward to working with Ms Pennell in the coming years as executive director, and to deliver on their vision to be the most recommended brand in real estate.
“Lisa’s wealth of industry knowledge and experience is invaluable to our group,” he said.
“Her values, collaborative approach and ability to bring people together is a perfect fit for our culture.”