Mother and daughter duo, Cathy and Madi Roche, have been business partners for 10 years this month.
The pair have several awards under their belt, including achieving Elite Performer status at Ray White and twice winning the Excellence in Auction award.
Madi attributes open communication to their success.
“We’ve always had a strong dynamic working together. When it comes to working with family, it’s either going to work really well or very badly. Fortunately for us, it works really well as we can be very open with each other,” she said.
“Cathy used to work with my dad in his building business, so the family background in property and building has always been there. Cathy and I both remain across everything which means we are on the same page when it comes to every single client, whether it be buyer or seller,” Madi said.
“My interest in real estate developed when I was older. Real estate honestly wasn’t something I grew up wanting to do. It was more something when I reached 18 and I decided that I had always had an interest in property, having grown up in that family environment.
“My sister and I finished school and Cathy was eager to get back into something around the same time. I was looking at getting into sales so at that point it just worked really well and we went in together.
Cathy and Madi agreed to give themselves 12 months of working together, just to ensure everything worked between them.
“Obviously the most important thing was the relationship between mother and daughter, rather than business. But we haven’t really looked back since then,” Madi said.
Their mother and daughter dynamic
Madi, who now calls her mother by her first name for professionalism, said their relationship developed very quickly after they started in business together.
“Our relationship has matured a lot. We started in sales in 2011 so I would have been 20, going on 21. It really forced me to grow up very quickly,” Madi said.
“The relationship matured because as soon as you’re going in front of clients and things like that, rather than calling her ‘mum’ at the listing presentation table. It’s not too professional.
“It’s developed and matured for the better, we have a much stronger and closer relationship now. We’re very open with one another. We just find if you make sure that communication is always there, then you really can’t go wrong.”
But maintaining their business relationship certainly hasn’t caused their family dynamic to go by the wayside.
“In real estate, because you work so much, the majority of our time together is business time. But when I go to her house or it’s a family environment, it’s very easy to separate,” Madi said.
“We’ve been partners for 10 years, so we’ve had plenty of time to practise at it.”
Bridging the generational divide
Madi went on to explain having two generations working together was a huge advantage.
“I started particularly young in sales. Now it seems like everyone starts at 18, but when I did, it was particularly young back then. It was quite good because some people just warm to an older agent better and some people will warm to someone who is a bit younger,” she said.
“So having two different generations, in this case mother and daughter, it works really well because we bring different things to the table, not only with our age but in the style we do things, our individual flair.
“I think with any team, it’s important to both have something a bit different. If you’ve got two of virtually the same person, there’s no real advantage.”
Madi said she felt “very fortunate” that she had a partner who she could “trust 100 per cent”.
They always try to respect each others needs, time and circumstance if one of them needs time off. The only apparent problem is when they have a family function or event.
“My sister got married a couple of years ago and it was very hard to organise,” Madi laughed.
“But that’s one time in 10 years that we’ve had a bit of a difficulty around, but we still managed, so it was fine. But we don’t really do the family holiday thing anymore.”
Joining The Agency
Focusing on Brisbane’s inner city, Cathy and Madi have ambitions to widen their net, which was one of the driving forces of joining The Agency.
“The Agency isn’t geographically defined. In the past, we’ve been with the franchise model of staying in East Brisbane, for example. To a certain extent, it geographically limits you,” Madi said.
“The Agency culture is different because you don’t have the principals there, you’re all agents and property partners, working together as a team. The culture they promote is very good and what we’ve experienced in a short timeframe is fantastic. But that’s what they really sell to you.
“So you feel a lot more free and you get a lot more encouragement to spread your wings, to do bigger and better things. It’s important when you work for a brand that they align with your goals and your aspirations, what you want to achieve. In this stage of our career, we really find that it’s the right fit.”