REA Group continues its focus on customers with new roles announced for Ben Auchettl and Nathan Gallagher.
After 11 years in senior sales roles at REA Group, Ben is shifting his focus to the customer excellence function as general manager.
Nathan will move into the open role of national sales director, residential and commercial, after leading the Group’s NSW and ACT markets over the last five years.
We talk to the pair about the importance of supporting customers through changing market conditions and their commitment to building a team that customers love doing business with.
Q: Nathan, congratulations on your new role! Can you tell us what you’re most looking forward to?
NG: I’ve spent the past five years building a passionate and dedicated sales team in NSW and the ACT, and I’m really looking forward to expanding my horizons across the country in the national role.
I believe in fostering meaningful relationships with customers to help them succeed, so connecting with as many customers as possible in the coming months will be a big focus for me.
Q: You’ve led a really interesting career to date, what learnings are you hoping to bring to your new role?
NG: I’ve spent more than two decades working in the real estate industry, initially as a selling agent before moving into the corporate arena at Nine (formally Fairfax Media) and News Corp.
I’ve called more than 5000 auctions, so I not only have a love for the industry, but also a deep understanding of the day-to-day challenges our customers face.
I hope that by combining my marketing and business expertise with my knowledge of real estate we will help our customers to grow successful businesses, especially as market conditions continue to change.
It’s important for agents to have a strong brand in order to stand out in their local market, so this is a key area we’re looking to support customers in.
Q: Ben, taking on the customer excellence function is an exciting move, congratulations! Can you tell us more about what the next 12 months look like?
BA: I’m really excited to be taking on a broader, cross-market role, with a more internal focus.
I will be helping our sales teams to strengthen their capabilities, performance and effectiveness, in order to best support our customers.
The customer excellence function was established around two-and-a-half years ago and listening and understanding the needs of customers is at the heart of our strategy.
Coming from more than a decade of working closely with our customers, I’m hoping I can add a lot of value to the function. Watch this space as we continue to look at ways to reimagine the REA experience.
Q: Nathan, you touched on the importance of building a brand earlier. How is REA supporting customers to build their personal brand in market?
NG: As an auctioneer, I’m on the ground at the pointy end of the property journey and have been through the many ebbs and flows of the property market in the past 20 years.
I’ve learnt that having a strong brand and profile helps to navigate changing conditions.
The products and services within our Agency Marketplace act as really powerful tools to help customers win new business.
In the last year alone, our Agency Marketplace has received more than 25 million visits, and we have been able to deliver 55 per cent more seller leads to our customers in that time.
Agency Profiles help agencies stand out with more data and a new sticky lead form, while Ratings and Reviews build trust with the most credible source of reviews in market.
We continue to invest in and build new digital experiences, which ultimately drive value for our customers through highly qualified leads.
Q: As we head into the spring selling season, can you tell us more about what you’re seeing on the ground?
NG: The media has been reporting a lot of market uncertainty with interest rates going up and prices moderating across the country.
Our customers are telling us that some of the heat did come out of the market over the winter months, but we know that there’s always an uplift in activity come spring.
New listings on realestate.com.au picked up in August, giving buyers more choice, and in fact, this winter was the busiest winter for new listings in five years.
Conditions are starting to ramp up and the good news for sellers is that prices are still up on pre-pandemic levels and buyer demand on realestate.com.au remains strong.
Upgraders are in a good position on the back of rapid equity growth, investors are being lured into the market with rising rents, and first-home buyers remain active.