Raine & Horne Double Bay has been the brand’s leading office nationally for sales volume and dollar value for the past 18 years.
By renewing his agreement with the Superbrand, superstar agent, Ric Serrao has agreed to continue his stewardship of Raine & Horne Double Bay | Bondi Beach, the group’s flagship office.
Opening in 1968, Raine & Horne Double Bay was the Superbrand’s first suburban branch. The decision to renew with Raine & Horne has also capped a remarkable year for Mr Serrao. In 2021, the award-winning agent finished third on the REB Top 100 Agents list and is the highest placed agent connected to a leading real estate brand.
Mr Serrao, consistently ranked among Australia’s best agents for more than a decade, said he is humbled by the opportunity to continue to oversee the legacy fashioned over 50 years ago by real estate doyen Max Raine who launched the Double Bay real estate powerhouse office.
“I’m fortunate because I have my wife, Lucy Apoyan, supporting me in the business, and I have a great team at Raine & Horne Double Bay | Bondi Beach behind me,” Mr Serrao said.
“I have also been blown away by the support from the Raine & Horne Corporate office. I’ve worked previously for other groups and know that it is rare that you can reach out for help to someone like our Executive Chairman Angus Raine or Network Manager Tina Ashton and get an immediate call-back.
“Angus and Tina are supporting thousands of others in the Raine & Horne Group, yet they never miss making the return call. This is one of the major reasons I’m in the Group and have stayed with Raine & Horne for 18 years. We get great support.”
Value, referrals and blue-chip support
According to Mr Serrao keeping everything in perspective and as practical as possible are central to his success. “Other groups are constantly contacting us, but there is great value in the Raine & Horne brand and the business referrals I receive from my colleagues across Australia. This network, in my opinion, is second to none.
“My area of expertise is sales, and there are times when I must get to grips with other aspects of this business. As a principal, I can reach out to Raine & Horne, and without fail, receive the assistance required, which is gold.”
Mr Serrao adds that Raine & Horne never fails to reach out to the best in the real estate business for additional support for its offices. “They are working with leading business coach and former real estate executive Kylie Walsh and other good people to support us.
“I recently finished a leadership course with Kylie that addressed different business models, which was brilliant. I never had the opportunity to work with people of the calibre of Kylie at the other groups or boutiques I worked with previously.
“I could source this level of support myself, but I often don’t have the time. But it takes just one call to Tina or Angus, and they will do their best to find the proper assistance. We recently had some questions about software, and immediately Tina jumped through hoops to help us and much faster than we could have found the solutions ourselves. It’s this level of support that I see as the great value in being part of Raine & Horne.”
Technology and honouring a legacy
The real estate dynamo also admires how Raine & Horne has brought to market an ecosystem of technology firsts such as the social media marketing platform Amplify and Digikit, the digital listing tool. “I applaud how Raine & Horne’s management team have kept up with the times.”
Yet at the same time, Mr Serrao is genuinely humbled about being the custodian of the Raine & Horne Double Bay legacy, “Especially given who my predecessors were.”
He continued, “The team and I are very proud to be custodians of this legacy.” To this end, Raine & Horne Double Bay has a formidable record as the Superbrand’s leading office nationally for the number of sales and dollar value for the last 18 years.
Ever humble, Mr Serrao believes this year there could be contenders to his office’s vicelike grip as Raine & Horne’s Number 1 sales office. “Our regional offices have enjoyed a phenomenal year on the back of record market conditions outside the capital cities.”
Building a team culture
Over the last 18 years, Mr Serrao says his employees have increasingly become his partners in the success of Raine & Horne Double Bay. “We are not the Number 1 office because of one person, and we have a great culture and a shared dedication to working hard for our clients.
“Despite the median price for Double Bay in 2021 being unrecognisable against the median from 2003 when I started, the customer experience bar is also much higher.
“Thanks to smartphones, everything and everyone wants instant responses. We went from snail mail to email, and it was acceptable if you received an email in the morning and replied by the afternoon. Now everyone wants an instant reply. We’re now 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Likewise, customers have access to even more data and research, and this means vendors have a much greater handle on the value of their properties. Agents must know their markets and their listings inside out.
“However, technology can’t replace old fashioned negation skills that the best agents possess while undoubtedly agents have become facilitators and counsellors.”
With the Eastern Suburbs market now very much auction orientated, Mr Serrao says that for a “three, four, five-week period the good agents become part of their client’s lives.
“Let’s face it, how many people give their best friends a key to their house. Yet they provide a real estate agent they hardly know with a key to their home. There is a significant trust factor in what we do for our clients.”
He concludes, “It’s also fair to say that since I started in real estate, a property sale has become more personal than transactional.”
Source: Raine & Horne