Elite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWS

Team blossoms as part of global brand

After 20 years in the business, Anthony Ward knows the Adelaide real estate market like the back of his hand.

Working as part of a dynamic team alongside his wife Emma, Anthony dedicates his time to prospecting, listing and selling.

Meanwhile Emma handles marketing and acts as a customer concierge while helping prepare their properties to attract the best result.

And a key ingredient of their thriving business is their partnership under the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate banner.  

“The Better Homes and Gardens brand goes hand-in-hand with real estate,” Emma says.  

The couple opened Adelaide’s first Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate location in October 2020 and the success they have achieved since has far exceeded their expectations.

Emma started working with Anthony at another franchise but the fresh start under a new name was the perfect fit as she moved to a full-time role.

“People are so excited to sell with the brand because of the trust and connection they have with Better Homes and Gardens,” Emma says.

“They love that we are under the same umbrella as the magazine and television show.”

Of course Anthony’s reputation, expertise and contacts from two decades as an agent in Adelaide have been vital to the success of the new business.

But the Better Homes and Gardens brand and its recognition among potential real estate customers is a powerful ally.

“We’ve monitored sales statistics in the area for many years and it’s clear from those the huge advantage we have with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate,” Anthony says. 

“Most vendors get between two and five agents in for an appraisal so we would list about 50 per cent of the properties we appraised. With Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, we are between 85 and 90 per cent.

“People aren’t getting those other agents in and in so many instances we are the only agents they call in for an appraisal. The vendors are happy with us and they love the brand and relate to it.”

Better Homes and Gardens has had a long association with real estate sales and it is a natural extension of its magazine business as a trusted source of inspiration for homemakers. 

After commencing operations in 2008 in the US as part of the Realogy group, now the Anywhere brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate operates more than 400 offices globally and has 14,000 members in five countries.  

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate launched in Australia in 2018, backed with an advertising partnership with Channel 7 and Seven West Media, producers of the Better Homes and Gardens television show and magazine. The magazine has since been acquired by Are Media.

Print readership for the magazine is 1.6 million with 1.2 million identified via publisher data as homeowners.

This helps Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate businesses reach passive sellers while they are considering home and lifestyle improvements.

“It is great having a brand behind us that deals with home styling and furnishing, people trust our opinion of how they style their home for sale. When we do an appraisal everyone loves to pick up the magazine,” Emma says.

“Often on weekends we will drive by the homes of past clients and drop off a magazine. It’s a lovely way to keep in touch with people without being too in-your-face about real estate.”

Anthony found his way into a real estate career almost by accident.

“I was with Elder Smith Goldsboro Mort as a stock-and-station agent,” Anthony says.

“John Elliott bought the business and jobs were disappearing. You could see redundancies were coming and I had the opportunity to sell real estate in an Elders office.

“It took a few years to find my feet when interest rates were at 17 per cent. If I wasn’t young and living at home with Mum and Dad I might not have made it.”

But he couldn’t be happier that he changed career paths, particularly with the switch to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

“It has been magnificent for us,” he says. “I have never loved a brand name like I do this one.”

Along with his passionate belief in the power of the brand, Anthony and Emma have also seen their business bottom line soar.

The compelling combination of their own market expertise and recognition in the brand have contributed to unprecedented business growth and the financial rewards that come with it.

“I am in the best place I have ever been in throughout my real estate career. Our ability to capitalise on trust and referrals as a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate business is an absolute joy.”

Anthony says the Adelaide market is generally about three months behind what is happening in the eastern states. 

“The Adelaide market is still really strong but there are less people coming through and less people bidding,” Anthony says.

“At a recent sale we had 30 groups looking at a property whereas at the peak there would have been 40 or 50 groups. We received 12 offers, which was still a fantastic result for the sellers.”

A softer market is not necessarily a bad thing for agents or their customers, he says.

 “It’s been great working in a team with Emma. She does the meet-and-greet at an open house while I talk to potential buyers.

“As a team we are able to engage with everyone that comes through which is hard to do as a solo agent. We compare notes after the open and get a really well rounded idea of buyer sentiment for the property.”

The Adelaide market is still tightly focused on houses rather than the surge to apartment living seen in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

“Apartments are being built but they can take a year to sell where a house will sell in weeks,” Anthony says.

Locals have driven the Adelaide market rather than investors from elsewhere.

“We get inquiries from interstate but sometimes the offers are lower than would be expected and are a bit out of step with what is driving demand in Adelaide.

“They don’t have the emotional attachment that people here have to finding that home.”

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate currently operates 12 office locations across Australia with flexible opportunities available to operate an office-based or mobile agent business model. You can find out more by visiting their website

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Noel Mengel

Noel Mengel is a freelance journalist and author based in Brisbane.

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