Elite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWSRent Roll Growth

The power of partnership: What trust and loyalty mean to Jerome Srot and Gavin Rubinstein

Gavin Rubinstein and Jerome Srot go together like John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Batman and Robin.

Lobster and champagne.

Or, you could say, like sales and property management.

There’s trust, there’s loyalty and there’s an undeniable flair that all epic duos have.

They just work. And they work better together.

But while some great duos eventually fracture and splinter into different directions, Jerome and Gavin have only grown stronger as the years have progressed.

Theirs is a story that started way back in 2007, when each joined Ray White Double Bay as prospectors. 

They were young and they were green, but they were hungry. 

When Gavin joined, Jerome already had about six months experience under his belt and notes with a laugh that he taught Gavin a thing or two.

“Gavin and I used to lock ourselves in a little room and just make cold call after cold call,” Jerome recalls.

“One, for one, for one.

“He’ll tell you that I taught him how to cold call, and he obviously had a great knack for it.

“But we spent hours in that room and that’s where we formed our relationship.”

Trust, loyalty and longevity

It’s a relationship that has only grown stronger since those early days, with Jerome noting it’s based on trust, loyalty and longevity.

And Jerome credits this relationship with him still being in real estate.

Once their apprenticeship as prospectors was complete, both moved into selling at RWDB, working for separate teams. 

On the back of the Global Financial Crisis, Jerome reveals he wasn’t achieving the level of success he had hoped for and he took a year away from real estate.

“I had reached a point where I thought, ‘Maybe this industry isn’t for me’,” he reflects.

Jerome says his best skills were in prospecting, in building initial relationships with people and getting agents into the living room, while Gavin had mastered the art of winning listings and sealing deals. 

So, when Gavin became an independent agent at RWDB, Jerome had an idea, and it was teaming up with his longtime friend that saw him return to real estate.

“I said, ‘Gav, let’s team up. Let’s join forces. I’ll continue to prospect, support you and help you on your way’,” Jerome says.

“And he didn’t hesitate, he just said ‘Let’s go’.”

And so, the dynamic duo was formed. 

Property management synergy

Fast forward to today and the pair are at The Rubinstein Group (TRG), which Gavin founded in 2019 and where Jerome is the Director of Property Management.

Gavin’s the first to note that moving from sales into property management is the reverse of what traditionally happens in the industry, but he says Jerome was made for the role. 

“We joke that he taught me how to cold call and I taught him the art of impeccable service, which has always been my edge,” Gavin notes.

“I think he makes such a great property manager because it’s known to be an industry where people aren’t contactable.

“Whereas Jerome has built a culture of always being available, always being accessible and always being responsive.

“That’s always been at the forefront of TRG, irrespective of whether it’s sales or PM.”

Jerome notes the ethos of exceptional service was formed back in the RWDB days, when he returned as Gavin’s customer service manager. 

As his “right-hand man,” Jerome would prospect and secure appraisals and listing appointments, Gavin would secure the listing and Jerome would handle all the behind-the-scenes work, such as getting the property ready for sale and the build up to the open homes. 

“Gavin would run the auction process, do the sale and sell the property and then I would step back in and see it through to settlement,” Jerome says.

Culture of service excellence

He recalls that as the idea for TRG was born, him running the property management arm was always part of the plan. 

And he’s taken his fine attention to detail and commitment to service excellence with him.

He’s also built the rent roll from zero to managing 350 properties. 

And Jerome is heavily involved in all of them. 

“I do all the listings, I show the properties and I meet all the tenants face-to-face,” he emphasises.

“Another big piece of what I do is, I screen all the tenants. If you can get the right tenant at the start, you’ve won half the battle. 

“But if you get that wrong, you set yourself up for big problems, for the agency and for the landlord.”

As a partner in TRG, Jerome says it’s also refreshing for his landlord clients to be able to deal with the business owner. 

“I think that’s of significant value to a landlord client, to know that ‘Jerome’s got my back’,” he says.

“There’s real value there and I take that seriously.”

What Jerome also takes seriously is the faith Gavin has shown in him in partnering with him in TRG.

“I really do care about the brand,” he notes.

“I’ve got skin in the game and I genuinely care about the business.”

What the future holds

In 2024, Jerome says the goal is to build the property management business even further. 

At the moment he has one other property manager working alongside him and he’s looking to add to that as the number of doors they manage grows.

“We’re at 350 and we’d like to grow that by a further 100 to 150 this calendar year,” Jerome says. 

And he expects that growth to be organically driven through referrals and offering a holistic service to TRG’s clients on the sales side of the business.

Gavin says despite the sales arm of the business’s incredible success, property management is a key focus as well. 

“It’s another layer, another point of service to our clients and prospective buyers,” he said.

“It’s like a one-stop-shop where we keep everything in-house.

“It’s like with everything I do, if I’m going to refer someone business, or if I’m going to lead them in a particular direction, I want to make sure that they’re going to honour the client in the same way that I do.”

Gavin says TRG is also on a mission to improve the level of service in the property management industry by using the same dedication and techniques that work so well for them in the sales arena. 

“Jerome has a very good understanding of people and he manages all of my properties,” he notes. 

“And across a lot of the partnerships in the business, there’s a common theme that if there’s loyalty, longevity and a high skill set, these people always end up becoming a part of the fabric that makes up TRG.

“I think that’s what makes us different to most agencies.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.