Experienced real estate industry executive Gavin Croft has been appointed Director of Growth at UrbanX – a support platform for high-performance agents wanting to create their own brands.
As part of the position, Mr Croft will head UrbanX’s growth program, which is designed to help agents achieve business and personal milestones under their own brand.
“I started in the industry in 2000,” Mr Croft told Elite Agent.
“I’ve done the journey – started as an agent and worked my way to business owner and then into the corporate world and then into auctioneering. So I’ve had that full gamut experience right across the industry in differing roles, both transactional and corporate.”
The role will involve working to expand the list of UrbanX agents and assisting them in building their self-branded businesses. and Mr Croft said he was excited to join the company, which he described as being “at the forefront of our industry’s evolution”.
“The program I oversee is designed to work with agents on the development and leadership of their business,” Mr Croft said.
“The goal will be to increase their earnings by 20 per cent year-on-year, with the ultimate outcome of seeing them becoming $1-million-plus income earners.”
He said he would also be developing new partnerships and looking for the next crop of agents who were interested in going out on their own and realising their aspirations.
“There are a lot of people across the industry who are very aspirational in wanting to own and run their own real estate brand, and have their own brand that they can build and grow and develop,” he said.
“We’ve got agents across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne who have put their hands up at the moment and are really keen to talk about [starting their own brands] and looking for some assistance to do so.
“We want to empower agents who don’t know how to do it or, or don’t have the investment to do it. We can actually help them on the journey and provide a pathway to achieve the financial goals that you get with business ownership and building your own brand.”
Mr Croft said now was an exciting time to be joining UrbanX, adding that changes in the landscape were only going to speed up over the next few years.
“In fact, any business that isn’t agent-centric will be left behind in the next few years,” he said.
Mr Croft said he was also impressed by UrbanX’s willingness to employ people who have not traditionally worked within the real estate industry, making specific mention of the company’s Chief People Officer Stephanie Kong.
Ms Kong spent more than 15 years working in senior roles at activewear company Lorna Jane prior to joining UrbanX.
“I just think it’s wonderful,” Mr Croft said.
“We often, in my experience over 20 years, tend to look inside the industry to recruit but there is so much talent outside that we can bring in and so much different thinking.
“That was some of the appeal, that a lot of the support team and leadership group were brought in from outside of the industry, and they just provide so many different insights about how we can look at real estate.”
He said after working extensively in executive-level positions at a range of large franchise groups, he has witnessed first-hand how the relationship between businesses, their agents and customers has transformed over the past two decades.
“Realising what someone is looking for with work satisfaction and goals and helping them achieve that is really important. It’s not just about listing and selling real estate.
“Also, we need to better understand what today’s consumers need from a real estate agent and how we can support that. By infusing the agent and consumers’ needs together, we’re able to help both better achieve better outcomes.”
Mr Croft said UrbanX has developed a program for agents who are keen to grow.
“It’s about us and the agents working together through support and accountability. That way, we can design a path that helps them achieve what they want to achieve. This includes developing strong business principles and practice.
“When someone’s got a good strong practice and consumers see it, they gravitate to those agents and want to use them.”
Mr Croft said by holding their agents accountable and utilising training, mentorship, twice-yearly conferences and leadership gatherings, the UrbanX model had already helped change the lives of its first crop of partners, including Clinton Eastell, who launched his Eastell and Co brand just over a year ago.
“And Remy Durieux of Remy’s Real Estate is on track to become a $1-million agent in his first year with UrbanX,” he added.
Mr Croft said he shared UrbanX CEO Dan Argent’s passion for developing agents’ careers.
“It’s about the influence that you can have over careers,” Mr Croft said.
“We all wake up and look for something that’s fulfilling and, in my experience, in my various roles, what’s always been super fulfilling is being able to help people grow and develop.
“The exciting part is that we’re able to help people grow with speed and you can see a real difference in people when they embrace the concept that they are a business owner and not just a salesperson.”