John Ross, Redcoats Limited, MREINZ
When I joined Professionals in 1989, I was attracted by the strong brand. It was distinctive and selective, meaning we stood out well throughout Australasia.
For my business, the strength of that brand still holds true today and is backed up by collective resources, sharing ideas, collateral, continuous development, website tools, point of sale listing material, technology and IT, as well as training for salespeople, referrals and lower fees.
In order to be successful you need great systems and tools. Professionals facilitate education in leadership, business, people development, market warfare, finance, marketing and much more. This has given me the tools to deal with my daily operations, save time and be confident in delegating to others so that I can focus on bigger business issues.
That success I judge by how well I compete in the market. Operating in a big city can be tough, so it’s pretty special when your market share demonstrates just how well you are doing. Of course it’s great to have success acknowledged too, and the performance awards we have received from Professionals are a great reinforcement.
Professionals have a lot to offer anyone considering making a branding change. Compared with a franchise, top of the list would be value for money, fee structure, culture and having the freedom to spend money where you want. A lot of the thinking is done for you, but these are not just “ra ra”, these are practical solutions. For anyone currently independent, there is the economy of scale - you don’t have to create everything for yourself and can tap into existing resources.
Real estate is and always will be an exciting industry, especially the people factor. I enjoy empowering my team to develop their skills and get a buzz out of their career. This is what makes my business a success and lets me take time out to do the other thing I love – waterskiing!
Ian McDowell, McDowell Real Estate Limited, MREINZ
My involvement with Professionals goes right back to 1977 when the original 12 real estate agents got together. There were no independent groups at all in New Zealand then and we had a vision of creating a referral group to develop a national brand and share ideas.
And here we are still – in an ever-changing industry but soundly supported by this network and happy to have notched up many successes and awards along the way.
The Professionals concept is impressively cost effective. Value for money fees are backed up by more resources, more flexibility and helpful, supportive people. I really like the fact that this group is all about cooperation, not competition.
Every day we face the frustrations of motivating our people and keeping our costs down. The support and resources we get from Professionals are a big help: mentors, trainers, conferences, intranet and online resources all combined with the ability to learn from other successful people in the group.
Another aspect of the group that I appreciate is how our promotions and charitable activities really bring us into the community, particularly the Christmas Lights and Swing into Spring campaigns, and the ongoing relationship we have with Child Cancer.
Malcolm Gillies, Gillies and Mark Realty Limited, MREINZ
Back in 1995 I was running an independent real estate office. But it seemed as if I was continually reinventing the wheel and spending a whole lot of time and money when it came to marketing – all I really wanted to do was get on with selling real estate.
That’s primarily why I joined Professionals. I was attracted by the brand and their structured approach to marketing, while still maintaining the control to develop my business in the way that best suits the market I work in.
What has kept me in the group has been the amazing camaraderie. I place a lot of value on the sense of belonging and the support that’s only ever a phone call away.
Real estate is a tough master and the market itself has taught me my most valuable business skills, such as patience, humility and the will to survive even at the toughest times. When faced with a constantly changing environment, I still find it an exciting test of my business acumen and relish the opportunity to prove I can maintain positive cash flow.
Just like any businessman, I am here to make money - but I still want to have a good time doing it. My business structure allows me to focus on the things I love - being at the coal face of buying and selling, as well as successfully running my business and branching out into other areas like building and development.
I think that it’s a special person who joins the Professionals group. They want to run their own business within a framework, but with fewer restrictions and the ability to set their own bar for success. We attract leaders rather than followers and, by mixing with winners, they’ll get the same sense of belonging as I do – not to mention the benefit of some good, honest advice when it’s needed!
Max Vertongen, Unique Realty Limited, MREINZ
In 1992 I realised that I wanted to go it alone, although I also knew the importance of having a recognised and respected real estate brand behind me.
Professionals are a good group. I can run my own business and do my own thing, but they are always there for support. I can always talk to other principals and somehow they give the advice I am looking for. Having this kind of support makes me feel safe and secure.
The fee structure means I pay less, which gives me more control of my business and revenue streams. My efforts are rewarded and there is no-one taking the cream off the top.
Real estate still gives me a buzz – I love being invved and knowing what’s going on; the satisfaction of nailing a deal for the agents and continually striving to see what I can do better. Sharing my own wide experience with others in the group is also very fulfilling.
My goal is to have freedom but also to know that my business is running tip top! I want to be keeping up with market share and ensuring that I’m running a profitable and sustainable business. Our success is being recognised, as we’ve been named Top Office for Professionals on many occasions.
Leading and motivating my people is a huge part of the process. You just have to be there for your staff, you can’t rule with an iron hand. I have a sports coaching background which really helps me nurture the team so we all work together. Professionals are a crucial player in that team too.
Philip Kennard, Kennard Real Estate Limited, MREINZ
I have been with Professionals since day one – so that’s 32 years now!
Right from the start it was great to be part of something new and exciting where I had much more independent control than being part of a franchise. All the same, I certainly wouldn’t still be in the group if it wasn’t the best thing for my business, and consistently being awarded Top Professionals office demonstrates that it is.
There is great networking with the other offices in New Zealand and Australia, and I can always find someone to talk to when I encounter a problem – they have all been there before and are happy to share their knowledge and experiences. Meeting and learning from these people has made me and my business better, so when I’m doing this in return I like to think I’m helping someone manage and grow their own successful real estate business.
The cost differential alone is a key point of difference with Professionals. Not only do I pay a far lesser monthly agency fee, but also have access to fantastic resources, technology and support. On top of this, I am not restricted from thinking outside the square and developing my own initiatives and projects. Instead, I have received nothing but encouragement and support in setting up my successful project marketing division.
Of course being in business is not easy and I am constantly dealing with staff, legislation, time management and the economic environment. The back-up and business support that I get from Professionals has given me the tools to empower my people and stay focused on my path.
As far as I’m concerned, you can’t beat Professionals for brand, costs, marketing, training and resources – so that’s the name that stays above my door!
Valerie Hanger, t/a NZ Own Home Limited, MREINZ
Belonging to the Professionals group is exactly that –“Belonging” Originally joining the Professionals as a Manager and Salesperson after having worked for several different national brands over 8 years I was immediately impressed with the strong support network that Professionals gives to all members at all levels. When the opportunity arose to open my own real estate company it was a natural choice to operate with Professionals group.
Perfect if you want to operate in a financially viable way – Professionals’ fee structures are perfect for new offices needing full support – the low fees model lets you budget ahead with confidence –and receive all the benefits of belonging to a group.
Perfect if you want to stand out with such a vibrant and individual brand.
Perfect if you enjoy a family friendly style structure – being part of Professionals means every door is always open. The camaraderie of this group is second to none and in a challenging market it has been great to know advice and support is only a phone call away.
Perfect if you want top training, able to be booked and personalised to suit your office and team structure, including continuing education verified for REAA.
Perfect if you want to focus on your own business growth while the tight and efficient team at Professional HQ continue to source, negotiate and deliver terrific deals to benefit your business.
With the benefit of experience with other brands –I would not have taken on the operation of a new office in today’s real estate climate if I did not have the Professionals’ opportunity.
Contact Valerie on - DDI: (09) 283 9674, Mobile: 021 395 492 or Email Valerie