Client Success Story: Raine & Horne Concord/Strathfield

Written by Elisa Miller

February 8, 2023

Raine & Horne Concord boasts a Rent Roll that consists of more than 1500 properties which on its own merits is quite impressive.   What makes this even more remarkable is the 4.7 stars from over 245 google reviews!  As the famous English conductor, Sir Colin Rex Davis once said “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same” So what are Raine & Horne Concord doing to generate such success? 

Speaking with Paul Pettenon the Principal of Raine & Horne Concord you soon start to realise that the success of this Agency is driven from the top by leaders who not only focus on the business results but on their team’s happiness and work-life balance.  

The purchase of a second Agency approximately 18 months ago lead to a discussion between Paul and his head of property management John Thai on the need to align the culture of both offices.   

With the ambition to grow to 5000 properties under management, Paul and John struggled to find an industry mentor. “..there was no real teacher or no person that we could actually speak to that could speak our language and got it and could drag us to the next rung of the ladder…That’s where the decision to engage Real Estate Dynamics came from” 

As an Agency Member, Paul and John met monthly with one of Real Estate Dynamics Consultants, Daneen Littlejohn. “We love Daneen!”  “Daneen speaks to a lot of different offices, and she knows what works so for someone like John and Myself, we really listen to her because she is coming from a position of strength…”

With over 55 years of real estate experience between them, Paul and John had the foresight to see that as leaders and as a business they were working very reactively. “Before engaging Real Estate Dynamics we were stumbling along each issue and trying to resolve it in-house, but since engaging Real Estate Dynamics, Daneen has helped us with aligning the offices and getting all the property managers inclusively involved with us”  

A recent trend amongst property management Agencies is difficulty in recruiting and or retaining good quality staff. “Daneen categorised things and got feedback from our team to see how happy they were, or to see if they had any issues and we realised that money is not always the most important thing” 

So, what was most commonly mentioned? “…its culture!. Money is important, of course, but it’s just one of the aspects of a great team. We had issues where staff were leaving and being poached by recruiters.” 

By completing a Foundation Assessment and having the staff complete a simple questionnaire it enabled Daneen to map out where the staff wanted more and where they felt Paul and John were already succeeding.  “I am very much from one of harmony and so is John, so we wanted to know, how do we harmonise the property management department?” 

Through consultation with Daneen, Paul and John were able to create that perfect balance across both offices.  

“We had a lot of questions. Like how do we get rid of the troublesome Landlords?  How do we improve our fee’s? How do we customise and align our arrears and repairs throughout both offices? Are we using the right systems? “ 

After each consulting session, Paul and John walked away energised and excited to implement the changes discussed with Daneen, “all these questions we’ve actually worked through with Daneen and categorised and actually implemented. It may take a while, sometimes it’s not just a matter of picking up something and doing it straight away. “ 

So how does working on the internal procedures and staff welfare help to increase business?  According to Paul, “people are starting to enjoy coming to work, and the phones are actually ringing less now with less repairs and less arrears.”  

Having worked with Daneen on communication structures, and the implementation of systems across both locations Paul and John have been able to create the harmony they were looking for. “The team are now seeing eye to eye in the property management department.  We’re all working together under one system.” 

Not only has implementing systems and procedures into their property management department got the team all working together like a well-oiled machine, it has also freed up time for the property managers.  “One of the issues we got yesterday was one of our property managers came to us and said look, I want more challenges, I want to do more, use me more, what else can I do?”  

When asked to reflect on what issues that drove them to seek out the help of Real Estate Dynamics Paul points towards the inherited staffing issues that came with the purchase of a Rent Roll “when we purchased a Rent Roll there were a lot of complaints, not returning calls, that was the main one and thought this was probably too big for us to manage ourselves, so this was a marriage with acquiring that business and working with Daneen.  

The success of Raine & Horne Concord can be largely attributed to improved communication within the entire team.  With the help of Daneen, Paul was able to gain an insight into what his team really wanted.  “The first main issue was getting the feedback from the guys.  What do they want?  What do they need?  What’s their frustrations?  And that brought a lot out.” 

Armed with the knowledge of what his team really wanted in a working environment, it gave Paul and John the opportunity to make changes that really benefited them. “The trick was whatever they brought up we actioned and when they saw us actioning their issues, they knew they could trust us to work as a team. Not every issue can be dealt with straight away, but as long as we are working towards it and they see that, I think they appreciate it” 

The final question I had for Paul and John was, if you had a time machine and could go back 2 years, what advice would you give to yourself? “I’d be more selective with staff, I would incentivise and pay better, and we probably would have kicked out the bad Landlords quicker.  You have 100 good Landlords and 1  bad Landlord, and that can affect their whole day.   That landlord that calls and it makes them shudder, It effects the way they sleep and so getting rid of those just makes things so much easier. “ 

Curious to know why Paul and John had succeeded in a time when other Agencies are really struggling I decided to ask Daneen what she thought made their consulting so successful “Consulting is successful because the leadership team commits, and their consistency of action creates success! Paul and John attend every meeting without fail and come prepared with actions taken, as well as ready to learn at least one new thing and make a change. I believe the clarity of roles and consistent communication have created a strong foundation for them to foster change.” 

Congratulations Paul and John on your Property Management Department success!   

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