Friday, November 23, 2012

Gimmicks...oh dear, here they go again!

It seems every time Toop&Toop release a major innovation we get a reaction from competitors.  Although it’s become quite tedious, I guess I should feel honoured. One thing it does do - it makes me reflect.

I recall a ‘gimmicks campaign’ that was run against Toop&Toop about 20 years ago. In those days I used to get upset that competitors couldn't understand the need for our industry to keep reinventing itself.

Well two decades later a lot of the big names have gone, such as BW Carey, Brock Younger, Brock Partners, Gaetjens, Ian Mill, Woodham Biggs, Theodore Bruce and Myles Pearce, just to name a few.  As recent as last week Brock Real Estate Pty Limited was placed into administration.

Taking their place are international players hijacking our local industry. Fresh independent players are also entering the market – only time will tell if we all have the stamina and capital to succeed. Vitality and energy are essential to any business, and I am proud to see Genevieve and Suzannah bringing a strong, fresh and energetic succession through Team Toop – they certainly have real estate DNA. Personally I love the challenge of taking on the big guys and the new entrants. Strong competition is an essential ingredient to excellence, it motivates and drives Toop&Toop, but a far second from the thrill of providing our clients the benefits no others can.

I believe the community wants choice. I believe we, as an industry, have to deliver competitive international best practice - PLUS A LITTLE MORE - in order for us to earn our clients’ long term support. Innovation and moving ahead of the curve, I feel, is going to be the difference between being around in a decade or not. 

When it comes to getting results, no one is disputing that a good agent can get their client a sale - that's a given. What is not a given is the quality of the result.  Key clues to look for are the level of property price discounting required to get the sale and/or the time it takes to find the right buyer. These are critical KPI's we use to benchmark Toop&Toop's performance, along with our customer satisfaction levels.

Our thirst to continue reinventing ourselves has never been greater and it has served us well so far. As we head into our 28th year I feel sure the youth and energy of the next generation will enable the passion of innovation and excellence to step up to even greater heights. 2013 is fully booked for our 3 talented in-house programmers, who will be exploring exciting new ways to improve our service while reducing costs to clients.

One massive point of difference is our structure. Rather than the traditional franchise model, we have a full service model. Each of our sales team run their own businesses - free from all the headaches of administration (finance, HR, marketing) and the pressure of overheads. This ensures a 100% focus of their energy on client needs. Our model allows us to move fast, innovate and present new marketing opportunities to clients before any one else in the market. Independent yet collective resources - and fully managed. 

Size matters! As the largest independent residential agency in SA (which gives us the clout with suppliers and the savings benefit our clients). we are also intimate and personal. We are efficient, enabling our services to remain competitive, despite the additional service offering to our clients.

Those decades of gimmicks (most of which have subsequently become industry standard) have not been in vain, as the stats highlight.  RP Data (one of the advisors to the Reserve Bank) along with the major portal stats, show:

1.   Toop&Toop currently have 25.12 % market share of sales in our 100 prime suburbs.
2.   Toop&Toop’s ‘time on market’ in metro Adelaide is 46% lower than the industry average.
3.   Toop&Toop’s Norwood office is #1 with interactions on Australia’s #1 property website, in SA.

If outperforming industry averages by these margins means being labelled ‘gimmicky’, and means we remain a powerhouse in real estate after 27 years while our competitors disappear, I am very comfortable with that.

I would argue it is because of the gimmicks; it is in fact our innovations that are exactly why we remain Adelaide's largest independent real estate agency.

Home grown, exciting, world class – Team Toop is a family style business passionate about South Australians.

Anthony Toop

Find us on Facebook - Toop & Toop Real Estate

   Follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop

No comments: