Thursday, June 21, 2012

Defection rocks real estate industry... wow!

On Wednesday 13 June, I awoke to texts, emails and calls asking if everything was alright.  I initially assumed they were asking about my health!

The first text came really early, I was still in bed. It was about an article in the paper. My first reaction was to check my iPad, which is always about half an arm length away and so I checked AdelaideNow. Great pic of a couple who had resigned from Toop&Toop the day before giving 3 weeks notice.

I saw the headline and thought "interesting angle."  OK… think I need to read this one in print.

Wow!!! Page 3, 2/3 of a page, massive headline "Defection rocks real estate industry," and a sensational story (literally). I had to chuckle, this article was so appropriate, from the first word “defection” in the headline right through to Mr Williams’ closing quote,  "But we're not real estate snobs - we love selling - a $350,000 unit, a $400,000 house, of course we'll do it. We love what we do."

Seriously, John and Stephanie leaving Toop&Toop “may” have rocked the industry, but it sure has made life easier for the whole team. Over the years we have brought people into the business and shown them the way we do things at Toop&Toop - some become ten foot tall and move on. These two never made it as top sales partner at Toop&Toop, they didn't stick around long enough. We have such a depth to the team, you have to be better than that to get the #1 gong at Toop&Toop. Real estate is about clients, about service, about compassion, about strong long term relationships, and working as a team, through thick and thin. It’s not about having a hot run for a few minutes and grabbing the cash.

To succeed in this business you need staying power. You have to be a marathon runner, not a sprinter because real estate is a long term business.

The depth of our team, the calibre of our core group and the proven results our team consistently achieve are way more important to our clients. Those who are strategic, considered, genuinely care about their clients and can pace their approach are the ones left standing when all the dust settles.

So perhaps the defection did rock the real estate industry. But let me assure you, the only thing that rocked me was the fact that we could take people to a profile worthy of this article in 4 ½  years. That is quite an achievement.

This is a special edition InsideStory. It’s for those talented and loyal Toop&Toop team members – they’re the real heroes – and I felt the real story needed to be heard; when the challenge is on, people's real characters are exposed.

Toop&Toop simply get stronger every time we are faced with new challenges; history shows it. We not only have the stability, depth of experience and proven talent of our 27 years in business (such as Tim & Megan who celebrated 25 years working together with Sylvia and I Tuesday night) but we have the energy and excitement of a young team coming through.  Even with 27 years under our belt, our passion and our drive have never been greater, and frankly we are at our best in tough conditions.

So if you’re selling your property or renting it out, Toop&Toop is so much bigger than any individual, we are TEAM TOOP… and we do get results!

PS. I cannot wait until our clients get access to our new technology that is currently being trialled right now, and operational by mid spring. Toop&Toop will have the greatest real estate selling support systems anywhere in the world. VirtualAgent® 2 is very close…

Anthony Toop

© Toop Real Estate Group

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Staff and friends have learnt never to tell me a secret.

On the other hand, when it comes to confidentiality, I am awesome - work that out.

In my world, a secret is usually personal, and confidentiality is business. Invariably, secrets turn into gossip, move faster and are far more exciting than the facts.

Well last Saturday, The Advertiser's front page carried a story about my next challenge in life. If you missed it, I started treatment last Monday for cancer of the oesophagus. There went the secret.  Anyway it is great that people no longer are looking at me sideways pretending they knew nothing.  Now everyone can just relax, it is true and it is out there.

The prognosis of my cancer is looking really positive, we got it early. Realistically, I am out of front line action for a while as this will require all my focus and energy.

So what changes at Toop&Toop – what does that mean for our clients?
We are a 27 year old family business and given we have completely re-engineered the business since 1st July 2011, the business is perfectly placed right now. Put bluntly, the timing is perfect!

In the past three months, we have signed off on the most profound infrastructure, innovations and updates ever in our 27 years.

The big stuff… 1) ground breaking communications technology (installed by July 2012); 2) all new Property Management functionality to enhance Landlord and Tenant services (30 June 2012); 3) my baby… the all new bells and whistles VirtualAgent® (2012) patented selling system on the iPad, fully integrated by spring this year; 4) our all new Toop website is on the cusp of being launched, with new smarts and consolidated databases going live within weeks; 5) internal system reviews are complete, work flows all documented and going live right now; 6) the soft launch of a new business on the 1st July to assist clients and staff sell more houses (public launch may be after I get back); 7) we have an all new TOP SECRET, actually better call it "CONFIDENTIAL" new Property Management product being developed; and finally 8) our new flattened organisational structure, which has already been running for six months. What a breath of fresh air it has been.

Toop&Toop have a history of only employing highly capable experienced people who are passionate and just get on with the job. Lew Toop (my brother) and Tim Thredgold (Tim has been with me from almost the start!!) have both agreed to join the Executive Team while I am out of the front lines. To both of you, thank you.

Sylvia (who is more qualified than me really - an accountant and licensed agent) will sit in my chair.  Our daughters Gen and Suzannah have also returned home, Gen was due back in the business in September, and is raring to go assisting Sylvia through the entire business. Suzannah is a high-powered and passionate individual too, all adding to the incredibly strong team we have here at Toop&Toop. Go to to meet all the individuals. Toop&Toop is in the best shape we have been in for a long time. The changes in the market conditions make it easier for our style of hi-tech operation to achieve outstanding results and the market stats are just coming out to prove that. Our service levels have risen as we refocussed on lifting the bar to new heights and the eight changes outlined above are critical in achieving our goals.

Results...we are currently outperforming "time on market" over the average agency by around 40%. Our market share is seriously heading upwards (market share of sales that is, not necessarily stock...if you sell houses, obviously you don't build your stock levels!)

So whilst my own agenda is changing, the business is already on track and not a lot changes.

Our big business challenge right now is getting serious sellers of property to list their homes for sale. There are so few properties put on the market during this time of the year it is actually a great time to sell... very few competing properties.  There are a few weeks left this financial year where there is some really discounted marketing packages for qualifying long term sellers...this is the time to rev up your sale.  We have all the expertise in TeamToop to get your sale happening right now – if you’re serious about selling now – call Sylvia on 0418 818 448 this weekend or the main office on Monday 8362 8888.
Today marks the start of winter, and the final InsideStory of the season. Our all new InsideStory recommences in spring.

Until then, I have another mountain to climb.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
© Toop Real Estate Group