Thursday, September 24, 2015

Women in leadership

I recently returned from an eight week overseas trip, a combination of holiday and business. No sooner did I arrive home only to find we have a new PM and Cabinet with more female representation than ever before.

This is a progressive move and one that is reflective of what is happening in the real world. At Toop&Toop we have a very balanced mix of male and female staff and we recognize leadership qualities regardless of gender.

Having spent time with the best agents from around Australia (and agents in the USA Silicon Valley)...I have come to the realisation that here in South Australia we are world class when it comes to real estate marketing. In fact we are well ahead.

While I was away, my two daughters, Genevieve and Suzannah, with the help of the team, entered a national business competition organized by NOVA Entertainment based on leadership principles.

Genevieve & Suzannah Toop, our leaders in action.

The prize included a trip for two to New York to attend the "We are Story Makers World Business Forum" and meet Sir Richard Branson. 

The team was up against tough competition with high level submissions created by leading advertising agencies. Our inhouse marketing and IT team, Hoot&Toot quickly put together a video on Toop&Toop's view on leadership. This included references to the girls taking over the reigns of the business while I was recovering from cancer, to instigating great initiatives such as the Toop Wellness Centre and Toop Crche for the exclusive use of our 130 staff members. 

I can still see the shock on Genevieve's face when she announced to us in a meeting "We won." Then came the realisation that our team, who assist our sellers and landlords every day of the week with their marketing and online strategies, beat some of the biggest names in the Australian advertising industry. WOW! 

Take a look and see what you think of their winning entry on I was very proud.

Creating a winning culture is important to our business. Last week Genevieve launched our brand new Toop&Toop App. This is world class with features never seen before to make buying property easier. It is being seen and observed by the big players in this space. Register now and see properties within hours of being listed by our agents. 

Suzannah looks after our Property Management area and has developed MyMaintenance. The system is saving landlords thousands of dollars in maintenance. Suzannah has patents pending on her technology. If you are a landlord, you need to see this in action. It's world first stuff. Leadership in action.

This week where Australia's leadership has been a hot topic with more women being rewarded in Cabinet, to having two young South Australian females leading an industry and winning a National Leadership competition is both exhilarating and exciting. 

We are doing phenomenal things and world leading marketing right here in little old
South Australia.

Let's celebrate these wins and motivate each other to continue leading the nation. Go SA!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

It's all about timing...

We've had our first real glimpse that summer is around the corner with some beautiful sunny weather. Spring is certainly in the air and it's an exciting time to be in real estate! We love this time of year as we open up some of the most beautiful properties across South Australia for potential buyers and tenants.

Investors, now is the perfect time to be looking.

We have seen a huge uplift in stock hit the market within our own sales team (an increase of 50.38% in just two weeks) and according to RP Data, there have been an additional 212 properties hit the market across South Australia since the 23rd of August!

Right now, not only is there more choice available to ensure you pick the perfect rental property, but investors are in the prime position to make the most of the December/January peak rental period.

You might be thinking, it's only the middle of September...  isn't it too early?

In actual fact, three months lead time is exactly the right amount of time. Here's why.

Time to plan. To ensure your investment property is ready to hit the rental market in December/January you need to find it, run the numbers, be the successful purchaser and then await settlement.

Upgrades. There may also be a few things to do around the house (such as a fresh coat of paint or new carpet) to prepare the property to achieve optimal rent. These are required to be completed before a tenant moves in and should be factored in when planning the launch date for rent.

Benchmarking. With the uplift in stock levels, there is now the ability to measure and compare the rental prospects of a number of properties to ensure you have backed the right investment.

Just like any type of investment (such as executing a trade on the stock market), timing is everything. This isn't to be confused with the notion that there is only one or two chances to buy property or you've missed your chance, but it does require planning to ensure there is enough lead time to hit the market at the right time.

Investors looking to optimise the 'busy season' in property management, now is the perfect time to be looking for your first or next rental investment.

Suzannah Toop

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Importance of Property APPeal!

This week we had some very exciting news, our official Toop&Toop Property App was released on the Apple App Store!! So with thousands of apps released on the App Store each week, some of you might be asking... What's the APPeal?!

As real estate agents, there can be no denying the importance mobile phone marketing plays in our role, and in selling a home. According to, 
60% of social media users are now accessing these sites through their mobiles, and specifically in real estate. 90% of people are looking at real estate website portals from their mobiles, and this number is increasing daily.

These stats are significant, and cannot be ignored. As real estate marketers it is important that we understand these trends, and leverage the opportunities they bring with them to maximise the results we can achieve for our clients' properties.

At the beginning of last year we launched our fully optimised mobile website, and saw a dramatic increase in the time buyers on mobiles spent looking at and engaging with our clients' properties. The significance of this was not only the increase in attention, but by viewing the property on our site, vs a real estate portal website, the buyers attention was 100% on our clients' properties. This meant they were not being distracted by 'competing properties' such as homes similar to theirs in the marketplace. 

18 months on, all of the latest statistics not only back up mobile traction, but they are now trending towards the importance of apps. Research released in April states; 86% of mobile users time, is spent on mobile apps rather than websites. This is a huge statistic! 

The studies go on to explain that a big reason for apps being favoured, over the mobile optimised sites, is because users feel more immersed in the experience. This is something so important to us as agents that we are able to create an emotional connection between buyers and properties. When buyers are emotionally attached to a property, this is when premium prices can be achieved.

Five months ago, and with confirmation of these latest statistics, we recognised that this trend is something that should not be ignored and we have spent this time working around the clock to bring buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords a brand new experience when searching for property! 

Along with being a beautiful way to view Adelaide property, our Toop&Toop Property App is simple, easy to use and has some extremely cool features that we think buyers and tenants will love! 

Two of my favourite features of our app is that it allows you to follow specific properties and also be notified and updated at every step of the way... from before the property is publicly listed right through until settlement.  

Our app also has some very cool smarts that will notify you on your iWatch or iPhone when you drive past a Toop&Toop Vault property that matches your criteria. These are our properties that are not available to the public yet, so to the outside world there is no indication the property is even on the market - the true inside intel for buyers wanting to get an edge on the market!

For those of you who are looking for a property, or thinking of selling I would encourage you to download at our new app and try it out. Our clients' homes look amazing and speak a thousand words of just how lucky we are to live in Adelaide, where we have such beautiful properties, providing such great value, that buyers nationally are envious of.

How to download the Property App:
1. Visit the App Store
2. Search Toop&Toop
3. Download the Property App

Enjoy your property search!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Cool kids set the trends...

Cool kids set the trends... so where are those 'in the know' investing?

From coffee shops to clothing, to the type of phone or computer you buy, those that are 'in the know' are the ones that set the trends and others tend to follow.

In our world of real estate, it's really no different. We see popular trending suburbs all the time but there are those who are ahead of the pack, the cool kids, who get in early and set the trend for the rest to follow. In our world, these are typically developers or seasoned investors.

How do they pick the next hot spot?

Whilst there is no crystal ball (as much as we would like one!) these savvy investors or developers do their homework. They look at key indicators such as population growth, new infrastructure or amenities in the pipeline which will help map out the spots of activity or projected spots of activity.

And when they get it right, the upside is huge! Purchasing before property prices rise and then achieving an uplift in rents (when everyone else catches on and wants to live in that neighbourhood), there is serious benefit from being 'in the know'.

In our world, this is the ultimate slam dunk. But just like any fad, by the time everyone is talking about a suburb or area, often it's too late. You become a late mover and wonder why it has become 'so expensive' to purchase in that suburb all of a sudden.

So where are the savvy investors and developers currently looking?

We have seen an increase in investor and developer activity in the Western corridor between the city and the beach. Suburbs such as Ridleyton, Woodville and Fulham are achieving solid rental returns and have positive signs for capital growth. With a price point of $470,000, newly built or upgraded properties that hit the rental market are achieving rents between $420 to $450 per week. Purely on location alone, these suburbs 'stack up' well as tenants have both the city and the beach within arm's reach.

With the first week of spring upon us, it is a great time to look at investment opportunities and make the most of our affordable buying landscape here in SA.

Just like being the first to enjoy that new caf or knowing where the hidden all-day car parking spots are, there is huge benefit being ahead of the trend and knowing where the property hot spots are first.

At Toop&Toop we love talking all things investment. If you want to know more about where the popular areas are to buy or invest in South Australia, pop in or have a chat to our team today!

Suzannah Toop