Firstly Denise can you tell us a little bit about your area –
Rural and Residential: We also work in rural and residential areas.
Population: Within the town of Stroud where we have one of our offices the population is only about 700 but there is a large farmland area surrounding the town. We are the only agency with an office in Stroud, but there are numerous agencies that work within the area.
Country to Coast: We are so lucky that our areas cover coastal strips through to rural so we really do get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Community: We have an amazing community that all work together and help each other out. As a business we find that our community supports us so much – it’s wonderful and we love to return that by sponsoring whatever local event or causes we can. Lots of customers make mention that they have found our community to have such a great vibe.
Andrew Winter: Actually that is also something Andrew Winter from Selling Houses Australia said upon his arrival and when we featured on the Lifestyle show. He was truly amazed at the vibrant feel we had for such a rural community.
We love to share the area: The team count their blessings everyday living in this area,and that’s why we love to promote it and share it with new locals whenever we can.
You have an all female team and you are in a rural area. Tell me about your experience in rural and how you are qualified to sell rural property.
Does anyone ever think you can’t do the job as well as a man?
Born & bred: I’ve grown up rural, being born and bred in this area so it comes as second nature to me but from the real estate perspective,
Training: I’ve trained extensively; amongst other things I’m a licensed stock and station agent. But honestly where you learn the most is from being in the field so to speak.
Experience: I started my career in Real Estate in 2004 and it was within an agency that sold rural property, from this job I acted like a sponge and soaked in all the information I possibly could. I also live on a 300 acre beef cattle farm so you learn from that too of course.
Reluctance Because We’re Females? : Honestly yes we do get some buyers who initially are reluctant to deal with us regarding rural but the minute I start speaking with them they realise that I know my business.
Excellent Reputation: Our vendors are well aware of our excellent reputation as rural sales agents, so they don’t hesitate.
Working in Hardware: It’s similar to when I worked in my family’s hardware business – H & D Timber & Hardware in Raymond Terrace for many years. All the tradies had no hesitation in dealing with us ladies in the shop, because they knew we were knowledgable. It was the weekend warriors we had trouble with if any, but it didn’t take long to sort them out.
Market Share: We are an award winning agency with a massive market share, so that doesn’t come without extensive knowledge.
Sales: My rural sales over the years speak volumes!
You have 2 offices now in the area, Where are they exactly…
I also want to say that I always see your new listings and sales coming through on social media – you really are going amazing. What’s your secret to success?
We have offices in Stroud and Bulahdelah
Sheer hard work and determination!
The support of our community who are a lovely bunch of people.
Team: An amazing hardworking and passionate team who treat the business like they own it.
I truly am blessed with that combination!
New Team Members: I am always looking for passionate new team members to place into R & R Property whenever I can. I love seeing them thrive and create themselves a career and immense self confidence.
Staff Going into their own businesses: I’ve also been blessed enough to have trained up and seen a couple of my team members gain the confidence and knowledge to go out on their own and create their own Real Estate businesses.That makes me so proud!
You have become an amazing ambassador for your town like no other real estate agent I have ever seen. What’s your inspiration?
I LOVE IT: It’s simple – I just love it! I truly never ever get sick of the beauty of the landscapes, whether they are our coastal strips or our rural rolling hills.I am a keen amateur photographer so I’m always pulling over on the side of the road to take an amazing shot that just can’t be missed! The community members are used to seeing me doing this! There she is at it again they say!
My poor daughter is always like – “Muuum can we go nowwww?!?”
The Crepe Myrtle Cafe: I was asked if we could supply the photography for the decorating in a local cafe with my photography. It’s like a permanent art gallery showcasing our area.
Calendars: We also have our much sought after R & R Property calendars which have a different local photo for each month, all usually taken by me. We give these as gifts to our clients for Christmas each year.
Social Media Photo’s: I’m in charge of all of our marketing which includes loading up all of our social media pages with beautiful lifestyle shots.
Sharing the area: We really love sharing the area. We see people come from the city who are stressed out and need to escape from it. They settle in our area and then the only regret they have is that they didn’t do it sooner. It just changes their lives for the better. How can you not want to share that!
You get amazing testimonials from your clients. So amazing that someone thought that they were too good to be true didn’t they.. Can we talk briefly about that. Only because i think it’s funny.
Testimonials: Aah yes, we do get some amazing testimonials.I guess that comes from not only working really hard for people but also caring. I certainly don’t want to feel as though I have ever done the wrong thing by anybody so we always walk them through the processes and make sure we disclose absolutely everything we can about a property and ensure it’s the right decision for that customer. And whilst we don’t have a crystal ball in knowing exactly what a buyer would be prepared to pay for a property we never ever buy listings, always stating the price we think it would sell for, even if that means we miss out on the listing.
Fair Trading: And yes the situation you are referring to is where we put out a flyer with a couple of our testimonials on it and we received a letter from the Real Estate authorities to say that we were being accused of writing our own testimonials, they were just too good. Of course we were able to supply evidence that they were in fact real testimonials from real customers.
You sponsor local fairs and sporting clubs – what a great way to meet people and be involved with the community. What do you sponsor exactly and what’s involved?
Gosh there really are way too many to mention individually but we do attend our towns shows & fairs with our marquee supplying free facepainting & balloons for the littlies plus we financially sponsor the events.
We sponsor our local football teams and other sporting events.
We attend the Medowie markets most months and just get out and chat with our community.
It’s about giving back to our community. We believe that the more we can assist, the stronger the community will be and the more businesses and new people to the area will come from that.
You have an eye for marketing.. Do you think that’s something you were born with, or is it something you have to work on?
Creative as kid: Yes I’ve always been naturally creative, even as a little kid so I love beautiful marketing. I also find human nature fascinating, so forever trying to figure out the mystery of what works marketing wise with people and what doesn’t.
Many touch points: So we use a very very wide range of marketing because I believe marketing is not a one hit wonder, it is providing many touch points.
Think outside the box a lot: I love to think outside the box a lot. I’d find it very insulting if someone said we were just the same as any other agency, because I don’t think that’s true.
Local photography: For example I use local photography as a marketing theme because it’s about making people aware of the life we lead here. Sure I do post on Facebook and Instagram for example our “Just Listed” and “Just sold” information but I mostly post my day to day life on the farm, in our lifestyle, at the beach etc etc.
#notrafficjamshere: One photo range which is particularly popular is the #notrafficjamshere ones where I post pics of cows along our driveway, they always get a great response.
Street Library: One of the other unusual marketing tools we have are our Street Libraries. So outside of each office is a little red house shaped box on a pole (somewhat like a large letterbox) that is a container for people to place the books that they have finished reading for someone else to collect and read. It’s a great talking point. I can hear people discussing it from my office and they’re fascinated by the concept. Kids especially love the idea.It works because I see the book collections changing from day to day.
The Pioneer: We also have a newsletter for our area which has a local history story on the front and then real estate information on the back. We try to issue these monthly by letterbox drop but they are also printable from our website. They truly are the best marketing piece we have because
I actually have people ring & complain they they never received theirs in the mail!!!!
Sports Bottles: We also not only financially assist our local sports teams but we also supply them with R & R Property branded sports bottles, just as yet another touch point.
Hints & Tips: We issue regular Hints & Tips about all aspects of Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers on our Facebook pages.
Podcasts: We Podcast as well, all things real estate and especially tree change questions/concerns people have. Vendor tips, buyer tips, decorating & styling advice.Anything that we think people will find informative.
Blog/Vlog: I create informative blogs and vlogs to educate people about our area, help them in their real estate journey.
Tree Change Guide: we created a downloadable Tree Change Guide.We were receiving the same questions & concerns over & over again so we’ve put the answers all together in a booklet for our relevant clients.
Radio Interviews: I currently have two radio interviews a week on two different stations where we discuss all things real estate, whether that’s the property of the week or hints & tips for buyers & sellings, plus market updates.
You’ve won loads of awards! Tell us how many awards you have won..
Agency of the Year: we have won the agency of the year award for our Stroud area for the past 2 years running with rate my agent.
Midcoast Business Award: We recently won the Midcoast Business Award for Excellence in Small Business. That was pretty massive as the Midcoast is a huge area and includes many many businesses, including large franchised agencies. We are a small independant agency.
We also walked away that night as finalists in the Customer Service Category & Excellence in Professional Services Category. I was also personally awarded as a Highly Commended Business Leader which was an incredibly humbling experience.
Regional Business Awards: This also led us to be Finalists in the Regional Business awards which was another amazing night and made me very proud of the team.
What else can you elaborate on as far as your marketing goes..
It’s been a massive year for R & R Property.
Bulahdelah Office: We opened up a second office this year, this one in Bulahdelah, due to popular demand. Since then we have also purchased one of the existing agencies there so the owner could retire. This doubled our rent roll and of course team members.
Book Features: Next year I am featuring in two new book releases about Real Estate.
Success Secrets: We are not finished yet though with a number of new ideas in the pipeline heading forward. I guess that has always been one of my success secrets; to never stay stagnant and to not take success for granted. You’re only as good as your last sale is one of my motto’s.
You’ve always got to move with the times and try to be ahead of the pack all whilst staying grounded and empathetic to people’s needs, customers, team members and of course family.
And of course there will be plenty of further training as learning new skills is essential.
Thank you Denise!