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The culture of abundance, sharing the love

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Stephen Cromarty and his business partner Bill Kington are not your typical real estate agents. They use the words real estate and love in the same sentence and see love and real estate as part of the core philosophy for their business, Love Realty.

Working in Newcastle and the surrounds of Lake Macquarie, Stephen says some people think that he is crazy but he says, “Let me tell you this – the relationship you have with your people, the relationship your business has with your people, is the relationship they’re going to have with your clients. You need to get this right’.

Stephen and Bill and their team spent a lot of time planning for their success. They developed a core story and core values that underpin the business. Stephen says, “You’ve got to make sure that the core values encompass the entire business, from the sign guy to the person in admin to the person in property management, to yourself as well”. Further he believes that you have to align your core story with your core values.

Love Realty’s core story is, “The current model is broken,” explains Stephen. “You need the best result to help find your future dreams. You think you’ve employed an agency to achieve this, when all you have done is employ one person whose primary interest is to raise their exposure at your cost. We love and take seriously the privilege of helping you realise your most valuable asset. You need the best possible result to help fund your future dreams. Our Love family philosophy breaks down the status quo by encompassing a true team approach. Unlike other agencies, our entire team is rewarded to get you the best possible result. We partner with you, and will never ask for 100 per cent of the fee whilst delivering less than our promise. Our hidden agenda is to have you in the Love family for life.”

Love Realty’s core values are:

1. Stand out.
The status quo sucks – be proud of our differences; be courageous, be yourself. And there’s a whole other induction that comes off that.

2. Tell it how it is.
Be honest with yourself and others; be direct over indirect; no gossip; and fess up.

3. Stretch yourself.
Be the best you can be. Believe in yourself, and be full throttle.

4. Sleep well.
Always choose what is right. Client on the shoulder test, client is family. Everything you do, be selfless about it.

Stephen adds, “And above those core values is everything we do, we do with love. So we don’t come from a place of anger; we don’t come from a place of hatred; we don’t even come from a place of authority. We come from a place of love.”

With this approach, Love Realty has become one of the most successful agencies in the Hunter. With an average listing price of $380,000, they have generated fees over six million dollars with a profit of around $1.95m. That’s an extraordinary profit margin in anyone’s language. Stephen explains that, ‘Richard Branson says, “Your first year of business is primarily about survival.” Well, we challenged a billionaire’s philosophy on that, and we thought that our first couple of months was about creating profit’. Subsequently, by adopting a unique structure and putting their philosophy of sharing the love, front and centre, Love Realty hit a profit within six weeks.

Profit and reinvestment are key parts of their strategy. Stephen advises to not spend but reinvest in education, technology, yourself and your staff and in sustainable assets such as buildings and rent rolls.

Stephen says, “Profit has become something that even our person in administration is excited about’. After a period of putting money away and paying off business loans, money is now being spent on staff. ‘The best investment that we have is our people,’ says Stephen. ‘And that’s where a lot of our money goes’.

Staff have to work hard but they are rewarded with incentives and attractive working conditions. Love Realty pay for everyone’s lunch everyday, they have a company car, and the Team Member of the Month can drive the car, all expenses paid. Stephen says, “Every Monday staff win plasma TV’s or cruises on Sydney Harbour, or weekends away, or gift vouchers, or movie tickets.” At one Christmas party, a staff member was awarded a house deposit!

Love is not a word you typically associate with the real estate industry but sharing the love is working for Love Realty.

Love Realty have a very unique business structure. They have an EBU office one-unit model with teams of specialists. As Stephen explains, ‘A hospital has specialist people in specialist roles, and primarily that’s what we set out to achieve, right from the very start.’ Everyone has the opportunity to become a specialist in what they do and reap the rewards as a result. The model has proved so successful that they now have to recruit more staff and skill existing staff to handle the volume of work.
The workforce consist of:

  • A database team – who handle the lead generation of data that is already captured.
  • A listing follow-up team
  • A team who work with the buyers - capturing the enquiry and working on the enquiry;
  • A team of sellers.

Stephen explains, ‘Everyone is on a salary, where again, we’re evolving. And we’re at the stage now with the database, with the opportunities, that we can provide different remuneration packages depending on where someone’s at within their stage of growth within their career.”

Salaries or personal incomes range from $250,000 plus for top agents to selling agents who may be earning from $65,000 to $70,000 through to over $100,000, and in the lead generation team, the average is somewhere between $65,000 to $75,000 with the chance of earning over six figures.

Quotes

the relationship you have with your people, the relationship your business has with your people, is the relationship they’re going to have with your clients.

Our hidden agenda is to have you in the Love family for life.
 

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