Team thrives as part of a global brand
After 20 years in the business, Anthony Ward knows the Adelaide property market like the back of his hand.
As part of a dynamic team alongside his wife Emma, Anthony devotes his time to prospecting, listing and selling.
In the meantime, Emma handles marketing and acts as a client concierge while helping to prepare their properties for the best result.
And a key part of their thriving business is their partnership under the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate banner.
“The Better Homes and Gardens brand goes hand-in-hand with real estate,” says Emma.
The couple opened the first Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate location in Adelaide in October 2020 and the success they have since achieved has far exceeded their expectations.
Emma started working with Anthony at another franchise, but starting over under a new name was a perfect fit when she transitioned to a full-time position.
“People are so excited to sell with the brand because they trust and connect with Better Homes and Gardens,” says Emma.
“They love that we’re under the same roof as the magazine and the TV show.”
Of course, Anthony’s reputation, expertise and contacts from two decades as an agent in Adelaide were crucial to the success of the new venture.
But the Better Homes and Gardens brand and its recognition among potential real estate clients is a strong ally.
“We have monitored sales statistics in the area for many years and this shows the tremendous advantage we have with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate,” says Anthony.
“Most sellers engage between two and five agents to appraise them, so we would list about 50 percent of the properties we appraise. At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, we’re between 85 and 90 percent.
“People don’t bring these other agents in, and in so many cases we’re the only agents they call in for an assessment. The sellers are happy with us and they love and relate to the brand.”
Long associated with real estate sales, Better Homes and Gardens is a natural extension of its magazine business as a trusted source of inspiration for homemakers.
Having started operations in the United States in 2008 as part of the Realogy group, now under the Anywhere brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate operates more than 400 offices worldwide and has 14,000 members in five countries.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate launched in Australia in 2018, supported by a promotional partnership with Channel 7 and Seven West Media, producers of the Better houses and gardens TV show and magazine. The magazine has since been taken over by Are Media.
The magazine’s print readership is 1.6 million, with 1.2 million identified as homeowners via publisher data.
This helps Better Homes and Gardens real estate businesses reach passive sellers while they consider home and lifestyle improvements.
“It’s great to have a brand behind us that deals with home design and furnishing. People trust our opinion on how to design their home for sale. When we do an evaluation, everyone likes to pick up the magazine,” says Emma.
“Often at the weekend we drive past the homes of previous customers and drop off a magazine. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with people without being overly open about real estate.”
Anthony found his way into a real estate career almost by accident.
“I was with Elder Smith Goldsboro Mort as a stock and station agent,” says Anthony.
“John Elliott bought the business and jobs disappeared. It could be seen that layoffs were coming and I had the opportunity to sell real estate in an elders office.
“It took me a couple of years to get my bearings when interest rates were 17 percent. If I hadn’t been young and living at home with mum and dad, I might not have made it.”
But he couldn’t be happier that he’s changed career paths, particularly with moving to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
“It was great for us,” he says. “I’ve never loved a brand name like this.”
In addition to his passionate belief in the power of the brand, Anthony and Emma have also skyrocketed their business results.
The winning combination of in-house market expertise and brand recognition has contributed to unprecedented business growth and the associated financial benefits.
“I’m in the best place I’ve ever been in my real estate career. Our ability to leverage trust and referrals as a Better Homes and Gardens real estate business is an absolute delight.”
Anthony says the Adelaide market in general is about three months behind what is happening in the eastern states.
“The market in Adelaide is still very strong but there are fewer people coming in and fewer people bidding,” says Anthony.
“In a recent sale we had 30 groups looking at a property when at the peak it would have been 40 or 50 groups. We received 12 offers which was still a fantastic result for the sellers.”
A softer market isn’t necessarily a bad thing for agents or their clients, he says.
“It was great to work with Emma on the team. She does the meet and greet at an open house while I chat with potential buyers.
“As a team, we’re able to deal with anyone who comes through, which is difficult as a solo agent. We exchange ideas after the opening and get a really well-rounded picture of buyer sentiment for the property.”
The Adelaide market is still heavily focused on houses rather than the rise in apartment living in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
“Apartments are being built, but they can take a year to sell, while a house can be sold in weeks,” says Anthony.
Locals have been more likely to drive the Adelaide market than investors from elsewhere.
“We do get inquiries from the Motorway but sometimes offers are lower than expected and slightly outside of rising demand in Adelaide.
“They don’t have the emotional bond that people have here to find this home.”
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate currently operates 12 office locations across Australia with flexible options to operate an office or mobile agent business model. You can learn more by visiting their website.