November 21, 2018 | JJ Taylor

National real estate industry network @realty is gearing up for its next phase of growth, after making the move to its new headquarters in Gold Coast corporate tower 50 Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise.

In contrast to an industry dominated by bricks and mortar, the move signals the first office expansion the group has made since it launched in 2014 with a focus on evolving the traditional real estate agency model.

Established on the Gold Coast by father and son duo, JJ and James Taylor, the company’s director and CEO respectively, the network now comprises a head office of 33 staff and more than 500 agents..

Last financial year, @realty turned over more than $1 billion in property sales, an almost 25 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

@realty director JJ Taylor said the group remained on a strong growth trajectory, with its innovative structure and advanced technology proving a successful formula.

Since inception, the company has invested more than $2.5 million in its technology, and the focus remains on bolstering its digital capabilities and people, rather than office space.

“The way people search for real estate has changed dramatically in the last decade and we envisioned @realty to meet those changing expectations,” he said.

“While we have always been digitally focused, we made the decision to bring software development in-house to enable us to continue to innovate, be nimble and offer an expanding tool-kit to agents and customers to keep ahead of the game.

“We attended a real estate conference in the United States recently and three of the biggest real estate companies in the world said they were doing the same thing. We were gobsmacked to hear that given we had already started heading in that direction.

“What we’re doing is ahead of the curve – we are one of the only agencies in Australia to have software development capabilities in-house, certainly at this level.”

@realty has appointed 20 people to the software development team, who are finalising the design of a new client portal, which is due to launch early next year and once again redefine how customers receive updates on sales campaigns.

“The portal is designed to enhance the personal communication and face-to-face meetings they have with their agent, not to replace it. It will allow customers to see real-time updates on how the sales campaign is performing, so there will be full transparency,” said Mr Taylor.

“It will add to the industry-leading technology we offer both our customers and agents, including the Click2Buy platform, where buyers can see multiple offers on the same property as they happen, and Home Booster, which uses the power of social media to find potential buyers.”

While the move to 50 Cavill Avenue will see the company more than double its floor space to 400sqm, from the 185sqm it has occupied in Surfers Paradise Gateway on Appel Street since 2014, Mr Taylor said acquiring more offices was not on the cards.

“Our model is very different to the traditional real estate agency that has multiple – and in the case of the larger groups, literally dozens – of offices – and the significant overheads that come with that,” he said.

“We have more than 500 agents operating as independents under the @realty banner, which gives them the flexibility of being a sole operator – who can work from anywhere they like – with access to all the resources that come with a national network – including our cutting-edge technology.

“It has proven a win-win for all involved. The agents have the ability to set their own work-life balance and achieve higher commissions, and the clients are dealing directly with a business owner who delivers next level professionalism because they have ‘skin in the game’.”