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By Jessie Stewart

October represents the beginning of the annual real estate “season”. History shows that, whilst never being as good as a November or March, it is one of the genuine robust months in our calendar.

So our figure of $3.7 billion for October was respectable, even though it was seven per cent down on October in the previous year. We can’t blame prices for this reduced sales level, but attribute it to the reduced stock that has been on the market resulting in less opportunity for buyers than we’ve been experiencing over the last few years.

Of significant note was the personal best of our Victorian network who achieved in excess of $650 million of sales for the month. All our leading businesses in Victoria performed admirably with the welcome addition of Helen Yan, the leader of our new Balwyn operation, who has already achieved a remarkable level of success. Particularly pleasing was the performance of the new businesses to have joined our group this year. Our other markets were slightly behind last year.

Overall, our Commercial divisions performed well with a total sales result of $155 million. Of particular gratification was our commercial investment auctions for the month achieving more than $40 million in sales.

Our partners at Loan Market had an impressive month lodging more than $1.1 billion in loans and settling $705 million.

Changing attitudes by the banking system towards lending to foreign purchasers, as well as a tightening of loan eligibility for investment real estate product, had impact.

Our latest customer data shows continued strength with more than 1,300 clients rating us a 9 or 10 out of 10 from 1,600 surveys received. This is consistent with results of the previous month. Overall, our national Net Promoter Score climbed another point to positive 78.

What’s new at Ray White

Ray White has achieved national recognition as the inaugural winners of the REA Brand Campaign of the Year award. Our auction campaign, Raise More Hands – which saw our businesses across Australia hold more auctions than ever before – was named the most effective real estate brand campaign of 2016.

Ray White Double Bay was also honoured at the REA awards. Gavin Rubinstein took home the award for customer service and Craig Pontey was recognised in the project marketing space.

We paid tribute to a stellar year in real estate at our annual Elite conference. The highlight for many was the launch of our Chairman’s Club which represents the most prestigious operators in our Group. So thrilling to see 31 inaugural members inducted.

Our Open More Doors campaign commenced mid-month with the aim of establishing a new benchmark for our open homes. Our ambition, to create the best experience for both vendors and buyers, is underpinned by a commitment to consistently conduct more open homes at a standard not yet reached in the industry.

The Group’s Link programme has wrapped for 2016. Aimed at supporting agents deliver a better customer journey, Link saw appraisals and leads double across Ray White, Loan Market and Living Here over two months.

Our international customer satisfaction awards recognised the top five agents and businesses across the Group. Tremendous news for New Zealand who took out six of the top 10 positions. John Quiambao of our Remuera office, Rebecca Toone of Ray White Metro, Diane Quinn of Paihia, Rodney Fong of Tauranga and Anita Martelli and Tim O’Sullivan of Rotorua make up the best individual agents in customer service. Ray White Tauranga was also named as one of the top five businesses.

From Queensland Ray White Mooloolaba, Mt Gravatt and Capalaba were all recognised and NSW business, Ray White Shellharbour Oak Flats rounded out the top five offices. Congratulations to all our winners.

As always, it’s a pleasure to welcome our new offices to the Group. In Queensland, we see businesses open in Banyo, Bundaberg City and Beenleigh. Our network in NSW grew to include offices in Bowral, Palm Beach and Mona Vale. And in Victoria, we welcome our new business in Swan Hill.

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