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  • Writer's pictureReal Estate Today - New Zealand

A Blueprint for Nurturing Growth and Success in Real Estate

Christine Mikhael - CEO LJ Hooker Group

In the second of her three-part series, Christine Mikhael, CEO LJ Hooker Group addresses the all-important growth phase for real estate agencies. 


Transitioning from the early days of my real estate career at 22 to opening my own agency and achieving substantial growth was like walking a tightrope for me. As the youngest, with my twin brother, in a family of entrepreneurs I was hungry for rapid expansion, always striving for immediate success. It was a strategy that guaranteed plenty of ups and downs and a lot of on-the-job experience as I balanced drive and ambition with carefully considered strategy. 


For new business owners launching in 2024 the business landscape looks very different. There are new ways of working, technological advances and a world of marketing and lead gen options to embrace. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the fundamentals for building a profitable real estate business.  


A blueprint on how to grow for profit 


Throughout my journey, I've come to understand the paramount importance of growing for profit. It's not a mere coincidence that the LJ Hooker Group prioritises a "Growing for Profit" training course for its business owners. This foundational knowledge should be at the forefront of every business owner's mind, as sustainable growth goes hand in hand with increased profitability. By arming a business owner with the right expertise and tools, they are better positioned to sidestep distractions and concentrate on strategies that bolster the bottom line. 


In my career I quickly learnt that growth is seldom a solo endeavour. To navigate the complexities of processes, marketing, and technology, I surrounded myself with individuals who possessed more knowledge in these areas. Acknowledging that agents aren't expected to be jacks of all trades, I emphasise the importance of finding comprehensive support, education, and expert guidance, ensuring that growth transforms into tangible profits. 


Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself 


Surrounding yourself with individuals who are more knowledgeable is a timeless piece of advice in the business world, and for good reason. This guidance emphasises the value of a supportive and positive environment, pushing you to continually learn, expand your horizons, and maintain a sense of curiosity. This principle is particularly crucial for individuals transitioning from sales to agency ownership, ranking high among the key traits for long-term business success. But how can you ensure you're connecting with the right people and receiving the best support? 


A reliable support network should always be there for you, dedicated to providing education and trustworthy expert advice to enhance your profitability. LJ Hooker Group business owners not only have access to a well-established business structure but also benefit from a strategic approach that prioritises increasing profits over pursuing arbitrary growth targets. 


By empowering agency owners through ongoing learning and development, pinpointing opportunities to expand market share, assisting in talent acquisition, and deciphering business metrics, business owners can make informed decisions that not only boost revenue but also significantly contribute to the overall profitability of their business. 


Be prepared to learn how to fish  


Be prepared to master the art of fishing in the realm of real estate business. The saying "teach them how to fish" perfectly encapsulates the comprehensive approach needed for running a successful venture. Success isn't just about providing immediate solutions; it's about instilling knowledge and skills across various business facets to ensure long-term prosperity. 


I don't shy away from the challenge to launch your own agency. Within this challenge lies the potential to uncover hidden opportunities. The LJ Hooker Group embodies this ethos, pushing boundaries, fostering innovation, and creating an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive. 


These 'fishing' skills encompass enhanced business management, equipping agency owners with tools for efficient day-to-day operations. We offer recruitment strategies to guide business owners in identifying and attracting top talent and how to identify other income-producing avenues. 


Our objective is to foster self-sufficiency and empower agency owners to navigate their businesses with confidence and foresight. 


A 20-year overnight success story 


Award-winning agent, LJ Hooker Property Specialists principal Michael Fenn joined LJ Hooker in 2002. The former professional chef made the career pivot and started in his hometown of Adelaide generating leads the old-fashioned way, doorknocking. Within six years however this hardworking agent took a leap of faith and opened his own agency with three staff. 


Over two decades, Michael's trajectory has seen him evolve from an industry newcomer to a high-performing agent, transitioning into a start-up business owner and eventually becoming the principal of a multi-office agency. The LJ Hooker Property Specialists superstore, consolidating six offices under one roof in Northeast Adelaide, now boasts a team of over 40 people and achieves an eight-figure multi-million dollar annual turnover. 


Michael's journey is just one among many within the LJ Hooker Group network, highlighting what can be accomplished with the right framework and support in place for sustained future growth. 


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