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  • Writer's pictureReal Estate Today - New Zealand

Are We There Yet? Optimising for The Ultimate Real Estate Business Success

In the final of her three-part series, Christine Mikhael, CEO LJ Hooker Group delves into the crucial optimisation phase of the real estate business lifecycle. 


The definition of success is inherently subjective, with metrics varying based on individual goals and objectives. It's a nuanced, long-term journey, and what constitutes "making it" can differ widely. Success in the real estate business involves a continual process of reassessing goals, celebrating achievements, and striving for improvement. 


Navigating the dynamic and challenging small business lifecycle for more than 30 years has provided me with a comprehensive perspective on the headwinds, ebbs, flows, and everything in between in the real estate industry. These experiences offer valuable insights into streamlining your business, especially as you approach the crucial stage of optimisation. 


While my previous opinion pieces delved into the start-up phase and growing for profit, there's a pivotal final stage equally critical for successful real estate agents – the phase of optimisation. If preceding stages have unfolded as planned, this stage marks the maturation of your business while preserving efficiency and profitability. 


Identifying fine-tuning from growth 


The optimisation phase signifies the pinnacle of a business's growth trajectory. While there's no fixed timeframe, it generally represents the juncture where operations run seamlessly, with processes finely tuned for maximum efficiency. It might seem like the ideal moment to indulge in an annual European holiday, leaving the reins to a capable, well-trained team—a significant achievement indeed. 


However, in my perspective, the journey of learning never ceases. This is the stage where LJ Hooker Group business owners undergo rigorous challenges, emphasizing strategic resource management, cost minimization, and a commitment to continuous improvement. 


On a broader scale, this commitment to optimisation is ingrained in the core of our business. With 96 years of experience, LJ Hooker continues to reinvest profits, ensuring that our operations, just like those of our franchisees, remain at the forefront of effectiveness and sustainability. 


We make strategic investments in our business owners and systems, empowering them to fine-tune their operational processes, embrace cutting-edge technology solutions, leverage advanced marketing tools for accelerated lead generation, and navigate market changes with agility and confidence. This approach encapsulates our commitment to nurturing businesses that consistently operate at their most efficient and sustainable level throughout their entire lifecycle. 


Empowering small business owners 


One common challenge we often encounter is business owners grappling with the difficulty of stepping away from day-to-day operations, in many cases they are the lead sales agent. Proactively addressing this challenge opens a spectrum of options for business owners to shape their future, whether it involves expansion, or taking a step back to enjoy life’s joys, to sell or retire.  


With an average business owner tenure of over 15 years, multi-generational success stories demonstrate how a business optimised for success can pave the way for a legacy. 


Sprake Real Estate, established in 1938, is one such example after principals Tony Sprake and Peter Mott strategically rebranded the office as LJ Hooker Fraser Coast. Recognising the transformative potential of LJ Hooker's innovative systems and resources, including award-winning training, it’s a genuine privilege to be able to support their team cultivate mature leadership skills, amplify revenue streams, and seamlessly transition their business for the next generation. 


Preparing for the future 


The adage "failing to prepare is preparing to fail" resonates deeply in the business world, emphasising the need for a well-established foundation. Achieving a fully mature business, capable of operating seamlessly even without the principal, demands discipline, strategic planning, and a focus on profitability for long-term financial security. 


Early preparation for the future is key and can be defined by strong market recognition, a robust brand presence, client and peer acknowledgment, high customer satisfaction, repeat business, and an active referral network. All of these should be considered the hallmarks of a mature business capable of delivering exceptional service. 


As a committed partner for small business owners, the LJ Hooker Group plays a pivotal role in this journey. Providing support, strategic guidance, and a comprehensive toolset, entrepreneurs are empowered to build acquisition and sale-ready businesses and secure long-term success. 


Giving back to the community 


Fostering a positive community impact and nurturing personal and professional growth are essential pillars of our thriving enterprise. Active involvement in local initiatives and charitable support extend beyond mere contributions to business success – they yield a diverse array of tangible and intangible benefits. 


Numerous franchisees within our network already champion community engagement initiatives, a stance I wholeheartedly endorse. Our commitment is exemplified from the top down through the LJ Hooker Foundation, which has generously contributed millions of dollars to various charities and those in need. 


Recognising that thriving communities are built on the success of individual enterprises we pride ourselves on setting an example for fostering strong community connections. 



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