Selling a property is not just about selling a piece of land but engaging with the hopes, dreams, and ambitions that a customer has with that property. While a good realtor has to have a thorough understanding of the local housing market, a great realtor also manages to build and keep customer relationships while delivering clients their dream property.
Embodying these characteristics and more is Jacqui Crapp, Director of Raine & Horne Berry & Nowra. She has two decades of experience in the industry with expertise in negotiation, the local property market in Berry, an ability to produce top-tier results, and a great devotion to detail.
The Raine & Horne Group is a fourth-generation Australian-owned family business that provides a comprehensive and integrated range of property services. It is continually rated as one of Australia’s highest-profile real estate groups and is also an official Australian Superbrand. Within Australian real estate, the Raine & Horne network comprises hundreds of offices nationally and internationally. It is an award-winning network that sells more than $10 billion worth of property each year and manages over 72,000 properties across Australia.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Jacqui Crapp shares her challenges on the journey to becoming a leader in the industry and the impact she has brought to her region by supplying impeccable services.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Briefly describe your professional journey up until now.
I joined Raine and Horne Berry as a Property Manager, coming from a banking career in Home Finance and Commercial banking of 21 years. I started in property management, looking after only 16 properties at the time. As I am not very good at being idle, I grew the PM portfolio to 155 in just over 12 months.
During this time, I started to do some open homes to help the sales team and found that I really enjoyed sales. From there, I transitioned from PM to sales. About three years later, when my principal, Alex Cochrane, was thinking about retiring, I bought 50 % of the business. When he fully retired, he bought into the Nowra and Berry offices with his son Jared and his wife, Emma Cochrane.
So, I transitioned from Property Manager to Director of two offices. The team in Berry has grown over that time from 6 to 13 staff.
What challenges did you face along the way?
I faced so many challenges on the way. Time management was one. When you are looking after 15 sales properties and 155 PM properties, I had to learn that I could not do it all and had to choose where I wanted to go in the industry. I also had to learn to trust that my clients would be looked after by someone else – letting go and trusting is hard when you have built the relationship.
I learned that it’s ok to fail so long as you learn from it.
We now have a thriving office, the Number 1 market share in the Berry region, and multiple awards. But this really means nothing if you are not looking after your clients and staff.
Also learned that there are always new technologies coming along, but not all of them will work for your business. Don’t be afraid to admit something is not working and pull the pin. Staff would prefer you acknowledge that you were wrong than keep trying to force something to work.
What significant impact have you brought to the Real Estate industry?
Keeping it real. That the client is at the heart of all we do. Not the records or the number of sales, but how we impact each and every person we interact with, and this is what drives us each day. We feel we have lifted the service levels in our area, and other areas have had to also lift theirs to compete, which results in a better client experience for all our clients.
What methodologies do you implement that contribute to new growth opportunities?
In our industry, it is all about relationships. All new growth comes from servicing our clients where they are, with what they need. Whether that is reaching them face to face or through AI technology– we have a comprehensive contact program that keeps us constantly talking to our client base. We can’t help them if we don’t know where they are up to in their property journey.
Tell us about Raine & Horne Berry & Nowra and its foundation pillar.
Our motto is to put “people before property”– this is our clients, our staff, and our community. We have three pillars – honesty, transparency, and being clients’ trusted advisors. This is what all our business is based on. Fundamentally, if we are working with people and it does not serve this, then we do not do it. Sometimes not all business is good business!
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
We use AI for our sales advertising and database management – contacting our 30,000-plus database to ensure we are keeping our clients updated and remaining relevant with them.
The leaps and bounds in Property Management technology have meant that timesaving allows our property managers to have much deeper and more rewarding relationships with our landlords that go above maintenance and rent conversations. We get to help plan their property journey and work with them on growing their property portfolios as we all are working on their goals.
What will be the next significant change in the Real Estate industry, and how are you preparing for it?
Whilst technology is great – it is also our biggest enemy. The only thing we have over technology is the human element. We can create and nurture a relationship that technology cannot. We have to remain relevant and demonstrate that we bring value to the table. Disruptors will come and go. We have to remember that people remain at the core of our transaction – and we must not lose sight of that. We have to keep reinventing ourselves as an industry to be relevant to the consumer.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
To continue to grow our brand in our local region. As a team, we would like to organically grow our rent roll from 225 to 350. Of course, if any rent rolls were to come up for sale, we would be interested.
We would also like to grow the sales team by another two agents in the next 12 months.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
Resilience. I think that business is a lot harder than people think. There will be good and bad times. We are in an industry where you just can’t take it to heart. You will lose out at an appraisal; you will lose a listing you couldn’t sell; you just have to get up and dust yourself off and remember that tomorrow is a new day. Be proud of your work and go home and sleep well at night.