Your Sold Real Estate
When they moved to Shepparton and bought a house, Rachael and Rod Seach felt like they hadn’t found the real estate agency they were looking for with a keen focus on customer service.
So they started one themselves.
The couple started from scratch back then in 2011, and have grown the business from having no listings to now boasting a conversion rate that places them above their competitors.
They’re in a market with approximately 16 other agencies, where they’re one of the few independent operators. They remain a family-owned operation and they’re proud of it, having built out strong sales and property management arms focused predominately on the residential markets.
The commitment to customer service firmly remains at the centre of everything they do, and Rachael says it’s a big reason for Your Sold’s success.
'We have ongoing, sustaining and returning clients, and I believe it is down to our personalised service. No matter who comes through the door, whether they’re a tenant, a landlord, a buyer or a seller, they’re treated equally.'
'It’s a big focus of ours to proactively contact people and get back to them as soon as possible. A consistent theme in the feedback we’ve received is that people appreciate that about us,' said Rachel.
Both Rod and Rachael bring unique and diverse experience to the real estate business. Rod had worked in real estate for 16 years across Victoria, in agencies of various shapes and sizes.
Rachael, meanwhile, is a practising clinical psychologist of 20 years. Understanding psychology and how people tick has served Rachael extremely well as the pair built the business over the years. Rachael still practises, splitting her time between the two businesses.
When they set up shop in Shepparton, they focused on getting their reputation out and establishing themselves within the community.
'In a community of this size, people want to know who you are and a lot about you before they’ll give you their trust. You have to work really hard and market, market, market,' says Rachael.
The effort paid off and Your Sold won the local Chamber of Commerce’s Best New Business Award in 2012.
'We were surprised when we won, just 18 months in. We didn’t even prepare a speech for the ceremony!'
Over the years, Your Sold has accessed a range of services delivered by the Greater Shepparton Business Centre, including workshops on planning and marketing.
'They’ve been fantastic. We’ve been to many sessions on digital, social and mobile marketing, and I always ensure all out staff head along to networking nights.'
'I think what has been most useful is the business planning workshops, particularly in the early days of establishing the business. By providing us with the template and the tools to put our business plan together, which we could take to the bank and get our business started.'
According to Rachael, constantly forward planning is a big part of keeping a small business afloat in the long term.
'You need to be well organised and make sure that you always keep some energy in the tank,' she says.
You’ll have a lot of that ‘new business’ energy in the first 12 months, but you need to keep yourself ahead of things and not get complacent. Network, get out there and surround yourself with enabling people so you can work on the business instead of just in it.
It’s advice that Rachael and Rod take to heart. They’re continuing to grow the rental arm of the business, and they’re considering opening a second branch.
It’s not a step they take lightly though, as they don’t want to grow too big. The team prides itself as a small business and never wants to lose its passion for personalised service.