2015: The year that was

2015 has been a big year in more ways than one.

As the east coast markets experienced a boom in both volumes of sales, clearance rates and record prices achieved, the industry in the West was faced with far more subdued market conditions. It’s easy to jump the success bandwagon in the good times but the measure of a good agent is how they adapt to perform in more challenging times.

At Abel McGrath the focus has always been on our ability to gain advantage during the good times, but also to be able to achieve success for our clients regardless of what market conditions are telling us. Abel McGrath principal and founder, Simon McGrath, says adapting to changing conditions is vital to ensure clients are given the service they need in these times.

“There are more than 16,000 properties listed for sale at the moment, which is almost 3,000 more than the same time last year, which reflects the change in the market,” he says. In terms of achieving results in a slowing market, with more competition, Mr McGrath says the company remains focused on achieving the best possible results for their clients.

“We can’t change the market but we can change our attitude and this will reflect in growth for the future. “These are the times when businesses must adapt and do it quickly.”

He says the company culture that has developed over the years at Abel McGrath, as a ‘business that cares’, filters down to clients, including sellers, buyers and the property management business. “We’re also working hard to raise the bar when it comes to communication, social media, marketing and the information and feedback we provide to our clients,” Mr McGrath says.

He says highlights of the year include several nominations in the national Real Estate Business awards this year across a range of categories however he says he is most proud of his team who continue to go ‘above and beyond’ for their clients. “Auctions have been a big focus for our business and we have had some wonderful results in this area. “And our social media is growing in importance each year and we have spent considerable time making sure we get this right.

The whole Abel McGrath team continues to be active in the communities in which they operate, supporting charities, schools and local organisations pursue their goals. Fellow founder and director, Carmel Gardiner, says the property management landscape in Perth underwent significant change in 2015.

“As a business, we have adapted to the market and made some significant changes from within to accommodate this,” she says. “Seeing all of our properties leased continues to be our highest priority with the vacancy rate increasing significantly in Perth over the last 12 months.

“We’ve changed our staff structure so that additional resources have been focused on leasing, which is working exceptionally well.”

Ms Gardiner says property owners have managed the downturn well and know that the team goes above and beyond to ensure their properties are not vacant for long. She says staff have risen to the challenges the market has thrown at them and responded positively taking ownership of issues and working hard to find solutions for landlords as quickly as possible.

In terms of goals heading into the New Year, the ABM team will focus on maintaining higher than expected levels of service, communication and interaction with all of their clients. “Too many businesses simply forget their clients and what they want. We’ll be listening to their needs and finding a winning solution that works for all parties.”

Carmel Gardiner