Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We have head hunted a professional CEO from overseas...we have head hunted professional managers from interstate...and now we have head hunted our own kids...


It's kind of ironic how in 28 years (on the 8th May), Toop&Toop have come full circle. We have put so much science into who runs the business over the years and after learning all the lessons in business, and studied all the theories, and suffered 28 years of life experiences in business, Toop&Toop has finally concluded that maybe the future actually lies within the walls of home.

By the time you are reading this article, Sylvia and I will be on leave. For the first time ever, our daughters Genevieve and Suzannah are responsible for ensuring all of our amazing team are looked after, that they have all the tools they need to do what we do best, and are on call to look after all of our clients.

It was the 8th May 2012 that I was diagnosed with cancer - 5pm on the night of Toop&Toop's 27th birthday celebrations. Our family's lives changed forever.

Genevieve was in the middle of the USA on a world trip after working for two years in London for a prestigious UK ‘Superbrand’ ICAEW, while Suzannah was on an accelerated dream career path in Sydney working for AMP Capital in the area of property and acquisitions.

Who would have ever imagined what was about to unfold. On hearing the news of my diagnosis, both Gen and Suzannah immediately returned home, while Sylvia instantly assumed the role of CEO at Toop&Toop. Suzannah was granted six months leave from AMP Capital (they were amazing, please support AMP at any opportunity as they are an awesome organisation) and the backing I got from family, the community and our Toop Team was overwhelming, unprecedented, and extremely humbling -thank you all!

Fast forward 12 months and Sylva and I left on Anzac Day to get away and chill for several weeks. It has been a grueling 12 months in so many ways. Throughout this entire trauma, Genevieve and Suzannah have decided they love being home in Adelaide and have totally thrown themselves into the family business.

During the past six months since I returned to work (at the end of October 2012), we have re-engineered the business to meet the new demands of a changed market. The girls have been deeply involved in this process. What an amazing apprenticeship, to truly understand how a business works.

Call me naive, but I feel excited and energised with the reality that they are both diving in the deep end right now, have taken on huge responsibility and are looking after Toop&Toop while we are away. The irony is that they are better qualified technically than Sylvia and I. They have eaten and slept real estate since birth, and now they have the opportunity to go live, pushed into the deep end to run such a competitive and demanding business.

Succession? Well let me put it this way…for all the science and promises of our procession of high level professional managers in recent years...I am feeling pretty confident you will not find more passion, more commitment, more empathy and greater energy, even if head hunters searched the world over.

All the best Genevieve and Suzannah - have a red hot crack. Be confident that Toop&Toop have Adelaide's most experienced and committed team of dedicated professionals to be found anywhere on this planet. We have surrounded ourselves with great people.

With what I have personally put our team through this year, today’s Team Toop have proved loyalty and commitment not just to us, but to our customers...they are a class act.

See you when we get back - bon voyage for now.


Regards,
Anthony Toop


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sleepy Adelaide... please don't wake up!


This week's horror news in Boston just reaffirms why I love Adelaide so much.

It is times like this that we reassess what is important in life and just take a few moments to reflect and appreciate what we have. We understand sickness, accidents and natural disasters - but terrorism just seems to be an entirely different loss.

The world is a beautiful place, yet at times is cruel and scary. Sylvia and I are about to head off for a few weeks overseas and YES, we are still definitely going, but it is with the full appreciation of what we have right here, at home, in South Australia.

Often in business and social circles, we hear rhetoric about South Australia and we suffer interstaters ridiculing us. Karen Raffen, CEO of Advantage SA, whom is a great friend of ours, spends her days spreading the good news about this beautiful place we live, but for me it is something we can be privately confident deep in our belief system...there is NO BETTER place than South Australia to call home.

Expect to see another wave of South Aussies deciding to return to their roots, and in times of uncertainty, why wouldn't you?

Sure, we have our issues with Holdens, the mining boom has softened, and the RAH may be running six months behind schedule, but seriously - BIG DEAL.

Enjoy the country's most affordable housing, enjoy low rents, enjoy a stable property market and a safe place to raise a family, and be thankful we live in such an incredible place.

South Australia, it's HOME for Toop&Toop.

Regards,
Anthony Toop


Find us on Facebook: Toop & Toop Real Estate


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Consumers moving at the 
speed of light...


Things are moving so quickly, with switch over last week to digital, the roll out of the National Broadband Network, 4G speeds and proliferation of new user friendly online devices, the consumers are literally consuming at the speed of light.

Did you know that up to 2.6 million people currently use a tablet, such as an iPad, in Australia?? 
Not only that, this number is expected to QUADRUPLE in the next four years! This means that by 2016, it’s predicted that 11 million Australians will be using tablets – that’s nearly half the population, and an unimaginable number of new eye balls moving to a new way of consuming information, and of course real estate.

Agents are struggling to keep the old ways of doing things and if we don’t watch out, we will become irrelevant and be swept aside.

This week we launched our all new toop.com.au website; we also soft launched our incredible ToopAir images... you’ll hear a lot more about ToopAir over the coming weeks…
All new incredible property images and videos to totally change the rules and to capitalise on all new formats BOTH online and PRESS!

It really is game on in real estate. Toop&Toop are throwing down the gauntlet and challenging real estate status quo... we will lead the consumer stampede to new communication as well as the completely reworked traditional marketing tools, such as large format Press (launched a few weeks ago). Change is no longer an option, the world has already moved on.

Embrace it, no way! We’re driving it. Everything is changing and it’s 
for the better in real estate.

The pace of change itself is even altering. Tired old ways are only just hanging in there, but Toop&Toop will make these so obsolete and so out of date, that consumers will have to rethink old allegiances. The disadvantages of not moving with the times will overwhelmingly impact on the potential of achieving the optimum sale outcome.

At the moment, if you stand still, you will get run over… and I don’t see any let up. The consumer is demanding so much more than ever contemplated only a few years ago. We intend to deliver... we sure are having a red hot go.

All new completely rewritten website, all new ToopAir, first class photography, 2D and 3D video capabilities, and an all new Large Format Press marketing approach... and there is more still to come. 
What an incredible time to be 
a real estate agent.

Thank goodness Toop&Toop have a succession plan in place; thank goodness for second generation in Genevieve and Suzannah to take on and drive all this... it’s quite overwhelming for us old(er) guys... yet also so exciting.

Bring on “Real Estate 2020” - we are ready!

Regards,
Anthony Toop


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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Is selling your house a serious event?


Easter weekend was somewhat staggering to me… hardly anyone in the industry appeared to be working! While I applaud and admire all those who are able to have a life and be in real estate, is it possible to just shut up shop for periods like Christmas, January, Easter and long weekends?

Let's get the record straight, I was one of those that took the entire Easter weekend off, but I was blown away with how few agents actually worked.

Is this a trend? Perhaps it’s a good thing, a long overdue shift in thinking? Or perhaps sanity has finally prevailed and real estate agent business is now being solely conducted during normal business hours. I’m all for that - if we could pull it off.

As a team, Toop&Toop were well represented last Easter weekend. At least half the team took the Easter weekend as both a serious working weekend as well as balancing personal and family time. Our Victor Harbor team had a staggering 28 open inspections, and another city based Sales Partner ran 17 inspections with 60 groups through. Easter is a special time on many fronts, but it also represents an opportunity for buyers to actually have time to look around.

Real estate at the highest level requires freshness and energy; these qualities are an absolute must for sustainability. However, experience and history tells me that we have to cover each other in order to offer all options to clients, rather than shut down the entire business for a break. By working in collaboration as a team, we can all achieve critical time off plus offer continuity of service for clients at busy times.

At our weekly sales meeting, I wanted to see if things had changed over the years and how busy it was amongst those of Team Toop who worked.

Without any surprise, the feedback unanimously reinforced that inspections ranged from well attended to flat out. Expected business ranged from strong interest to highly likely sales.

Interestingly, readership of print and online media peaks whenever buyers have spare time to chill and think about property; Christmas and Easter are classic times where important family real estate conversations occur.

It was so apparent that a number of competitor agents this year were simply not represented at all. Surely we are not the only ones with clients keen to sell? It was so obvious this year, I actually questioned my own judgement and past experiences… hence this article.

Lessons learned (or re-learned)… Some occupations still require weekend work. In real estate as at April 2013, we are still required to be out and about when the buyers have the time to look.

Technology is changing the rules, especially with our world first 3D inspections! One day we may do away with weekend work, but not just yet.

Toop's Tip: Serious sellers should seek out serious real estate agents, because selling your house is a serious event.

We have a saying... "When it’s time to get serious, it’s time to get Team Toop".

Regards,
Anthony Toop


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   Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop