In a year of extreme uncertainty, the real estate industry had its strongest year on record. Over $700 billion of residential and commercial property will be sold across Australia and New Zealand in 2021. The value of residential investment properties alone managed by real estate agencies now exceeds $2 trillion. The health of the real estate markets was also a key driver in the growth of other major industries such as construction and consumer products.
The year 2021 clearly illustrated the remarkable resilience of the industry and those who operate within it. While many in our group had to deal with some challenging personal issues, on a whole we were so fortunate to be in an industry that is so vibrant and relevant to the communities in which we live. Not only for the opportunities we were able to take advantage of this year, but for the almost limitless opportunities, it will continue to provide us in the years ahead.
We were reminded again why we love this industry. We know that it is a challenging industry and that its legends can be cut down at the first sign of complacency or arrogance. Success is a genuine test of resilience and perseverance. But when ambition, leadership, and pride in the service that is delivered to a local community are combined, wonderful things happen. And that was the story again in 2021, and no doubt will always be.
It’s always hard to judge our efforts in a booming market. This year especially, the things that aren’t easy to count or measure were the most important. It was a privilege to witness the leadership provided to everyone in our teams to stay stronger together, and the empathy shown to colleagues and customers in difficult times. A special mention of our property management teams, who were most often dealing with the most challenging of circumstances, with changing regulations and confused and desperate customers. And also the administration and support teams who worked so hard to keep up with the volume of transactions and activity – the record volumes we experienced would not have happened without your commitment.
Record sales results made 2021 so remarkable, but so too did the preparednesses of so many members to try new things and keep improving, despite many obstacles. The adoption of digital auctions and other digital tools, embracing Ray White Now and the new economics team to deliver more value to customers.
As the year comes to a close, the metrics we look most closely at are those that are most indicative of market leadership, being competition creation, customer experience, and ultimately market share.
The best representation of our efforts to create competition are our auction statistics – during 2021 some 31 per cent of all our listings were auctions and we had 6.5 average registered bidders at our auctions. Far and away our best year for auctions. And we know there is so much more we can do to better promote and measure competition creation.
Our customer feedback told us that we maintained our quality of service this year, yet there is so much more we can do to better listen to more of our customers.
Our market share increased across Australia and New Zealand and whilst it’s the highest it has ever been, we are still very restless for more growth.
We will be 120 years old next year. We are committed to retaining the same energy and taking the same risks that Ray did all those years ago when opening his business. This means that we will keep trying new things. Some of these will work, some won’t. Though we will have learned something valuable either way, and they will always be done with the intention of taking all of our members forward.
We will continue to prioritize the growth of our network, in existing businesses and with new businesses, because we know that it is critical if we are to provide more value and create the best environment for all of our members to thrive. New members bring with them their energy and curiosity and help to reset our horizons. Growth enables us to invest further into leadership, better systems, and technology, whilst retaining our family values. Importantly, it ensures we retain our uniqueness, and so we will be relentless in chasing it.
On behalf of my family, a huge thank you to everyone who made 2021 such a successful year. You deserve a wonderful break with your family and friends and we wish you all the best for the new year.