The famous American writer Mark Twain is often associated rightly or wrongly with saying, "the only two certainties in life are death and taxes".
But to death and taxes, we can now add with plenty of certainty that Ric Serrao, Principal of real estate powerhouse Raine & Horne Double Bay /Bondi Beach, will finish among the leading agents in the hotly contested REB Top 100 Agents list.
In 2021 the star agent, a dominant force in Sydney's red-hot Eastern Suburbs market, finished in third on the REB list and is the highest placed agent connected to a leading real estate brand.
Not one for hubris, Mr Serrao attributes some of his success to working in the Eastern Suburbs.
"However, I have always prided myself on growing the salespeople in my team. I do the heavy lifting on the aspects of the sales process that I feel I'm better at, which is listings, listings, listings and the negotiations. Then I have my team assist me with the sales side of things."
Mr Serrao also contends that he probably shares more of his successes with his administration team who run his business, including his wife Lucy Apoyan, along with Grace Twomey and Natalie Dimitriadis. "This team effort enables me to focus more on volume and providing a fantastic level of customer service to my vendors." Apart from achieving high dollar values, Mr Serrao has regularly been among Raine & Horne's highest listing principals for the last ten years.
A synergetic partnership
The Eastern Suburbs sales whiz also believes working with his wife Lucy Apoyan is a key to his success. "I've often said that when she stops, I'm selling the business and I'm going to be a salesperson.
"My team enables me to do many, many appraisals a day as well as run a phenomenally successful real estate firm."
Mr Serrao also has a synergistic partnership with Raine & Horne. "We use all of Raine & Horne's technology products, whether it's the CRM CompassPlus or the digital appraisal and listing tool, Digikit.
"My team, along with the support of the Raine & Horne Corporate, free me up to focus listing properties. If I were a principal who had to spend more time running the office, I would struggle. It's not my main skill set."
The value of the brand
The REB Top 100 agent also attributes his award-winning consistency to the value associated with being part of the Raine & Horne brand. "I see value in the brand from a referral point of view, and I have excellent relationships with other principals and sales agents who have been part of the brand for a very long time.
"I was part of another network previously and felt that it was more focused on how much franchise fees and extras they could get out of me.
"In recent years, Raine & Horne has upped the ante on the value it's providing in terms of technology. Take CompassPlus, for example. Our agents have fully embraced the CRM and have dropped the other management systems they were using.
"Raine & Horne is a technology leader in real estate and is truly offering my business value. Products such as CompassPlus and Digikit are as good as it gets."
Raine & Horne's network support also amazes Mr Serrao, and he nominates Tina Ashton, Network Manager NSW|ACT, Raine & Horne Group, for special mention. "I contacted Tina recently with a query, and her level of customer service blew me away.
"It is nice that a salesperson like me who might need some assistance can reach out, whether it's for business development assistance, recruitment or property management. To be able to reach out to a subject matter expert in Raine & Horne Corporate and get relevant help is fantastic."
Staying ahead of the curve
While Mr Serrao is proud of being the highest-ranked agent from the major real estate groups, he is also proud that he has an excellent pool of young talent working with him. "I am pleased that I have helped develop them and, more importantly, that as much as they have my back, I also have their back.
"I truly have some great people behind me who inspire me."
On staying ahead in the current bullish seller's market, Mr Serrao says his philosophy of "List, sell it and bank it" remains his focus as the current market won't last forever. "That said, we are revisiting our recruitment processes, improving our sales and property management systems, which will keep us ahead of the competition."
For all your residential sales and property management needs in Double Bay, Bondi Beach and surrounding suburbs, contact Raine & Horne Double Bay/Bondi Beach on 02 9327 7971.