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A Journey by Agile Design with Jaimie Woodcock

With Jaimie Woodcock McGrath Central Coast

"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.' - Michael Jordan

Everybody in real estate around the country knows about McGrath Central Coast. As directors of one of the premier agencies in the country, Jaimie Woodcock and Mat Steinwede have built a powerhouse business that wrote over $25m in fees last year. They have brought the real estate dream to life by being courageous and insistent. They have been willing to take calculated risks, responsive to market changes and open to innovation when required. Unlike many others, they have created a business that can retain the essence of who they are and grow at the same time.

Jaimie says, "We started the business in 2000, the day after the Olympic torch came through Terrigal. I remember the day very clearly. It was just Mat, myself, and one other person in an admin role. The evolution of the company has been quite dramatic, but it’s taken time. Our growth has been organic from the start. Today there are over 100 people in the company in five locations, including a projects division, and a large property management business. We're quite a unique business - we are corporate in part, but we’ve also managed to retain the personality and culture that's been part of our brand since day one."

Jaimie and Mat have a reputation on the Central Coast for thriving and innovating in the real estate space. Together with their incredible team, they have achieved some of the region’s best sales results. Today many of the Central Coast’s top real estate sales professionals choose to work under the McGrath Central Coast banner.

None of this has happened by magic. Jaimie and Mat have dedicated an enormous amount of time, money and resources into building and developing great salespeople and an outstanding business and brand experience. They are fiercely proud and protective of their brand and expect all those who work under the McGrath banner to be the same. The brand has such a solid reputation in the marketplace that it has become the group’s unique selling proposition.

The brand as a unique selling position

Jaimie says, “We are quite a mature business and have certain expectations from our team in terms of what they can and can't send out. Mostly, that's about ensuring that the brand message is true to who we are, as a business, but it's also true to the strength of the brand. Every single person on our team plays a role in sharing the brand story in the right way, from support staff to senior management. It’s a nonnegotiable and we maintain tight control over the quality and consistency of every letter, email and marketing piece we send out. Everything we send must be relevant to who we are as a business and a trusted and respected brand.”

As the business has grown, Jaimie and Mat have been conscious of wanting to protect the brand. McGrath Central Coast is a multifaceted organisation. The backend has to power smoothly like a well-oiled machine otherwise the result is chaos on the frontline. It’s critical that standards are maintained. Jaimie says, “With 100 people working in the business, we can't afford to be flying by the seat of our pants or winging it every day. We want to match the public experience with equally useful internal systems for staff. We want to empower staff to find the answers."

Planning for growth

To protect the business as it has grown, Jaimie and Mat wanted to systemise and streamline everything into a simple framework and Lee’s Woodward’s Complete Business Framework was exactly what they were looking for. The impetus to invest in Frameworks occurred when the company moved into a new phase of growth - residential projects. Medium density development on the Central Coast - the likes of which have never been seen before - has changed the local real estate landscape. When McGrath Central Coast entered into an exclusive sales and marketing partnership with Central Real, the local residential development company owned by Tony Denny, they set up a Projects Division, to support the partnership.

Jaimie explains, “Operating in the residential projects sector created new challenges for McGrath Central Coast as selling off the plan is very different to selling single residential dwellings. For starters the timeframe is significantly compressed while the volume of buyers to liaise with and properties to sell at any given time is far greater. The Frameworks model helped systemise and streamline the process enormously. In fact Frameworks was first designed and developed specifically for our new Projects division, until we realised how much it could also revolutionise what we do across the board."

Jaimie and Mat witnessed how the Frameworks Model assisted the delivery of an outstanding customer experience with residential projects and facilitated the building of highly successful, rewarding and enjoyable careers because the backend efficiency and speed of service allowed agents to do what they do best - create relationships, list and sell. They therefore decided to roll it out across the whole business.

Jaimie says, "The industry has evolved and more people are joining the business. As new people come on board, this Frameworks model will make it so much easier for them to know how we do things, where to find everything they need, what we say and how we say it, and have easy access to the right information at the right time to get on with the job and do it in accordance with our brand."

Developed and customised in consultation with Jaimie and Mat and other members of the McGrath team, Frameworks Digital now empowers every member of McGrath Central Coast to have access to the intelligence and wisdom of the company on their phone or computer screen. It is a platform that lets staff get down to business quickly. They can literally click an icon to hear how to say it and learn what to send and when to send it. It just makes everything so simple.

Jaimie says, "This is such a breakthrough for us as it allows all staff to tap into the latest and greatest at any time for continual improvement and ongoing professional development. As soon as we learn of a new success technique that someone has come up with, whether it's relevant to something happening in the market at the time, or a technique that has resulted in a clear success story, that technique will be made available to the whole team literally on the same day. And we'll notify the team about that update, so everyone’s aware of it.

It’s such a great way of sharing information and success stories across the whole organisation. One thing you’ll discover when you work with us, we work as a team. You are never alone."

He adds, "Residential development projects put a lot of pressure on a salesperson because they’re selling 20 properties in a day as opposed to just one home at a time in the traditional residential sales arena. When 20 sales happen in one day, that puts a lot of pressure on the system. The Projects business has most definitely forced us to look more internally at what we're doing. And the sheer volume of sales creates an urgent need for efficiency. When we launched the Scenic Apartments project in Gosford recently, we received 1,000 enquiries despite the fact that we only had 33 apartments to sell. We had about a 70% success rate in just one day. And the reason behind that success was the efficiency with which our Projects team was able to attend to that level of enquiry. That level of success doesn’t happen by chance. Frameworks allowed that to happen."

Michael Jordan was right – success doesn’t just happen – it is made.

The Legend of The Shiny Shoes

Jaimie explains the origin of the story that captures the essence of the McGrath Central Coast brand story.

He recalls, “Mat and I used to occasionally present together in the early days, which usually happened when it was a unique or special property.

There's that big expectation before you go out and list; you can’t sleep the night before because you’re roleplaying in your mind how you think it's going to go. The gentleman we were presenting to was a little bit intimidating. He was ex-military and owned a fantastic double block property overlooking the bridge at Terrigal. We spent a lot of time with this gentleman and ended up winning the business. It was so exciting as it was one of the Central Coast’s most iconic properties at the time. Thinking back to that moment when the gentleman signed the agreement, I remember asking him why he chose us. I’ll never forget his answer. He said, ‘There are two reasons you got the business. You were early, but not too early, and most importantly, both of you had the shiniest shoes of any other agent I interviewed and I interviewed six others before you’." So this goes to show that it's the little things that can make such a huge difference when you’re representing a professional brand. Pay attention to the details, including the state of your shoes. The journey begins from that very first impression."

Lee Explains: Why Frameworks?

Success in real estate sales is about consistency. And consistency is achieved when you have clarity around the steps you need to take. That’s the idea behind a business framework.

There are three key parts to real estate sales:

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Lead Conversion
  3. Client Fulfilment

Below the three headings of Lead Generation, Lead Conversion and Client Fulfilment you will see 10 column headings (which we call milestones):

  1. Capture
  2. Send
  3. Connect
  4. Convert
  5. Present
  6. Compete
  7. Listed
  8. Selling
  9. Sold
  10. Retain

In order to GENERATE LEADS we must first Capture our data and Send a series of connective marketing pieces to our community with a view to generating interest.

We then Connect with property owners through professional follow-up to your company generated marketing. This method of lead generation removes the need for cold calling. Instead it allows us to have relevant and real conversations with the people that reside in your area.

Once we’ve generated our leads we move into LEAD CONVERSION. Convert is your opportunity to do an appraisal and get a foot in the door to Present to your potential vendors. Given that in reality, most homeowners try out more than one agent when deciding whom to appoint for the important job of selling their greatest financial asset, we move to the Compete stage. This is where we go the extra mile to showcase your point of difference in order to win the listing.

Once it's listed we move into the CLIENT FULFILMENT stage. This is your moment of truth to live up to the brochure with your superior vendor and buyer management skills supported by the tools and resources available to you under the milestones of Listed, Selling and Sold. Our ultimate goal at the end of it all is to Retain every client and look after them (and those they refer our names to) for many years to come. And so the cycle continues.

A Menu, Not a To-Do List

While the model may look a little daunting at first, just remember that you don't have to do it all. It is not a to-do list. It is a menu of assets, and, like any menu, the idea is to select from it to suit the situation and the way you prefer to work.

Being a live digital system, it can be updated as things change or as we find better, more effective ways of doing things. 


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Shiny Shoes