IT'S BOOM TIME FOR NORTH SOUTH REAL ESTATE
Written on the 20 November 2015 by Laura Daquino
NORTH South Real Estate, established five years ago, saw a gap between what the 'McGrath's and Ray White's of the industry' were doing and what the people wanted.
Before Brisbane's property market really started to pick up, a couple of friends realised an opportunity to pave their path in the industry and go up against the big guns.
Co-founder, joint director and owner, Jasmina Petrovic (pictured), says the team's motivation continues to come from people who 'want to see us fail'.
"There's a lot of haters in the real estate business and because you're so young, they want to see you fail," says Petrovic.
"What drives us is wanting to prove them wrong by doing our best and being selective with the people we surround ourselves with and bring into the business.
"We can't stagnate and must always evolve - we are a boutique agency - and can't rely on getting help from other offices in the company."
Petrovic, 31, founded North South alongside Domenico Bellino, 33, and Tom Kralikas, 30.
The now 13-strong team had their biggest month of sales ever in August, chalking up $10 million in sales between three agents.
Some of their recent sales have included a 95-year-old church in South Brisbane and penthouses at Queen Street.
Opening up shop post-GFC, the team say they entered the market immediately after a lot of agencies had closed down, including their previous employer.
"We set out to establish Brisbane's first and only CBD-based boutique agency specialising in apartment and luxury residential sales and leases," says Petrovic.
"When we opened at Queen Street, we were in the middle of the 'dodgier' end of the city.
"It worked out pretty well for us though as things have turned around and more commercial and residential towers have popped up as neighbours in the past five years."
Petrovic says the founders had confidence that Brisbane's property market was on the cusp, and recognised what needed to be done to capitalise on this.
"We all started in this industry around the ages of 18 to 20 and, back then, Brisbane real estate was really tough and nowhere near where it is now - it was really lagging behind Sydney and Melbourne," says Petrovic.
"After being apart for 10 months, we started talking and came up with a business plan to do things a little differently such as taking higher resolution photos and publishing better copy."
Petrovic says it wasn't along until the trio identified their key selling point.
"We were shocked that none of the big guns were focusing on really 'selling' their rental properties, which is such a big market in any capital city," says Petrovic.
"We advertise our rentals like properties for sale, whether they are $300 per week of $3000 per week."
Petrovic says competition makes the North South business model work, even in the sense of competitive forces within the company.
"We are all very competitive and we think that's what made coming together such a good move," says Petrovic.
"In the beginning we all wanted to lead, but then we realised we needed to really define our roles and play up to our strengths.
"The most important thing now is hiring people that are equally enthusiastic as they are hardworking, people who are open communicators like us and know how to play to their strengths."