FuturePlace Interview Spotlight, Andrew McCulloch

Residential Real Estate in Australia.

Andrew McCulloch is a real estate professional who has been engrossed in the industry since he was 17 years old, propelling his trajectory into Ray White, Australasia’s largest real estate group. We sat down with Andrew to learn more about Australia’s residential market. Keep reading to find Andrew’s insights…


FuturePlace: Can you describe your role at Ray White?

Andrew McCulloch: I am currently the CEO of New South Wales & ACT. My role really is to lead the team of specialists who add value to our network and grow market share.


How does Ray White investment strategy align with your own?

AM: We’ve got the same goals, our investment is mainly around people, technology, and our future (which is really just people and technology combined). We heavily invest in our corporate team, we also invest in our network from a recruitment perspective, and then we heavily invest in technology to make sure that we’re future-proofing our franchisee’s assets.


In your time as CEO, Ray White has experienced prolonged periods of strong sales. How has your leadership enabled such an accomplishment? 

AM: That’s really been through Ray White making the network younger. Because we’ve gone out and made ourselves attractive to younger franchisees who are high-performing, which ensures that they’re going to be with us for a long time. Many of our franchisees who have joined us in the last three years have been in their 30’s and have been running multi-million dollar businesses.


You have stressed that it’s extremely important to continue with auctions in this marketplace, would you care to elaborate?  

AM: So auctions provide a framework for our salespeople which is easy to follow, and that enables us to create competition within the auction process and urgency in a market that may have too much. As we move into a tougher market, auctions allow us to create unconditional purchases in a short time frame, so we’re keeping our days on the market low while also creating competition with buyers to make sure that we are getting a premium price every time.


What do you have to say about Australia’s housing affordability crisis?

AM: That’s a good question. There’s no doubt that we’ve had huge growth over the last two years, we’re looking at 30 percent year-on-year, but that has leveled out. When you look at Sydney in particular, which is a world-class city, compared to other world-class cities such as Paris, New York City, London, Sydney is still fairly affordable. And as we’re moving into a market that’s leveled out, there’s certainly been opportunity created for first-time buyers. The government is certainly making moves to try and make that easier without creating another boom.


Has Australia’s housing policy exacerbated current market woes? Why or why not?

AM: When it comes to rules around things like taxes, the government has to be careful at how they look at that. If there was no state duty tax, for instance, I think that would make housing more affordable because there’s less money on top. Sure, it can incite another boom, but it also could give people the opportunity to be able to transact easier. Also, we’ve got a little bit of an issue with renovation costs and build costs, that means that once you factor those costs in, it makes it difficult for people to renovate, and state duty makes it difficult for people to buy and sell.

In my opinion, there’s an opportunity for the government to do something with state duty. Maybe they bring in annual tax rather than something up from. Now that wouldn’t alleviate the burden of the tax, but it would make it easier for people to enter the market and transact the property in question.


As rates rise, what’s your outlook for the residential sector?

AM: There’s a couple things to consider. Increased rates could potentially make property more unaffordable, or it could prolong the slower market that we’re seeing. Now to have a prolonged slower market is not necessarily a problem, but we need to be able to loosen things somehow in order to give people the ability to enter the market and to have an easier time transacting property.


Is there a particular residential property technology on the rise that you are excited about?

AM: There are a couple! From an agent’s point-of-view, one technology that stands out is called “NutureCloud,” which Ray White is using. NutureCloud utilizes AI to bring leads to the surface through propensity. It allows us the ability to look at consumer activity, and the ability to know who may want to transact property. That gives our people the ability to spend more time being dollar-productive because they’ll be speaking to the right people.

The other bit of property technology is something that I’m actually involved in. It’s called MyHomeVault,” and it basically gives you the ability to store everything about the home in one place, so when you transact that property, you can transfer those files to the new owner. This gives the home its own logbook, similar to that of a vehicle. It makes the transition for the buyer and seller very easy because it gives them more clarity on the property itself.


Real Estate Innovation Festival

Andrew will be speaking at the Real Estate Innovation Festival, taking place on 9-10 November 2022. Bringing together the game changers of the real estate industry for exclusive insights, business and networking opportunities, and to showcase the most innovative PropTech solutions to unprecedented challenges.

Interested in being a blog contributor? Send us an email at info@futureplace.tech indicating you’re interest and we’ll contact you shortly.

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