Where Trust is a Tradition
Property buyers and sellers have ben utilising the services of ParkTrent Properties Group since 1989. With offices spread across the country this full-service real estate company also provides rental property management and is known for its sound advice in matters concerning investment in property. It has an in-house brokering arm, EasyPlan Financial Services, which complements its activities by tying up financial arrangements for the company’s clients.
Speaking about the inception of ParkTrent, Ron Cross, Chief Executive Officer and founder said, “ParkTrent Properties Group commenced operations 26 years ago and we understood at the time the wonderful opportunities there were, as a great disparity existed between property prices in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
“We were able to get some fabulous listings in Queensland and property prices were probably at half the levels of prices in New South Wales and Victoria. We sold many hundreds of properties over the next five to six years to investors in Queensland and they reaped handsome rewards from these early purchases.
“The business has grown tremendously since then and now there are some 400 staff nationwide and we sell a considerable amount of real estate. Not only are financial arrangements made available for buying real estate, we also do property management and arrange and assist with fabulous finance packages and structure the borrowings to get the best cash flow advantages for our clients.”
The country-wide presence ParkTrent enjoys came about when the company began selling properties in ACT, Perth, Victoria and North Queensland. Research conducted by ParkTrent indicated that these areas would show marked increases in demand for rental properties. This prompted the company to actively market properties to investors.
Once ParkTrent established its presence in these areas a need was felt to introduce property management services to look after the investments made by its clients. With this intention the company established 10 offices and this led to even more business.
Ron Cross is very positive about the property market, “Melbourne and Sydney are the two hot places at the moment, not only for investors to buy properties buy also for rental properties. We are finding an extraordinary demand in the outer ring of Melbourne. A week ago we had a three bedroom dwelling for rent in a western suburb of Melbourne 40 kilometres from the CBD and we had over 40 people come over for the inspection of the rental property on Sunday morning.
“My views on the property market are different from the view of others whom I see on the television and in the press, talking about interest rates driving the market. I don’t think it is interest rates driving the market. Sure, it’s a part of the equation, but the most important thing driving this market is the demand, and demand is caused by our population increasing and it is not necessarily migration, you have to look at the babies being born in this country.
“There are 6000 babies being born every week. What most people talk about is the ageing population but I think we need to look at what’s happening in this country. When a baby is born, within 15 to 20 years they become independent and leave the family home and will be looking for rental accommodation. I think the future for Australian investment properties is going to be very good for those people who are looking for rental incomes and capital value increases.”
ParkTrent has a focussed marketing plan and they hold investment conferences across the country and in Malaysia, China, Vietnam, and New Zealand. In Australia alone there are five or six conferences held every week.
At these conferences a professional presenter, and at times Ron Cross himself, explains the investment opportunities and the company is successful in generating large numbers of leads.
Between 25% and 30% of the company’s sales are referral based. It also markets its services through its call centre. Radio advertising and press advertising are used extensively and the company receives 700 to 800 enquiries every week through its Facebook and web pages
A gala event is held in each state and attracts about 3000 ParkTrent clients. The event is free and some of the best entertainers to be found in Australia perform for the audience. The company has built up a loyal customer base and this has helped it to expand its business over the years.
ParkTrent’s clients have the advantage of getting in-house financial advice from EasyPlan Financial. “We have our own brokering arm which is called EasyPlan Financial Services with staff at all our major branches throughout Australia.
“When a client is interested in buying an investment property we have a look at their current financial arrangements, and if what they have in place is the best possible thing that they should be doing we don’t change that.
“If their current arrangements are not the best available in the market, we will suggest to them that they change, and the reasons why they should change. In most cases, I can tell you, we have saved people considerable amounts of money by showing them all the cash flow benefits.
“We deal with all the major banks including CBA, Westbank, St. George, NAB and ANZ – we have been dealing with them for many years. All these banks have a high service level and their products are also similar, but sometimes you can get an extra discount for your client because of what they do, how many properties they have, and their credit rating.”
The future of the residential property market in Australia is very bright and Ron Cross is sure that investors will gain tremendously, “We hear so much about the property bubble and property prices and that this can’t keep going on.
“One of the things that we really need to think about in this country is that Australia is a continent and it’s surrounded by great oceans which help protect us. We have a wonderful pollution free environment and a stable government.
“Our titles on our properties are there for generations. In many countries throughout the world these conditions do not exist. I see the future for residential property investment in this country to be magnificent and unique because our population is increasing and there are many millions of people who would like to come and live in Australia.
“In the next 50 years Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will be amongst the largest cities on the planet. If you look at the prices of property in London, New York, Tokyo and Paris today we are considerably less expensive.
“So my advice to anyone out there today is, don’t be put off by people saying this can’t continue. It will continue because of the uniqueness of the wonderful country that we live in – Australia.”