Tristan fitted out the offices in a homemaker centre, which is somewhat unusual given most agencies are in a shopping village or main road, but has reaped the rewards given the ease of 500 parking spots and the space for his 13 staff.
“The front area is about 100sqm and we use the area for in-room auctions, client nights, landlord nights and functions.”
Tristan wanted to eliminate the “sterile, dentist office” feel and help clients feel happy and comfotable.
“It’s very hard to be an aggressive negotiator when someone offers you a coffee or a drink with cheese and cured means. People come in with their game face on and ready to put the gloves on. It’s amazing how things change. People feel at home and become comfortable rather than adversarial.”
Tristan provides free Campos coffee for his staff and says it pays for itself in productivity.
“I would spend $70 a week on coffee typically. Here’s the kicker that most principals don’t understand. Agents might spend 20 minute walking down the road to the coffee shop, chatting a bit there, coming back. It’s a 40 minute exercise when they could be spending that on the phone.
When I see my guys here at the coffee machine, they chat to the other staff and I see them making phone calls while smashing out a coffee.”
The in-room auctions have been helpful for people who typically “hate auctions”.
Vendors can sit in our staff room and watch the auction real time happening in the foyer using and iPhone and iPad. They watch the vibe and see the auctioneer. They feel so much better about it, they can see the body language and feel comfortable.”
Spending $530,000 wasn’t easy but Tristan says “talk is cheap, the walk is expensive.”
“The staff happiness is great. There’s heaps of storage, big desks and the staff room is very comfortable. The number one thing is that I want people to walk in and say ‘these guys means business’. I think that’s really important and we put the money on the table to show that.”