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Raine & Horne forms new North Shore entity with merger of three principal offices

Raine & Horne has reinforced its position on Sydney’s prestigious North Shore with the merger of three of its principal offices.

Raine & Horne Crows Nest has amalgamated with nearby Raine & Horne Chatswood Willoughby and Raine & Horne St Leonards. The new entity will trade as Raine & Horne HM Group, and former Crows Nest principals David and Jan Hill and Hugh and Cassandra Macfarlan from Raine & Horne Chatswood Willoughby will lead the business.

Raine & Horne St Leonards principal John Simpson-Morgan is excited to integrate his long-standing business into Raine & Horne HM Group. This decision to join the new entity will provide an enhanced level of service to Raine & Horne St Leonards clients through greater access to resources, training and reach across the North Shore, noted Mr Simpson-Morgan.

“An office expansion of this nature is a developing industry trend, and this merger represents one of the clear-cut advantages of being part of a large network such as Raine & Horne,” said Angus Raine, Executive Chairman, Raine & Horne.

“The offices share a similar corporate culture, while a merger gives David, Hugh, Jan, and Cassandra the opportunity to take their businesses to the next level.

“Moreover, an opportunity to create larger, more robust businesses is not as easily available to independents. Also, David, Hugh, Jan and Cassandra have the equivalent of 100 years’ worth of experience in real estate, which will be a massive resource for property owners, investors, and tenants on the North Shore.”

Mr Hill said the longevity of Raine & Horne Crows Nest, Raine & Horne Chatswood/Willoughby and Raine & Horne St Leonards business relationships with the 135-year-old real estate brand was central to the merger.

The benefits of an office merger

The ability to work with like-minded people coupled with economies of scale regarding marketing, training, and recruitment, are the primary appeals of launching Raine & Horne HM Group, according to Mr Hill.

“As salespeople, Hugh and I have developed a strong working relationship by attending Raine & Horne’s conferences, awards nights and principals’ retreats, which are central to fostering the network’s culture,” he said.

“While we have the shared culture, we have discovered we complement each other. I admire Hugh’s eagle-like eye for detail, and he tells me he likes my enthusiasm for real estate and business growth.”

Mr Hill said Raine & Horne HM Group will be able to cross-utilise the databases of the three businesses, and property management will remain a significant focus. Jan Hill from the former Crows Nest office will lead the new entity’s property management team.

“Combining the budgets of the two businesses will also enable us to invest more time in longer-term strategic planning, as well as more funding for training to ensure we have the best-educated salespeople and property managers.”

Mr Macfarlan agrees, explaining, “By merging we will able to cut duplicate costs, while the merged entity will give us a more brand exposure for our marketing dollars.”

A merged business will enable the new company to recruit and retain quality real estate specialists, said Mr Macfarlan. Raine & Horne HM Group is seeking to triple its sales team by the end of 2020.

“Having a bigger team will enable us to attract higher quality talent and retain them.

Cassandra Macfarlan, responsible for recruitment and retention at Raine & Horne Chatswood Willoughby, will continue as the human resources lead for the new business.

Plenty of legwork involved in a merger

Mr Macfarlan warns that every aspect of the merger must make sense before a decision to amalgamate is taken.

“You don’t merge to save money and when you’re moving from a standalone business to a combined entity, just don’t do it because you think the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence.

“You have to go into a partnership with eyes wide open, make sure there are open lines of communication from the start and that everybody is as aligned as they can be.

“People are always going to be in different stages of their careers, different stages of their life cycles. If everybody is on the same page as far as the broad direction of where you want to go with the business, and they are willing to put in the work, then you have the elements for a successful merger.”

Breakout: Benefits of merging real estate offices

1.    Developing an existing shared corporate culture

2.    Significant increase in combined real estate experience

3.    Ability to work with like-minded people

4.    Larger sales and property management territories and databases

5.    Greater economies of scale regarding marketing, training, recruitment, and retention

6.    Invest more time in strategic planning and business growth.

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