Prior to the Ritz Carlton, Matthew worked in sales at Budget Rent a Car and attributes founder Bob Ansett’s “can do” attitude as further inspiration.
“I’ve always been motivated by organisations and leaders who instil the value of fulfilling the needs of clients and the team.
“At Budget Rent a Car, exceptional service was about creating a great customer experience. ‘If we don’t have a solution, we’ll find a solution’ was how the business operated. Too many people today put it back on the customer.
“In another life I might have been an architect, but real estate is where I have very happily ended up. I’ve always been interested in the look and feel of a property.
“Remembering back to being a tenant, I didn’t find the process very satisfying with regard to service and I felt that this could be a point of difference for us when I created McConnell Bourn on the Upper North Shore of Sydney 16 years ago with my wife and business partner Samantha.
“Client service and delivering on our promises are our core values, and this goes back to our days working in hospitality together. The client should receive exceptional and transparent advice along the way and that is the cornerstone of our success,” he said.
Prior to launching McConnell Bourn in April 2000, Matthew spent six years with the franchise Richardson & Wrench.
“At Richardson & Wrench, I was a commission-only salesperson and my wife started running McConnell Bourn as a property management company. Richardson & Wrench was aware that we had opened the agency and I had sign off from my boss, as they didn’t see it as a conflict of interest.
“Then a client called with a referral to sell a property under the McConnell Bourn brand, and that was the catalyst for taking the agency full steam into sales.
“It was a sudden decision to move McConnell Bourn into sales. We had just started a family and we were wanting a consistent income due to the nature of the sales roller coaster. Property management provided that reoccurring income.
“It was also the time of the Olympics and there was an air of uncertainty around real estate sales.
“We considered purchasing a franchise, but with a franchise you need to conform with head office processes. We wanted to be the masters of our own destiny and be in control, so decided to create our own brand. It was a leap of faith at the time,” he said.
Property management is still a very important aspect of the business and, according to Matthew, from a revenue point of view it represents about 10 per cent of the business.
“We have recently appointed a Business Development Manager and have a growth plan in place,” he said.