By HEDGIE GUNDRY
There's not much multi-industry-award-winning Adrian Wilson doesn't know about the Sydney real estate market after a successful 20-year career. From sales agent and negotiator to agency owner and consultant, launching Ayre Real Estate in June 2019 was the next bold step in Adrian's quest to deliver premium sales and property management apartment services.
“We identified a real gap in the Sydney real estate market,” Adrian explained. “There was no one delivering something special, going above and beyond, or focusing on apartments as a true specialty.
“Before launching Ayre, I spent six months working with some of the best strategic thinkers and creative minds in the industry and externally, to make sure we could deliver on our promise to be the best apartment specialists in Australia.”
As part of this process, Adrian subsequently joined forces with Craig Donohue and Kate Sommervelle, owners of Torch Property Management at the time, to expand the service area of the new agency group.
“We defined our position in the market very succinctly and are now taking apartment real estate to the next level,” Adrian said. “Being focused and specialised means we can drive our business with a much clearer goal as to where we're going.”
Adrian's strategic approach has paid off. From zero market share to number one sales agency in less than 18 months, Ayre now has three Sydney city offices, a team of 13 and was crowned winner of the Innovation category at the 2020 REINSW Awards for Excellence – and all during a global pandemic.
“We had to embrace it,” Adrian said. “During the early months of COVID-19, we took the Warren Buffett approach and invested in the business, believing at some point that the market would turn around. This strategy definitely paid off.
“Thankfully, for us, the city market is much more consistent than the suburbs and, now business has picked up, we see a nice, steady trajectory. The prestige apartment market, with values upwards of four to five million, is particularly buoyant at the moment and is outperforming the rest of the city.”
“Winning the Innovation category at the REINSW Awards for Excellence last year validated our approach and I couldn't be prouder. It solidified the hard work that we’ve put in place to do something different.”
Knowledge and innovation
For Adrian, three key things set Ayre apart from the competition: knowledge, innovation and commitment.
“I can say, hands down, that there’s no other team in the country that knows more about how to market apartments for sale and lease,” he said. “Our knowledge of the intricate nuances of strata is second to none.
“Winning the Innovation category at the REINSW Awards for Excellence last year validated our approach and I couldn't be prouder. It solidified the hard work that we’ve put in place to do something different. From our branding to the internal systems and the service we provide, everything we’ve done has been focused on being market leaders in this space.
“We’re amazed how often people say to us: ‘Thank you so much for actually knowing what you’re talking about.’ I know it sounds strange – and many people might call it ‘the basics’ – but, for us, it's ‘the essentials.’”
Adrian views Ayre’s role in the market, first and foremost, as a confidence creator.
“We’re here to help our clients achieve the best outcome and to provide confidence to all parties in any transaction,” he said. “Property is a great asset and the long-term opportunity in Sydney is phenomenal.”
Ayre’s internal mantra or vision is to ‘Elevate Life’, driven by a commitment to understanding clients’ key motivators behind each sale or investment decision.
“There's always a personal motivation attached to every property,” Adrian explained. “In 20 years, I’ve never heard of anyone selling just for the sake of it.
“If we understand the motivation, then it’s not so much about the property anymore. It’s about the outcome.
“If we’re the most knowledgeable agents in the market, have all of the skills, internal processes and marketing to support a great experience, and are combining all of this with a real desire and commitment to service and help our clients, then, for us, this is a winning combination.”
Unlike the well-established Sydney suburbs, the inner city has traditionally lacked a sense of community. But all that is slowly changing.
Ayre sponsors the Millers Point Community Garden just off Argyle Street and supports new local businesses as much as it can. And Adrian is looking for more community programs to engage with over the next 12 months and beyond.
“When I started in the Sydney market 20 years ago, it was quite rare for people to move into the city,” he remembered. “Today, so many people have worked out that it’s a great environment to live in. These include downsizers who want to move from a large family home to the city, or conversely, young executives working long hours who don't necessarily want to commute.
“The community feel is slowly increasing, as the demographics and liveability of the city changes.”
So what does the future hold for Ayre Real Estate?
“We want to solidify and build on our market position,” Adrian explained. “Being number one is great, but we can further improve our market share.
“It's also essential for us to continue our growth by building a sustainable and cohesive team, where everyone’s aligned and understands the business’s vision, with that real sense of teamwork and collaboration.
“Growing our team and looking for opportunities in adjacent markets that could benefit from the way that we do business will be our key areas of focus.”