By Hedgie Gundry
When John Pye purchased his first real estate franchise back in 1991, he quickly realised he wanted to build a company culture truly aligned with his own purpose-driven values. He went on to rebrand the agency to John Pye Real Estate in 1998 and hasn’t looked back.
“Over the years we've been offered several franchises, including some of the big ones, but we truly believe we have something precious here in terms of our unique family-values driven culture,” John says. “My daughters Bec Reid and Vanessa Pereira joined the business almost 20 years ago and we’ve gone on to establish a professional second-generation family business.
“We’ve been working with many clients since the late 90s and it’s a great feeling, as they really are an extension of our family,” he adds.
With offices in Hornsby and Thornleigh, John and his well-established team of 11 longstanding employees are focused on residential sales and property management, covering an area as far north as Avalon Beach to Kingswood near Penrith.
And for several years now, John Pye Real Estate has been punching above its weight, winning Small Property Management Company of the Year at the national Leading Property Managers Association Awards in 2018. The agency was also a well-deserved finalist in several categories at last year’s REINSW Awards for Excellence.
Secret for success
So what’s the agency’s secret for success? According to John, it’s his team’s unique business ethic – what it calls ‘empowered service’ – and its purpose-driven culture that sets it apart.
“We put professional care right up there as our number one priority. And for us, this encapsulates being trustworthy, honest and, above all, people of integrity. We firmly believe there's a right way and a wrong way to serve people,” John explains.
“My purpose has always been about offering genuine and authentic service, and putting your own needs aside. This is a rarity in the marketplace and sometimes it feels as if we’re a lone voice. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.
“In short, success for us is defined by our customer experience, not by an individual fixation on sales turnover.”
Respect and honour
As a measure of their success, John and his property management team rarely find themselves at tribunal. And it’s been over three years since a tenant defaulted on rent.
“Our success, especially in property management, is due to our respect for everyone we deal with. We respect tenants in the same way we respect landlords, and we respect buyers in the same way we respect sellers. This has made a huge difference to their attitude towards us,” he says.
“We firmly believe all tenancy agreements should be honoured. If we respect the tenant, this is the outcome. The bottom line is, if you make an agreement, you stick to it. And that's also an important part of our culture.”
For many families, working together day in, day out may prove problematic. But for Bec Reid, it’s been an extremely rewarding journey so far. “It’s wonderful working alongside John. He helped me sell my first property when I was only 19 years old and has mentored me throughout my career,” she says.
“We now replicate his generous and supportive training approach with our new recruits, and we all collaborate and share our knowledge across the business. Everyone responds and operates with our clients in a similar and very best possible way.”
And how does John feel about working with his two daughters? “Bec and Vanessa both have very different personalities: Bec is very much the leader, whereas Vanessa is the manager. They are absolutely superb to work with and have contributed so much to the leadership and management of the business,” he says.
Real estate with heart
With John’s grandchildren now frequent visitors to the Hornsby and Thornleigh offices, the fourth-generation local family is part of the fabric of the community.
“Our community history is fairly unique,” Bec explains. “My grandparents built their first house in the area and the Pye family has been here ever since. John, Vanessa and I – and now our children – all grew up here and are fortunate to live and work within a 10-kilometre radius of each other.”
In addition to sponsoring and donating to numerous community organisations, John and his team have successfully partnered with Ability Options and Job Support for almost 15 years, employing local disadvantaged and disabled people as often as they can.
“We provide a safe haven for first workforce experiences and mentorship support. Our whole team has been involved in giving people confidence, despite their situation and despite their disability, to go out into the big wide world, contribute, form relationships and have a happy work experience,” Bec says.
John Pye Real Estate is also a proud founding sponsor of Heart for the Homeless, a furniture and clothing rescue charity supporting people experiencing homelessness.
So what’s next for John Pye Real Estate?
“Five years ago, we set an ambitious five-year goal, which I’m proud to say our property management business reached at the end of the last financial year. We’re still working to achieve our sales goal within the next 12 months, but we’re almost there,” John says.
“It’s wonderful we’ve attained this level of success in property management in particular. We’re now looking to the next five years and beyond.”