With many years of combined experience in the industry between them, and a desire to offer a personalised approach focused on premium marketing and exceptional service, Scott and Melissa Nolan established Nolan Partners in 2004 – and they haven’t looked back.
By HEDGIE GUNDRY
When Scott and Melissa Nolan first met at Orara High School in Coffs Harbour back in the 1980s, the stars aligned – not only for a successful marriage, but also for a rewarding and dynamic real estate business partnership.
Now the leading real estate agency in Coffs Harbour, Nolans is focused on its core business of residential sales and property management, with expanding commercial and holiday management services. Nolans is also renowned for its project sales and marketing expertise, having marketed many of the major Coffs Coast residential development projects in the last few years.
The successful husband and wife team recently opened a second office in the neighbouring community of Sawtell, providing residential sales and leasing services, along with a quickly expanding holiday rentals department. And with a well-established team of 20, Nolans continues to go from strength to strength within the Coffs Coast market.
The Nolan family has been part of the local Coffs Harbour community since 1928 and Melissa’s family moved to the area in 1972. For Scott and Melissa, developing strong relationships built on honesty and trust is at the heart of their family run business.
“Continuing the family tradition, our youngest son Billy joined our Coffs Harbour office in 2016 and now runs our marketing for both offices. He’s also a valued member of our sales team,” Melissa said.
“People ask us all the time, ‘how do you all work together?’ But we love it. Because we all have very different management styles and bring different strengths to the business, it definitely works.”
Collaboration and teamwork
So what’s the secret to their success?
As a family business, Scott and Melissa work hard to create a team-orientated culture that places a high value on collaboration. Their continual investment in their people is reflected in an industry-low staff turnover.
“Our supportive workplace instills both professional and personal confidence,” Scott explained. “We genuinely get excited by seeing people grow. If people are growing, they're enjoying their job and they're becoming better people – and this positivity flows through to our customers and clients.
“Many of our team members have been with Nolans for seven years or more. We don’t lose people, because we continue to invest in training and education, and we encourage everyone to be the best they can be. Weekly team training is huge for us and we support individuals to go on to obtain their Real Estate Licence. Sixteen out of our team of 20 are now fully licensed, which is a great achievement.
“But we’re also focused on helping people be successful in their personal lives as well. We encourage open discussions around personal growth and development. We've always understood that when people come to work with us, inside these four walls, we need to provide a safe place. Real estate is a tough business to be in, so we take this responsibility seriously,” he added.
Melissa added: “We’re big on having an engaged team pulling in the same direction – and the benefits are huge. There's now an expectation that when you meet someone from Nolan Partners it’s consistently going to be a high-quality experience.”
Back to basics
With decades of real estate experience between them, Scott and Melissa have strong, finely-tuned systems in place to manage both sales and property management processes to the highest of standards. But in a quieter real estate market, they’ve taken their team back to basics and are focused more on good old-fashioned relationship building.
“This has been a huge shift for us in the last six months,” Melissa explained. “In our view, agents who can build solid and trusted relationships with their clients will survive and thrive. A good agent is no longer about the best technology or even the best scripts and dialogues. It’s about the agents who can build the best relationships.”
With this shift in focus, Scott and Melissa have been working with the Nolans team to grow their relationship building and leadership skills. The feedback from clients has already been overwhelmingly positive.
“As an example, we've spent a lot of time recently encouraging our team not to text or email, but to pick up the phone instead,” Scott said.
“In our experience. people are seeking personal contact. They want to talk to you, rather than having to check a new app or website or receive an email. I think this is where the industry has lost its way a little bit. As a whole, we’ve relied too much on technology and run the risk of losing our point of difference and relevance. We sometimes forget we’re in a relationship business.”
This desire to focus more on relationships mirrors Nolans’ involvement with the local community. As a longstanding local family and established real estate brand, the team supports a variety of national organisations such as R U OK? and the Pink Silks Foundation, but is largely focused on local charities, schools, sporting teams and individuals.
Scott and Melissa stress that they do not strive for recognition or publicity with their community work.
“For us it’s our corporate responsibility to give back and support our local community,” Scott said. “We also encourage our team to become actively involved with causes close to their hearts and we’re always happy to help where we can.”
The future is bright
So what will the future bring for Nolans?
“We’re proud to have been a big part of the Coffs Coast community for 15 years and are looking forward to consolidating our market leading position into the future,” Scott said. “We’re moving to new offices, which will enable us to create a really exciting and engaging working environment for our team and also a great space for our clients.”
“There are also some significant infrastructure projects underway in Coffs Harbour and we’re really looking forward to seeing what the next 15 years bring,” Melissa added.
This article first appeared in the Nov/Dec Journal.