Review: Business @ Lunch with John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents

John McGrath ‘didn’t buy into the global financial crisis’. At RBF’s lunch on 28 May he told 90 members and guests he didn’t believe in using the GFC as an excuse not to grow his business. McGrath Estate Agents rode the GFC and in spite of the local economy opened new offices across eastern Australia, becoming the fastest-growing real estate company in the industry.

“Grow your business forever,” John told guests. “Don’t let it slow down. Practice incremental never-ending improvement. Recognise your staff when they achieve goals.

“Engage the best talent you can and nurture them. Have a plan and find the people to make it happen.”

John’s business uses these principles:

  • Passion + process
  • Excellence Always
  • Raving fans
  • Talent and culture
  • Brand energy

all of which can be applied to businesses in any industry.

John McGrath has been in the real estate industry for 32 years, and his company had 10,000 sales last year at an average of $1M per property. In Sydney, he says the top suburbs to buy into are with 15km of the city, and properties between $500K- $2M move well on the market.

Post-GFC, the property market in Sydney has spiralled up with unprecedented growth of 15%, and John is hopeful that will plateau soon and head back to single figures, making property more affordable. “The price increase is driven by low interest rates and a strong share market. 40% of loans are with investors rather than owner-occupiers. Self-Managed Super Funds are a big part of that, with people choosing to invest in property rather than leave money in the bank.”

John spoke about overseas investment in the Australian housing market. In Sydney, 18% of ‘off the plan’ buying is by Asian investors, mainly Chinese, and accounted for $5.9bn in sales last year. These investors focus on specific suburbs and precincts. The Significant Investor Visa program allows overseas investors with $5M or more to buy a place in Australia and move here.

RBF thanks John McGrath for making himself available to speak to our members and guests and answer their questions, Kathleen Synnott from McGrath Hunters Hill for her assistance, North Ryde RSL and Community Club for their delicious food and excellent service, George Papallo for MCing the event and David Tompkins for providing the vote of thanks.

We hope all guests at the event enjoyed the luncheon and gained inspiration from John’s business practice insight.

Photos from the event are shown below.

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