Traditionally there have always been 3 types of property companies:
- Developers, whose business model is to manufacture and deliver a product – whether for a home owner or investor, it doesn’t matter.
- Real estate agents, whose model is (typically) to sell someone a home. People don’t change homes often, so there’s little need for an ongoing relationship.
- Project marketers, whose model is to service developers and sell new/off-the-plan properties – to them, the more listings the better. These companies mushroom during a property boom, and fade as the market cools. They also don’t mind too much whether their buyer is a home owner/investor, whether or not they settle, or hold the asset long-term.
While Ironfish has its own development arms, operates under a real estate license and does sell new and off-the-plan properties, we do not fit in any of these industries. In founding Ironfish we created our own model – an innovation in itself.
What we saw in the market, was a big emphasis on sales transactions and little emphasis on long-term service for investor. We also noticed that there was very little-to-no financial or wealth education available. Given our own experience as investors, we wanted to help more people understand the need to build assets and wealth for the future and help them take action.
So, from day one, we put investors at the top of our value chain; if customers are happy with the service we provide and with the quality of properties we recommend, they will trust us and come back to us for future investments.
With a strong customer base, track record and reputation, we have the ability and group buying power to work with leading developers in Australia, in turn, securing excellent pre-market opportunities for our investors that simply can not be found on typical real estate platforms like Domain or Realestate.com or via new players in the market.
With this sound foundation we have a great platform for staff to grow and develop with us in long-term careers.
With this model established, we then looked to quickly scale up nationally. Having a national reach with localised service was also a novel concept at the time, and to this day has not been replicated in our industry at our scale.
As we know, the property market works in cycles, and cities are always at different points in the cycle. Helping investors in Sydney, for example, to take advantage of Melbourne market opportunities was a key service we could provide our investors.
In building out a national network, we thought about a franchise model, but were not convinced we could keep our customer-centric culture and service consistent. Instead, we opted for a genuine ‘partnership’ model with multiple business partners with a shared vision – also a unique concept in the industry.
After a period of explosive growth, Ironfish as a business started to have the courage to walk away from more developers. Whilst we had already been selective about developers and properties in the first seven years, we were now determined to be even more selective and work only with the best. Whether this was Mirvac, Stockland or Frasers or boutique and multi-award-winning developers like Aria.
In this period, we also branched out and established our own development arms to fill a gap in a particular market or location, and also to provide further value we could pass on to our investors. Hence Starfish, IFD and ArcOne were established – and so much heart and passion goes into our developments.
Our Portfolio Approach strategy was enhanced in this period, and our property management arms established all over Australia. These were all designed to extend the Ironfish service, so the experience of investment could be as simple and seamless as possible for our customers. This was the beginning of the Ironfish eco-system – and I’m proud to say that literally no other company in our space has managed to achieve this.
Today, the world is changing fast and the pace of technology is faster than ever before. So, what is in store for the next seven years of Ironfish?
One thing I can assure all customers and colleagues is that our core values do not change. In Amazon’s language, customers will always be the centre of our universe. We will continue to invent for our customers. We will embrace opportunities to realise our values better and to enhance the quality of our service delivery 10-fold!
In the next seven years, we want our customers to experience the ‘wow’ factor as we continue to innovate for our customers.
Innovation is in Ironfish’s DNA and I call on all our colleagues to continue to work together, bring even more heart, passion, care and insight to our every task and every service to our customers – to continue to serve customers better and better.
We want to help 100,000 families realise their wealth dreams and look forward to a brighter future, through partnering with us. The best is yet to come!