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Thomas Baldwin reports record-breaking first quarter

Thomas Baldwin Boutique Real Estate has celebrated being Cairns’ first ever shopfront-free and paperless real estate agency with record-breaking sales figures in its first quarter of business.

Well-known Cairns real estate agents Carol Thomas and Morganne Baldwin established the innovative agency in July this year, breaking with the real estate tradition of having a shopfront, instead providing a highly-responsive ‘virtual office’ for its clients.

And in first quarter (July-September 2019) sales figures released today, across all Thomas Baldwin’s sales the average days on market was only SIX, compared to an average of 52 days for Cairns, with a median sale price of $460,000 (compared to $416,000 for Cairns).

Thomas Baldwin sold properties from $300,000 to $1.5 million, with two properties selling without even going to market.

Carol said the results were justification that Thomas Baldwin’s modern, virtual office approach –so far only seen in larger cities in Australia – ensured the best results for both buyers and sellers.

“We’re proud to be pioneers in the Cairns region in the electronic way of doing business with a remote office and flexible working hours,” said Carol.

“The word ‘boutique’ is currently a trending word in real estate, and is often misleading when you consider the commitments and promises made by agents to clients under this banner.

“’Boutique’ is all about personalised service. There’s no 9 to 5 with us, you don’t get shipped around among agents, and you don’t need to wait a whole weekend to hear from us or have a contract signed.”

Morganne said the new, safe and regulated electronic contract signature platform supported by the Real Estate Institute Queensland (REIQ) was a game changer for the real estate industry.

“The paperless element means it’s really easy and very quick for all parties to sign contracts, sometimes in as little as 15 minutes, all in a safe and secure environment,” she said.

“There’s no longer a need to have your agent in your home for lengthy periods, and we’re proud to be one of the few Cairns real estate agencies using this leap forward in technology.

“We’re passionate about providing a personalised service and marketing designed around a seller’s property, and the buyers their property will attract.

“We believe the most under serviced part of our industry is clear and transparent communication, and we can be contacted at any time, day or night.

“We also have more time for all of our clients as we cap the number of properties that we carry. We don’t need to be the biggest agency, but we certainly strive to be the best for our clients.”

Carol said that technology has allowed and Domain to become the new real estate database, and gone are the days of agents having 30,000 buyers on their books.

“Our personalised buyer relationships enable us to match people to property through off market sales and also in conjunction with other agencies,” she said.

“We have many repeat clients, and long-term clients who refer us, and that’s something we’re very proud of.”

Some of the boutique-style personalised services which Thomas Baldwin prides itself on include:

  • Ensuring clear communication from the moment a property is listed to sell. From detailed property preparation and advice as well property styling on the day of the photo shoot. Carol and Morganne attend the photo shoot to ensure everything is perfect.

  • Client involvement and proofing of all advertising and photo selection.

  • Clear buyer and open home feedback verbally (as it happens) and also in a detailed weekly report.

  • From contract signing, staying in touch with all parties including solicitors to ensure smooth sailing to settlement. A pre-settlement inspection is offered and organised with the buyer to ensure each property is ready for handover. Settlement is a personal hand over of keys preferably at the property with a gift personalised to the buyer and their circumstances.

“In rare circumstances at settlement when the seller is unable to fix a certain problem, we will step in and organise cleaners, gardeners, whatever it takes,” said Morganne.

“Carol and I have both cleaned pools, mopped floors, and even taken dogs for walks…we will get the job done. In one case recently we paid for a pest treatment to keep a buyer happy.

“We also make a follow up call to see if moving in went well, and if can we assist further. Often there are questions for the previous owner, so we try to sort that too.”

Morganne said the biggest bugbear for clients that she’s found in her real estate career is delayed response time.

“It can be a massive frustration when buyers and sellers receive delay after delay when trying to navigate the real estate process,” Morganne said.

“We’re 100 per cent focused on speed of response, because we understand the industry, and take the time to genuinely care about the people and properties we’re dealing with.”

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