Perth real estate agency’s startup success
Born of a passion for real estate, with a strong focus on delivering high-quality service and results for all of their clients, the team at Benadé Helman has a goal to deliver a real estate experience far exceeding most client expectations.
Following a successful career as a consultant and project manager in the IT industry, Director Ivan Helman decided to turn his passion for real estate into a full-time career. He has gone on to become a dominant agent in Perth’s Western Suburbs and has won industry acclaim including recognition in the REIWA top sales agents awards.
Initially starting as a real estate sales rep in 2009 and then going on to set up his own agency in 2014, Ivan had the presence of mind to carry out due diligence before he hung out his shingle.
“I wanted to create an Agency that delivered a fantastic Property Management service, as I had not seen this done well in my prior experiences in the industry,” says Ivan. “I could see we needed a consistent approach, the right processes and a care factor across the whole team.”
“Our vision was that every client of Benadé Helman should receive world-class service and should expect nothing less than the ultimate real estate experience.”
Part of Ivan’s research involved reaching out to other real estate agency owners who could point him in the right direction. One particular conversation led Ivan to Justin Flavel at Omnis Group in Subiaco.
“Having never established or run a business before I needed guidance around setting up the corporate structure and accounting entity,” says Ivan. “Talking with industry colleagues who said I should work with an accountant from the outset to get the basics right led to a referral to Justin who worked on our business structure, bookkeeping and accounting.”
Benadé Helman opened its doors with Ivan and a partner who were the sales team. They soon got some property management clients onto their books, got some traction and then were able to hire an experienced property manager.
With a natural flair to create innovative systems and processes that really work for their local market, Benadé Helman has a proven track record in delivering exceptional results and complete customer satisfaction in both the Sales and Property Management spaces.
“We spent a lot of time on process so we could scale and grow quickly,” says Ivan. “Omnis Group helped us set up legal and accounting entities to provide structure around what we were trying to achieve.”
“Being a startup, we’ve had incredible wins and spectacular failures but, overall, things have gone really well. The greatest challenges are around staffing, recruitment and resourcing – finding and retaining the right people when you’re too small to justify having an HR department.”
“Omnis Group have been extremely helpful in this space. When we have questions about some of the contractual elements, part-time versus full-time employees, pay rises, sick leave and payroll, the team at Omnis Group are always helpful, supportive and they don’t charge disbursements for every little query.”
Managing all of their accounting in ‘the cloud’ using Xero is not only another useful HR tool, but keeps financial performance in check.
“Being able to dial in on phone or iPad to check something is invaluable,” says Ivan. “Having used Xero from the beginning of the relationship was a huge benefit as we were never in a position to have to transition our data from a desktop accounting platform.”
Ivan believes Justin’s insights into real estate industry best practice are also beneficial.
“We’ve got tight office processes and I try to be distracted as little as possible so I can focus on sales and strategy. I always have confidence that the financials and accounting happens as it should with Omnis Group, so I have peace of mind.”
Ivan regularly reviews his position with Omnis Group.
“Starting small and growing fast we often need to review what the next step is and consider every strategic opportunity carefully. Whenever opportunities present themselves, Justin is our go to person to check the numbers, which we’ve been doing with him on a regular basis.”
“From the get-go Justin has had experience with other real estate operators and really does understand our industry.”
“He has always been useful in that respect because he has helped me to work out how we fit into the grand scheme, benchmarking our overall performance against others in the industry. This is particularly helpful when planning, budgeting and thinking strategically in a changing market.”
Even being approached to move his business away from Omnis Group steeled Ivan’s resolve to keep working with Justin and his team.
“I chatted with Justin, tweaked some things and stayed where we were because of the value Omnis Group adds to my business,” Ivan added.
“We’re doing great things for our clients and plan to do a lot more. We have an amazing leasing and property management team and are always looking for more clients as well as fantastic people to join our team and create a positive real estate experience.”