Ms O’Connell was previously Macquarie Bank’s Victorian Segment Head of Real Estate where she worked with more than 2000 residential real estate agencies and serviced 400 commercial agencies.
She said her initial efforts in the role would be spent implementing the techniques that had worked in other markets.
“There’s just a huge opportunity for us now to take all the learnings from rolling out what’s worked in NSW and WA, and bring it into some new markets, meaning Victoria and Tasmania,” she said.
“Largely, the focus is going to be around the existing agents and just putting a bit of structure and rigour around the existing business in Victoria and the recently acquired business, the Bushby business, in Tasmania,” she added.
Ms O’Connell said current market conditions suited The Agency’s expansion plans, as it offered the brand a key way to highlight its point of difference.
“I think it’s a really good time to review who you work for and ask: ‘Is it an equitable deal? Or is it a good time to say, ‘This is my chance, to go and build my own business and have some ownership in my business, and take home a greater part of all the hard work that I’m doing’?’ she said.
She said that her experience in the finance sector had left her well-prepared for new new role.
“Sitting within the business bank at Macquarie, and lending money to the owners of real estate businesses, so many of those decisions are based on character,” she said.
“It’s a very trusting relationship, that you earn as a banker, because there’s a lot of information around those businesses, good and bad, that you need to understand.
“And you really forge, I think, great relationships and trust with them.
“I think that’s going to be a really good platform for me, when I’m talking to agencies, to give me the confidence to say that this is the model of the future and this is where we think the industry is headed, and that this will be a really good business and personal decision for you to come across.”
The Agency CEO of Real Estate Matt Lahood welcomed the appointment of Ms O’Connell.
“Sally brings a wealth of real estate and financial services experience and we believe that she is the right person to tackle our ambitious growth targets,” Mr Lahood said.
“As well as powering our growth in these key markets her role will be to focus on coaching, mentoring
and training our agents.”