Opening a new business in a typical climate is one thing. But to open a new business during a worldwide pandemic is something completely different. Yet for mother-and-son team Jane and Samuel Schumann, that’s pretty much all they’ve known since opening Raine & Horne Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay. “We opened the doors to our office, then within two days, we had to close them back up due to the hard lockdown in March 2020,” Jane tells The CEO Magazine.
“It’s been a big challenge having to shift quickly to digital marketing, online auctions and private inspections as opposed to the typical open inspections. At one point, we even had virtual opens for inspections. We’ve had to pivot to ensure that our clients are well serviced all while keeping a high level of professionalism. It’s been a challenge, but in reality, it’s all we’ve really known.”
Their hard work and flexibility during such a challenging time has not gone unnoticed. By maintaining a genuine, unwavering focus on their clients and achieving the best possible real estate outcomes, the team has already won its first award. “We were awarded the Best New Office in New South Wales in our first year of operating; right in the midst of the global pandemic,” Jane shares.
“Our company motto is, ‘We do what we say we are going to do,’ and despite its simplicity, it works. We are highly personalised with our owners and buyers alike. For us, there’s no such thing as close enough is good enough.” That’s why when it came to hiring, they went straight to the very best.
“We recruited well-known agents such as Kiki Bermudez, who has an amazing following in her key marketplace,” Jane says. “And we have also secured another franchise in Raine & Horne Projects with James Nixon. He has a great focus on building key relationships in that space.”
In real estate, relationships are utterly paramount. Whether with photographers, tech whizzes, printers or campaigners, Jane is convinced they’re absolutely essential to providing the best service to Raine & Horne Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay clients.
“We maintain these relationships by being loyal to our key suppliers,” she reveals. “In doing so, we create a greater value proposition for our clients.” Even more, nurturing those relationships closest to home helps ensure that, even in a difficult climate, business carries on without a hitch. That’s why Jane and Samuel have placed culture on the top of their agendas.
“Given we have opened during a pandemic, we’ve led in a way that cares for our staff’s mental wellbeing,” Jane says. “Culture is the most important pillar of our company. We really focus on hard work, innovation, collaboration and fun, and make sure that everyone who joins us is the right fit for the culture that we have been building.”
Far from novice entrepreneurs, Jane and Samuel are a dream team in real estate. With Jane’s extensive 32-year career in the industry mixed with Samuel’s background in sports marketing and sales in both Sydney and New York City, the two complement each other well.
“I’ve worked for some of Australia’s biggest real estate brands. Before opening Raine & Horne Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay, I spent 14 years at Di Jones with my business partner Gary Sands. Samuel joined our team a few years prior to Gary’s retirement and that’s when Samuel and I took the opportunity to open our own office,” Jane says.
“Culture is the most important pillar of our company.” – Jane
“When I made the decision to transition out of sports marketing and sales and into real estate with my mother, it was always with the intention to not only build her sales business as an agent, but to build a successful real estate office too,” Samuel adds.
With Raine & Horne Corporate backing them every step of the way with its store of best practices and digital innovation, the mother-and-son duo say they feel “extremely lucky” to have that insight and support guiding them. But even more, they feel incredibly fortunate to be doing it all together.
“Every day we are grateful that we can be a mother-and-son team and that we have the ability to build a strong business together,” Jane and Samuel agree.