Off the back of an exceptional period of growth where Harcourts has become one of the leading real estate franchise groups after just two decades, Harcourts Group Australia has appointed Lisa Pennell to the newly created role of Chief Operations Officer, Australia.
Marcus Williams and Lisa Pennell
“As a high-profile industry expert, we engaged Lisa in her capacity as a consultant on some important strategic projects late last year,” said Marcus Williams, CEO, Harcourts Group Australia. “It is a real coup to add her enviable track record of success and impressive mix of skills to the role, including strategy, negotiation, crisis management, leadership and marketing. I am thrilled to say she will be a great asset to our team.”
Harcourts Group Australia has grown rapidly in a short amount of time to achieve the third largest real estate franchise group position. Poised to soon take over the second position, the remarkable ascent is due in large part to the brand’s culture and value offering.
“Regardless of whatever headwinds come our way, we have continued to take market share year on year,” said Mr Williams, noting that the brand recently celebrated its most successful year in business.
Like many Australian businesses, Harcourts recalibrated its market approach in 2020 and used that time as an opportunity to fine-tune the suite of resources offered to the Harcourts franchise network, seeing the investment pay off in increased revenue for franchise offices and their teams.
“We dedicated resources to our long-standing commitment to industry leading innovation and best of breed technologies, launching next level enhancements, from the comprehensive ‘You/Our’ lead generation campaign for prospecting and recruitment to the Harcourts360 business intelligence dashboard that gives exact clarity into sales and property management leaders to fine-tune decision making with data,” said Mr Williams.
“Lisa’s appointment as COO is the next step in our aim to be #1 in Australia. We have a serious growth strategy in place for Australia and have no doubt Lisa will be a crucial part of our success going forward as we strive to match the dominant market position we already hold in New Zealand.”
Ms Pennell’s appointment comes on the heels of recent leadership team expansions, including naming Christian Hamilton to Head of Auctions – Australia, and Karmen Costigan to Head of Property Management – Australia, both newly created strategic roles.
With more than 20 years of industry experience under her belt, including her most recent corporate role as Head of Marketing role at Ray White group, Ms Pennell explained that having worked closely with Harcourts through her consulting business, she saw no hesitation in backing the group’s ambitions.
“Harcourts is a great brand that’s really on the move and I fully expect the goals in place to be realised over the coming years,” said Ms Pennell.
“The biggest risk to any business in the current landscape is to have a brand gap, where the business capability does not match the customer promise or expectation. Market success in any industry often leads to complacency - it happened most recently with Holden, a previously dominating force in the car industry, we saw it with Nokia in the telco industry, and Kodak even before that.
“Having worked with Harcourts Australia as well as the international team firsthand as a consultant, I have no hesitation in backing the group’s ambitions by taking on the challenge of the COO role in Australia.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with Marcus, as well as the rest of the 120-member corporate team and 400-plus office network in Australia.”
Harcourts offers a full range of real estate services, specializing in residential, commercial and rural property sales as well as property management services. Harcourts works closely with several affiliate groups including Mortgage Express, Nutrien Harcourts, NAI Harcourts and Harcourts Connect.
Ms Pennell will commence in the new role from 3 May 2021.