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Top US Realtor Joins Australasian Corporate Team

Top US Realtor Joins Harcourts’ Australasian Corporate Team to Further Drive Growth

For Release: 2 March 2006

Australasia’s fastest growing real estate group, Harcourts International Ltd, has announced the appointment of internationally renowned realtor, Gregg Toyama, in a new role as Chief Operations Officer.

Californian born and raised, Mr Toyama’s 15 year real estate career began in sales in Australia in 1990, moving into an office management role for two years taking his office to number one spots both years. From there he moved onto real estate consultancy and training throughout Australia and New Zealand.
He was then appointed Director of Business Development for a major real estate group responsible for implementing growth throughout Australasia.

Returning to the US in 2001, Mr Toyama was appointed Director of Strategic Developments for Prudential California Real Estate, the fourth largest real estate group in the United States with over 3,000 sales consultants and an annual turnover of US$24 billion.

Managing Director of Harcourts International Ltd, Mike Green, said the appointment was “a significant step in our continued growth and development. Gregg Toyama is clearly one of the leading real estate professionals anywhere in the world and brings enormous experience and knowledge to the role. We’re excited to have him join the team, a move I know will cement our position as the fastest growing and most innovative real estate group in Australasia.”

Mr Toyama said he first became familiar with and developed a strong respect for Harcourts during a trip to New Zealand in the early 1990s, where it was a clear industry leader. Having maintained contact with Harcourts senior management over time, he was invited as a keynote speaker to Harcourts annual 2005 National Conference in New Zealand to speak on global trends.

Referring to the real estate industry world-wide, Mr Toyama noted in particular that the stronger ‘full-service’ brands were becoming more powerful. “In the US today, the average real estate office has 60 sales consultants, with Prudential’s largest single office having 300 sales consultants. International ‘full- service’ companies like Harcourts are continuing to grow, while the ‘low-service’ smaller real estate groups are getting squeezed out of the market.”

With a focus on working at a senior strategic level to grow the Harcourts group throughout Australasia and Asia, Mr Toyama noted, “Great real estate agents and those new to the industry want to work with companies that invest in smart tools, technology, affiliated services, people and products which is where Harcourts excels.”

He added, “there was a time in the mid 1990s where the feeling in the industry was that technology would replace real estate agents, but ten years later we have even more real estate agents than before. However those agents who have adopted technology have set themselves up for a future and are quickly outperforming their peers. That’s because the ‘baby boomers’, and generations ‘X’ and ‘Y’ expect you to utilize technology tools to access international marketing for their property.”

Comparing Harcourts and the Australasian real estate industry internationally, Mr Toyama said, “The industry here is as professional as anywhere in the world. Harcourts has a highly skilled and cohesive team of quality people, business owners and real estate professionals. If we keep focusing on improving our skills, systems and implementation it’s only a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’ we are going to achieve our goal to be number one in Australasia.”

Mr Green noted that Harcourts was already a leader in a number of fields including technology with its website consistently was the most visited real estate group website in New Zealand and a unique in-house training academy including six full-time dedicated trainers throughout Australasia. He said one of Mr Toyama’s roles would be to ensure that Harcourts offices and teams enjoyed full access to the range of products and services available to them in order to continually grow their professionalism and skills to provide a superior service to the public.

Mr Toyama is based in Harcourts’ Adelaide State office following his recent return to South Australia with his family.

ENDS

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