Looking at Ron Bakir you may ask yourself: How does one man go from investing in a single duplex on the Gold Coast to having $1 billion in Australia-wide house sales under his belt?
Ron has always been quick to emphasise that his burgeoning property business did not appear overnight - that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
But Rome wasn’t built by under 40’s who have experienced year-on-year business growth either, and just over a decade is still an impressively short amount of time to secure a company’s position as a leader in the residential property sector.
After his nomination for the 2015 Executive of the Year Awards the usually publicity-shy CEO and founder of the HomeCorp Group opened up to The CEO Magazine about the secrets to his phenomenal success.
Path to THE TOP
Ron Bakir entered into the property industry the same way that most people do – he renovated and sold houses around his local area. From renovations Ron moved into subdivisions where he soon realised his passion lay less with flipping houses and more with keeping his finger on the pulse of the property development industry as a whole.
In 2004, Ron Bakir chose Western Australia as the location for his first foray into subdivision – a move that paid off. The Western Australian venture was wildly successful: 500 home and land packages were sold in just three years (that’s 3 houses a week!) and the HomeCorp Group began.
Diversified Portfolios Pay Off
Ron Bakir’s attitude towards property development can be best summed up by the old proverb: “Don’t slay the slain”.
Translation: You’ll never pick the next hot spot if you’re trying to bleed the last one dry.
Despite the HomeCorp Group’s prosperous beginnings, Ron has always been critically aware of the need to diversify the company’s portfolio.
Feeling that the Western Australian market was close to peaking, in 2005 Ron expanded his business into Victoria, selling home and land packages in Melbourne fringe-suburbs Tarneit, Wyndham Vale and Werribee.
In 2006 Ron Bakir diversified once again, this time in addition to the home and land packages that are the bread and butter of HomeCorp Group, Ron started delivering luxury river front projects and high end properties on the Gold Coast.
Under Ron’s guidance, when the GFC hit Australia in 2007 the HomeCorp Group flourished, expanding into several of Queensland’s regional areas (Gympie, Bundaberg, Townsville, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Toowoomba) whilst businesses all around it went under.
These days HomeCorp Group sells luxury homes ($3-5 million), medium to high-end villas ($900K – 1.2 million) and affordable residential housing for under $500K Australia wide, and has 4500 allotments on the cards for the coming years.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
In his interview with The CEO Magazine Ron explained that the biggest mistake those entering into the property business make is waiting too long to see what happens in the market.
After all, there’s no point in picking the winning number if you didn’t have any money on it. But that’s not to say that the housing market is a blind gamble.
Ron’s advice about the importance of being proactive towards the market is given in with the proviso that you must not be afraid to invest in market research either. By always having your ear to the ground you can confidently enter the right market the fastest.
Don’t Sweep Anything Under the Rug
Those who have met, or worked with Ron Bakir will know that above all else he is a “straight up and down” kind of guy. Ron explained to The CEO Magazine that the best way to achieve a win-win situation for all parties in any interaction is being direct and honest.
When it comes to the HomeCorp Group’s objectives and operating style, all of the 125 people under Ron Bakir’s leadership know to “tell it the way it is”.
“When you tell people the way it is, they generally respect you for it and are glad you are the person they get to do business with,” Ron said.
HomeCorp Group applies this straightforward approach to the relationships it has with suppliers, who understand the importance of only making promises they can actually deliver, which in turn helps the company pass realistic costs and expectations on to their customers.