It’s hard to miss Barossa Rental Specialists’ new Tanunda location.
The bright, purple coloured building at the corner of Basedow Road and Murray Street highlights the next chapter for proprietor, Ms Lisa Akeroyd.
Inside, the white walls, plants and white furniture are the outcome of a vision Lisa had almost three years ago when she thought of starting her own rental business.
“Barossa Rental Specialists came about because I owned a rental property and wasn’t really happy with the way it was managed,” said Lisa.
“I was also renting a property elsewhere, and as a tenant I found the service level was often very poor.
“I thought there must be a better way, so I just floated the idea of going back into real estate but focusing totally on rentals.
“I felt sure there was a gap in the market for a premium service so with encouragement of my partner, Nick, I took a deep breath and decided to launch my own company.”
Lisa recalls flying to Brisbane back in 2017 to discuss her concept and business plan with friends in the industry, and to start work on her branding and logo design.
Not long after, she embarked on an advertising campaign with The Leader and began operating from a home office at Nuriootpa. The calls started flooding in.
“When we first commenced trading in August 2017, I just remember feeling so nervous, but excited that I had launched something from our study at home,” said Lisa.
“That first week, the phone rang. I will always remember that. A lady wanted me to find her a tenant… I did! And then another lady rang wanting me to manage her property in Tanunda. It was fantastic!”
The calls didn’t stop, and Barossa Rental Specialists just kept growing.
“I think people really like the fact that all we do is rentals,” said Lisa.
“It’s interesting because I think a lot of people have lost the belief that they’ll ever own their own home. The dream is still there, but the belief is they won’t. So, we’ve seen an increase in renting.”
By February 2018 Lisa’s friend started to help with her paperwork.
Then by July, 2018 Lisa employed her first staff member, Ms Jodie Reimann.
Jodie began as a part-time administrator, but within a couple of months was doing full-time hours and training toward certification as a qualified rental manager.
Last year, Lisa added to the team and welcomed, Ms Hayley Potter, an experienced rental manager.
“Both Jodie and Hayley are so passionate about real estate,” said Lisa
“So now we have that combination of the three of us and it’s a real winning formula.”
With two employees and rapid business growth, Lisa knew they were outgrowing her home office. They had moved from the study into the lounge room when Jodie came on board.
“I just knew we needed our own space, and the business had progressed to the point where people were asking where our office was. That was a prompt to get our brand out there and away from a residential setting,” she said.
“People can now visit us here at a professional office space, but we still go out to visit people at their home or workplace like we did at the beginning. This is such a spacious place to liaise and work. It was also nice to get my house back!”
Lisa explained when she was looking for a prominent location, she wanted street frontage that would offer a 24/7 visual presence.
Intuition told her to look in Tanunda, and before she knew it she was signing a lease on the current Murray Street/Basedow Road site.
“We moved in at the end of September. I had asked a client before Christmas how they got to know us and they said it was our purple building that had caught their eye! I guess people either love it or hate it, but they are all talking about it,” laughed Lisa.
Since moving into their new location, the business has continued to transform. Their initial positioning statement of ‘Barossa Rental Specialists – The New Way’ has now evolved into ‘Barossa Rental Specialists – Your Premium Choice’.
Lisa said the company prides itself on four values which are stated on their office window. Check for yourself, and you will see the four pillars around which their company is built are: knowledge, respect, passion and accessibility.
Staff are committed to constantly updating their industry knowledge, respecting everyone whether they are landlords, tenants, tradespeople or applicants, having passion for what they do and remaining accessible (they are not just a 9-5 business).
All staff are now professionally certified and practicing members of the Real Estate Institute.
When asked how it felt starting a business in her home study and now seeing it as a prime shop front, Lisa had one word, ‘amazing’.
She described feeling very ‘blessed’ and puts Barossa Rental Specialists’ success down to continual support from her colleagues, her partner Nick and the local community.
“Without the community support, referrals and word of mouth, we wouldn’t have grown as quickly as we have,” said Lisa.
“I really love the fact that we play a huge role in the next chapter of people’s lives. It occurred to me that we help people at a time when big changes are happening in their lives; it could be moving to a new town, starting a new job, building a new home, separating from partners or moving in with each other for the first time. We hope we can make those transitions easier for our clients.”
In terms of what’s next for the business, Lisa said that there’s always something in the pipeline… but she can’t tell us yet.