Jonathan Chancellor | 20 July 2011

Refund opens first real estate office

Refund opens first real estate office

Wayne Ormond’s Refund Group has launched its first Refund Real Estate office, in south Brisbane.

After its inaugural office, Ormond now envisages a franchise network across all states.

The offices will be within the rapidly growing Refund mortgage broking and financial services group.

The next Refund Real Estate offices are expected for Broadbeach in Queensland and Mona Vale and Parramatta in NSW.

“There are a further dozen in fairly advanced stages of planning expected to be operational early in the new year,” Ormond says.

“We expect to have at least 50 Refund offices in the market by the end of the current financial year.”

Ormond and his business have regularly appeared in the BRW magazine, featuring in flagship editions BRW Fast Franchise, BRW Fast Starters and the BRW Young Rich List.

He also appears regularly on both Today Tonight and A Current Affair fighting for consumer rights. Ormond also appears in advertorials on The Morning Show and Kerri-Anne.

The latest step is part of Ormond’s long-held strategy to build a suite of services alongside the Refund Home Loans business in order to provide additional benefits to homebuyers.

Ormond says he has successfully challenged the mortgage broker market when he entered the market with Refund Home Loans in 2004.

“We conducted a survey of real estate customers in capital cities and regions through the well-credentialed Marketshare Company which clearly indicated that as many as 70% of customers were not satisfied or were unhappy with their experience,” Ormond says.

“There was also a strong feeling that agents are preoccupied with their vendors and seem to have forgotten their ‘other customer’ – the buyer.

“We believe people are essentially demand driven and choose to do business with a particular company because they get a better deal,” he says.

Refund Real Estate will be run by Stan Crook as its general manager.

Refund has 350 loan franchisees across all states.

In 2005 Refund raised the wrath of rivals by offering to hand back to customers up to half the commission paid by lenders.

At the time he said none of his franchisees had shopfronts, so therefore they didn’t have the cost and were passing that saving onto the borrower.

Refund argued many brokers did not have the best loans on their books or failed to properly disclose commissions.

Refund Real Estate’s office is at 162 Boundary Street, West End and is being headed by Paula Pachernegg, who has made her reputation as a mortgage broker.

Refund Real Estate will provide customers – both buyer or sellers in equal distributions – with a negotiable share of the agent’s standard vendor commission.