Smart50 Awards 2016

20 Cohen Handler

Revenue

$7.4 million

Growth

172.3%

Founders

Ben Handler, 32 and Simon Cohen, 32

Head office

Sydney, NSW

Year founded

2011

Employees

48

Industry

Property and business services

Website

www.cohenhandler.com.au

Winner

Smart and Lasting Award

Cohen Handler_Cohen_1

Simon Cohen

Ben Handler and Simon Cohen continue to ride Australia’s housing boom, appearing for the third consecutive year in the Smart50, as their buyer’s agent business Cohen Handler notches up a three-year growth rate of 172%.

When starting out, the pair saw a gap in the market to provide support to buyers in the property sector, and since then have even used the business’s service for their own property purchases; in October a post on the company’s blog highlighted that Handler had used a buyer’s agent to secure a property in Brisbane.

Last year the founders told SmartCompany about solving a key challenge in finding the right talent for their business by setting up their own training institute, Cohen Handler University.

Now with a strong team in place, the business is looking to expand upon its services to help overseas buyers enter the Australian market.

“Particularly [helping] people who are working in Dubai, to purchase property in Australia, is an area we’re currently experiencing growth and demand in,” says Handler.

There’s also a plan to draw on high wealth individuals to negotiate property sales at the very top of the market.

“We’re launching Cohen Handler Prestige, to give high-end buyers a better opportunity to buy the right property at the right price,” says Handler.

Cohen Handler_Handler_2

Ben Handler

“We help these buyers purchase prestige properties in excess of $3 million.”

Keeping track of the changes in Australia’s property market is also a challenge, which the founders are tackling with a combination of engaging with the industry and hiring a diverse pool of talent.

“Attending industry events to meet passionate people is a great way to get your creative juices flowing,” Handler says.

“We have people from investment banking, corporate advertising, e-commerce and even competitive athletes, whose diverse experiences are an asset when it comes to generating new ideas.”

In the next 12 months, the plan is to continue to deliver customer service that recognises the personal experience of buying a house and what kinds of support clients need.

With no plans to exit the business, the duo’s goal is “engaging with our customers at an emotional level, rather than a transactional level,” says Handler.

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