Smart50 Awards 2014, Uncategorized

5 Cohen Handler

Revenue

$2.9 million

Growth

152%

Founders

Ben Handler, 30, Simon Cohen, 29

Head Office

New South Wales

Year Founded

2010

Employees

27

Industry

Property and Business Services

Website

CohenHandler.com.au

 

 

“Fear” and “fear of fear” is what keeps the co-founder of Cohen Handler up at nights.

“The uncertainty of challenges keeps the adrenalin running 24/7,” co-founder Ben Handler says.

He created Cohen Handler with Simon Cohen to address what the pair identified as a “critical problem” in the real estate sector.

The pair saw that buyers lacked representation and spotted a growth opportunity to tap into.

“People engage our services for various reasons, typically these people are time poor, frustrated with the real estate process, sick of missing out on property, etc,” Handler says.

As the business has grown it has faced some of its biggest challenges in terms of maintaining the culture which had driven Cohen Handler from the start.

“We had a very strong and tight culture when we were one office before expansion,” Handler says.

But as Cohen Handler started to scale, the collaboration between the team started to lose momentum.

“I believe this was a sink or swim time for the business as culture is king,” Handler says.

Cohen Handler solved these growing pains by moving its customer relationship management onto the cloud with Salesforce.

“We planned heavily for the deployment of the CRM and as a group we have never felt more connected via the mobile through chatter and other key features,” he says.

With this challenge conquered the next step for Cohen Handler is “aggressive scale on a national level”.

The aim is to undertake some high level B2B partnerships to leverage off leads and customers Australia wide.

This will allow for effective scale for Cohen Handler and help with team recruitment and brand building.

His experience in driving Cohen Handler means Handler has some pithy advice for fellow entrepreneurs.

“Know your why, if you don’t know it, find it,” Handler says.

He recommends entrepreneurs read as much as they can to learn about business, educate themselves professionally and personally to prepare themselves, especially when opportunities pop up.

“Good luck is preparedness and opportunity coming together,” Handler says.

His final piece of advice is simple: “Meditate. Everything becomes incredibly noisy and busy.”

At this stage Cohen and Handler have no plans to sell up but they do have a well-defined exit strategy.

“The business model structure has been positioned for an acquisition by key players we have identified that will see our service as complementary to their business model that will have the ability to disrupt their respective industry,” Handler says.

“Exit could happen at any time if the terms are right, so we do not have a definitive time frame – every day allows us to be building something more extraordinary.”

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