REAL estate is truly a family business for Adrian Abel, of Abel Property.
Since starting his career 14 years ago, over time he has been joined by his wife Jo, mother Kathy Probert, daughter Jenna Abel-Iles and son-in-law Adam Iles.
Even his grandchildren play a role in the business.
“My son is like a mascot at the auctions,” Jenna said.
“Whenever he comes to an auction, it sells. Dad calls him his lucky charm.
“He’ll be the next in line to join the business.”
Jo was the first to join Adrian, working in sales and as a PA before leaving to pursue floristry.
She is now the company’s licensee and involved in property management and customer service.
Jenna initially ran Mecca Cosmetica’s four WA stores, winning a sales award and a trip to New York before joining her father.
Adrian said he always knew she could sell.
Jo recalls attending their first REIWA ball together.
“Adrian won a Grandmaster award and Jenna saw her dad up there and said, ‘I’m going to beat him one day’,” she said.
“We have a very competitive spirit, and she’s done well.”
Adam joined the team two years ago, with many years experience selling new homes behind him.
“It’s in our blood,” Jenna said.
“We’ve been together for 11 years and bought and sold property together, so you could say there was nine years of training (and softening him up) for him to be ready to come on board.”
Kathy, a trained carer, now works part-time in the Subiaco office in property management and office support.
Adrian and Jo said they did hope family members would join them in the business.
“We’ve only been doing this for 14 years, so it’s not a long-term family business,” Adrian said.
“But when you’re trying to build something for your family, they may as well contribute to it.”
However, Adrian said he was very cautious about bringing family in.
“It’s not a given by any means,” he said.
“From my observations, there tends to be a good number of intergenerational transitions in real estate, but I see very few of them work.
“The biggest downfall is that quite often, the second generation doesn’t put in the hard yards that the previous generation had.”
As a result, there has been no free ride for family members.
“I dare say it was harder for Jenna as my daughter,” Adrian said.
“People were watching her closely, and she’s had to prove herself as an individual and earn everyone’s respect.”
While Adrian and Jo are working to build a legacy for their family, their approach extends to the entire team.
“We see a strong growth curve in the next 10 years, so that the business stands alone and creates a long-term income stream, but not just for us and our family, for all the people that work here,” they said.
“We’ve got an equity model and we’re designing a strategy moving forward to spread the opportunity so that everyone can work hard and earn a good living and maybe help their families transition into real estate too.” n