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In this blog, I want to give everyone a rundown of who we are and why we started Milk Chocolate. The business was founded seven years ago by myself (Michael Cleary) and Richie Ragel. We know the name is a little different, but so is our business. We have a passion for real estate, design, construction, technology and strategy. Milk Chocolate was born to combine these passions to give our clients the best experience possible.
Why we started Milk Chocolate
Richie and I were expats living in the UK and North America respectively. We wanted to be smart with the expat packages we were earning and continue to invest in Australian property as part of our investment strategy. We experienced first hand how hard it was to grow our Australian property portfolios whilst living overseas. Finding reliable information that wasn’t either, tainted because of advisers, or news outlets with hidden agendas was difficult, to say the least. It was extremely difficult to stay abreast of the suburbs that were showing signs of gentrification - areas we typically like to invest in.
When it came time to sourcing and purchasing a property we were unfortunately dissatisfied with the services on offer. Simply being sent links from real estate websites followed by calls in the early hours of the morning due to timezone differences wasn’t great. Our expat communities were having similar experiences and we decided there had to be a better way and Milk Chocolate was born.
Why the name
We know the name Milk Chocolate is different and that’s not by accident. Everything we do is about disrupting the traditional real estate industry. The many years of holding senior positions and running our own companies have taught us that industries need to constantly evolve, customer experiences must be world class and the use of data and smart strategies be at the core. From the moment we introduce ourselves we want our customers and suppliers to know we do things differently.
We build bespoke platforms for our clients that are specifically built to give expats all the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision. We use technology and our advertising experience to directly target properties that aren’t yet on the market, opening up off-market opportunities. We are constantly looking at global markets and working with our development team on what new platforms, tools and technology experiences we can bring to our business to better customer experiences.
We present information back to our clients in a highly designed - yet simple manner - to make the information easy to understand and relevant.
Over our years of buying, renovating and selling property we have developed a robust purchasing methodology and rely on our key indicators to ensure we are purchasing in the right areas. Using key macro and microdata derived from our Data Scientists, we ensure a correct science is involved in all of our purchases. We are constantly building our team of agents on the ground in each capital city ensuring we have access to effective and efficient buying processes, providing the end client with the greatest opportunity to secure properties at the right price in growth areas. This also allows Milk Chocolate to provide fantastic off-market opportunities consistently to all of our clients. We work with our clients to grow their property portfolios and use design and technology to keep them updated on how their portfolios are tracking.
Although we are not from traditional real estate backgrounds, we have been entrenched in the real estate world for over 10 years, spending weekend after weekend attending open homes, auctions, purchasing, renovating, selling. We have travelled the length and breadth of Australia- and continue to do so - looking at different capital cities and regional markets. In doing so, we have a deep and diverse knowledge of the Australian property market.
What we have discovered in our many years is, unfortunately, average is acceptable in the real estate industry and everything we do at Milk Chocolate is to ensure we are anything but average.
We love getting our hands dirty and project managing structural and/or cosmetic renovations on properties we recommend to our clients. Having over 30 years of combined project management experience between the both of us, we are well versed in managing projects of any shape or size.
Before Milk Chocolate:
Whilst buying, renovating and selling property for our personal portfolios, Richie and I started our careers in the Australian advertising industry. For 18 years I headed up Operations for some of Australia’s largest networked and independent agencies (TBWA, Host, M&C Saatchi & BBDO) and Richie was an executive producer, making world-class work come to life in print, tv and digital experiences. In the past six years, we have also owned other businesses in conjunction with Milk Chocolate. Task - a Creative Services Agency that produced work for renowned leading brands such as Renault, eHarmony, Weight Watchers and Ancestry to name a few. Task was successfully sold to IVE Group (ASX: IGL) in May 2015.
Milk Chocolate purchase residential and commercial property in Australia on behalf of Australians living abroad, looking for a home or investment property. To see how we can help you get in touch here.
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