Changing the game for renters and landlords

Leap Real Estate always strives to think outside the box.

Co-founder and director, Ken Dodds, says challenging the norm and doing business differently have been key in Leap Real Estate’s success.

The agency, which has locations in Essendon and Eynesbury, in Melbourne, won Game Changer of the Year at last year’s REA Excellence Awards for a first-of-its-kind program that rewards renters for doing the right thing, like paying rent on time and maintaining the property.

In turn, this creates a better rental outcome for landlords.

The Lifestyle Membership Program gives good renters access to exclusive lifestyle benefits and rewards, including exclusive discounts, prize draws and weekend staycation giveaways.

Having witnessed frustrations on all sides of the rental experience, Ken knew there was scope to improve.

“At the end of the day, we couldn’t do our jobs, and a property investor couldn’t be successful, without renters,” he said.

So Leap set out to create an environment where tenants felt they were getting more than just a house to rent – they were made to feel as though they were a valued partner. 

Now in its eighth year, the REA Excellence Awards celebrate the outstanding performance of customers, placing a spotlight on the incredible work of both individuals and teams across the industry.

“This whole program was put together as a team effort, and so winning the award was recognition for the innovation and work within the team,” Ken says, speaking from their Eynesbury office.

The Leap Real Estate team set out to create an environment where tenants felt they were getting more than just a house to rent. Photo: REA Group.

Amylee Williams, head of department at Leap, says winning the award has also benefitted the team when talking to prospective clients. 

“The Leap Lifestyle program is a great benefit for landlords and renters, and there is no cost on either side,” Amylee says.

While the award win served as recognition for the team, it did not mark the end of their big-picture thinking, rather it fuelled them to continue growing the program.

“The award win gave us the confidence to keep going, and our clients continue to tell us that there’s no one in the industry doing this,” Amylee notes.

Ken says businesses working to solve pain points, or disrupting the status quo, should throw their hat in the ring for the 2024 Game Changer of the Year Award.

The 2024 REA Excellence Awards feature a lineup of 11 submission-based awards, including Agency of the Year, Rising Star, Most Influential Woman in Property, Contribution to Community and Game Changer of the Year, along with the introduction of a new Excellence in Sustainability Award, which recognises those paving the way for generations to come.

Winners receive exclusive value across REA’s platforms to amplify their achievements in market, plus personalised marketing collateral, industry media coverage, paid advertising, grants, and more, helping set agents up for success, win new listings and grow their business. 

Submissions are now open and close on Friday 19 July 2024. 

See the full award lineup at  

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