Celebrating 15 years with the Romano Property Group
“The definition of success is having a good business with a clear strategic vision, looking after all stakeholders in your business and being able to provide for your family”.
These are the confident words of Maurice Romano, who has been the co-founder and group managing director of the Romano Property Group (RPG)¸ since 2005. Driven by the ethos of dynamic collaboration and creativity, this market-driven, innovative property development business is 100 per cent privately owned by Maurice Romano and his family since 2016. RPG champions itself in its ability to manage and control a project from its conceptual genesis through all stages of its development cycle by establishing itself as a distinctive, trustworthy and resilient player in the property market.
The Romano family’s professional experience in the art of property construction and development can trace its roots back to when his first-generation Italian immigrant parents settled in Ballarat during the 1960s. “My dad was a solid plasterer and concreter by trade. My parents started a small construction business in renovation, plastering, concreting and building townhouses”, said Mr Romano. His parents were pioneers in the construction of one of the first boutique triple-storey apartments in Ascot Vale. With an entrepreneurial spirit fostered since young, Romano studied a Bachelor of Economics in Melbourne and was told by his father to, “go work for the bank”.
Despite a series of failed interviews and being told that he simply “didn’t have the right personality for banking”, the persistently diligent young graduate found his niche in sales and marketing when he joined Rexona Unilever as a sales representative. This would then usher in a rewarding 25-year career for Romano, where he excelled, to hold several senior executive positions and directorships across prestigious corporations within the Australian and New Zealand fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry such as Amcal, Pacific Dunlop Food Company, Valcorp Fine Foods and the Australian Convenience Foods Group (ACFG). Romano is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and successfully obtained a postgraduate degree in marketing to complement and consolidate theoretical business principles for practical applications.
Being the eldest of three brothers, Romano led his younger brother to take reign of the Romano construction and development family business to form RPG in 2005. In a decade, the brothers delivered over AUD400m worth of projects across medium-density residential, retail, student accommodation, commercial offices and high-rise medical within the Melbourne metropolitan area. The longevity and trust in RPG within the property market has also enabled it to attract foreign capital from a myriad of international investors. After a fruitful partnership of 10 years, the Romano brothers decided to pursue separate business interests in 2015.
In the spirit of continuing the Romano legacy, Romano then moved RPG to Collins Street and restructured the company to operate under a triumvirate division structure through RPG Capital, RPG Projects and RPG Real Estate. Where RPG capital facilitates debt and equity funding structures for high net worth investors, RPG projects are focused on sourcing, planning and construction of projects which are then complemented by project marketing delivered by RPG Real Estate. Romano holds a full Real Estate licence and is OIEC of this real estate arm. “Real estate development is not for the faint-hearted. You really need an extraordinary team and some robust financing behind you.”
Unlike RPG’s competitors who leverage debt and equity capital from other investors to fund their projects, Maurice is a staunch believer in co-investing his own capital with a suite of trusted partners. RPG’s successful 15-year partnership with trusted financial institutions like the Bank of Melbourne and National Bank is also a testament to RPG being a paragon of excellence and trust within the property development market that is often riddled with volatility. Romano believes that investing 50 percent to 100 percent of RPG’s own capital into every project translates to a symbiotic enhanced cooperation and understanding between the developer and investors.
Adopting both a horizontal and vertical organisational structure enables RPG to focus on core elements of the stages of property development through its “inhouse” staff without losing strategic direction. As “buyers want to deal directly with their developer”, RPG conducts project marketing alongside its inhouse sales team. This successful formula has not only resulted in its developments being sold out 100% but allowed RPG to effectively build and manage a rent roll of 400 plus properties in a manner that always prioritises customer’s needs.
Good rapport with principal consultants like KCL Law, Thompson Geer, Charter Keck Cramer, external accounting firm Hall and Chadwick, and a thorough appreciation of one’s internal talents, are essential elements for a successful property development firm. Romano cares about the career fulfilment and wellbeing of his staff. “You are not only there to keep people employed but, you are actually adding value to someone else’s life. I think that’s something that people tend to disregard.”
Assisted by powerful project development and, sales and marketing teams, RPG has multiple promising projects in premium locations, in the pipeline. These projects are set to deliver long-term value for the company, the community at large and investors over the next 5 years.
One of RPG’s exciting new ventures is their acquisition of 8-10 Grattan Street, Hawthorn a once-in-a-lifetime development of 15 over-generous, luxurious and unique residences within the premium location of St James Estate. Partnered with the architectural genius of Ewert Leaf and the creativity of noted landscaper Jack Merlo , marketing of this Hawthorn project is to commence in August 2020.
与Romano Property Group共庆15周年
至于Romano家族在房地产建设和开发方面的专业经验要追溯到上世纪60年代，他的父母是第一代意大利移民，并定居在巴拉瑞特(Ballarat)。“我父亲从事固体抹灰和混凝土贸易。父母开了一家小型建筑公司，提供翻新、抹灰、浇注混凝土和建造联排别墅等业务。双亲也是在阿斯科特谷(Ascot Vale)建造首批精品三层公寓的先驱者之一。Maurice Romano从小就培养了创业精神，他在墨尔本取得经济学士学位后，父亲当时希望他去银行工作。
尽管在面试时候经历一连串的失败，也被告知根本就缺乏“适合从事银行业的性格”，但这位奋发的年轻毕业生却在作为销售代表加入联合利华(Rexona Unilever)后，迅速在销售与营销业务中找到了自己的定位。这也开启了他25年的超卓职业生涯，涉足于澳大利亚和新西兰快速消费品(FMCG)行业领域。包括Amcal，Pacific Dunlop食品公司、Valcorp Fine Foods和澳大利亚方便速食品集团(Australian Convenience Foods Group-ACFG)。Maurice Romano同时也是澳大利亚公司董事机构(Australian Institute of Company Directors – AICD)的研究员，并获得市场营销的研究生学位，辅助和巩固理论商业原则，致力应用于实践。
本着延续Romano家族文化的精神，Maurice Romano随后将RPG迁移至柯林斯街(Collins Street)并对公司进行重组，通过整合把RPG Capital、RPG Projects和RPG Real Estate作为三大业务框架运营。RPG Capital为高净值投资者的项目提供债务和股权融资结构，而RPG Projects则专注于寻找、规划和构建项目，然后再由RPG Real Estate进行项目营销。Maurice Romano持有正式的房地产执照，也是该部门全权有效管制人员。
“太过谨小慎微的人并不适合房地产开发，你必需要有一个非凡的团队和强力的资金支持。”不过，他们与竞争对手利用其他投资者的债务和股票资本进行项目融资的情况不一样，坚定秉持诚信观念，与一批值得信赖的合作伙伴共同投资自有资本。他们与墨尔本银行(Bank of Melbourne)和国家银行(National Bank)等金融机构以互信互惠的方式成功携手15年，这也证明RPG在房地产开发市场中是卓越和信任的典范，在形势起伏不定的房地产开发市场实属少见。他相信将RPG自有资金的50%到100%投入到每个项目中，能够更紧密增进开发者和投资者之间的合作和理解。
对外，RPG长期与KCL Law、Thompson Geer、Charter Keck Cramer及会计事务所Hall Chadwick等主要咨询顾问保持良好关系。对内，一家卓越的房地产开发公司必须具备充分的内部协调和善于发掘成员天赋的才能，Maurice Romano非常关心员工的职业成就和福利。“你不仅仅是为了让人们保有工作，实际上是在为别人的人生增值。我认为人们往往会忽视这一点。”在RPG强大的项目开发团队和市场营销团队的开拓下，RPG在优越地段中拥有多个前景无限的项目进行中。这些项目将为公司、整个社区及其投资者带来长远价值。