The Market - A History Lesson Back in 1994 when I first started working in real estate in Batemans Bay our office, which was only a 3 person operation, had over 400 properties for sale on its “Books”. All the listings were open listed, that is, they were listed with any office and whomever sold it got paid to do so.There were fights over who showed who through the property and a result was often governed by the local Real Estate Institute Chapter as to whom should be entitled to being paid the commission. We had buyer appointments, where we sat people in the office, tried to work out what they wanted and drive them around in our cars to each house. I can remember one time that I showed a 83 year old lady properties, by the 7th we decided it was time for lunch and we ate together and continued our search (I paid for lunch, but never made the sale!). As an industry we spent days with some buyers and on following up, learned that they decided to buy in Ulladulla, Narooma or even worse a property you had listed on the market but never got time to show them and another agent sold it. The average sale price was around $110,000 and if an agent sold a cliff top or beachfront home for close to $200,000 they were the envy of all the other agents in the area. Fees were fixed at 3.1% the first $100,000 and 2% thereafter. There was no GST. We took all the photography ourselves and raced the 35mm film to Ross Britt at the Photoshop. Often, after thinking you got that perfect photo of the home, once the film was developed, you realised that your finger was covering the lens (or half a finger). We pioneered scrapbooking, as double sided sticky tape kept the photos stuck down and we had a typewriter to do the display advertising in our fluro lit window display. Local paper advertising was the key marketing tool and I remember some Christmas’s the property guide was over 60 pages large. Our database was a 5 inch by 3 inch card that was listed in price brackets with names and phone numbers on it. You listed a house and you rang the client hoping that your competitor had not beaten you too it. (One of my best salespeople only dropped his card system about 5 years ago…..) In our sales book where all the properties were written up in a ledger it is interesting to see that in the year of 1994 we sold 22 properties and had a total value of just under $2.5 million dollars. In 2018 it is a vastly different story. We employ 17 fulltime professional team members.We deal in exclusive listing, where service should be a priority to the vendor.The average sale price of property through our business was $445,000 and the most expensive home we sold was for over $1.6 million dollars. We have open houses and rarely do we have a buyer in the car (they don’t trust our driving now!)There is no 35mm film being processed and we now look for properties on our phones. The local property guide is still relevant, but does not have the impact it once did (you are reading a digital newspaper….) and our database now holds more data on people that frankly we know what to do with. So things have changed in the local real estate market over the last 24 years and the only thing I can guarantee, is that it will continue to change. Which is why we love this industry.
The above article is an unpaid contribution by long time resident and real estate agent Adam Porteous of Raine and Horne Batemans Bay. Adam was approached by the Beagle to offer readers an insight into the local real estate market by way of trends, news and observations. Adam's contribution is NOT paid advertising and his informed opinion and his generosity of time to contributie is appreciated.