Mon, 22 Oct 2018, Resort Brokers.
Our agents pride themselves on their specialist industry expertise and the detailed local knowledge they have accumulated about the geographical territory they cover. In some cases, that intimate knowledge has been gained over many years, making them the region’s undisputed market leader. In this issue, we hear from our agency’s longest-serving brokers. Lynne tells their story.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT RESORT BROKERS?
Almost 19 years. Len originally started on his own, but soon realised the value of partnership (particularly when it came to paperwork and motel stocktakes!) so I came on board. Len is now the longest-serving broker at Resort Brokers, and is truly dedicated to the business.
WHAT WAS YOUR BACKGROUND?
We had motels with restaurants, on the Sunshine Coast and in Western Queensland. After that, we had an award-winning Italian restaurant for seven years. Actually, we still had it when we started at Resort Brokers. Thankfully, our daughter who took the reins for us.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR REGION AND SPECIALTY
We look after Central Queensland, Mackay and Whitsundays. It means we cover long distances for inspections and listings but, thankfully, Len loves driving and I like giving instructions, so it works fairly well.
We specialise in motels and resorts, probably because we had motels ourselves and know the day-to-day operations. Len always thinks outside the box when looking at a deal, and has come up with some creative and successful ways to make a deal happen. Sometimes, I think he even surprises himself.
We've never begrudged ourselves the luxury of staying in nice properties and enjoying good food while travelling. We rarely have vacations, but enjoy lots of mini-breaks scheduled to coincide with settlements and visiting clients. I'm probably an expert on where all the best boutiques and homewares stores are right up the east coast!
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WORKING AS A TEAM?
Of course, sharing the workload is the main advantage. But I guess having company when travelling and not sitting alone in restaurants, wishing you were home, is another. Sometimes, after a big trip, we retreat to our own corners when we return home. Obviously, sitting 40cm from each other for thousands of kilometres can be exhausting, especially if I get on a roll about something I think Len should or shouldn't do!
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR YEARS WITH RESORT BROKERS?
In the beginning, we split freeholds into leases and investments. It was a great way of giving clients a chance to purchase a business and home all in one without having to outlay large amounts. Also, small to medium and large investors were able to build a property portfolio to enhance their income and / or retirement resources.
We've made lots of friends in the industry over the years, and we're still working with clients we met in the very early days. We've grown together and are pleased to call them friends. We often sell a lease and the vendors state categorically they will not buy another motel but, low and behold, a few months later we get the call to see what's on the market.
It’s a great way of life, and often for the price of a house, you can have a business and a home and enjoy the benefits of being your own boss. There is no retirement age for a motelier, so we often have people looking to invest their super or employment payout.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS OR ACHIEVEMENT?
Early on, we sold the biggest lease ever sold in Australia, which at the time was in excess of $3 million. Since then of course, there have been many sold at much higher prices. We did recently settle a freehold sale in excess of $8 million, which shows how much the industry and standards have grown.
On a personal note, winning Resort Brokers’ top salesman award for eight years was an absolute delight, and always a great incentive to push Len into the next phase of sales.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGET CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN IN YOUR MANY YEARS WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY?
First, of course, has been the development of online which, as we all know now, has taken over from newspaper advertising. The Resort Brokers website is second to none, and we are very proud to be associated with it.
Secondly, this Informer magazine has been a great tool for selling, and an informative platform for new and experienced industry performers to access some of the best minds in the business, including financial and legal. Laws can change without us realising, and these articles often take the unknown out of the equation. Where else can you get a free legal opinion?!
From another angle, the mining boom and subsequent downturn have recently had an adverse affect on the industry, particularly in our area. But, as usually happens, times are changing and the towns most affected are now bouncing back with great optimism and a definite upturn in business. Well done them, we say! Of course, for the savvy buyer, the time is perfect to buy.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SELLING ACCOMMODATION PROPERTIES AND BUSINESSES?
Meeting clients and matching their requirements with the right property are the most rewarding aspects. Settlement days can be frantic, but also happy and celebratory. Change-overs are emotional at times, but new energy and capital can be very beneficial. Lenny always says ‘gold ointment cures everything’. I remind him of this constantly!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Up until a few years ago, playing on the farm was a great diversion and relaxer. But these days, as our family has grown and most live close by, we are very involved with them. We now live with fabulous views of the river and are thankful every day for enjoying the work we do and the friends and family we have beside us.
We do still have a freehold going concern motel, which is run under management. Any problems there naturally fall into my basket. I would like to say we love cooking but, after having restaurants for so long, that's not true. Eleven for family dinner every Sunday night is the only time I go online looking for recipes.
We don't have office hours and are happy to discuss business at night and on weekends, probably because it's not akin to having a normal nine-to-five job. It is what it is, and it's very rewarding.