Monday 21 May 2012
May 21, 2012 - Paddington was the launch pad for McGrath Estate Agents in Sydney and it is Paddington again from which the company will seek to replicate its success in Brisbane.
In a quirky twist of fate McGrath Chief Executive John McGrath has chosen the inner-city suburb as the location for the group’s first company owned Brisbane office.
McGrath Paddington will open its doors today with all female cast of sales agents, who are each top performers in their respective areas.
Mr McGrath said today the Brisbane opening signalled the company’s belief in and commitment to the Queensland capital.
“We have been contemplating this move for two years but we’ve been happy to bide our time and wait for the right location and the right people,” said Mr McGrath.
“It’s a nice coincidence that we are starting out in Paddington and at a time when the Brisbane real estate market is trending upwards. The past few years have been tough but there is plenty of evidence that a healthy recovery is underway.
“The confidence is there, especially in the inner-city market. There is a new State Government, the financial benefits of the resource boom are filtering through to the commercial sector and the impacts of the Global Financial Crisis and floods are beginning to recede.
“All of this reaffirms our decision to make a significant investment in a company owned office from which we can establish ourselves and be fully involved in the resurgence that is already underway.”
McGrath opened its first office in Paddington Sydney 24 years ago, ultimately becoming the dominant force in the eastern suburbs, Sydney’s most competitive real estate market.
In 2006 it began the roll-out of its premium franchise network and now has 46 offices, with three in Queensland, three in the ACT and 40 in NSW. There are plans for a further four Queensland offices this year, three of these in Brisbane.
One of the keys to the company’s success has been its determination to innovate. McGrath reinvented the marketing of property, leading the way by taking property search on-line, launching the first real estate website and then scoring another breakthrough with the first I-Tune property site and podcast, in partnership with Apple.
Database marketing began at McGrath and continues to be one of the company’s great strengths, with a database of more than 95,000 contacts and 100,000 new visitors monthly to its website.
Mr McGrath said the company would continue to innovate, offering a fresh approach that had already proven its worth in the Gold Coast market.
“We are firm believers in offering a price guide as part of our marketing strategy for auction properties,” said Mr McGrath. “It is integral to our philosophy of transparency and openness and our belief that buyers’ time should not be wasted.
“Buyers and sellers are treated with equal respect – you can’t have one without the other. This approach has helped us to build a significant database. With around 45 per cent of interstate investors in Queensland originating from NSW this is an enormous plus for our Queensland clients.”
Mr McGrath said the growth in home values across Brisbane last year had been significantly lower than the five and 10 year averages, with house values falling by 6.8 per cent and apartments by 6.5 per cent, making it the most affordable capital city on the Eastern Seaboard. However in the first months of 2012 this decline has slowed and in March values rose 0.8 per cent.
Mr McGrath said the flip side to the decline was an improvement in affordability, which, coupled with the resource boom under-pinning the Queensland economy is likely to see increased interstate migration, fuelling demand for housing.
“The key drivers of property are employment and population and Queensland is in a good position on both these counts. Interstate migration is picking up again courtesy of the resources boom which has flow-on benefits for the growth of city-based professional services.
“In addition to that we have a growing band of baby boomers wanting to retire to a place that offers a warm client and a great lifestyle. That’s another tick for Queensland.”
The vibrant inner-city market is one that has a natural synergy with McGrath. Paddington was chosen for the company’s entry into Brisbane, for its pivotal location, convenient to Newmarket in the north, Corinda in the south, the Gap to the west and Brisbane City to the east. Key suburbs will be Auchenflower, Bardon, Ashgrove, Paddington, Toowong, St. Lucia, Indooroopilly, Chelmer, Graceville and Sherwood.
“Paddington is a fantastic spot to base ourselves,” said Mr McGrath. “It was right at the forefront of that migration of young families and professionals to the inner-city which started several years ago and has matured into a lively sophisticated village with a character all its own.
“The main commercial strip has some great places to shop and eat and that continues to add to its appeal. It feels very Brisbane – full of life and energy.”
The Brisbane sales team will be led by Thomas McGlynn, who was brought up on the Sunshine Coast and has been at the forefront of the Group’s expansion into Queensland.
“We are putting our top people into the Paddington office and recruiting local agents who share the McGrath philosophy,” said Mr McGrath. “Thomas is not a key member of our management team and one of our best auctioneers, but he knows and understands the local market.”
McGlynn says “This is a great time for McGrath to be in Brisbane. “The inner-city market is a good fit with the culture and ethos of McGrath and we are looking forward to working with new clients and customers.
“We are beginning with seven hand-picked sales agents and will be looking to double our numbers in the coming months – which will address the gender imbalance.”
McGrath Paddington (Qld) will open on Monday, 21st May at 232 Given Terrace, Paddington with an all female team of eight agents. Phone: 07 3088 1555