McGrath Estate Agents has reaffirmed its commitment to the Wollongong/Illawarra region of NSW, as it announces that it will assign the franchise to one of its long-time franchise partners.
The new franchise will be owned by the McCarthy/Sutherland Shire Group led by Patrick McCarthy.
Wollongong will be the fifth office under Mr McCarthy’s leadership, along with Cronulla, Engadine, Menai/Illawong and Sylvania. Former pro cyclist Joshua Kersten will take up the role of sales director for McGrath Wollongong.
Christopher Mourd, head of franchise network for McGrath, said the new office is an important strategic initiative for the group.
“We continue to believe that Wollongong, as the gateway to the south coast, is an important and evolving property market that has a deep connection and synergies with Sydney.
“Wollongong itself has undergone a significant transformation over the past 15 years from a blue-collar industrial town to a desired coastal lifestyle hub known for its pristine beaches, renowned university and educational facilities, international trade centre and a strong retail and tourism industry.”
He said the new office is well positioned for growth.
“Pat and his team are well known and respected in regions neighbouring the Illawarra, so this presents an ideal opportunity to expand their footprint from the Sutherland Shire to further down the coast.
“Importantly, Pat was raised in the northern suburbs of the Illawarra and has deep roots with the area, as well as a knowledge and understanding of buyer demographics and migration patterns, particularly as the demand from Sydneysiders is on the upturn as they are in search of both liveability and affordability.”
Mr McCarthy said there is great potential ahead for the new office.
“McGrath has operated in the area since 2009 and the brand has a deep connection with the community and its clients,” he said.
“Our team is excited to be once again servicing the area under McGrath, and Josh and I feel it is important to create an environment for agents to do what they do best, as we provide all the necessary systems and support for them to service their clients to a broad buyers database.”
Mr McCarthy said that Mr Kersten has had an “outstanding” career in real estate in Wollongong, winning accolades both in real estate and as a professional athlete.
Mr Kersten said that he was thrilled to join the McGrath brand.
“It is known for setting exceptionally high professional standards and has a unique culture of striving to achieve the best experience for its client[s]. Added to this, we plan to recruit some of the best local agents as we grow the business.”
Mr Kersten has over 15 years of experience in the industry and was previously co-principal of Raine & Horne Wollongong. He competed in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, wining bronze on the track.