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Meet the real estate matchmaker facilitating ‘perfect’ marriages

By Kyle Robbins
14 July 2022 | 9 minute read
Albert Fontana reb

Able to match two property sellers to essentially trade their respective properties, Albert Fontana, from NAI Harcourts Metro, has found his calling in a niche sector of the commercial market.

Mr Fontana admits that his sale strategy can be difficult, as he sets about finding a match between two sellers desiring to offload their properties, but when the deals are finalised, it is a very rewarding practice.

Explaining his approach, he outlined how his “first task is to establish the reason for property owners to sell their property”. 

”This will provide me the direction to match the sellers and buyer for a qualified property trade,” Mr Fontana said.

Then, once the sales parameters are secured, the search for a buyer begins.

His latest sale actually saw the agent manage to negotiate a transaction between a seller looking to move on from his neighbourhood shopping centre and a buyer looking to sell a quantity of shares held in a hotel unit trust.

That shopping centre had just 10 per cent of its space leased — and a desired selling price of $7.5 million. 

The ultimate buyer was “one who was looking to offload shares in a hotel unit trust to the value of $4,650,000 in shares”.

“I proposed to the seller that he consider trading his holdings of the shares into this mainly vacant shopping centre as an opportunity for a refurbishment project to create a profitable redevelopment opportunity,” Mr Fontana said.

From this point onward, this was where “the beginning of a perfect match was formed” for Mr Fontana.

“Both individuals saw the value in the trade, the opportunity for new investment and the financial win, paired with a cash adjustment to match the purchasing price difference,” he said.

Once finalised, the transaction produced a sale value of $12,150,000, with Mr Fontana’s success coming thanks to his ability to uncover the seller’s needs and align them with their objectives. 

He acknowledges that in his line of work, sellers reward him well — but there’s a lot of work that’s put into the process.

Jason Luckhardt, national manager of NAI Harcourts, said it was “particularly pleasing to see Albert get this result as he works hard in areas many find too complicated”. 

Commending Mr Fontana on the deal, he said it was indicative of the specialist operators working within the Harcourts network.

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