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Gold Coast franchise goes solo

By Orana Durney-Benson
22 March 2024 | 10 minute read
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If major real estate networks are the Starbucks of the property world, one Queensland brand wants to become the “local coffee shop” of Gold Coast real estate.

Since 2011, life and business partners Dane and Kym Atherton have been at the helm of Harcourts Coastal. Now, after 13 years with the national superbrand, the pair have decided to enter a new era of independence.

Today, the business – which has been rebranded simply to Coastal – runs five “flourishing” offices in Broadbeach, Paradise Point, Robina, Palm Beach and Coastal Commercial, with plans to open a sixth office mid-year.

With 965,000 past and current clients, a 1,600-strong rent roll and $2 billion in property transactions annually, Coastal considers itself “one of the largest independent real estate groups in the nation”.

“The rebrand to Coastal underscores a desire to forge a deeper connection with the Gold Coast community,” said Dane Atherton.

“Our rebranding is not about severing ties; it’s about harnessing the success we’ve achieved and moving forward with a brand that truly represents us and our clients.”

He dreams of Coastal becoming “part of the fabric of the Gold Coast”, a boutique agency that offers made-to-measure services for buyers and vendors alike.

In recent years, Atherton has noticed a shift in local market dynamics on the Gold Coast towards greater levels of sophistication and quality.


It’s a trend he believes mirrors broader trends in luxury consumption across south-east Queensland and beyond, fuelled by migration patterns and evolving lifestyle preferences.

According to Atherton, becoming independent allows the business to “elevate our agility and flexibility to offer bespoke marketing strategies, enhance customer service, and reinvest resources within the local community, thereby offering a more personalised and enriching experience.

“In much the same way that people prefer their local coffee shop to Starbucks, our community is seeking a real estate experience that truly elevates their locality,” Atherton said.

Going forward, Coastal has the bold ambition of transforming the real escape landscape through offering innovative solutions and unparalleled service that “mirrors the vibrant and dynamic spirit of the Gold Coast”.

“Going Coastal signifies our commitment to providing a unique, localised experience that resonates with our clients and our team alike,” Atherton said.

The team has already launched into 2024 on a strong footing, with a total of $220 million in residential sales over the month of February alone, according to Coastal.

Sales ranged from humble one-bedroom apartments to luxurious $5 million mansions with ocean views.

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