With their new office on Tamworth’s main street, two agents have struck out on their own, forming an independent venture in Australia’s country music capital.
Moving on from a major franchise, agents Stuart Watts and Dee Plowman are hoping to strike while the iron is hot in the north-east NSW regional city with the help of @realty.
According to Mr Watts, the COVID pandemic has added further energy to the area, which he believes is on the cusp of a growth spurt.
“Tamworth is what Toowoomba was 20 years ago,” he opined. “Twenty years ago, Toowoomba was sitting at around 80,000 people. Today, it boasts around 160,000.”
Newly flexible working conditions sending many former city dwellers searching for space and a greater sense of community had also been a boon to the area, he said.
“The longer the major urban areas stay in lockdown, the more people will want to get out and into regional hubs that have all the services.
“The demand for real estate here at the moment is incredibly strong, and the next six to 12 months will be massive.”
@realty CEO James Taylor said their presence in Tamworth was a big step forward for the company.
“We’re so excited to now be operating in Tamworth – a town with serious growth prospects,” Mr Taylor commented.
“Stuart and Dee are first-class operators, and we’re excited to see what they accomplish in the coming years.”
Mr Watts said he was drawn to @realty’s model because of the independence they allowed their agents while being supported by their platform for a price he considered cost-effective.
“To set up all these platforms and systems for cloud computing or trust accounts would cost me more on my own, not to mention the time involved. @realty looks after all of this for me, leaving me to focus on listing and selling,” he said.
Currently, agents operating under @realty’s umbrella keep 93 per cent of their commission until they’ve paid $20,000 to the office in fees, at which point they then retain 100 per cent of their earnings.
Mr Watts said he could see the idea catching on. “Even the franchises are doing similar things to @realty. The head franchisers are looking at their head salespeople and how they can lock them in – bypassing the franchisee to a certain degree,” he said.
With the partnership of Ms Plowman, Mr Watts said he was looking forward to seeing what they could do as an independent venture with the backing of @realty and the Tamworth community, which has been his home for over a decade now.
“It hasn’t let me down since I moved here 10 years ago.”