THIS month marks 20 years since Glenn Preston Real Estate first opened its doors in Leeton.
On July 16, 1997, Glenn Preston, who had been in real estate for eight years after starting out in June 1989, started his own business at 28 Kurrajong Avenue.
Mr Preston had been working with Tony Wood under the Wood & Preston banner. However, that partnership was dissolved and the business merged with Amato Real Estate.
That left Mr Preston unsure about what he should do next professionally.
“I was wondering about what direction to take, whether I should go and do something different,” Mr Preston said.
“I was talking to some people and they said ‘why not go out on your own?’, so I did.
“It was literally just me.”
The business’ first sale was 2 Wilga Street, Leeton for $79,000 on September 19, 1997 (the same property was last sold in 2016 for about $199,000).
The next major change on the cards was a move.
At the end of 2000, Glenn Preston Real Estate relocated to the other side of the street at 47 Kurrajong Avenue.
“The main reason was everyone used to look in the windows at properties - it was pre internet - so it gave us a massive window display to put all the properties in,” Mr Preston said.
“The window space was massive. I thought it would dominate in terms of exposure.”
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The business then joined the Best Agents group in the early 2000s as a way to help support staff.
“They weren’t a franchise as such, more a marketing group,” Mr Preston said. “I did that so we could keep ourselves trained and to act as a support group.”
However, at the end of the decade, major changes would come into effect for the business, taking over two agencies in the space of 12 months and relocating into the main street of Leeton at 74 Pine Avenue (see page 17).
Glenn Preston Real Estate became a member of Pittard Training Group in May 2011 and ended its association with Best Agents in 2013.
“Pittard provides training to real estate agents, mentorship and sales programs; that gave us what we had hoped to get,” Mr Preston said.
“To this day we’re still part of Pittard Training Group. We can train online, attend seminars and receive marketing help. They provide support for independent operators.”
Mr Preston said the orange branding used by the business had a very simple origin.
“I originally picked orange as the colour scheme when I first opened because I was driving around and I saw an orchard and thought ‘doesn’t the orange stick out on the green tree’,” he said.
Having started with just himself and employing as many as eight staff members at one point, expanding the business and relocating twice, the last 20 years has proven Mr Preston made the right decision to stay in real estate, highlighted by some standout moments.
“I have always enjoyed being able to work for myself, which was something I had wanted to do,” he said.
“When I took over Raine & Horne (in 2009), there was a sense of achievement, being able to progress to the next stage.
“We are still able to achieve our goals - the last 12 months was our best sales year.
“(But) the biggest satisfaction now is people coming back for their third or fourth sale. I’ve sold them their first home, then I’ve sold them their second home, their third.
“It shows people trust you and that you’re doing something right.”