FROM little things, big things grow and that adage is no different for Glenn Preston Real Estate.
Starting out as a single-employee operation 20 years ago, Glenn Preston’s business grew within 12 years to be in a position to buy out two other agencies and maintain a position as one of the key players in the Leeton market.
In April 2009 Glenn Preston Real Estate took over River Agents after owner Nuala Weston sought to sell it.
“The opportunity was there and I was looking to grow the business,” Mr Preston said. “Nuala did stay on for a few months (before moving away) and so did Dave Bailey.”
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Less than five months later on August 1, 2009, Mr Preston bought the Leeton franchise of Raine & Horne from Paul and Maureen Sheldrick, which prompted a move to Raine & Horne’s office at 74 Pine Avenue.
“We had been in operation for 10 years and were steadily growing,” Mr Preston said.
“I was looking to actively grow the business, it was a period where I was really focused on that.
“Nuala had talked about selling and Paul and Maureen raised the possibility of a sale.
“We had a choice of location (Kurrajong Avenue or Pine Avenue), but I thought the centre of town was a more prominent location.”
Basin plan hit hard
While the good times in the real estate game ensured Glenn Preston Real Estate expanded, it has not always been easy.
Growing staff, expansion and takeover of other agencies, consistent sales and a strong rental roll are all signs of the good times in the last 20 years.
However, principal Glenn Preston said it was easy to pinpoint the lowest point for the business.
”The hardest part was October 2010 when they announced the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the town came to a halt,” he said.
The federal government enacted the Basin Plan as an approach to water management across the Murray-Darling Basin and while it was supposed to benefit all users and the environment, the uncertainty had a detrimental effect on irrigation communities.
“Enquiries just stopped,” Mr Preston said. “There was rental stuff still happening, but purchase enquiries stopped.
“We were flooded with listings, but no one was buying.
“It is only in the last 18 months that it has recovered.”