Gino Amato has been part of many real estate firsts in the Leeton region since joining the industry in 1992. His business, Amato Real Estate, sold the land the Leeton Plaza sits on today which is the first plaza and drive-through in Leeton.
Many of the record-price sales in the region were made by the business while other significant sales include the Historic Hydro, many commercial buildings, farmland, residential properties and old homes cleared for redevelopment.
"There are far too many to pinpoint just one. All sales are special and unique in a lot of ways," Gino said.
Watching the expansion and improvement of Leeton take place during his career has been a highlight for Gino.
"Land sales have tripled and quadrupled over time, what used to sell for $25,000 now sells for more than $200,000," he said.
"You don't wait for real estate to come down, it's a time to buy now because over the course of time real estate will always improve in value."
When it comes to Leeton trends over the past 30 years, first home buyers used to purchase three-bedroom fibro homes to renovate and live in, today they purchase new or near-new four-bedroom brick-veneer homes.
Gino feels this change is a result of wages generally being higher compared to the past, the capacity to borrow more money and a relatively low-interest rate compared to the past.
More recent buying trends include lifestyle blocks and renovated homes in the town circle up to $500,000.
There's always a range of buyers seeking property in Leeton including upsizers, downsizers, tree-changers and investors.
"There is variety in every purchase and that's why I love the job," Gino said.
"I love real estate full stop."
Thinking back to the start of his career, Gino recalls using a typewriter to type up letters, sending and receiving faxes, having only landline phones and taking photos on a camera which had to be developed at the chemist.
"There were no mobile phones so we made all the calls from the office then came the car phone which couldn't be taken out of the car and the brick phone," Gino said.
Soon mobile phones became more sophisticated and took over the computer while physical paperwork became obsolete and everything became digital.
"We've gone from paper ledgers and having stacks of books to cloud-based systems," Gino said.
"Looking back overall there were wonderful changes but at the time it was hard adapting to the new change until you got used to it but it got easier each time."
Despite all these changes, Gino sticks to his mantra of "keep it simple stupid" and aims to connect buyers with sellers.
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