Focus spoke with Greg and Kim Trembath about the 5th anniversary of their business, Greg Trembath Real Estate.
G reg, you’re about to celebrate another important milestone for Greg Trembath Real Estate – how does it feel, looking back over the last five years?
For both Kim and I, the time has absolutely flown by. Starting out on our own meant we could use our experience and vision to build a real estate agency that reflects our values, and being able to achieve that is very satisfying.
There’s another reason to celebrate too, I believe?
Yes, I’ve just picked up a RateMyAgent Agent of the Year Award, which means I am ranked #1 for Port Macquarie in the Agent of the Year Awards 2017.
Congratulations; you must be thrilled.
For sure – the awards are the largest real estate customer choice awards in Australia, and they recognise agents and agencies that have ranked the highest, based on property data, customer reviews and feedback. To be voted number one by your customers is a real testament to the service we provide.
So it’s been a good move to start an agency with your own name on it?
It’s been great. I’d already been working in the Port Macquarie market for about 22 years, so the Greg Trembath name was well known.
Putting your name to a business means people who’ve dealt with you before can easily reconnect; we all enjoy familiar faces, and in real estate that relationship and trust you build with others is really important.
Do you think the five year mark signals a “coming of age” for Greg Trembath Real Estate?
No, not really. I feel like we’ve passed that point already. The business got off to a flying start, and we’ve consistently achieved strong sales since day one. Between the four of us on the Greg Trembath Real Estate team, we’ve certainly achieved a lot in those five years!
Judging by the number of “SOLD” stickers on your signboards, it’s been a busy time.
It has been hectic, that’s for sure. We’ll pass the 450 sales mark soon, which to me says the way we do business and the way we relate to people continues to work well. Our approach to sales and marketing gets results – it’s as simple as that.
The steady stream of new listings, many of which are word-of-mouth recommendations, is a vote of confidence from owners, which is the kind of feedback I like to see.
Does the set commission structure swing vendors your way?
It does, yes – keeping more money in your pocket at the end of the day is an appealing prospect. On average we save clients around $5000 to $8,000 when you compare our fees to the traditional real estate agency percentage-based commission.
Our low set commission is possible because we operate a modern, cost-effective business, that takes full advantage of our expertise.
It’s not all about money and savings though. In my experience, most people want an agent to be honest and hardworking for them in the first instance, then follow up with good communication and strong negotiation skills. We put a lot of effort into making sure the whole process is stress free.
Kim, tell us a little bit about your team. Greg mentioned there are four of you?
Yes, we’ve been a team of four for some years now, which is amazing when you consider our sales volume. We’re really lucky to have Michelle and Yvonne on board – their capabilities are extraordinary and their dedication to clients and our business is special. It’s something Greg and I always appreciate.
These days, are you dealing with more investors and out-of-town buyers and sellers?
Yes, we are. Investors and first-home buyers are getting priced out of some capital city markets, and Port Macquarie’s lifestyle attributes and comparatively good value prices make it an attractive alternative.
What has changed most over the years?
You can’t help but notice the home building boom on the western fringe of Port Macquarie and in the area immediately south.
The median sales price for houses in Port Macquarie has broken through the $550,000 mark, an increase of 40% or around $150,000 over the median price five years ago.
Record low interest rates have also tempted new investors to get into the market, and locally we’re seeing a much wider range of people investing in property, often for the first time.
Well Greg and Kim, all that sounds like something to celebrate?
Yes indeed. We’re very fortunate to enjoy our working life and to have a very healthy business, and we don’t take either for granted.
Kim and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the business and to its success. We are blessed to be surrounded by such a terrific team and supportive community.
Thank you Greg and Kim. Congratulations from the FOCUS team, and thanks for the years of practical advice you’ve shared with readers via your “Ask Greg’’ real estate column.