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Andrew Bell set to hand over the reins of Ray White Surfers Paradise Group

Queensland real estate icon Andrew Bell OAM has announced his succession plans for Ray White Surfers Paradise Group (RWSPG).

The industry stalwart and his brother Greg are set to hand the reins over to long-term team members, Michael Andrews and Jordan Thams, who have taken equity in the residential business.

The pair will assume responsibility for their new roles immediately and progressively absorb full ownership over the coming years.

In addition, Mr Bell’s son-in-law, Matt Gates, a well-known name in luxury residential property, will also progressively take ownership of the Sanctuary Cove and Hope Island offices.

Mr Andrews, who will lead the residential sales operation as chief executive officer, has proven his dedication and strategic capabilities for more than a decade, rising from 10 years as head of residential sales RWSP to chief operating officer of the Ray White Queensland Corporate division. 

RWSP’s star performer and one of the state’s leading sales agents, Mr Thams, who has been with RWSP for 17 years, will partner with Mr Andrews in leading the residential division.

Mr Bell said the succession play was something he’d been working on throughout 2023. 

“The timing has been perfect: as we recognised them and their ability to take on these roles, they became ready; more than ready – they are up on the starting block and just itching to go,” Mr Bell said.

“Greg and I couldn’t not be happier.”

Mr Bell said the move was a dream come true for him and his brother. 

“I’ve known Michael for 12 years, Jordan for 17 and of course Matt for 20 years,” he said.

“They really are like the sons I never had.

“It’s been wonderful to play a part in helping them grow and develop into the great leaders they are today, and it brings a smile to my face to be able to provide this opportunity and future for them now.”

Mr Bell said the changes will mean his focus will shift to other areas of the business.

“Whilst Greg and I will play an active mentoring role in the residential part of our business, we will be devoting a great deal of our remaining attention into growing and developing the commercial, property management and project marketing components of RWSP,” he said.

“We have huge plans for those parts of the business.

“We are so looking forward to watching these three remarkable young men put their stamp on the industry, spread their wings and take the business to the next level moving forward.”

This is the fourth phase in the development of Ray White Surfers Paradise Group, according to Mr Bell.

The business was established in the 1990s, before navigating the Global Financial Crisis and the ups and downs of the past decade.

“We are entering the fourth phase, and we are all just bubbling with excitement for the next generation to take prominence moving forward,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the team had garnered rich experiences and wisdom under Mr Bell’s mentorship, and take on the new roles with their eyes firmly set on the future.

“It is the most exciting opportunity of my career, simple as that”, Mr Andrews said.

“I am so excited about the opportunity to be able to take over from an industry giant such as Andrew, and I am completely committed to the future of RWSP.”

Mr Thams started with RWSP 17 years ago and has been consistently named in Ray White Queensland as a top 10 sales performer for the past six years running. 

“I’m extremely proud of my career at RWSP under the guidance and mentorship of Andrew and Greg,” Mr Thams said.

“I’ve worked side-by-side with Michael for 13 years, he’s one of my greatest mates, and to think that we both have the opportunity to take the residential divison of the group into the future is a dream come true.”

Mr Gates said the ideals of integrity and unyielding quality have always been the linchpins of Mr Bell’s leadership.

 “We are not just taking forward a business; we are shepherding a legacy, one that has impacted hundreds of employees and thousands of clients,” Mr Gates said.

Mr Bell said he is proud to be a part of the Ray White Group and believes the future of real estate on the Gold Coast remains bright.

He said under the new team, Ray White Surfers Paradise Group is set to be a leading light in Australian real estate for many years to come.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.