Big changes afoot in Queanbeyan real estate sector

There have been some significant changes on the Queanbeyan real estate scene, with Kylie and Jason Maxwell selling their business to White Rhino Property and the local Elders agency joining the LJ Hooker Group.

The Maxwells had run LJ Hooker Queanbeyan since 2013 but decided to sell when Canberra-based White Rhino Property made them an offer to buy the business they couldn’t refuse.

“We had market share with LJ Hooker, and we had a very good name in property management,” Ms Maxwell said.

“We’ve been in the town for a long time, and we’ve both been in the industry for 30 years, so I suppose White Rhino just saw that as an opportunity to expand their market share because Jason is still the number one agent in Queanbeyan and we had quite a sizeable rent roll.”

Ms Maxwell said the White Rhino Property offer came out of the blue.

“The business was still thriving, we were at the peak of the market, and we’d also just won all of the Rate My Agent awards for the area as well,” she said.

“It wasn’t that we were tired and exhausted or that we were done; it was more like this was an opportunity that we thought was a good one to take.”

Mr Maxwell has stayed on as a sales executive with White Rhino Property, while Ms Maxwell has just finished a three-month stint with the group overseeing the transition.

She’s now gone out on her own and started Go2 Real Estate Consulting, which will ‘officially’ launch at the end of September.

The coaching and consulting business will have a property management and leadership training focus, but Ms Maxwell said with her extensive experience, she can provide a holistic guide to running a real estate business.

“I just thought with 30 years’ experience it would have been a waste if I just stopped,” she said.

“It’s time to give back to the industry that has given me so much.

“I’ve always looked at business holistically, and I made it my business to know every part of our business, which meant I was able to support and grow our teams in every aspect.

“It wasn’t just property management, it wasn’t just operations, and it wasn’t just sales.

“It was everything. I did trust accounting, I did our bookwork and our BAS and taxes, so I knew every aspect of the business.

“I do feel there’s a lot of businesses out there that could benefit from that (knowledge).”

L-R is Property Management Director Kellie Eagles, Principal Peter Stumbles and Sales Manager Jonathon Stumbles.

White Rhino Property Principal Gavin Van Zyl said buying the Maxwells’ business and having Jason come on board with his brand was a clear-cut decision.

“It made sense for us to do the acquisition of that business because we’re the top two selling agents in the region,” he said.

“They had a bigger rent roll than us, and most of the properties were in our core farm area, so it just made sense to buy the business.

“It’s nice to have more access to more stock so that we can help more people.

“A lot of people sell through us and then go on to rent while they’re in between homes, so having a bigger portfolio and access to more properties just means we can service our clientele better.”

After 20 years in Queanbeyan, the Elders agency, headed by Peter Stumbles, Jonathan Stumbles and Kellie Eagles, rebranded as LJ Hooker Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra, Googong.

Mr Stumbles said the decision to join the LJ Hooker network would help boost the agency’s market presence in a competitive and in-demand region.

“Our decision to rebrand to the best-known name in real estate, LJ Hooker, means we can capture market share faster and future-proof the business,” he said.

“Australians know and trust the LJ Hooker name so, combined with our market knowledge and expertise further cements our position in the Queanbeyan region.”

Mr Stumbles said LJ Hooker’s technology, lead generation and training were attractive, with the business keen to ensure first-rate customer service at every stage of the client journey.

“We know customers are looking not just for the most experienced agents but those achieving the highest results,” he said.

“Being a result-driven industry, our team is resolute with the ability and drive to deliver at every point of the customer’s real estate journey, so they receive better service, efficiencies and results each time they come to us.”

Mr Stumbles said the Queanbeyan region market was buoyant with year-on-year growth of about 15 per cent and days on market significantly reduced to as low as seven days.

“Currently, we are seeing high demand from local and interstate investors, who see the region as a ‘bubble’, taking advantage of our nearby neighbour Canberra, because of the always reliable and secure public service job market pushing up average rental prices,” he said.

Ms Maxwell said it was nice to see the LJ Hooker brand continue in Queanbeyan.

“When people leave businesses or franchises, it’s not always positive, but for us, it was,” she said.

“We really did enjoy our time at LJ Hooker, and to this day, we think they’re a fantastic network.

“We wish the Stumbles family all the best.”

LJ Hooker Group State Director Stephen Mutton said the ACT-based agency coming onboard demonstrated the value in joining the network.

“We are delighted to welcome Peter, Jonathan, Kellie and their team to the network,” he said.

“With a career spanning four decades, having also had a hand in the conception of the Googong township, Peter brings with him exceptional leadership expertise and tremendous local market insight, as do Jonathan and Kellie in sales and property management respectively, which will help further cement the success of the LJ Hooker brand in the ACT.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.