Movers and ShakersRay White

Margaret Black AM hands over the reins to her daughter

Decorated agent, Margaret Black AM, has handed over the reins of her Atherton agency to her daughter, Diane Brennan, after operating for nearly 20 years.

Ms Black’s journey into real estate began as a property manager, expanding her expertise into office management across all aspects of real estate on the Atherton Tablelands

In 2008, she seized the opportunity to purchase the local Ray White franchise, driven by a vision to grow and nurture the business.

From humble beginnings with a small team, Ms Black’s leadership and structured approach saw the business flourish, expanding to employ eight dedicated individuals. 

Her commitment to professionalism and thoroughness earned her respect across the region, becoming synonymous with quality in real estate.

“I am most proud of the growth that we have achieved,” Ms Black said.

“When I started there was one in admin and two in sales, and we now employ eight wonderful team members, many who have had very long tenure with us.

“Over the years I have met some beautiful clients and it has been an absolute pleasure to help them on their next step of their journey. 

“The excitement of someone buying a home is what makes it worthwhile.”

Beyond her business success, her heart lay in community service. 

Her three decades of voluntary work, including advocacy for children’s education, culminated in becoming a member of the Order of Australia – a testament to her unwavering dedication beyond the realm of real estate.

“I am passionate about kids getting a good education, and I have employed several year 12 students to give them some work experience,” she said.

Enter Diane Brennan, Ms Black’s daughter, whose journey into the family business began in 2008. 

Previously in the culinary field abroad, Ms Brennan found herself drawn into the world of real estate, navigating the complexities of property management and administration. 

Juggling these roles alongside raising four young children, Ms Brennan’s resilience and capability shone through. 

Her integral role in the business, managing accounts and supporting her mother, mirrored the family’s ethos of hard work and dedication.

Morgan Brennan, Ms Brennan’s husband, brought his own dynamic to the team in 2016, excelling as a sales agent known for his commitment and community involvement. 

His efforts extended beyond transactions, often assisting with local events and even cattle movements – embodying the spirit of holistic service that defined their approach.

As Ms Black transitions into retirement, she leaves behind a legacy of integrity and growth. 

The reins of the business now firmly in new hands, they embrace the opportunity with enthusiasm and respect for the traditions Ms Black instilled.

The continuity of family involvement ensures a seamless transition, supported by a loyal team whose longevity speaks volumes about the Black family’s values.

Reflecting on her career, Ms Black cherishes the relationships built and milestones celebrated with clients turned friends.

“For me, the joy of helping others find their next chapter in Atherton’s vibrant community remains the reason I have loved my job,” she said.

“Ray White Rural always provided the best technology and framework for me; wealth of knowledge and someone to go to whenever you need. 

“The professionalism of the corporate team and the group is unmatched.

“I haven’t missed a conference in 24 years. 

“I could write a book with the stories I have!”

Looking ahead, the Brennans are poised to build on Ms Black’s legacy, guided by old-fashioned service and a commitment to innovation.

“Our goal is clear: to navigate the business through challenges, foster a supportive environment for our team, and continue serving the community that we call home,” Ms Brennan said.

“This is such a great place to raise a family,” she said.

“We live on acreage, with the kids riding around on quad bikes, learning how to handle cattle and gaining life skills.

“We call some of the most beautiful rainforests and waterfalls in the world our backyard, how lucky are we to show this community off?”

Ms Brennan said that being only 90 minutes away from the bustling city and resources of Cairns was also a bonus of the region.

“All the beaches of Cairns are on our doorstep, as well as the international airport,” she said.

Ray White Rural Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Nell, said that he was hard-pressed to find a more well-respected and loved member of the network across the country.

“We are incredibly proud of what Margaret has achieved in her business,” Mr Nell said.

“The whole White family and I are really grateful and happy for Diane and Morgan to be taking the reins. It is so special that it has remained in the same family.”

As Ms Black looks forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and pursuing personal interests, she leaves behind a thriving business – a testament to her vision, hard work, and the enduring spirit of family in Atherton.

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Rowan Crosby

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