Dubbo’s SJ Shooter Real Estate drives community engagement to new high

Dubbo’s SJ Shooter Real Estate took the concept of community engagement to a new level last week, when they booked out the local drive-in to show their appreciation for their clients.

The invitation for the family night on April 15 was extended to all buyers and sellers that Directors Laura and Samuel Shooter had engaged with since starting the agency in 2015.

Current tenants and landlords were also invited.

The night was a huge success, with more than 800 people registering for the free event at Westview Drive-In.

Entry included a meal, popcorn and a screening of the new Disney animated film Raya and the Last Dragon.

“We really did want a way to say thank you to our clients,” Laura Shooter, who won last year’s Transform challenge, told Elite Agent.  

“I had heard of people doing a night at the cinema and I thought, we’ve got the drive-in here.

“Because it’s so big we could truly invite everyone.”

Mr Shooter echoed that sentiment and said it was an ideal location for a community get-together.

“Dubbo is lucky enough to have one of the few remaining drive-ins, and it was the perfect setting for us to bring together those people who have been part of our business journey, to say thank you,” he said.

Laura and Samuel also partnered with local charity Tradies In Sight, who provided the night’s catering – “two pigs, three sheep and some extra legs of lamb”.

“Part of what Tradies in Sight do is they have these big spit-roasts and hangis and things to help people connect over a meal,” Ms Shooter explained. 

“They were well-equipped for that kind of scale of catering, so we covered their costs to provide the food.”


Ms Shooter explained that she and her husband used to host smaller community events at their own home on a regular basis.

“Our young family and business has meant we needed to put this on hold for a few years,” she said. 

“This was like being able to have 800 people over for dinner, and it was a very joyful experience.”

Ms Shooter admitted it was a logistically difficult exercise to organise but said it was worth every cent.

“One of our values is generosity, so we wanted to err on the side of generous.”

Dubbo drive-in
Some happy punters at SJ Shooter’s family night at Dubbo’s WestView Drive-In.

Ms Shooter reiterated the primary focus of the event was to get members of the community together and for the business to show its appreciation of clients.

As such, they didn’t actively promote the event on social media ahead of time, but she conceded “there’s so much value in it that we couldn’t get anywhere else”. 

“People are bringing their kids out, and their kids are talking about it and they’ll have photos on their phones of their night at the drive-in. They’ll remember that was a gift to them from us.

“I just think the value that we can get out of it, you can’t really put a number on it.  

“I think the per-head economy was actually pretty good considering how many people we were able to get there, even though the bill at the end of the night was a big one.”

And for those who might be wondering, Raya and the Last Dragon gets two thumbs up from Ms Shooter.

“You should watch it – it’s a really good movie,” she said. 

“It’s heartwarming and it ticks all of the ‘warm, fuzzy’ boxes.”

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Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson was the news editor for Elite Agent. He worked with the company from February 2020 to June 2020. For current stories, news alerts or pitches, please email