TWENTY years ago a young Simon Best joined the team at Stott Real Estate in Wallan.
“It was July 7, 1997 and they gave me the title of assistant property manager. It involved a lot of answering phones and contact with a wide range of people. It was also a position where i learned a lot about the business very quickly,” Simon said.
It was not that long after starting that Simon Best sold his first house. The property went for $103,000 in a market where the average was around $80,000.
“The boss was obviously impressed and it was not long after that I was moved permanently into sales,” he said.
As a Kilmore local he applied his local knowledge to provide a personalised service to both vendors and buyers.
“It is great to see how this business has developed from the early days of Stott Real Estate to the local network of Barry Plant offices that we have today,” Simon added.
Today Simon Best is a director of Barry Plant Real Estate with offices in Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford, proudly providing a service to the district’s home sellers and buyers.
Twenty years ago the Wallan office had one computer, a film camera and an appointment book. Today all the office business management and communication programs are integrated into computers and smart phones. Effectively each agent has an office in their pocket.
Reflecting on the way property is marketed now and 20 years ago, Simon Best recalls people three deep looking at the for sale displays in the office window.
“Over 60 per cent of our business was from window displays today its print media and internet – things have certainly changed.
“The big challenge and opportunity today is the growth in the south of Mitchell Shire. The towns from Broadford and to the south are facing phenomenal growth. Wallan and Beveridge in particular are poised for a boom.”
Reflecting back on how things have changed over 20 years – there was no high school in Wallan, no Wellington Square and in kilmore the main street went from the old post officer to Union Street. The development in our town centres highlights just how much the area has changed,” Simon added.
Despite or perhaps because of those changes, he says, this area is still a great place to live.