Hi old mate, I did warn that, you would figure prominently in these letters; only fitting for someone who has been at my side for much of my life.
Our joint business had been slowly building respect and momentum for the last six months and life was definitely looking brighter, we were working well together and most importantly; you had become a de facto part of my family.
it was Autumn 1983 and you walked into my office, I had heard garbled parts of the phone conversation you had just hung up on.
“This company called Electronic Realty Associates was just on the phone, have you ever heard of them?”
“Nah, probably some fly by night company wanting to make a quick buck, what did they want?”
“They want to send us a buyer, from the South Coast; people who have been transferred here with work!”
Now; any self – respecting real estate agent, understands our business does not revolve around buyers, if you have the right property for sale, buyers will find you. Sellers are the Gold medal and Buyers are either Silver or Bronze. They are important, they should be treated with respect but their loyalty is quite rightly aligned with finding the perfect home for themselves, regardless of who they are buying it from.
At that time though, things were a bit different; buyers were still bloody hard to find and the chance to get first crack at a buyer coming from out of town meant money, even if we had to share the fees with another listing agent in town.
“Well fuck, it can’t do any harm no matter what it costs”
You duly called them back, accepting the offer and within a month, these buyers had been to town and you had sold them a property.
We decided to further explore this strange company called ERA and by Spring we had joined their fledgling network of agencies in Australia.
They were American, they were brash and they had this magical device which could transport photos across the phone lines.
We became the proud owners of the first fax machine, west of the Blue Mountains! We were the innovators in town. The photos coming through this fax machine were more black and blurred than we would have liked but we were loud and proud about our new “international affiliation”.
Just what the fact, that ERA had over 3,000 offices in the USA, meant in sunny, downtown Wagga Wagga NSW, Australia, I have no idea; but it gave us something to believe in bigger than ourselves. We used that magic to build a very good business.
We were the McDonalds of real estate in our small rural city, in fact; I think we beat McDonalds to town.
We were Donald Trump without the “pussy” slurs!
It did not take us long to realise that ERA in Australia had even less substance than “The Donald”, but it did not matter in our small city. We used this to become leading spokespeople within the group. Our image as leaders of the rag tag group of agencies assembled under the banner in Australia, became even more entrenched when you travelled to the international conference in Orlando, Florida and were named as one of the top ten salespeople within the entire international group!
We might have fudged this, just a little; by adding some of my sales to your tally but we were partners and that is what partners do!
These were heady times Affy; we enjoyed the respect of our peers in town and of those other members of the group within NSW. I think we were the second best office in the state, lagging behind one inner city Sydney office, whose prices and market were vastly higher and bigger than we could ever dream of.
I was happy, I had three beautiful kids and a wife who loved me, we were back to making money and I had a business partner I liked and was proud of.
Affy; I think both of us would give each other the credit for what had happened, but there is one thing for sure; we were doing it together!
I would go home at night to my best mate after spending the day, working with my other best mate. You can’t do much better than that.
Love Ya, old friend