I started with you in June 1985, Sas and I had earlier farewelled Affy as he left for his overseas adventure.
Affy’s departure seemed to emphasise the difference between the new life we were heading into, and the old life we were leaving behind.
New schools, new babysitters, new home, new city, new job.
We had left behind a city where, if we didn’t know someone, we would know someone who did. We were now in a city where everyone was a stranger.
You didn’t waste any time putting me to work and within a matter of days, I was on the road, training and talking with our agents.
My advent to this new role seemed to have been well received by most of the people I had previously known and worked with as a fellow agent.
There were differences between you and I. I certainly did not share your disdain for many of these struggling offices and, this was the cause of some tension.
Generally though, I think we worked well together and my respect for you grew over time.
In the first eighteen months we did not see a lot of Brian except when he was in town to speak at one of our seminars for potential new offices. This was a hard slog; the ERA brand had been tarnished by its lack of growth and the recruitment of many weaker offices.
Many prospective franchisees were impressed by the story of the Ray White group in Queensland but wondered how this would translate in the Sydney market.
We did put a few more offices into the group, but progress was slow, frustrating everyone, as one missed opportunity followed another.
I had originally thought my time with you would be limited, as I searched for a new business opportunity for myself, but the challenge of trying to establish a new brand in this very competitive market was gradually getting under my skin. I started to envisage a new career on the corporate side of Real Estate.
The travel to the offices around the State and in Queensland and Victoria, broke up the tedium of the rejection in Sydney and we did have the pleasure of seeing some offices start to grow, under the influence of a solid coaching program.
I was getting good feedback on the training I was doing with our offices and I enjoyed working one on one with some of our principals, helping them to see where they could take their business.
My advent to Sydney was marred by a deep sadness at the death of my father just three months after we had made the move. This was as unexpected as it was sudden but, as things had worked; out we could provide a haven for the family after Dad was moved to St Vincents in Sydney.
Your support at that time, was much appreciated and brought our two families closer together.