AFTER 40-odd years Swan Hill real estate agent Peter Maher is pulling the pin on a fruitful real estate career that spans over four decades.
Although retirement is a “surreal” feeling to the award-winning agent, he is very glad to not have to work a weekend again.
Originally from Pira, Victoria, Peter was born into a farming family of wheat and sheep.
“In them days, there were lots of neighbours but going anywhere on a pushbike on dirt roads was tough going,” he said.
After school, Peter studied accountancy in Bendigo and soon after secured his first job as an accountant at Elders in Swan Hill.
Although working back-of-house in accounts at the time, Elders introduced Peter to the world of real estate which would soon become the blueprint to his highly successful career.
Peter, who had always been curious about the world around him, moved interstate a number of times to broaden his experience and stepped outside his “comfort zone.”
One of those stints led Peter to Perth for four years where he commenced studies to become a real estate agent.
It didn’t take him long to secure a position as a residential real estate agent in Subiaco and in a few years he went on to break a state record.
“I actually broke the state record there. I sold 16 properties in one weekend,” he said.
“I spent four years in Perth before I was approached by Elders to come back to Swan Hill to sell rural properties.”
Peter jumped at the chance; at the time he thought a move back home was a good idea for his young family, enabling them to be closer to their support networks.
He went on to work for Elders for 15 years; between 1997 and 1998 Peter was awarded salesperson of the year for Elders National.
“It was unusual for a sales agents in this area to win that award because I was going up against other agents who were selling large pastoral properties throughout Australia,” he said.
“I sold 70+ properties in that year.”
Peter established Elders Swan Hill water trading, and was the first person ever to trade permanent water interstate.
“Once upon a time water was connected to the land but now it’s a separate title so you can trade it,” he said.
“I established Elders water trading in the mid-90’s.
“Clients were wanting to sell water and their water rights to release capital.”
After 15 years, Peter opted for a change and left Elders to establish Swan Hill’s BR&C Real Estate. Shortly after it was established, he moved to Geelong.
During Peter’s time in Geelong at Landmark Real Estate, he broke yet another state record.
“I broke the Victorian record for the dearest rural property sold,” he said.
“Glenfine Station in Skipton sold for in excess of $20 million.
“The property which was a cropping and grazing station was sold to the Los Angeles Police department superannuation fund (LAPD) for $22 million dollars.”
Never staying away from his home turf for too long in 2009, Peter returned to Swan Hill and established Mar Real Estate which was a successful business for nine months until BR&C won him back in 2010.
“I joined BR&C and have been here for six years now,” he said.
“I have seen the real estate business grow and put on four new staff over the years.
“BR&C originated in Swan Hill and are now partly owned by Ruralco which is a national live stock agency.”
As Peter looks back over his 40+ years in the real estate industry he is thankful for his many achievements and recalls four major changes over those years.
“Over the years I have seen the introduction of direct drills in cereal production, the introduction of Dorpers replacing Marino’s (a swing away from the wool market to the meat market), the freeing up of water rights to allow temporary and permanent trade of water, and the changes in technology going from pre-mobile phone where it was all after-hours work to pagers to the brick mobile phone and then to internet and satellite imagery,” he said.
“(Pre-mobile phone) you couldn’t talk to anyone until 7pm at night until the farmers came out of the paddocks where you had to call their home phones.
“You’d be on the phone from 7pm-11pm most nights.
“As soon as you sat down for dinner your phone would ring.”
Although it hasn’t quite hit him yet, soon enough Peter will be retiring to Castlemaine where wife Wendy has opened up a shop called The Wardrobe.
“I want to build a home with my own bare hands,” Peter said.
“It is something I have always wanted to do.
“Castlemaine has access to airports and I intend to do a lot of overseas travel.
“Retiring feels surreal. It is going to be great to not have to work on the weekends.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.