IT should have been an evening of joy and celebration, recognising the outstanding performers, both individuals and branches, for the 2019 real estate selling season.
Friday, April 3, was the date, Beaumonde on the Point the stunning riverside venue, but as with so many events in recent weeks the COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to group gatherings including Elders Annual Real Estate awards.
In response, zone real estate manager - west, Drew Cary opted to take to the highways and backroads to deliver the awards in person and got as far as Bunbury office before company policy put a stop to inter-office travel.
So while the organised fanfare might be missing this year, the achievements of all concerned remain just as significant in a standout year for the company where returns were up 30 per cent year-on-year.
"We saw rural sale prices achieving even higher "highs" than before and at the same time it appears the residential market turned in the final quarter," Mr Cary said.
"Where it goes from here, well that story is still being written.
"As far as the stats go, in general terms our rural turnover value was up 30 per cent on the year before, which was also a very strong one.
"Our residential turnover was up 5pc, which doesn't sound like much, but in a year when the regional median value of property retreated 12pc it was a strong result and one we are proud of."
Mr Cary said a highlight of this year's awards list was a new category of recognition called 'Masters', which calls out the best of the best nationally.
"WA was lucky enough to have one sales rep recognised in this category in Jeff Douglas, Narrogin, who had an outstanding result and was in a class all of his own," he said.
"Our 'Elite' agents, who themselves are also stand out performers, numbered seven this year which was a very good result for WA as well."
Mr Cary said with all the uncertainty at present, it was very hard to predict with accuracy what the year ahead would look like for real estate.
"Last year was good (great for rural, and better for residential and property management) overall and if I had been considering this a month ago I would have been bullish for all parts of our real estate business," he said.
"Staring down the barrel of the next few months it is probably anyone's guess where this year will finish.
"What I am confident of is that rural and broadacre demand will probably continue to be strong, as the world still needs to eat and Australia does that well.
"Once we emerge from the other side of the virus outbreak, residential will probably rebound strongly, after an initial slowdown in volumes as all the ingredients are in place for a strong resurgence, similar to the bounces that residential enjoyed after previous economic setbacks (like the GFC)," Mr Cary said.
"I expect property management will overall perform strongly after some small setbacks, as the economic shocks on both landlords and tenants are absorbed and a new status quo emerges.
"And I have no doubt we will look back in six months' time and breathe out a sigh of relief - but until then we may all be holding our breath."
- Masters Agent (one of only 6 awarded in Australia) Jeff Douglas, Narrogin
- Elders Real Estate Award for Excellence: Kareena Johnson, Bunbury
- Elite Agents (no particular order): David Treeby, Albany, Blair Scott, Albany, Beth Chappell, Collie, Will Morris, Merredin, Don Fry, Bunbury, Kris Teakle, Midland, Roslyn Ierace, Bunbury
- Top 2 Franchise Offices (Gross Commission) No.1: Southern Gateway. No.2: Mandurah
- Top 2 Franchise Offices (Settled Sales) No.1: Southern Gateway No.2: Mandurah
- Top 2 Franchise Sales People (Gross Commission) No.1: Aaron Bazeley, Southern Gateway No.2: Neil Woollacott, Mandurah
- Top 2 Franchise Sales People (Settled Sales) No.1: Aaron Bazeley, Southern Gateway No.2: Helen Baddeley, Southern Gateway
- Top 5 Residential Salespeople (Gross Commission) No.1: Roslyn Ierace, Bunbury No.2: Blair Scott, Albany No.3: Beth Chappell, Collie No.4: Michelle Allardyce, Northam No.5: Neels Delport, Albany
- Top 5 Rural Salespeople (Gross Commission) No.1: Jeff Douglas, Narrogin No.2: Will Morris, Merredin No.3: Kris Teakle, Midland No.4: Don Fry, Bunbury No.5: Ron Dewson, Lake Grace
- Top 5 Salespeople (Settled Sales) No.1: Beth Chappell, Collie No.2: Will Morris, Merredin No.3: Michelle Allardyce, Northam No.4: Jeff Douglas, Narrogin No.5: Tony Rondoni, Katanning
- Top 5 Company Branches (Gross Commission): No.1: Bunbury No.2: Albany No.3: Narrogin No.4: Midland No.5: Merredin
- Top Property Manager (Portfolio vs Arrears) Kylee Kilanski, Bunbury
- Top 2 Property Management Offices (Total Managements) No.1: Bunbury No.2: Southern Gateway
- Outstanding New Talent Sales: Simon Thomas, Albany
- Customer Experience: Sandra Hortin, Narrogin
- Excellence in Marketing: Roslyn Ierace, Bunbury
- Administrator of the Year: Jake Corbett, Bunbury
- Team Culture: Albany
- Property Management Team of the Year: Bunbury