Ray White expands further across WA

Ray White expands further across WA

Ray White Livestock WA operation principals Dave Biss (left) and Andrew Hodgson.

Ray White Livestock WA operation principals Dave Biss (left) and Andrew Hodgson.


"The business is growing far quicker than we ever imagined it would."


RAY White Livestock is off to a flying start in Western Australia and has already doubled in size since branching out across the Nullarbor.

After just a few months in operation principals Dave Biss and Andrew Hodgson, based in Albany, said they were "amazed at the amount of business that is coming to us".

Mr Biss said, "producers obviously wanted the competition out there, as we are constantly getting calls to either come and market someone's stock or to competitively source replacements".

"The business is growing far quicker than we ever imagined it would," Mr Hodgson said.

"And not just in the livestock side of things, but in all areas where we operate - merchandise, wool, insurance and finance too."

With all the growth taking place, there has been a need for new staff, however the pair subscribed to "the Paul Roos (high-profile AFL coach) theory of having the right people and teaching the basics rather than some flash Harry who doesn't necessarily fit the model or the culture".

"We are about getting good people who can add value to the producers' operation, not about corporate or shareholder requirements," Mr Biss said.

The men said they were "here for the long haul and the right people are identifying themselves as they go" - as was shown by Darren Rutley in the Dandaragan, Badgingarra, Jurien Bay areas, Andrew Ricetti in the Boyup Brook, Darkan areas and James Okane, servicing the whole of WA, having recently joined the organisation.

"They all come with a wealth of knowledge and experience but most importantly, the ability to listen and provide a service based around what is best for the producer," Mr Biss said.

"Sometimes, all that is needed is a new set of eyes that can see things a bit differently and can offer a different perspective."

Mr Rutley, originally from Morawa, has a background in animal health, working for Bayer in WA before running his own grain cleaning business until November 2019, when he sold up to a local buyer.

He said he started working as an agent for Ray White in July and has "always preferred working with livestock" over other things.

"So far it is going really well," Mr Rutley said.

"I think I can add value to my clients with the animal health knowledge that I have.

"There's not a lot of experience and knowledge out there and if we want to increase numbers in the State we need to increase productivity.

"That's something I can help with."

Mr Ricetti is a sheep farmer at Boyup Brook and a part-time agent for Spearwood Wools.

He has been in the industry for 32 years and while he hasn't been working in this field for about 20 years, he hopes to be able to help Ray White clients achieve their best results.

"It was another opportunity that came up and I thought I'd give it a go," Mr Ricetti said.

Mr Okane only recently signed with the company.

When Mr Biss and Mr Hodgson started the business, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were worried that it might not have been a good idea, but can now see that along with a few tweaks to the old way of doing things, farmers keep producing and need access to the best marketing options for their produce.

Mr Biss said as an example of this, they would be initiating online clearing sales, tapping into the Ray White group's depth of understanding in both the auction and online systems.

Ray White NASCO, an online auction platform, is running clearing sales and machinery and plant auctions, valuations and remarketing services extremely successfully in the Eastern States.

"As all auctions are supported with simulcast to increase the buying audience online, not only does this expose your sale to a far wider audience, we see it as a really smart risk management tool in the event that WA goes back in COVID lockdowns and limited numbers of people are allowed to gather and the previous restrictions on travel are reimplemented," Mr Biss said.

He said on a more local level they have found that they were able to quote "really competitively on all merchandise lines simply because we ship directly to the producer and do not have all the overheads that our competitors have, such as staff and leased warehouses".

"Good producers plan ahead and know what they are going to need and we can get a quote back to the producer within 24 hours on any products from fencing gear, to animal health, ag chemicals and fertilisers through to stock handlers and shearing consumables," he said.

"Basically, anything you might need although it is worth mentioning that if all you want is a roll of tie wire or some gumboots, your local store will probably be able to get them in cheaper.

"Through our ag finance partnerships, we have access to rates that will match anyone in the market currently, particularly on plant and machinery purchases and we are finding that we are able to help producers looking to expand or innovate in their production systems.

"Rural insurance is available across all aspects of the producer's business."

Mr Biss said the Ray White Group, including its overseas businesses, turned over $4.61 billion in the month of July.


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