DESCRIBED as an outstanding year for both Elders' rural and residential businesses, the Elders Annual Real Estate Awards was a high time of celebration in recognising the outstanding performers of 2020.
After COVID-19 altered the formal presentation of the 2019 awards, Elders real estate staff were eager to dress up in their finest and catch up in person with their colleagues from other regions at Beaumonde on the Point, Perth, on Friday evening, with thoughts of the pandemic being far from their minds.
With the room full of excitement as people speculated who would take home the top honours, both individuals and branches, Elders State general manager WA, Nick Fazekas congratulated the Elders network on a successful year and a strong start to 2021.
State real estate manager WA, Drew Cary, said the pandemic didn't halt the dedication of Elders real estate staff, with consistent outstanding results recorded across the State, including several record sales.
He began the awards presentation by announcing the Elite agents, which are "those agents who are top agents within the Elders real estate group and they need to achieve extraordinary results to be in contention".
With 15 recipients, Mr Cary said it was the largest cohort of Elite agents recognised in WA.
Consistent high achiever, residential sales representative Roslyn Ierace, Bunbury, was inducted into the prestigious Masters club, which is the highest honour an Elders sales representative can achieve.
Only 11 individuals qualified for the recognition this year across the whole nation.
Agents in the esteemed Masters club are the "absolute best of the best in the Elders network and are selected from the top 10 per cent of Elite agents during the 12-month awards period".
Ms Ierace has more than two decades of experience and she also took home several other awards, including Top Residential Salesperson (Gross Commission) and Top Salesperson (Settled Sales) - both State and nationwide, totalling five awards for the evening.
The Top Rural Salesperson award was presented to Kris Teakle, Elders Rural & Metro, who made history as being the first woman to take home the rural sales award (see story on page 116).
Also recognised for their excellence in rural sales was second placed Jeff Douglas, Narrogin, third Will Morris, Merredin, fourth Greg Smith, Elders Rural & Metro and fifth Robert Taylor, Geraldton.
Elders senior rural real estate executive Simon Cheetham announced the winner of the Most Prestigious Rural Listing, which is based on price, location, photographs and marketing.
"This sales representative was the exclusive listing agent for an iconic cattle station in the Kimberley," Mr Cheetham said.
"He worked tirelessly on the record sale which involved many trips to the Kimberley and dealing with over 14 different bidders from both Australia and internationally.
"This tightly held property had been in the same hands for over 40 years and is a testament to the hard work of our award winner that they secured this iconic listing."
Following a lengthy listing and sales process, Mr Cheetham said the agent achieved the outstanding sale price of more than $30 million.
"It was sold from an icon of the Kimberley and billionaire to another billionaire," he said.
"And that was the sale of Jubilee Downs by Greg Smith."
Mr Cheetham also announced the award for Outstanding New Talent - Sales (Rural) saying the recipient was "described as innovative by his peers, particularly during the height of COVID-19".
This award went to Courtney Keeffe, Geraldton, who joined Elders in 2020 and "has achieved extraordinary results, listing 22 properties and settling 13".
"Courtney has built a strong rapport with local farming families and has utilised his existing contacts in community and sporting groups to generate listings," Mr Cheetham said.
Before concluding the formalities of the evening, Mr Cary surprised attendees with a new award, which was kept a secret from those involved in organising the event.
"There is one small task left for me to do - and that is to thank someone who could never stand up here and receive the recognition that they should," he said.
"This person makes sure that year after year this and other events always run smoothly, that every trophy is ordered and checked.
"In addition, this person once let slip that she always had a secret desire to come up here and receive an award for 'Awesomeness'."
Training co-ordinator Karina Brown, the individual who is usually across all of the proceedings, was surprised that something had managed to escape her and was delighted to be acknowledged for her 'awesomeness'.