"Me become a Real Estate Agent in Brisbane's Inner West. Unlikely!"

Barry Osborne

There seems to be a consistent theme in my business life.

From the very first business, I have been attracted into a business I have no real desire to be involved at the time. This has now happened in virtually every case of my four businesses that I have started and each have developed into very successful operations. Let me explain in more detail:

  1. Photographic Business

IMAG0005My first business was a need to escape the public service life and fulfil a desire to create my own business. I had no idea as to what that maybe except I knew it must be a business producing a product that was in the price range of $10 to $15 (this is the 80’s) and that most people would use on a fairly regular basis.

It just so happened that I went back to my farms from Sydney where I lived at the time, and met a Chemist friend of mine, who told me about his plan to set up a very innovative photo processing operation in his country town. After much discussion and I am sure a good bottle of Red, we formulated the business strategy to commit to opening an operation in Sydney which was a much bigger market, and we would be the first to take the concept to market there.

“What have I got myself into?” You may ask. Here I am a Vet by profession, who knows nothing about photography, and at the time, I believe I didn’t even own a camera.

This business grew to 6 outlets over the next 5 years with three outlets in Westfield Centres who presented the company with the Best Retailer Award for two of it's shops, and we also won the Best Retail Operation for our category for the whole of NSW. I learnt much about photography and soon became a market leader in that Industry.

After 6 years, I sold the operation.

  1. Business Migration Company

IMAG0009With no business to run and much time on my hands, I thought I would assist my new wife in her business which was scrutinizing business people wanting to migrate to Australia and preparing their application. I thought I could assist in the marketing of the operation. This required me travelling overseas regularly which was not my greatest desire. Both my brother and sister all demonstrated the urge to travel the world but not me. So here I am again planning something that I had no intention really ever to do. 

I loved business and even more loved the opportunity to inspect businesses around the world. Within a year, this company became the biggest Business Migration Company in Australia processing 300 applicants a year compared to the 30 previously processed. "My wife was not happy." 

  1. Serviced Office Operation                                                                                                  

I was confronted with a real challenge in having to take over a run down Serviced Office operation. I had a great dislike of serviced offices because it seemed to encourage the operation of fly-by-night businesses. The marketing strategy was offering start up companies to quickly become operational. They were required only to commit to a month to month licence. The serviced office operators then would extract much more from these businesses by expensive service costs as well as inventing many other services to charge for.

This business strategy was not to my liking so I transformed the operation into what I referred to as a Business Support Centre which was a sharing arrangement between companies. This concept developed from my own experiences in running an individual office. I was always amazed that within an office structure a large area of space was taken up by reception area, meeting rooms, conference/training facility, and staff amenity areas which are probably only used for about 25% of the time. What a waste this was! Why these areas could not be shared amongst a number of companies? There was also cost savings by grouping your buying power and investment in technology.

Now I had something I was excited about and so was many of the Silicon Valley Companies coming to Australia.

This business I had for 19 years and it became well known and respected in the Sydney market.

  1. Meat Trading Company

scan0001After returning to the farm in the 90’s, I was faced with the farming issue that is time immemorial. How to make reasonable returns for the hard work and capital expenditure required in running a farm?  I had the farm for over 20 years and it became a bottomless bucket to put money into, just for it to disappear. I had been following the same formulae that all farmers were doing by simply selling cattle at the sale yards under the auction system. I developed a real hatred for the Auction system because I had no control over what happened and you could be guaranteed that it I was selling the price crashed and if buying the price had blown through the ceiling. Worse still was the auctioneer who was supposed to be working for me, seemed to be straddling both sides of the fence and it was unclear their relationship with the buyer.

Once again, I came to a situation where I needed to do something I had no desire to do but I sure needed to do something. I started up a meat company, which in general required much capital and gave poor returns. However, I wanted to have a different company that produced a clean green product and a company that put the farmers in control. We bypassed the cattle auctions and supplied directly to the butchers and restaurants. Now we were making 4 times the return on our cattle and the price at long last was stable.

The company shook up the industry and was awarded the Best Branded Product for two years in a row against all the very large meat companies.

That was the past, now to the present day. 

I have become a Real Estate Agent and created my own agency based on the internet. So once again I find myself doing something that I never expected or wanted to do.

But I have to do something. As I am not one who stands back when I see something that needs to change.

Many of us have spent a life time building up our assets, mainly our home and investment properties. But when it comes time to sell we put our precious items often in the hands of young sales people who are mostly interested in getting properties to list and to make their commisssions. This is an Industry where the advice from the agent in the marketing is contrary to the norm in other industries. They fuel the drive towards expensive press advertising and the auction system because it is better for them.

So what is BEST for the Seller? You need to ask. 

It is now time for the Sellers to take control.

This all started because I wanted to sell one of my farms which was ideally suited for a person in Brisbane. But with location searches on the portals, how would anyone find the property. So I created a web site for my property and marketed it myself through the internet. I then thought that Individual Property Websites (IPW) would be the way of the future and so I created a site which made it easy for any person to create their own IPW at a low cost. But no one was seeing the value of this and as a way of the future which I did and  still do. But what I did see is that The Real Estate Industry was holding on fast to the old ways because it suited them. They are not looking at the future and what is occurring in other industries. This means that you as a Seller are missing out and paying so much more for marketing than you need to.

Never beaten and never known to give up, I decided that I needed a Real Estate Licence so that I could demonstrate property marketing of the future as well as change the Industry so that Agents are working in the best interest of the seller to achieve the seller's goals.

So if you live in Brisbane’s Inner West, you now have a different type of Real Estate Agent, called a


who is committed to marketing property to achieve the BEST results for you. To achieve that goal I am making the following undertakings:

  • I will limit the properties that I am selling at any one time to 3 which will be at different stages in the Marketing Process

  • I am focussed on Selling Your Home before moving on to the next property

  • In that marketing Process, there will be much more time spent to present your home in the modern way aimed at the internet where most people search and this will include the real estate portals but also an Individual Property Website, Slide presentations, and even YouTube videos (when necessary)

  • Preparation of a full Marketing Plan which will be more in tune to a business plan not just an advertising campaign.

  • I have a very designated territory in which I will be marketing properties which includes Auchenflower, part of Bardon, and part of Paddington. (My turf I grew up as a boy)

When one enters an Industry as an outsider, it is normal for the industry to react in a negative way towards anyone who is set to bring about change. Therefore the purpose for this initial blog is to demonstrate my ability to carry through with my intentions. My apologises for the length of the blog and that it is all about ME. It makes me look like the typical Real Estate Agent.  In future this will not be the case but I hope you see the relevance of it all.

I look forward to the future interaction and hope you enjoy the wonderful stories about our Community.

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