SAME building, same faces, but there's a new name in the local real estate market.
Troy and Tracey Kearney are transitioning their real estate business from Century 21 to a new, independent identity, Westate Property.
The business will formally cut ties with the Century 21 brand by July 1, but steps are already being taken to make the switch sooner.
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Mr Kearney said the decision to become an independent agency came down to the high costs involved with being a franchise.
"We'll have all the same staff, same people, everything stays the same with the exception of the name on the front door," he said.
"The only thing that changes is every single month we pay a franchise fee back to the global conglomerate, being C21, and that's quite a hefty chunk. It's taking money away from the community."
He said that COVID-19 made it apparent that it was time to change the business, particularly after seeing the way "local supported local" over the last 18 months.
A key part of the change is to increase support to the community.
"That's the plan moving forward for us, more community involvement, more community engagement," Mr Kearney said.
"... If there's something outside of the square that normally wouldn't receive funding, whether it be from council, the government or another organisation, they can come and talk to us and we'll put it on our books to review and see if there is a way we can help with it."
The new name was pitched by marketing manager Charlie Hodgkin. It combines "west" and "real estate", but importantly has the prefix "we", which is meant to represent both the team and community.
"It's not just us doing it for us, it's we as a group and we wanting to include and help as many people in that as we can," Mr Hodgkin said.
With the new freedom of being an independent agency, Westate is able to engage the services of other businesses.
This includes local tradespeople to help with the rebranding of the building, Fully Promoted for uniforms, and Central Commercial Printers for business printing needs.
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