By Felicity Moore
THE Sunshine Coast staked its claim to be home to the best agents in Queensland, scooping five of the 19 awards at last night’s REIQ Awards for Excellence gala, as more than 500 real estate professionals gathered at the RNA Showgrounds.
Jodie Hedley-Ward from McGrath Caloundra claimed the Best Salesperson of the Year award, while the agency also took home the Community Service award for its outstanding efforts to support local charitable causes.
Laguna Real Estate collected Best Corporate Support Award for Eric Sutherland. Three of Laguna’s four offices are in the Sunshine Coast.
The Innovation Award was given jointly to two agencies, with one winner being Cooroy-based Wythes Real Estate in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the other being LJ Hooker Nerang, which also won Large Agency of the Year.
And Buyer’s Agency of the Year went to Property Zest, which has an office in Brisbane and one on the Sunshine Coast in Caloundra.
But by far one of the most heartwarming and celebrated results was that of Medium Agency of the Year, which was awarded to South Brisbane agency Bees Nees City Realty. Principal and former REIQ Board Chair Rob Honeycombe and business partner Clint Dowdell-Smith celebrated the historic win with the team, after being named a finalist nine years running. This was their first win.
At the podium to accept the award, Mr Dowdell-Smith said: “To quote Janine from Ghostbusters: ‘We got one!’”. The audience cheered.
Breaking Justin Nickerson’s iron grip on the REIQ Auctioneer of the Year Award, Gavin Croft claimed his first REIQ award, ending Nickerson’s hopes of winning a fifth consecutive title.
Croft, who is only the second auctioneer to win Auctioneer of the Year for two different states – Queensland and New South Wales – said the honour was a huge thrill and humbling at the same time.
“This win puts me in the company of some of the best auctioneers in the world and that’s a humbling honour,” he said. “Thank-you REIQ, for the opportunity and to the judges for this incredible win.”
In her speech REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella thanked special guest Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath for her promise that the Palaszczuk Government was committed to introducing mandatory CPD across the entire real estate profession, to rousing applause from the REIQ membership.
Ms Mercorella said the Awards for Excellence showcased those real estate professionals who had achieved outstanding results to rise to a level above their peers.
“To achieve at this level requires enormous commitment, tireless work and incredible motivation and the finalists and winners here tonight have successfully demonstrated their ability to do that,” she said.
“This organisation was founded with the twin goals of giving a voice to the real estate profession so they could negotiate with government and also to raise the bar and deliver greater levels of professionalism within the ranks of all practicing real estate professionals,” Ms Mercorella said.
“These awards deliver on that promise to improve the standard of professionalism and give consumers greater confidence in choosing a real estate practitioner,” she said.
Auctioneer of the Year: Gavin Croft – Sotheby’s International
Best Media Report: Emilia Terzon – ABC
Business Broker of the Year: Michelle Wright – Complete Business Brokers
Business Development Manager of the Year (Property Management): Wayde Hildrew – Ray White Aspley
Buyers Agency of the Year: Property Zest (Brisbane and Caloundra)
Buyers Agent of the Year: Bryan Loughnan – Propertyology
Commercial Agency of the Year: Savills (QLD) Pty Ltd
Commercial Property Manager of the Year: Kate Short – CBRE
Commercial Salesperson of the Year: Rudi Scutti – CBRE
Community Service Award: McGrath Caloundra
Corporate Support Person of the Year: Eric Sutherland – Laguna Real Estate
Large Residential Agency of the Year: LJ Hooker Nerang
Medium Residential Agency of the Year: Bees Nees City Realty (South Brisbane)
Regional Residential Agency of the Year: Kingsberry Harcourts (Townsville)
Regional Salesperson of the Year: Thomas Quaid – Quaid Real Estate (Cairns)
Residential Property Manager of the Year: Katie Knight – RE/MAX Success (Toowoomba)
Residential Salesperson of the Year: Jodie Hedley-Ward – McGrath Caloundra
Small Residential Year: Bridgebury Real Estate (North Lakes)