Warren Ramsey has been selling real estate across Ipswich for 30 years and says although the industry and Ipswich have changed a lot since, the future is looking brighter than ever.
After moving to Ipswich from the Northern Territory, Warren says adjusting from a farming background to real estate was a unique learning curve.
“I was running a big farming cattle enterprise and we had three years of El Nino with no monsoon, so it was quite a difficult time to be trying to farm, that’s for sure,” Warren said.
“My dad was in real estate down here already, so I came down to partner with him instead.
“He said do you want to buy this mob called Ray White, which I’d never heard of since there was no Ray White in the Territory at that time.
“I thought why not get into real estate, it must be easier than what I’m doing, but it worked out to be just as bloody hard.
“It was challenging and hard going until about 2002, then I could see a little bit of daylight.”
From those early years in the 1990’s through to today, Warren says he has seen huge changes across Ipswich and within the real estate industry.
“In that first decade of starting up compared to now, the price point in Ipswich has been the biggest change,” Warren said.
“The average house now is getting up towards $500,000 which is a whole lot more than what they were selling for in 1990, back then that would buy you an entire street.
“We were collecting a commission from a $70,000 house whereas at the same time our Brisbane counterparts were collecting this for the same amount of work on a $300,000 house.
“But it’s no harder to sell on the smaller end of town, in fact it was probably harder because the return wasn’t there.”
Despite the early challenges, Warren amassed a loyal crew which at times grew to over 40 staff.
“We’ve had some very long-term people that have stayed here in excess of 20 years, and they’re still here,” Warren said.
“We didn’t have the revolving door like a lot of our competitors which was one of the reasons we sort of went from strength to strength.”
Warren says alongside the strength and professionalism of his team, staying loyal to Ipswich was another major ingredient to success.
“There were a lot of agents in those early days that would sell in Ipswich then leave,” Warren explains.
“But we were invested in Ipswich, we owned property here, so it gave us relevance to the people to say that you’re not just selling properties like a fly-by, you’re here with them.
“It’s not as if we we’re from out of town and came in to do the hit and run type of sale, we were always here for the long term.”
Warren says he is now looking forward to handing over the reins to his son Ben, who like his father and his father before him, is busy forging his own successful real estate career.
“Ben has been going to open houses since he could walk and he’s been telling me he will take over the show since he was about 15,” Warren laughs.
“He’s fantastic, he made the elite status in Ray White last financial year in only his second full year.
“There’s not many 23-year old’s that have done that and he’s had no help from Dad along the way, he’s done it all by himself.”
As for what is next within the ever-volatile housing industry, Warren remains optimistic.
“I think Ipswich will hold its own as far as all the doom and gloom that the media portrays about the housing crisis,” he said.
“We’re still the most affordable area this close to the Gold Coast and Brisbane CBD.”
As for Warren, he says he is getting ready to cheer his team along from the sidelines.
“I’ve got my farm just on the edge of town and it keeps me very busy after hours and on the weekends, whenever I get one,” he says.
“So, I am quite happy to play with the cows until I get bored and then I might come back in and play with this lot.”