29/05/2007 - 22:00

Merger to build on South West business

29/05/2007 - 22:00

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Dunsborough real estate agents the De Chiera family will merge their Professionals agency with local competitors Stocker Preston and Down South Realty from July 1.

Merger to build on South West business

Dunsborough real estate agents the De Chiera family will merge their Professionals agency with local competitors Stocker Preston and Down South Realty from July 1.

The three-way merger will create the largest independent agency network in the South West with offices in Augusta, Margaret River, Cowaramup, Dunsborough and one to open in Vasse during October.

Under the Stocker Preston identity, Peter, Mary and Louis De Chiera will join Ken Preston, Ray Stocker, Rod Duggan, Jill Turton and Neil Earl as principals.

Peter De Chiera told WA Business News Stocker Preston and Down South Realty had already decided to amalgamate in March when they approached the family to consider creating a much larger presence in the region.

“We’re a very successful business in our own right and were considering expanding operations ourselves, but pooling resources made sense. We have similarities with Stocker Preston in regards to turnover and staff and have all known each other for decades, so it’s a great situation,” he said.

Mr De Chiera has been in Dunsborough for 28 years, opening an independent agency there in 1979 before joining the Professionals real estate franchise in 1999, growing to 17 staff.

He said the agency was restricted from opening offices in areas where Professionals agencies already existed and felt the time was right to spread its wings.

“Dunsborough property is quite highly priced now and the lower-end buyers are finding it hard to find affordable product,” Mr De Chiera said.

“We figured if these clients are chasing property elsewhere we’d have to follow.”

In this regard, the new Stocker Preston identities are keen to expand into the bourgeoning locales of Vasse and Cowaramup.

Mr De Chiera said it would not be limiting its focus to the Dunsborough and Margaret River regions and hoped to establish a presence in larger markets such as Busselton and Bunbury in the future, possibly as a result of more mergers.

Meanwhile, the competition in Dunsborough is heating up with the re-branding of Cape Naturaliste First National to Acton Dunsborough last month.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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