Glynde specialists celebrate 40th birthday
LJ Hooker Glynde reached a rare milestone this week with the leading real estate group’s first SA franchised office celebrating four decades servicing the local market
Since Charles Parletta opened the doors of LJ Hooker Glynde as a 27-year-old, Adelaide has gone through significant change: buyers were paying less than $8,000 for homes in 1977; 10 different premiers, starting with Don Dunstan; and contributed two teams to the AFL competition.
Mr Parletta was a pioneer franchisee of the LJ Hooker brand in South Australia. Prior to opening LJ Hooker Glynde, the national real estate brand’s state agencies were all company owned.
Starting out on his own with a receptionist above a retail strip on Gorge Road, Mr Parletta – who has managed LJ Hooker Glynde over the period – has grown the agency to a team of 22, offering the spectrum of real estate services across residential and commercial property.
“New infrastructure and development has really represented the change in the local area over that time,” said Mr Parletta.
“We’re still seeing new infrastructure coming online, with the new (Royal Adelaide) Hospital, and Campbelltown City Council’s new planning scheme offering opportunities to build on 150sqm blocks. It’s a very different urban landscape to the one I started out in, which was dotted with Housing Trust homes.”
As a veteran real estate specialist, Mr Parletta has likewise seen his profession transformed over the same period.
The digital era has placed a plethora of information at the fingertips of buyers and enabled enquiries and negotiations to happen instantaneously.
“When I started, business was all about long coffees or going around to the client’s house for dinner, where you would explain to them how the market was performing. Agents were basically the only connection sellers had to what was happening on the ground.
“It could often be a difficult process; sellers would have a figure in their mind of what they thought their property was worth and it was normally formed without research.
“And if someone wanted to view a property, you would literally have to drive them around to the house.
“How we work today is completely different: you can communicate instantly with someone via email; you can find out sales results online; and you can take a virtual tour of a property online.
“The modern real estate professional has had to hone their marketing knowledge and strategy, adjust to on-the-ground trends as they happen and offer an unmatched level of customer service for discerning customers.”
Mr Parletta has worked on some of Adelaide’s biggest deals. One of the most significant was co-ordinating an agreement between a group of neighbours with ocean views at Sellicks Beach to offer their lots for a joint venture with a developer. The 15-year exercise eventually yielded 400 residential lots and a significant windfall for the landowners.
Throughout the Campbelltown area, many landowners are likewise experiencing windfalls through rezonings.
“Any city goes through that process to cater for population growth. With the Campbelltown Council changing zonings, people are now getting top dollar for homes based on redevelopment opportunities. Sites which were previously zoned for two homettes can now accommodate five.
“The streets now have a lot of double-storey townhouses which is attracting a lot of younger owners and overseas investors.”
Mr Parletta said the key to his office’s longevity has been relationships.
“I have some clients aged in their nineties who I first began working with when I opened in Gorge Road. When someone entrusts their most valued possession to you, you must treat it with the same level of respect which you would if it were your own.
“It’s the same when someone comes to work with you; I’ve had a low turnover of staff for an office in its 40th year because I respect people who want to work in an agency that doesn’t settle for anything other than premium results. I’ve had several staff work with me for more than 20 years, and that’s a real honour as a business owner.”
In its 40th year, LJ Hooker Glynde will be entering a new chapter with well-respected real estate leaders and co-Principals of LJ Hooker St Peters and LJ Hooker Commercial Adelaide Mario Bonomi, Rino Pancione and Claude Buccella investing in the business.