8 December 2021

Canberra’s top real estate agents recognised at industry awards night

| Karyn Starmer
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Award winners from Independent Property Group

Independent Property Group were the big winners on the night, taking home seven awards. Photo: Independent Property Group.

Canberra’s property industry gathered for a glamourous post-lockdown celebration at the 2021 Real Estate Institute of the ACT’s Awards for Excellence, held at the Hotel Realm on Saturday night.

Twenty-seven awards were handed out, recognising agents, agencies and property managers from across the residential and commercial property sectors.

REIACT president Hannah Gill congratulated all the winners and finalists.

“This year’s submissions were interrupted by the lockdown, and to have so many finalists is a testament to their standard of professionalism and how important these awards are to our nominees,” Ms Gill said.

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Now in its 27th year, 19 of the winners of the Institute’s Awards for Excellence are eligible to represent the ACT at the National Awards for Excellence to be held in Melbourne in April 2022.

Local franchise Independent Property Group took home the most awards, winning seven categories, including Large Residential Agency of the Year and Residential Sales Team of the Year for Team Mark Wolens, Nicholas Jacob, Jock Bush and Holly Smith.

Mark Larmer, Aaron Lewis and Tania Butler-Kemp of Independent Inner North and City were inducted into the REIACT Hall of Fame following their recognition as Residential Sales Team of the Year 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Jason Roses and Alysia Walsh

Verv Property’s Jason Roses took home the award for the Residential Sales Person of the Year. Photo: Verv Property.

Independent Property Group CEO Kylie Dennis said 2021 had been a huge year for Independent Property Group.

“The past 12 months have seen new leadership and a restructure, in a competitive market, then a 10-week lockdown. To come away with these awards is a reflection of the quality of our people.”

Ms Dennis also acknowledged the work of REIACT CEO Michelle Tynan.

“Michelle has done an exemplary job through a difficult year for the whole industry. We are grateful for the work she has done.”

The President’s Award went to Matthew Herbert from LJ Hooker for his contribution to real estate in Canberra over the past four decades.

Matthew was unable to attend the night, but his son and daughter accepted the award on his behalf. In a statement, Mr Herbert said his greatest joy had been in developing and mentoring so many people who have become institutions in their own right.

“I’ve seen many brands come and go,” Mr Herbert said.

“I’ve seen the rise of the internet portals, social media, and technologies that have changed the way we do business. What I’ve learnt is this – you have to move with the times, and it is essential we control our own destiny.

“To do that, we must be a strong, united industry and aspire for a better environment to protect what some have spent a lifetime building.

“That’s the primary reason I am involved at Zango. I urge you to look to the future, have faith we are striving to control our own destiny, and create a better environment for all.

“I’ve not always been a member of the REI, which I regret, but I’ve learnt that we are stronger together and change can only be effected from the inside.”

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Verv Property director Jason Roses took home the Residential Salesperson of the Year award and Rookie of the Year went to Verv Property’s Alysia Walsh.

Auctioneer of the Year was Alec Brown from Ray White Canberra.

home.by holly’s Sally Strang won Property Marketer of the Year for the campaign for the Paterson House in Aranda, designed by architect Enrico Taglietti.

Sally said getting the listing was “very special”, and it is one she will never forget.

“The standout for me was to do the home justice and having the privilege of working on that campaign. It is such an iconic house.

“This listing showcased what home.by holly does best, being able to feature the amazing architectural elements of the house and get the right audience for it.

“Really, our entire team was involved in that campaign. We had about 800 people through the house. It was so well received, and I would not have been able to manage without the support of my team.”

Holly Komorowski, Bianca Way, Sally Strang and Chris O'Brien

home.by holly’s Holly Komorowski, Bianca Way, Sally Strang and Chris O’Brien. Photo: home.byholly.

home.by holly principal Holly Komorowski said she was delighted to have the team recognised. Agent Chris O’Brien was also a finalist for Property Marketer of the Year while Bianca Way won the Achievement award.

“I am really delighted for Bianca. She has only been in the industry for two years. Her entry was a reflection of her time in the industry and how she has navigated the complexities of property. It is an affirmation of what an excellent agent she is.”

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If only these high achievers were providing a beneficial service to society instead of facilitating rent seeking, inter-generational theft and class divide. During a period of record real estate prices forcing families across Australia into homelessness and temporary accommodation, “glamorous award celebrations” where real estate agents high five each other for being the beneficiaries of loose lending and poor government policies on housing look about as good as wall street bankers handing themselves fat bonuses after being bailed out by the taxpayer.

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