Re/Max Cairns principal Tony Williamson sells business to young prodigy
ONE of Cairns’ most vocal and passionate real estate bosses is selling up – but definitely not shipping out of Far North Queensland, nor the industry he loves.
Re/Max Cairns principal Tony Williamson has sold the business to brothers and Re/Max real estate agents Ray and David Murphy in a deal which will settle on October 15.
Ray will become the new principal of the Whitfield-based business while his brother will continue working as an agent.
Mr Williamson said Ray, who joined the business as an 18-year-old school-leaver 10 years ago, had long joked about buying the Northern Pride chairman out, but things took a more serious turn about 12 months ago.
“It started as a joke but I’ve always said ‘I’m open to anything’. There’s an old real estate saying, ‘everything is for sale at the right price’,” Mr Williamson said.
“It’s a great progression, Ray is a great fit for the staff – they don’t have someone new coming in, they’ll have someone they know and respect – and it’s great for our clients and suppliers too.
“There are a lot of factors involved but I’ve spent a lot of time and energy creating this business and I wanted to hand it over to someone I know and trust.”
Mr Williamson retired from real estate once before in 2006 but returned after joining Re/Max in 2010.
A young Ray knocked on the door of the new Re/Max Cairns real estate agency every day for a week asking for a job before finally calling Mr Williamson and telling him a rival company had hired him.
“I had to save him. My wife told me I had to give this guy a go, so I gave him a job,” Mr Williamson said.
“I’ve always said the only thing that beats experience is enthusiasm.”
Ray started in administration and property management before taking up his first sales position six years ago.
“This was the next step for me,” he said. “I moved from Hervey Bay to Cairns after high school and I used to drive past the Re/Max office and see Tony’s BMW parked out the front and I thought, ‘I want a car like that’, so I started asking him for a job.
“It will be business as usual. We’ve got 23 great staff and everyone’s happy and excited by the changes.
“September was a record month of settlements for us. The market is definitely on the move. When you start selling homes you’ve had on the books for 12 months, you know something big is about to happen.”
Ray’s brother David retired as Northern Pride player and co-captain earlier this year to take up the opportunity of owning the Re/Max Cairns franchise.
Mr Williamson said he would take a holiday before returning to Cairns to take up some consulting work.
He also has plans to get fit in his new-found downtime.
The Re/Max Cairns office in an old wedding chapel on Heavey Cr is still owned by Mr Williamson so he will continue a relationship as landlord.