HARD AT WORK: Tony Rich and Nick Dowling, of Colliers Sunshine Coast, discuss the business merger over coffee at Glass in Cotton Tree.
HARD AT WORK: Tony Rich and Nick Dowling, of Colliers Sunshine Coast, discuss the business merger over coffee at Glass in Cotton Tree. Erle Levey

Merger done over a coffee

LIKE so many business deals it happened over a cup of coffee.

Yet while Tony Rich and Nick Dowling have completed millions of dollars worth of deals during their respective commercial property careers this one was special.

Before Christmas Mr Rich was approached by a number of companies to consider merging his Rich and Partners operation.

After 30 years in the industry he had established a quality property management portfolio and a specialised commercial property agency.

With that came knowledge and a loyal customer base.

"I had been running my own agencies since the mid 1990s," he said.

"I started here on the Sunshine Coast in 1985 as sales manager at Raine & Horne Mooloolaba and then sales manager at PRD Maroochydore."

In that time he has seen lots of changes on the Sunshine Coast - the highs as well as the lows - but considers the region is now entering into different era.

"There is great confidence; the changes we are seeing will be a major shift to a very busy and sustainable market for years to come."

The decision to merge Rich and Partners with Colliers was easy based on past relationships.

"I had been approached by others but Nick and I had a number of discussions and, when the time was right, it just happened," he said.

"Over a coffee we agreed on the basis of a merge.

"Rich and Partner will be merged totally into the Colliers operation.

"It is a proper merge ... clients, property management portfolio, myself and my wife Michelle as property manager will merge into the business.

"It's been a seamless transition."

From the Colliers point of view it will effectively double the rent roll.

Principal Nick Dowling said the move gave Colliers 30 years extra experience in sales and leasing.

"Our presence in the market place will be vastly improved as well," he said.

"Tony's client base is very loyal to him and it's a market we recognise we would not have otherwise.

"We value the high regard in which Tony and Michelle are held.

"In a nutshell, we see it as a win-win situation not just for us and Colliers but for all of our clients."

Colliers has been on the Sunshine Coast for more than a decade.

It has gone primarily from a residential-based agency to purely commercial.



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