Still in family after 60 years

ALEXANDER Trevitt McKimm moved on in 1951, from managing the Foley Brothers butter factory in lower Southgate to taking a punt on a small real estate business in Grafton he called A.T McKimm Pty Ltd.

Little did he know that six decades later, his son, Steve, and grandson, Angus, would be gearing-up to celebrate the diamond anniversary of what has become a prosperous family-owned business – McKimm’s Real Estate.

Alexander, who died in 1990, was joined by Steve at the company in 1972. Steve eventually took over the reins of the business after his father retired.

McKimm’s then welcomed a third generation to the fold in 2000 when Steve’s son, Angus, took up the family profession.

Steve said it was a privilege to be part of a family-owned, generation-spanning business.

“It’s a strange sort of a situation. I never thought I’d go into the business and Angus didn’t ever show signs he wanted to go into the business until we both realised after we’d done a few other things that maybe we did want to have a crack at this,” Mr McKimm said.

“So Angus is quite keen about it all. He’s become the property manager and he’s keen to take over when I step out.”

Mr McKimm said the real estate game had seen some massive changes since his father started the business over half-a-century ago – mainly the “bureaucracy” of the profession.

“When I started there were no listing forms signed, you just went out and said, ‘Right, I’ll sell your house for you, how much do you want for it? 250 grand? Righto . . . then you’d come back and write it up.

“We didn’t ask you to sign anything, whereas now it’s all signed, sealed and delivered,” he said.

Mr McKimm said the internet had also been a real game-changer for the profession with many people now choosing to eliminate options online first, then approaching agents with two or three properties they liked – rather than inspecting a wider selection in person with an agent.

With McKimm’s almost 60 years old and still going strong, Mr McKimm said the key to the company’s success had always been treating people – customers and staff alike – decently and with respect.

He also said the business had always had a strong team driving it.

“We’ve always been blessed with good staff over the years. They’re the real backbone of this business,” he said.

Mr McKimm said this success hadn’t gone unnoticed by some of the big fish in the Australian Real Estate pond either.

“We’ve resisted many offers to become a franchise, but we don’t feel like paying for anyone else’s name when we’ve done the hard yards creating our own good name,” he said.

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