Two firms go local to ride Valley real estate boom
THE BOOMING Clarence Valley economy has inspired two local real estate firms to ditch their national franchising, merge and offer locally tailored solutions to their clients.
The directors of Ford and Dougherty First National (Rodney Ford, Chris Dougherty and Mike Dougherty) decided to move away from the national franchise methodology and establish an independent brand focusing solely on the Clarence Valley.
To expand their vision, they approached the principal at The Professionals Clarence Coast, Judithann Forrester and she jumped at the opportunity.
"This new locally tailored agency will be called Ford & Dougherty Property and has been created to give our clients the best service throughout the Clarence Valley," Mr Ford said.
He said the decision came from discussions of how the company, which has been operating for more than 128 years locally, could become a stronger locally tailored agency.
Researching the needs of their clients encouraged the team to move away from the national franchise methodology and establish an independent brand.
"Our team had the vision to build a brand with fresh eyes focusing on the needs and wants of the Clarence Valley alone," Mr Ford said.
Mr Ford said the merged firm combined local real estate expertise and linked to the finance, insurance and investment expertise of Westlawn Finance, where Mike Dougherty is a director.
He said their brand had been tailored to reflect the needs and desires of residents and investors in the region and not the generic style of a national franchise.
He said the next four or five years would offer opportunities which required a strict local focus, rather than following an external discipline.
Ms Forrester is equally excited at the opportunities the change would open up.
"My vision and passion for the Lower Clarence was able to be extended further than I had ever imagined," she said.
"This business will encompass the entire Clarence Valley and I am very excited to be part of this locally tailored agency."
The creation of the brand has involved many local talents including designers, stylists, photographers, sign writers, cabinetmakers to name a few.
"This is a local build all the way from the ground up," Mr Ford said.
"This week Ford & Dougherty Property will be officially launched to their clients, staff and the market place.
"Both the Grafton and Maclean offices have been renovated and outfitted to reflect the new style of the brand.
"Expect to see a new logo, beautiful brand colours and styling, all reflective of the Clarence Valley and its surrounds."