A Batemans Bay real estate agency is making waves across the nation after winning a prestigious national award in Melbourne earlier this month.
My Agent Christine Ewin was named the winner of the small residential agency of the year award at the 2022 REIA National Awards for Excellence on April 7 at Federation Square.
The boutique agency, which is yet to celebrate its third birthday, received a physical award and a logo it can use for the foreseeable future.
Ms Ewin said it was quite a process to be picked as the award-winning agency.
"I was interviewed by the Real Estate Institute's president and a panel," she said. "They look at your books, at your marketing, at your commitment to the community - there's pretty strict conditions for what they look at because it's the governing body's awards for excellence.
"You have to put in a submission which is looked at, then you go to the next round for an interview where they look at just about everything.
"You then have to send them a whole heap of stuff with your figures, and if you do well at state level you go to nationals."
The reward is remarkable for an agency that is still relatively new in the area.
"We're only three years old," Ms Ewin said. "I've been a high-selling agent in town for about 20 years, and I hoped I'd have a little boutique agency where I could have a couple of staff and just do things my way as a semi-retirement plan.
"It's taken on a life of it's own, we've tripled in both size and sales.
"That's probably part of why we won the award because we really hit the ground running, and we've been selling more and more each year."
Ms Ewin has faced the difficulties of COVID-19 and the Black Summer bushfires in her three years running the agency, but still believes the timing was right.
"I think people were ready for a change," she said.
"It hasn't been easy though, our coastline burnt within the first six months, then we had COVID, and we really had to navigate a changing landscape of how to do real estate.
"We had to pivot our business very quickly or get lost - I trained all my workers online, and we had the first online auctions in the region.
"We've been blessed with the support we've received from the local community. It's like opening a restaurant I guess, if your food is good and your service is good, people will come to you. I think we've offered that in the real estate world."
Ms Ewin said her award was a sign of the "broom of change" in real estate.
"People are looking for more down-to-earth, transparent and personal experiences with real estate," she said.
"A lot of people got behind me from the start, and we've got a bunch of girls here who are focussed and committed, and put a lot of time back into the community.
"That's one of the ethoses of our office, to really get involved in the local community."
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