Raine and Horne shuts office

GYMPIE’S Raine and Horne real estate franchise has become a victim of the economic slowdown, now starting to affect the region’s normally stable economy.

Cr Graham Engeman, who was heavily involved in the franchise prior to being elected to Gympie Regional Council, said he had sold the agency’s rent roll but had not been able to trade the business out of trouble.

He blamed his departure from the property business scene on a combination of slow times and his competing responsibilities as a councillor, having recently previously resigned his voluntary role as Gympie Show Society president, to create more time for his council work.

“You can’t really run a real estate business and be on council,” he said yesterday.

The business had found it could not keep functioning enough to support its staff.

“I think you’d find that not many real estate businesses in this town are going well at the moment. It’s a big office and that means big overheads and if you can’t maintain a team of salespeople you’re going to go backwards.

“Basically, if you’re going to survive, you’ve got to look to keep a good team and maintain the staff and look after them. The business had become an interesting way to lose a lot of money.”

But the good humoured councillor remained philosophical yesterday. “At the end of the day, I’ve had to learn to laugh, in business and politics. You’ve got to crack a few jokes or it can all get a bit too intense. What can you do?

“In the end, the people around you and where you live are the important things. If all you’ve got in your life is money and making more and more of it, you might be happy or you might not be.

“You can end up a lonely and bitter person if you have nothing in life but money. It’s not a good time for people to step into buying a business like that but Gympie it is still a wonderful place to live and have a home,” he said.

It is understood that former staff at the agency have left on good terms. Other agents yesterday confirmed that times are tight in the industry generally.

Gympie Times

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