What an Amazing Place | 7 Years of Place New Farm

Once an historic theatre, followed by a fish and chip shop called Codpiece, this popular premise on Brunswick street was converted into the dynamic Place Estate Agents New Farm office seven years ago, and more recently, underwent a modern transformation to cater for the growing business demands.

Opening the doors during a financially challenging time where many companies were closing their doors, the Place New Farm office was about to defy odds.

Behind the birth of this highly-successful business was agent Judy Goodger, who came on-board as managing director of Place and the local office in 2010.

Judy Goodger shares with PR Manager Jenna Fearnley the story behind the successful growth of Place New Farm and the inspiration behind their new office renovation. 

What are some of the greatest achievements for the New Farm office over the past 7 years?

The New Farm office opened in one of the toughest markets in 2010, so our greatest achievement has been growing an incredibly strong team in Brisbane’s most competitive property market. We are consistently in the top three for sales volume and frequently achieve the top office marketing award across the Place Group. What makes our office so special is the atmosphere we have created – it is energetic, fun and supportive, which are important attributes when working tirelessly to achieve the best results. In 2010, we started with a small sales team and no property management staff, now we have seven high performing lead agents. While we are relatively small in terms of staff numbers, we are a dynamic team and punch well above our weight.

Why did you choose Brunswick Street, New Farm?

We saw a hole in this marketplace at the time and it was a natural progression for myself and Place. I live in New Farm and have a strong name within the local community that I built over the length of my career and it just seemed like the right fit at the time as the Bulimba office dominated the eastern suburbs.

It is a central location that allows the team to service north, south, east and western suburbs of Brisbane. Brunswick Street is a very popular strip with high visibility. Since 2010, we’ve doubled in size, with new agents joining and existing lead agents expanding their own teams as well. To accommodate this growth, we also took over the ice-cream shop which was next door to us. 

As the director of Place New Farm, what do you enjoy most about leading this team?

Before opening the office, I had expertise in running my own sales teams, so it was the next step to grow a larger Place team.  I get so much enjoyment out of seeing the agents, sales support and property managers grow and succeed in terms of both sales and personal lives. From financial growth to personal development, it is my number one priority that all our people feel like they are on the road to achieving their own dreams.

What inspired the recent office renovation?

It is important for our people to have an inviting working environment. The office was due for a makeover and we wanted to capture a fresh, homely and modern environment in line with the Place brand and our flagship Bulimba office. The design oozes earthy, natural colour tones combined with marble and textured wallpaper. We have used our signature colour palate, Dulux Domino and Dulux Grid, teamed with Calcutta marble bench tops while featuring a beautifully hand-painted bookshelf and architectural pendants from Lumen8.

Mark Frater | 25 Years as an Auctioneer

He’s the man we all know and love as “Frates”, “Frate-Train”, “HOG” – the list goes on!

Place’s Head of Growth, Mark Frater, is a highly-regarded Brisbane auctioneer and this month he celebrates 25 years of calling auctions.

That means he also celebrates 25 years of hilarious one-liners.

From: “You’ve bought the land, now let’s buy the property!”

To: “You must be related to Ned Kelly trying to steal it that low.”

Mark describes his very first auction in June 1992 at Arana Hills as “the world’s quickest auction in history” because he was so nervous at the time. Now, he has called more than 1000 auctions!  

Place’s Public Relations Manager, Jenna Fearnley, sat down with Mark Frater to get an insight into life as an auctioneer after a decade of experience.  


What inspired you to be an auctioneer 25 years ago? 

Funnily enough, I fell into the job. I had to become an auctioneer during the time I worked as a trainer for another brand.  I had already carried out a lot of auctions as a salesperson but this “trainer” position required a regular auctioneer for other agents’ listings.

All auctions were done on site those days. After my first few, I fell in love with the art of auctioneering.


What has been the biggest change in auctioneering in 25 years?

Now more than ever, the market is more accepting of auctions.

There is a better understanding of the process and how it can benefit both the buyers and sellers alike.

Auctioneers have gone from being performers to negotiators and strategist.

In fact, many must negotiate during the auction itself, which is a tough skill to learn.

I strongly believe you must have a great understanding of the real estate industry to be an auctioneer as we are required to negotiate every week and have in-depth knowledge of every marketplace.


Do you have a career highlight?

The highlight has been adapting my auctioneering style to different suburbs and different marketplaces.

It’s something you need to be good at in order to successfully service multiple areas, for example, auctioneering at Acacia Ridge is going to be vastly different to Ascot – yet they’re both Brisbane suburbs.


What has been your greatest auctioneer achievement during this time?

The biggest achievement is the 25-year endurance.

I’ve worked 40 weeks a year for a quarter of a decade and never missing an auction through ill health or sickness.

Reliability and consistency is the achievement. Sales agents know I’m going to turn up regardless of how I feel.


This might be a tough question, but what’s your most memorable auction?

There are two. One in Ascot around 2007 where we achieved $650,000 above reserve.

The opening bid was $250,000 above reserve, which was a million dollars. Incredibly, we finished at $1.64M.

There were several different driving factors for this astounding result. It was an entry-level home, on a decent sized block, in a highly-sought after location - the perfect storm in a strong market.

The other memorable auction was one recently with Owen Chen and the Sunnybank team.

They sold an Eight Mile Plains property under the hammer for a massive $3.8M.

It’s a huge price for that market and one of the most expensive homes I’ve called.  


What do you love the most about the role?

I just love the theatre of it!

When the hammer comes down, there’s unbelievable excitement and thrill in the air. The new owners are tearing up with joy and there’s cheering from the crowd.

The best part is getting that amazing result, whether it’s $250K or $3.8M, after 25 years I still walk away feeling very satisfied.

I still love it as much to this day. I have the same butterflies, the same nerves, and go through the same processes. Most importantly, I still care about every auction as I did before. That’s the truth of it.


What are some of the challenges in the role?

The challenge in the role is the attributes of buyers in different markets.

Some are understanding of the processes, some aren’t.

The challenge is trying to understand different market perceptions of auctions and to make the process smooth.


What’s one thing you’d like to do as an auctioneer?

I’d love to call an auction on my own house.

I’d be amused to see how the buyers reacted knowing I was the auctioneer AND owner, especially if the bidding started too low.