Dean Mackie set to take Di Jones office option after losing McGrath franchise

Dean Mackie set to take Di Jones office option after losing McGrath franchise
Dean Mackie set to take Di Jones office option after losing McGrath franchise

The former Lower North Shore McGrath franchisee Dean Mackie seems set to open a Di Jones office next year.

Mackie has been recruited by Di Jones chief executive Rob Ward.

Now with a network of five offices, Ward has long signalled plans to expand the group to 10 offices by 2021.

The Mackie-led franchise lost its McGrath operations last Friday when McGrath Estate Agents provided the stockmarket with an update regarding the April 2019 renewal of its Sydney Lower North Shore franchise office arrangement.

McGrath announced it had withdrawn its offer to extend the franchise agreement beyond April.

Mackie, who had headed the LNS operation since 2005, was in the news mid year when a Kirribilli waterfront property attracted a premium price.

A one-bedroom apartment on the market for the first time in more than 50 years sold for $125,000 above reserve at $1,875,000.

The 65-square-metre apartment sold to the final bidder to jump in, Dean Mackie, who bought the home shortly after inspecting it for the first time. 

Mackie addressed the 2009 AREC when he present the winning strategies he had implemented in growing his property management business from zero to 1000 properties in two years.

The McGrath franchise decision puts the future of one of the McGrath group's top performers, Michael Coombs in play with whispers that he's heading to LJ Hooker Avnu.

McGrath is currently considering the "optimum" structure for the continuation of the McGrath presence in the key markets of Mosman, Neutral Bay, Chatswood and Northbridge.

Their decision was couched as providing the opportunity of strengthening the profitability for the publicly listed estate agency.

“We have a clear plan to rejuvenate our presence in the region," McGrath chief, Geoff Lucas said.

The shareholders were told by Lucas the LNS profitability had "fallen below expectations in recent years.”

There has been no formal announcement by the Di Jones group which has been dealing with the loss of its own top seller in the eastern suburbs, Jane Schumann this week to Raine & Horne Double Bay.

Mackie will step into an agency where its longtime Woollahra village-style origins had a women's influence.

Newspaper reports in the late 1990s suggested Di Jones was the doyenne of the female brigade in Sydney, at a time when ABS figures showed the percentage of female sales staff in real estate sat at around 40 per cent, way down on the US industry where eight in 10 are women.

The Di Jones office, with its French country style, avoided the hard edges often found in rival estate agencies.

She had her female staff dress to create an air of sober authority.

"I don't think the sexy look works very well," Jones explained.

"Everyone in our office dresses very business-like. I normally wear a suit because I think you need to look business-like to be taken seriously.

"I wouldn't like to think the girls in my office used their sexuality to sell a property but I'm sure some women do. But no, that's not our image at all." 

Its website traffic indicated almost twice as many women as men visiting with almost 80,000 total visits per month. 

The office has since been incorporated into the upper North Shore business of the former LJ Hooker Wahroonga agent Rob Ward in 2016.

Ward had founded LJ Hooker Wahroonga in 2003.

The landmark Woollahra office relocated from Queen Street this week to shop top premises on Paddington's Five Ways, with administrative staff now relocated to Wahroonga.

It now sits amid its team on the North Shore, the Northern Suburbs and in the NSW Southern Highlands, along with the lower North Shore seemingly from early next year.


Mcgrath Dijones

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