Belle Property and hockingstuart merge into new estate agency

Belle Property and hockingstuart merge into new estate agency
Belle Property and hockingstuart merge into new estate agency

Belle Property and hockingstuart are to merge into new estate agency.

The hockingstuart estate agents approached following Saturday auctions by Property Observer in Melbourne were not aware of the deal.

But the so-called merged group will be headed by the Sydney based Peter Hanscomb, CEO of Belle Property, who was acknowledging the move on social media on Saturday afternoon.

It is understood the two companies will retain their exisiting name branding, but run as a single entity.

No details have been issued on the finances that secured the merger.

Founded in 2000, Belle Property re-launched in 2007 with a revised franchise model under the new ownership of CEO, Peter Hanscomb.

Having entered the real estate arena in 1982 as a management accountant, Hanscomb founded RE\MAX in 1996 in Australia and worked at McGrath and Ray White.

While the company has 85 offices operating across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, the missing presence was Melbourne.

It was January 2017 when Belle Property opened an office in Melbourne.

It was in Docklands with the founder and principal of Verve Real Estate, John Wong who made the first move to Belle Property in Victoria.

Then last June sales agent Adam Joske joined Belle Property as Head of Victoria to position the boutique brand to break into the residential real estate market in Victoria.

“Acquiring Adam to the team is one of the biggest acquisitions for Belle Property in recent years. He has an incredible reputation in the industry and with his knowledge, professionalism and drive we knew that he would be the right person to establish Belle Property as a leading force in the Victorian marketplace,” Hanscomb noted at the time.

He was head-hunted having previously worked at Gary Peer & Associates for 22 years.

Belle Property’s leading offices are Bondi Junction and Dee Why. It had 73 offices in mid-2016.

It has a strategic partnership with Bauer Media interiors publication, Belle magazine. 

Hockingstuart was founded in 1985 with some 45 offices across Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, the Surf Coast and regional Victoria.

It sells around 7,000 homes annually.

It also has over 20,000 properties under management.

In 2016 hockingstuart announced the appointment of Simon Jovanovic as its new CEO, but he left the group in February this year for Marshall White. 

Jovanovic's appointment came after hockingstuart's former CEO, Nigel O'Neil, announced his resignation after almost a decade in the top job.

James Atkins had been chairman for six years of the Hockingstuart group until March.

Andrew James has been the interim CEO.

James will relinquish his role to return to running the hockingstuart Armadale office as its principal.

hockingstuart was founded by Greg Hocking and Andrew Stuart, who launched the business in 1985, and sold the company to eight franchisees in 2007.

Hocking has gone on to open his own agency, the eponymous Greg Hocking.

Staff are expected to be told no redundancies are planned under the merger.

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