THE STORY BEHIND THE BUSINESS // W. M. Carpenter Real Estate
THE STORY BEHIND THE BUSINESS
Behind the shop windows, websites and office doors of local business, there is always a story. We love how these stories shape and build on the history and create the future of the business landscape in The Highlands.
The Fold caught up with the team from W.M. Carpenter Real Estate recently and loved hearing about how the business grew from humble beginnings in 1923 in Auburn (Yep! 90 + years ago) to the modern agency that exists today in Bowral.
It’s an awesome story of how a focus on family, community involvement and traditional business values has formed the foundation for an exciting new future for W.M. Carpenter Real Estate.
We sit in the light and bright meeting room of the W.M. Carpenter Real Estate office on Station Street, surrounded by certificates on the wall…browned by age but proudly telling their own chapter of the story behind this busy real estate office in Bowral. A story that is currently being rewritten following the passing of the force behind this proudly local family business, Bill Carpenter.
“Both Bill and his father, William were valuers. In fact, Bill’s father’s valuer certification from the Real Estate and Stock Institute of Australia has him as Registered Valuer #124,” Prue Carpenter points to the certificate on the wall.
“There is a long tradition of valuers in the family and it’s what Bill loved doing.”
Matriarch of the Carpenter family and Director of W.M. Carpenter Real Estate, Prue is working with her son Will and local real estate dynamo, Andrew de Montemas to keep the business moving forward, following the sad passing of her husband Bill last year.
“Bill was an incredibly reputable man, highly regarded and universally liked by buyers, sellers, property owners and locals. People trusted him,” Andrew says.
“Our focus is on expanding the business, while making sure Bill’s values and the way he operated is intrinsic in everything we do.”
So, how did we get from Auburn in 1923 to Bowral in 2019?
Bill joined his father in the real estate game, taking over the family business in the 1960’s.
Pictured: Will Carpenter and Andrew de Montemas
“We moved to The Highlands in 1975 and Bill remained working in Sydney until he started a real estate business with Jeff Spender in 1980 in Bowral,” Prue explains.
“At the time, there were probably only about three or four agencies operating here.”
While their business thrived, the Carpenters also focused on connecting to the community. Prue volunteered with the Brownies for many years and Bill was a founding Governor of Oxley College, on the Board for 15 years.
“One of the exciting things about living in The Highlands is the opportunity to become involved in volunteer work. There are so many opportunities here to engage with the community,” Prue says.
After the business took on various forms and partnerships throughout the decades that followed, Bill returned to his real love, property valuation.
“He would still sell properties while he was doing valuations. In fact, he sold Milton Park a couple of times!” Prue says.
Bill and Prue’s son, Alastair – also a Property Valuer – has absorbed the property valuation practice while Prue focuses on the real estate side of the business.
“We’re rekindling what we were doing thirty years ago but this time with a new team and a new focus on technology,” she says.
Will, the eldest of Prue and Bill’s sons (they have four children) is excited about continuing the family business and giving it a new lease on life.
“There is absolutely a legacy involved in this business,” Will says.
“Anyone who is associated with W.M. Carpenter Real Estate – Mum, myself, Alison, Andrew and others – sees that legacy as motivation to continue on the great will that Dad created in the community.”
It’s certainly an exciting time to be in the business of buying and selling property in The Highlands! The Great Australian Dream of owning property shows no signs of slowing down, especially in The Highlands, as buyers aspire to have their own slice of real estate pie.
“In the past ten years, real estate has become an obsession in this country! This preoccupation with property and our proximity to Sydney has helped the Highlands property market take off,” says Andrew.
“At the same time, social media has changed the way real estate agencies are marketing property. Online is where people start the buying process now, so building our presence online and growing our digital footprint is a big focus for us.
“Combined with the trust and community connection we’re so lucky to have here, thanks to Bill, we’re pretty excited about the future.”
“It’s a legacy we take seriously,” says Will.
“And it gives us a great platform for creating a modern and new trajectory for W.M. Carpenter Real Estate.”
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