Penrith’s longest established real estate agent, Stanton & Taylor First National, traces its history back to 1960. Its current Managing Director, Greg Taylor, a chartered accountant, joined the family business as a salesman in 1983 after working for eight years in the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 1997, when his father retired, Greg Taylor and his sister Michelle Banning took over the company. Michelle has recently retired.
In 1982, the real estate business of Stanton & Taylor had been in existence for 22 years when First National Real Estate was formed. This organisation is a cooperative real estate network that currently has over 450 offices in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.
Stanton & Taylor became one of the first companies to join the cooperative. Greg Taylor was on the National Commercial Committee of First National for a period of three years. Currently, he is a director of its New South Wales Regional Council.
The team at Stanton & Taylor First National is highly competent and experienced and comprises of 22 staff members. There are six sales staff including Greg Taylor and 10 property managers. Greg’s son Michael, a lawyer by profession with 10 years of experience in large Sydney law firms, manages the property management team. He also handles the commercial and industrial leasing and management services.
In addition to having a large and experienced team, Stanton and Taylor enjoy the advantage of being the oldest real estate agent in Penrith. Its staff consists of locals who have an in-depth understanding of the market.
Greg Taylor himself has very deep roots in Penrith and is a key member of the local community. He has been secretary and past president of Nepean, Blue Mountains & Hawkesbury Division of the Real Estate Institute for tenures totalling 15 years.
He was also president of the Penrith Golf Club for seven years and its treasurer for a period of 11 years. These responsibilities have provided him a great advantage in his role as Managing Director of Stanton & Taylor as he has established a wide range of contacts while serving in these positions.
Penrith is a real estate growth area
Penrith is a major metropolitan centre approximately 50km west of Sydney. It is home to the sixth largest population in NSW and has a number of new development sites including Glenmore Park, Jordan Springs and Waterside. Penrith Valley residents can enjoy white river rafting and walks along the beautiful Nepean River.
There are also a number of museums, art galleries, markets and cinemas in the city in addition to several large shopping centres including Westfield Penrith Plaza, Centro Nepean and the High Street retail strip.
Greg Taylor explains why Penrith will continue to see growth in its property market, “We are based in Penrith and Penrith is only 15 minutes away from the proposed new airport for western Sydney at Badgerys Creek. In the last couple of years the area has just boomed.
“Investors are coming from all over Sydney to buy property in the city of Penrith. It is widely recognised now that there is a huge potential growth for the area for the next 30 to 40 years. The Penrith area has had a complete overhaul of its residential zoning and we have now got high-rise blocks on the drawing board for large parts of the city.
“There have been a lot of development sites sold and coming on the market recently. Following that, there are going to be a lot of builders and big companies wishing to sell units which we will be heavily involved with the future sales and property management.”
“Our future growth is going to be in the strata high-rise developments that are going to be coming in the next few years.”
Property management services
Stanton & Taylor offers the entire range of real estate services. In addition to providing its expertise to buyers and sellers, it has a well-established property management service.
In fact, within the First National group it is one of the top 10 property management offices and manages the largest residential portfolio in Penrith and the surrounding suburbs. The company also offer commercial-industrial property management services.
With its extensive knowledge of the local market and its highly trained team, the company ensures that its clients’ properties find a tenant in the quickest possible time.
Stanton & Taylor has a large database of developers, many of whom have recently purchased sites around the area for future development. The company will be involved in helping the developers in the design process so that they build the appropriate product for the area. This will ensure that Stanton & Taylor is in a position to find buyers and tenants for the finished product.
It is expected that in the next 10 years there are going to be a large number of projects to cater to the expected demand. The company services the whole of the Penrith City Council area. Additionally, it is located on the main street in the middle of ‘Real Estate Alley’, the area where all the city’s real estate agents are based.
Stanton & Taylor is known to provide a high level of customer service. Due to this its clients recommend the firm to their friends and family and, as a result, large volumes of new business follows.
Annual market value for property owners
Most well-established real estate agents offer a free market appraisal to property owners who are their customers. This is an essential service as it provides an approximate idea about a property’s worth. Stanton & Taylor has been regularly providing this service to its clients.
Greg Taylor says, “We also do a regular inspection of the properties, usually twice and sometimes three times a year so that the owners can be sure that the tenants are maintaining the properties in good order. We keep in touch with them on phone and email. Any information that they need is sent to them very quickly.
“The owners know who their property managers are and they are easily contactable. We like to contact them before they have to contact us. If we call them regularly it saves them from getting the feeling, ‘Oh no, what’s wrong now?’”
A critical factor in determining the demand for property is the rate of interest at which funds are available for investment in real estate. Government incentives are equally important, if not more so. Stamp duty rates, the new home scheme and the availability of negative gearing all play a crucial role in driving the market price for real estate.
“When the first time buyer’s scheme was there, it was actively used and it was a big thing for the industry because a lot of first time buyers got the benefit when they bought their first home. If the government makes changes to taxation and to negative gearing, it will have an absolutely major impact on the industry.
“When it was introduced back in the 1980s it was a great incentive for people to go and buy investment property. For the last year or so there has been talk of whether or not the government might change the negative gearing, I think that it would be catastrophic for the industry.
“Negative gearing has a very positive effect on our industry and that is something that should never be touched.”
Selling real estate is a competitive business
When Stanton & Taylor first started operations the local newspaper was the only means to communicate with prospective customers. Currently, this method plays only a minor role and has been supplanted by a host of internet portals.
Potential property buyers go to the internet for information on real estate availability and prices. This makes it absolutely necessary that real estate agents like Stanton & Taylor have a presence on the web. Of course, it is a major expense.
Another factor that has changed over the years is that the number of real estate agents has mushroomed in Penrith. Realestate.com alone lists over a hundred agencies catering to Penrith. The intense competition among real estate agents tends to drive fees down.
Award winning agency
Stanton & Taylor achieved several milestones in 2013 and was recognised for these at the First National Real Estate General Excellence and Marketing Awards, 2013. It was the agency that attained the highest gain of properties under management in the commercial and combined categories for a large agency.
The company’s relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction has stood it in good stead and enabled it to continue to expand in the face of stiff competition. Most importantly, it has built up relationships in the community over three generations. This gives the agency the ability to understand client requirements and ensure that they are fulfilled.
“We want to remain an active part of Penrith. We will be involved with a lot of the new developments that take place here. Whatever good that is going on in Penrith, you can be sure that we will be part of it,” says Greg Taylor.