Short time, big gains for McGrath Ballarat

January 29, 2020 BY

Founder John McGrath with McGrath Ballarat co-directors Sean Toohey and Daniel Nestor. Photo: FILE

McGrath Ballarat is nearly 12 months into serving the city and surrounds, check out their story so far


JUST under a year ago hundreds of people gathered at a hotel overlooking Lake Wendouree for the launch of Ballarat’s then newest real estate agency, McGrath.

The sheer number of people, many of them past clients of new co-directors Daniel Nestor and Sean Toohey, were there to wish the pair well.

It was a true indication on how much potential the new venture offered.

“The people that gave us the keys to their properties over the last 12-years, they are the lifeblood of our business,” said Mr Nestor. “Referrals are extremely important to the continuity of our business, and we couldn’t be prouder of our reputations in the industry”.

McGrath Ballarat has a customer centred focus, something you notice from the first call or visit.

McGrath stands out in the marketplace for several reasons.

Their marketing is clean and modern, sign boards quite literally light up a property, and the approach to marketing, especially online and social media is professionally finished, functional and market leading.

It’s something that was always part of firm founder John McGrath’s vision and an approach that resonated with Mr Nestor.

McGrath is a prestige brand.

“For us, the McGrath brand was a clear standout over other franchises that we considered.” Mr Nestor said. “McGrath boasts a reputation as one of the very best agencies in Australia. Their reputation is strong, and their core values resonate with us in our own day to day operations”.

“We’ve always said we don’t necessarily want to the biggest, but we want to be the best in every way.”

That idea of being the best has permeated every element of the way Mr Nestor and Mr Toohey approach running their business, selling homes and managing property. It all has to start somewhere.

“We think we’ve created something pretty good here and what was most important to us when we started the business was ultimate client, and also staff satisfaction,” Mr Nestor said.

“We want our clients to become raving fans of our business and the way we go about it.

“We want our staff to come to work every day and enjoy what they do.”

Like any new business, Mr Nestor and Mr Toohey went into the process of striking out on their own with great challenge, but equally great opportunity.

They both had strong reputations as reliable and professional real estate agents, yet the marketplace in Ballarat was tight and they were essentially launching a new brand.

Part of the last 12 months have been about creating a strong, local team.

“We were unsure as to how our transition to our new agency here at McGrath would be received. But we’ve been pleasantly surprised and eternally grateful for the support that we’ve received from our loyal client base that has not only followed us, but supported us wholeheartedly in our venture”.

“One of the things that we were fearful of in the initial stages was McGrath wasn’t familiar to Ballarat. The McGrath name was certainly synonymous with real estate across the eastern seaboard, they had recently broke into Victoria, and were doing some amazing things in Geelong. But a lot of people in the Ballarat area wouldn’t have known the McGrath brand.

“It took a little while to establish ourselves. In the initial stages our focus was to make sure people saw the quality of our marketing and that we were one of the leading advertisers in real estate. We want what we put out to be premium and better than our competitors.”

The culture McGrath Ballarat have worked hard to create goes beyond selling homes in the best possible way.

Mr Nestor and Mr Toohey fostered a balance between work, friends and family. They often involve their partners and kids in activities associated with the firm, especially philanthropic efforts.

It’s one of the things that attracted new co-director, Matthew Edwards, to the agency.

New McGrath Ballarat co-director Matthew Edwards.

“One thing I noticed when talking about McGrath before I made the decision to come across was everyone said, ‘yeah, I really like Dan and Sean’, their reputation was really good,” he said.

“One consistent comment that was coming through was, ‘they’re really family orientated’. So externally people are noticing that.”

While the team at McGrath Ballarat know where they have come from, they are also where they want to be.

With their committed staff and young families, the business is perfectly positioned to grow with their client base, but also understand the needs of an older seller.

“No two dealings in this industry are the same. It’s extremely important to us that each and every client that transacts through our business enjoys an experience that is tailored to meet their expectations,” Mr Nestor said. “We’re coming into the perfect time in our lives to be able to service every different demographic in real estate.

The message from all three directors was consistent. With their combined youthful enthusiasm, dedication to excellence in customer service, and an overwhelming passion for the industry – this is just the beginning for McGrath Ballarat.