Team Edwards joins McGrath Ballarat
Addition means McGrath can now look after you in Ballarat, out in the surrounding towns, on acreage or the farm
ONE of the region’s leading rural and lifestyle real estate agents, Matthew Edwards, has joined forces with McGrath Ballarat as a co-director.
The announcement means that McGrath Ballarat now brings you even more knowhow to get you into your dream lifestyle home or match your property up with the right buyer when you’re ready to sell.
“There’s a lot of young families coming to Ballarat and they want space,” Mr Edwards said. “There’s a real demand for five to 20-acre lifestyle properties where people can have a few pets, ride a motorbike and do all the other great things that come with extra space.
“I’m finding a lot of people are looking for that affordable lifestyle. For what you can get on the outskirts of Ballarat you can’t in other places.”
Mr Edwards brings close to a decade of experience in the rural and lifestyle space, and with the region booming that means he can use what he knows to get the best results for both vendors and buyers.
Acreage living and small-town life is more than just buying a block of land outside of Ballarat and Mr Edwards knows the fine details.
“You’ve got town water verses tank water, bottle gas or mains gas, sewer and septic systems. You have to know more about all those things,” he said.
“Because a lot of buyers come from urban areas they are not used to having to deal with those sort of things to think about.
“They want to flick a switch, but they’ve never learnt about off grid solar. There can be a lot of fear that comes with a tree change, but I can point people in the right direction and give them more confidence in buying a property.
“Then there’s the regulations, with six or seven different councils in the areas I cover there’s a lot of things you’ve got to be aware of. From land sizes to zoning, sub-divisions, it keeps you busy.”
But it’s more than just the ins-and-outs of owning acreage, the Goldfield’s diverse range of landscapes is something Mr Edwards loves about his job.
Regardless of whether it’s a cottage in a picturesque town, large home on the rolling hills, out in big sky country on the plains, or a tree change in the bush, Mr Edwards knows the region like the back of his hand.
“It’s a really diverse mix,” he said. “And that’s where I like working in the rural space, because everything is different. I can look at a house on a normal block in a little township and then later that day go and look at something on 1000 acres.
“The variety is what’s attractive to me and my personality is that way inclined as well.
“I like all the outdoor stuff; hiking, fishing, camping and that sort of thing. Because of that I think I resonate well with people seeking that same kind of lifestyle.”
McGrath Ballarat co-director, Daniel Nestor, welcomed Mr Edwards to the firm.
With McGrath being relatively new to Ballarat, Mr Nestor said the focus for him and co-director Sean Toohey over the last 12 months was to solidify the agency’s place in the city and continue to build on the reputation the pair had fostered.
“We wanted to make sure we got the standards, culture and people mix right in the office and everything humming before we made a decision on when it was time to grow,” Mr Nestor said.
“We always had Matt earmarked as a target to come in as a partner. What Matt does is very different to what Sean and I do. Matt is number one in rural sales and probably has been for the last couple of years.”
Mr Edwards’ professional but approachable style and personality match up well with rural and lifestyle clientele.
He’s not trying to close all day, rather he seeks to treat people the way he would want to be treated, in an honest and respectful way.
“I love the type of people I interact with in the country areas,” Mr Edwards said. “They are all genuine, down to earth, salt of the earth, kind of people that you can get along with and have a normal chat with.”
“It’s not a big sales pitch when I visit clients. People seem to be more relaxed and that’s more my style. That’s why I enjoy doing rural and lifestyle listings.”
Yet Team Edwards is more than just Matthew. Joining him at McGrath Ballarat is Jacqui Sfetcopoulos.
While Mr Edwards is great at building relationships with vendors, Mrs Sfetcopoulos is all about matching buyers with their forever homes. Basically, they complement each other.
“Jacqui has a strong following, people want to deal with the both of us,” Mr Edwards said. “We’ve been called Team Edwards ever since we started working together two years ago.
“It’s the same standards, the same processes, now only better with McGrath.”
Mrs Sfetcopoulos started working with Mr Edwards in an office support role but quickly showed she was destined for bigger things.
Her focus is on making sure buyers are matched with the right kind of properties whilst managing a variety of aspects of a real estate campaign.
“She’s become a buyer specialist,” Mr Edwards said. “She gets a lot of testimonials on how she was the only person who was in constant, meaningful communication with buyers.
“Jacqui knows the buyers intimately and knows what they are after. A lot of things we sell don’t even make it to advertising because she’s matching buyers to their ideal property immediately. As a result of this, clients are now wanting to sell with Jacqui due to her professionalism and work ethic.”
An experienced auctioneer, Mr Edwards will continue to take homes and land under the hammer at McGrath, as well as running charity and sporting auctions around the region.
That willingness to support the community is a reflection on his commitment to the city. Mr Edwards has worked his whole professional life in Ballarat and knows the market intricately.
“When I first started out, for probably for the first two years I worked in residential and the last eight years has been country and lifestyle.
“It’s just gotten busier year-on-year, the longer I’ve worked in the industry, the more people have returned to me.”
Born and bred in Ballarat, Mr Edwards grew up in Alfredton, went to St Thomas Moore, then St Pat’s for high school before entering real estate.
With his wife Samantha and two children – five-year-old Sadie and two-year-old Chaz – he continues to build a life in the city he knows and loves.
“I like that my kids are going to grow up here and they are my motivation for joining McGrath Ballarat,” Mr Edwards said. “I want to give them the best of everything in the future.”
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