Belle Property merges with Victorian heavy-weight hockingstuart
BOUTIQUE real estate brand, Belle Property has merged with leading Melbourne-based group, hockingstuart as part of a broader strategy to strengthen the brand’s reach into Victoria.
Hockingstuart was the first agency in Victoria to publish a property magazine, the first to conduct auctions on Sundays and in 2017 it launched an industry-first suite of digital marketing tools, changing the way that customers interact with properties online.
Belle Property CEO Peter Hanscomb said that they have had their sights on Victoria for some time.
“But as a mature and sophisticated market we needed to ensure we aligned with the right brand,” Mr Hanscomb said.
“Hockingstuart are a well-respected agency with a long tradition in the core premium markets in Victoria and it’s a brand of astounding innovation with many ‘firsts’ under its belt,”
“Hockingstuart will retain its branding for the foreseeable future and there is no strategy put in place to make any changes.”
Hockingstuart Acting CEO Andrew James said that the group are thrilled to be joining a premium operator with roots across the country.
“We are extremely excited about this merger between hockingstuart and Belle Property as we will be part of a national brand that will take our group to the next level; helping to position us for success in an ever-changing and competitive real-estate landscape.”
Hockingstuart Ballarat director Tim Valpied said the merger will benefit the Ballarat vendors, landlords and buyers in many ways.
“The main thing from a client’s point of view is that it the firm is the largest independently owned network in Australia,” Mr Valpied said.
“At the moment, hockingstuart have 40 odd offices and we’re joining a group with that’s got over 80, so it will then be a large network that’s a national brand.
“Belle Property has a very strong commercial background, so the benefits are not just in the residential market, but commercially as well and also for people looking for lifestyle properties.”
The merger is Belle Property’s first venture into Victoria, accelerating the group’s growth ahead of its competitors as the largest premium real estate agency in the country.
Mr Hanscomb said that the premium brand had been looking to break into the Victorian market provided the right opportunity arose with a dynamic and progressive agency that would align with Belle Property’s approach.
The merger of the two companies will see Belle Property gain more than 40 offices and 600 people across Victoria’s premium lifestyle suburbs with coverage in Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, the Surf Coast and regional Victoria.
Mr Hanscomb will take on the role of CEO across both groups, with Belle Property’s Adam Joske to lead business development in the area as Head of Victoria.