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 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 chief executive officer Andrew James said that the group was 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 Torquay agency director Leigh Hall-Sullivan is pleased with the merger that will benefit the brand nationally and locally.
“It’s exciting to now operate as a national franchise,” Mr Hall-Sullivan said.
“With the merger in place we are no longer just Melbourne-centric which has its inherent benefits in terms of scale and marketing power.”
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 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 chief executive officer across both groups, with Belle Property’s Adam Joske to lead business development in the area as Head of Victoria.