A word from Philip Webb

A word from Philip Webb

As Philip Webb Real Estate celebrates its 50th birthday this week, I have had the chance to reflect on how Melbourne’s real estate industry has changed since 1972, but also some aspects that have remained the same.

A significant change that springs to mind is the steady increase and prevalence of auctions. When I started out in real estate, almost every property sold was done via private sale – it was very rare to sell a home via auction. Agents would have listing books with 50 to 100 listings and would drive potential buyers around all day until they found a house that suited them. There were far more properties than there were buyers, so the need for an auction was far less, but over time as populations have grown, auctions have been essential to the selling and buying process.

The most transformative event to happen was the digitalisation of the world. Photocopiers and fax machines were introduced first, followed by computers, the internet, mobile phones and the iPhone, which has completely transformed the way real estate agents work, communicate, and sell homes. Before properties could be advertised online, we would take out an ad in the newspaper and buyers would get in contact with us that way. The onus was much more on the real estate agent to educate buyers. Whereas today, a buyer will pretty much know everything about the home and if they want to buy it before even approaching the agent.

However, despite a person’s ability to sort through thousands of properties a day and have access to a 360-degree view of the home, the role of the real estate agent has remained essential. People still need to connect with people. Whether it was 50 years ago or today, buying a home is still one of the biggest decisions people will make in their lifetime, and they need people they trust who have their best interests at heart.

Over the past 50 years, Philip Webb’s property management division has grown to be one of the largest independent property management companies in Australia. Despite numerous changes to the way we operate, we have remained consistent in the service we deliver. Our lasting success is a testament to having a long-term view with everything we do and striving to secure great results for our clients.