He’s the Executive Chairman of Fletchers Real Estate and this year Rob Fletcher will be celebrating his 50th year in the industry – a true real estate great.
We caught up with the Melbourne-born agent to congratulate him on his impressive achievement and discover how he has witnessed the property landscape evolve over those five decades.
It runs in the family
Rob’s grandfather founded Fletchers Real Estate back in 1919 and he followed in his father’s, brother’s and uncle’s footsteps, entering the family business after leaving school. Of course, much has changed since then.
“I never had any pressure on me to go into the family business, but it was just a natural progression,” he explains.
“I started by doing what you used to in those days, which is collecting rent. That’s all changed a bit now!”
When Rob started out, Fletchers Real Estate had just seven staff members in one Melbourne office. Fast forward to today and a total of 260 employees work at 24 offices across Victoria and New South Wales.
“Back then I was working seven days a week, which was pretty hard when bringing up three young boys, but I had the wonderful support of an outstanding wife,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.”
Although Rob has been working in the industry for half a century, he hasn’t lost his passion for property and, despite his distinguished job title, he still lists and sells homes on a daily basis.
“I’ve always loved real estate. No two days are the same, which is really what I really love. I still enjoy getting out of bed and going to work.”
Fletchers Real Estate
As one of the country’s leading agencies, Fletchers Real Estate is embodied by the family values that have been instilled over the years, and its staff members demonstrate those on a daily basis.
“We have a great team of directors and staff right through the whole company,” Rob explains.
“Tim Heavyside is one of our directors who has won every award under the sun. He’s certainly one of the staff members our sales team look up to and we also have a wonderful CEO in Bradley Brown who does an outstanding job in running the company, too.
“My two sons are now partners in the company and I’m proud the generations will keep on going.
“I worked with my brother Tim for almost 50 years and during that time we didn’t have even one disagreement, which is a bit unusual for a family business!”
Lessons learnt along the way
It’s fair to say that Rob has seen all there is to see in real estate, and he shares a few words of wisdom for aspiring agents, explaining what’s changed along the way.
“Don’t think about the dollars today, but the dollars down the track,” he advises.
“I’ve always tried to be as honest as I can and I think if people portray that in their endeavours, then business will be reoccurring. Loyalty was a big thing many years ago and I think that has unfortunately passed, but if you treat people as if they’re family and really determine what their needs and wants are, they’ll come back to you down the track.
“The changes in technology and communication have been huge. We used to think we were ahead of the pack with 2A radios and then it was the big brick phones, but now with mobile phones you’re available 24 hours a day.
“I used to handwrite all the sales letters in my early days but that’s changed, too!”
Away from the office
Rob is expecting a busy start to 2021, with pent-up demand in Melbourne leading to predictions of a delayed spring market boom, but before that gets under way, he’s been enjoying time with his family away from the office.
“I see a lot of my family – we’re really close – and with granddaughters aged five, four and one year old, I was certainly kept busy over Christmas!” he laughs.
“I’ve lived in Kew most of my life and l also spend a lot of time down on the peninsula in Mount Martha, which is where I spent Christmas with my family.
“I just love boating and fishing, and just generally getting out on the water.”