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A rented tin shed and a pig auction

Australasia’s largest real estate group has the most humble of beginnings, and last week Haesley Cush and I invited more than 100 members of Ray White The Collective to experience those origins first-hand. 

So off we went, loaded into four buses departing from our six inner-city offices, heading west to the township of Crows Nest, just past Esk in Queensland’s Darling Downs region. 

The Ray White story started in a rented tin shed, overlooking the end of a railway line, where Ray would turn his hand to any number of entrepreneurial activities from selling farm machinery and insurance, to managing a weekly pig auction. It was 1902, and Ray was keen to engage in any form of business that would add value to his community. 

These days, under fourth generation White guidance, the company of 1000-plus offices is a clear leader in residential sales across Australasia and Indonesia, and increasingly significant in property management, commercial, rural, hotels, marine, insurance and Concierge. 

This was a brief trip back through history, but I hope you can now understand why Haesley and I hold the story of Ray White so highly, and why we’re equally motivated to share this with our colleagues and offices. 

Our day trip to Crows Nest, and the now restored shed, was a walk back in time to not only impart company knowledge and history, but to appreciate where we stand in 2024. 

In Ray’s honour, we held a mock livestock auction with all funds raised going towards the Crows Nest Museum and Historical Village. I ended up winning the ‘pig’/meat tray, while others took home a KFC or Moo Moos steak restaurant voucher.

We then celebrated our current wins, handing out team quarterly awards, before enjoying a BBQ lunch and jumping back on a bus for home (with a quick stopover at the Esk Grand Hotel). 

You’ve made it to the end of this piece, and you may be thinking, what’s this mean to me as a current or potential client of Ray White The Collective?

You can’t buy this history, the knowledge passed down through four generations, and a culture built on simple family values with a community-first approach. 

From a handful of offices in regional Queensland more than a century ago, Ray White has grown into an internationally-recognised brand with the power of a network striving to push the company to be better. 

Today, Haes and I continue this story on the ground here in Brisbane through our own “collective”, where we follow in Ray’s footsteps by engaging in business that adds value to our community. 

I hope you enjoyed the read.

Matt Lancashire