The father lode - 30th August, 2007

Not so long ago a father was a success if he could put a roof over his family’s head. Now it takes a roof, deck, home theatre, teen retreat and pool. And that’s just the holiday house. These aren’t easy times to be a father, let alone a “good father”. Just as the world seems to be spinning faster than ever before, requiring us to work harder and for longer, not always fully comprehending why or what for, fathers are also trying to make better use of family time. To engage with their children. To empathise with their wife or partner. To not only lead but to inspire, comfort and understand. As far as job descriptions go, it’s fairly heady stuff. Working in the real estate business used to be about finding new owners for houses. Now, thankfully, we speak of families and “homes”. We don’t simply negotiate prices, draw up contracts and hand over keys. We help people move. I’m increasingly aware of the cost and time pressures placed upon modern families, not least of all because I feel them too. As fathers – I have three little girls, all being expertly groomed to look after me in my dotage! - we are all trying to do our best … and sometimes that’s even enough. I am fortunate to have a wonderful father whose ideals and practices I could do no better than to emulate. He strikes a nice balance between work and family, always with the understanding that when the see-saw comes to rest, it comes down on the family side. To my own father and to all fathers, best wishes for a great day on Sunday. You deserve it! Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside

Looking for answers? - 23rd August, 2007

The information age is as much a blessing as a curse. While it’s simple to find the answers to virtually any question these days (including entire medical diagnoses online!), the downside is that there are no safeguards about which answers are correct and where those answers have come from. The only sure path through the mire is to target key experts within a field. In the field of real estate, Century 21 is a proven expert, being the world’s largest agency and one of its most consistently successful. Locally, Century 21 Westside has earned expert status through its position as the no. 1 Century 21 office within Brisbane and, most recently, via recognition as winner of the 2007 Quest Business Achiever Award (Real Estate). While our team is always on hand to answer questions from local buyers and sellers, we also understand that few people have the time or inclination to pick up the phone and pose a question to their local real estate agency. So we are excited about participating in a new national campaign called ‘Ask The Experts’, which will basically allow you to type in a question from the comfort of your home computer (go to and wait for a prompt reply from our own or the national office of Century 21. No question will go unanswered! Perhaps you’re wondering about the wisdom or otherwise of selling your home in the current market? Maybe you’re considering renovating first but don’t wish to over-capitalise? Perhaps you simply want to know what your home is worth right now? That’s Go on, ask away! Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside

Call to arms for Brookfield - 16th August 2007

Officially Brisbane’s richest non-city, non-riverfront suburb, Brookfield’s appeal is undeniable. The initial drawcards are obvious: lovely homes, large blocks, semi-rural environs, 13km proximity to the CBD. But the less obvious, more intangible drawcard of ‘community’ could well be the keystone holding aloft the other criteria. Though geographically exclusive in terms of its two-roads-only access, Brookfield is not cut-off from the issues and challenges facing its surrounding suburbs. Many of the big issues currently swirling about – the Western Bypass hot potato and the proposed need for a second public high school west of Kenmore - warrant a united voice from the Brookfield community. Is it time for Brookfield to form a community development group or progress association? The answer could lie in the recent experience of another (once) lovely suburb defined by semi-rural quaintness: Jindalee. Community opposition about the enormous DFO development and its potential for traffic and parking chaos, especially on weekends, mounted quickly after the bulldozers moved in. But of course, it was all too late. Somehow the project’s application had slipped beneath the radar of relevant community interests and before anyone knew what was happening, DFO construction was underway. It is scheduled to open in November. If Brookfield wants to stay on top of such development applications and in doing so preserve the quality of life it has paid handsomely to live within, then perhaps a formal development or progress group should be on the cards? I’d love to know what you think. Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside

We won! - 9th August 2007

If you’ll indulge me a quick departure from my normal policy of not using this space for self-promotion, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Century 21 Westside is the official winner of the 2007 Quest Business Achiever Awards in the category of Real Estate. And furthermore, that our dynamo office manager James Billing is the 2007 Quest Business Employee of the Year! This is an outstanding result for our team, but especially for James whose award cuts across all industries. And it’s entirely deserved because James has played an integral role in the momentum that has driven us from being a start-up enterprise three years ago to being two-time winners of the prestigious Quest Business Achiever Awards (we also won the Real Estate category in 2005 and were finalists in 2006). What does it take to be the leading real estate agency within a highly competitive local market? The key point of difference is business expertise. This is an industry that has necessarily evolved greatly since the days when just about anyone thought they could “have a go” at selling real estate; when deals were done over back fences and codes of conduct weren’t worth the beer coaster they were written on. Century 21 Westside operates as a business first and foremost – a business whose service is facilitating real estate transactions. That we also go the extra mile of personally assisting every client in making the business of moving as happy and stress-free as possible is what, I believe, sets us apart from the pack. Enough laurel-resting … there’s work to be done. Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside

Tanks for the Memories - 2nd August, 2007

One of our expert team members here at Century 21 Westside, John Webb, has recently been going through the process of researching water tank options for his acreage property. He stumbled across some interesting research that highlights just how far we have come in terms of water usage consciousness over the last few years. According to Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, almost 75% of potential home-buyers now place a rainwater tank above a spa and a plasma TV on the list of inclusions they most want in a property. This is an incredible shift in a very short space of time. Who would have thought even five years ago that having a rainwater tank would boost the saleability of your average home? Spending money on water-wise initiatives should now be considered a near-essential capital investment for the astute investor or vendor. If you’ve been simply tinkering with the idea, tinker no longer. Being water-wise is not only good sense; it’s good business. Being able to promote a home as “water-wise” presents significant benefits. Not only do buyers purchase a home that is able to sustain a half-decent garden at least, but they also acquire a property that is pool-ready, landscaping-friendly and prepared for whatever further restrictions await us in the future. There are still significant rebates on offer for homeowners and investors who elect to be water-wise. Do your research and take the plunge. Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside