From Then To Now

October 2022

From Then To Now

October 2022

From Then To Now

By Ellen Blundy | October 2022


Our Director of First Impressions, Karen Bysouth Talks Us Through The Changes In Real Estate She Has Experienced Over The Past 38 Years!

I commenced in Real Estate in Jan 1985 as a Receptionist in the Knox area. In those days I used an ancient Plug and Cord Switchboard and typed Contracts in triplicate with carbon paper on an electric Golfball typewriter.  When we upgraded to a Commander phone system and a Word Processor, I felt very lucky.

To get in touch with staff out in “the field” we used 2-way radios. Mobile phones and Computers were yet to be invented!

In most businesses the front desk was a “Jack of all Trades”, Receptionist, Property Manager, Advertising Guru, Trust Accountant, Courier, Office Cleaner and anything that needed doing really. We gained our knowledge with on-the-job experience and didn’t need to pay “Expert” industry coaches.

The majority of enquiries came from “Walk-Ins” – yes, people came into the office. Then the salesperson took them out in their own cars to show as many houses as they had time for.

The advertisements in the local paper never showed the address of a property as there were never open for inspections, unless it was an Auction, only private inspections. The interest rate at the time was 11.5% and the average house price in Knox was $70,000.

Real estate back then was much more casual and not as serious as it is now. There were a lot of long lunches, lavish awards night, team events, family picnics, interstate conferences, we even had a poker machine – “The Honey Bee” in the back of the office before they were legal in Victoria.

Roll forward a few decades and along came the World Wide Web. The internet changed everything.  Never in a million years did we consider people would buy a property just from looking at photos or a video and never setting foot inside a house before buying.

Over the years I have done many job roles in a Real Estate office from weekend Receptionist to Officer in Effective Control and everything in between – except Salesperson – one Agent in the household was enough. Yes, I met my husband in the workplace, so it was a good job move for me.

It was a family affair and we have owned a few Real Estate offices in Knox over the many years. One of my daughters was the Saturday and Sunday receptionist. Even my father would drive around locally with a big advertisement of our business on the side of his van, he considered himself the “Advertising Department”.

My best piece of real estate advice from my years of experience: Invest as quick as you can – you cant go wrong investing in bricks and mortar.

Got more questions for us?

Whether you’re buying, selling, leasing or just curious, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our Berwick or Officer branches.

Berwick(03) 9707 5300
Officer(03) 5942 1207