New players vow to shake-up city real estate market

The CBD has a new real estate player with the recent arrival to Collins St of First National Platinum.

Coming from a development project background, principal Maurice Romano is convinced that the new agency is the best way to expand.

The franchise has already secured the rights to 16 Asian countries, so the move from a small retail space in North Melbourne to 405 Collins St is just the first step.

Sales and leasing director Debbie O’Bryan is the architect of the move.  Already deep-entrenched in First National, Ms O’Bryan negotiated the deals, fitted out new premises and is charting the way forward with new service offerings.

Ms O’Bryan explained that the new business was keen to continue and expand its off-the-plan sales and marketing role for other developers.

She is particularly excited about a boutique project in Moreland Rd, West Brunswick, called Cornwall.

Purchasers here have unprecedented capacity of shaping their future loft-style apartments, with an almost unlimited potential for customisation.

Ms O’Bryan explained that building quality apartments for owner-occupiers to ensure capital growth was the key to the future for the development industry.

“It makes sense on so many levels,” she said. “Not the least is the attractiveness of this approach to the banks.”

And, while the new agency is well-versed in apartment development, it also has considerable expertise in green-fields house and land sales and marketing.

“One of the reasons for locating here in Collins St is to be convenient for city workers who may want to talk to someone who’s knowledgeable about the housing market in the outer suburbs,” Ms O’Bryan said.

When you also add commercial sales and leasing to the list of specialties, you start to see just how rounded this one-stop-shop is.

Mr Romano established his Romano Property Group in 2005. Prior to that he had held various senior roles in the corporate world.

The ambitious group managing director is now talking the international market, with plans to open offices in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.

One of the benefits of joining the First National group is that its name translates to “Number One” in Chinese.

First National is at 405 Collins St, Melbourne, phone 9614 7667.

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