Pine Property turns five this month. It’s a huge achievement and one that we’re extremely proud of.

Five years is a major milestone for any business, especially when you consider the high failure rate of small businesses, often cited as between 60-70 per cent in the first five years.

As a young agent with CBRE, I always had it in the back of my mind to start my own agency. I was constantly thinking about how I could do things differently if I was calling the shots.

However, I never imagined Pine Property would grow so quickly into the successful sales, leasing, and property management business it is today.

Looking back, we have helped hundreds of businesses – often global enterprises – secure new locations in and around Manly and the greater Northern Beaches.

Many of these businesses have also achieved phenomenal success. And so, in celebrating our fifth birthday, we reflect on our beginnings, the journey and what it takes to run a small business.

Hard Work:

When I first started Pine Property, my wife was pregnant with our second of four children. I knew it was going to get busy, but it’s not until you’re in the thick of it that you realise just how busy.

In the early days especially, you must be prepared to roll up your sleeves and acknowledge you are not above any task. Opportunities do not wait.

You can also never clock off. You are always thinking about the business. Even if you are not physically at work there is always something to action or someone to respond to.

This improves as you scale and systemise processes with staff and software, however it never really stops. You will always live and breathe your business. However, you will also learn to accept that you cannot be everywhere at once, or everything to everyone.

Knowledge and Network

Your network is an extension of your business and it’s imperative that everyone you work with and recommend share the same business values as you.

When I started Pine Property all I had was a phone and my network of contacts and I am eternally grateful to those clients and suppliers who backed our capability and had a genuine interest in supporting the business.

My competitors have also become some of my tightest allies, even mentors. I worked for many years both with and against other agents and I’ve always had the attitude that its far better to partner with a like-minded agent than not.

However be prepared that not everyone will play by the same moral compass as you and some people may try to take advantage of your size and firepower. Over time you learn who has aligning business values and who not to invest your time with.

Building a brand and culture is incredibly rewarding:

When running a business you need look beyond the deal because there are so many other components of running a successful business that are critical to success. And often they are the most rewarding.

While the bottom line is critical, culture underpins everything. As the Pine Property team has grown over the years, seeing their personal growth is a massive part of that reward.

The real estate industry can have a reputation for being cut-throat with a “win at all costs” motto, however I take great pride in Pine Property’s inclusive culture where more emphasis is placed on team success than individual success.


The truth is that we should celebrate every small business – past and present – because running one takes skill, knowledge, commitment, patience and a strong network.

In the five years since Pine Property was launched we have built a strong sales, leasing, and property management business based on relationships and results. But I have no intention of hitting cruise control. We are only just getting started.