Though most authentic estate agents have home windows lined with screens exhibiting lavish, slick advertising movies, real estate agent Bob Onofri’s shopfront appears stuck in the 1960s.
He does not have a pc, a cell phone, the world wide web, or any know-how far more advanced than a landline.
Residence aspects are alternatively scrawled on parts of paper and a whiteboard beside printed shots tacked up at the entrance of his Wollongong business enterprise.
A continual stream of locals wave and simply call out his title as they walk past.
“I am previous-fashioned. I think in conversing to folks,” Mr Onofri, 90, claims.
Arriving at his store every morning in a 3-piece Italian go well with, Mr Onofri leaves at lunchtime to eat at the Italian Club, and wager on the horses of an afternoon.
“His hair is immaculate and his shoes are often polished,” Wollongong authentic estate agent Paul Spinelli says.
“It really is great aged-faculty personal assistance.”
Mr Spinelli’s moms and dads bought their residence from Mr Onofri in the 1960s.
“He has interactions with his landlords and tenants and that’s what is missing these times,” Mr Spinelli suggests.
Mr Onofri has traded from the similar making considering the fact that 1967, and the store retains its 60s fashion renovation.
There is a phone trade nonetheless mounted to the wall and veneer dividers building workplace cubicles.
He suggests he has probably not bought a house in far more than a 12 months and in its place relies on about 50 tenants on his guides.
Resisting lease rises
According to Main Logic, Wollongong rental price ranges elevated by 12.7 for each cent in the 12 months to December 2022.
But Mr Onofri states he is bucking that trend, not often escalating his tenants’ rents.
“I preserve that additional $20 for the owner is an investment decision, but that $20 for a loved ones to glimpse just after their young ones is a lot more significant,” he claims.
Tony Piccin owns a home in Wollongong that Mr Onofri has managed on his behalf for 41 many years.
He claims the most recent tenants stayed there for 20 decades.
“It’s a get-get for equally of us,” Mr Piccin suggests.
“You could have a great deal of tenants transferring in and out, but you will find a expense included in that.”
Mr Spinelli states Mr Onofri’s reluctance to raise rental prices could gain landlords in the extensive expression.
“The landlord would not have to fork out a letting cost each and every 6 to 12 months,” he says.
“And it will not get substantially for tenants to do $20,000 well worth of hurt — he will not have that trouble.”
A tenant himself, Mr Onofri began leasing his shopfront from plumber Roy Cleary in 1967, who operated out of the adjoining premises right up until he died 12 several years back.
Having to pay just a fraction of the marketplace rate, Mr Onofri’s hire has not amplified in 25 a long time.
Several of Mr Onofri’s shoppers are from Italian family members who have accomplished small business with him around several generations.
“In my time in genuine estate in excess of the earlier 60 years, I aided a lot of the neighborhood, specially Italians who were being residing in Warrawong, Cringila, in close proximity to the steelworks,” Mr Onofri says.
Mr Onofri, who was born in Italy, paid 20 pounds for a passage to Australia in the many years immediately after Earth War II.
He started off work on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme just before shifting to Melbourne.
He located get the job done as a boilermaker in the Illawarra just before he moved to Wollongong and started off trading as a real estate agent in 1961.
“Individuals days when we very first arrived, every person lived all around the steelworks where we worked. There was nowhere else to are living,” Mr Onofri says.
“I bought them fantastic properties for their youngsters to go in fantastic colleges in other spots, not beneath the steelworks.”
Mr Spinelli states Mr Onofri is additional collegial and much less aggressive than other serious estate brokers, reflecting how the market has changed above the past 6 many years.
“Most persons are in it to maximise their revenue — Bob’s obtained a coronary heart, he runs his small business emotionally,” he states.
“The best way to describe him is a true gentleman.”
Mr Onofri says he is renewing his authentic estate agent’s licence for yet another 3 many years and even though his family members would like him to retire, he has no ideas to do so.