Barry Plant real estate agent Gerry Vallence is retiring after 25 years helping Mitchell Shire families find their perfect home.
Mr Vallence got his start in real estate when his brother offered him a job at Stott Real Estate after he had previously worked as a surveyor, salesman and operated a chicken shop.
At one point, Mr Vallence part-owned Barry Plant Mitchell Shire before becoming branch manager of its Kilmore office.
“Because I knew a lot of people in Kilmore, I just gravitated towards real estate. It’s been very rewarding and very enjoyable,” he said.
“You see people come in with the dream to buy their first home and they get their first home and just the look on their faces.
“They’re entering into probably the biggest purchase of their lives and you’re part of that and that’s great.”
Mr Vallence said he had seen a lot of changes in the area during his real estate career and made a lot of friends along the way.
“Blocks of land in those days were selling for $25,000 and smaller blocks are now selling for $275,000. It’s amazing,” he said.
“Homes then were selling for about $135,000 and that same home is now selling for $420,000 to $450,000.
“I’ve got clients that I’ve sold homes to four times and their siblings.
“It’s rewarding that people come back to you for repeat business or refer you to someone else.”
Having attended Assumption College, Mr Vallence has been part of the community for his entire life and is a life member of Wallan District Cricket Club and was named in the club’s Team of the Half-Century.
He’s also been a member of Broadford Amateur Theatrical Society for 30 years, serving as president for the past five years.
“My father and brother played, my mother and father are both life members as am I so we have a pretty strong connection to the cricket club,” he said.
“BATS gets me away from real estate, it’s a release and just something totally different. It’s very rewarding and you meet some wonderful people in that as well.”
Mr Vallence said he was looking forward to getting his weekends back once he retired.
“I’ll spend a lot more time with my grandchildren, do a bit of travelling, catch up with people, have weekends to myself, go to the footy and stuff like that so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Mr Vallence said he had many people to thank who had assisted him over the years.
“I’d just like to thank all the staff I’ve worked with over the years,” he said.
“You’re only as good as your staff and we’ve had really good staff here for the whole time I’ve worked here.”