A leader in Southbank’s property market for more than 10 years

Today, there are few names more synonymous with real estate in Southbank than Ray White. With more than a decade of experience working in the area, Ray White Southbank has become the destination agency for sales, leasing and property management in postcode 3006. Just as Ray White has become a household name, many Southbankers will also recognise the Salvo name as a driving force in development in Southbank, shaping the suburb as we see it today. After three years spent in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and a stint working for his father in property development building a considerable client base in the property management sector, Ray White Southbank founding principal Andrew Salvo, sought a new future backed by Australia’s largest real estate group. “I wanted independence from the Salvo name which is prominent in Southbank and that is why I chose Ray White,” Mr Salvo said. “I wanted something that was immediately recognised from all parts of the country and that had offices globally, particularly throughout southeast Asia.” “Ten years in and we are sitting just under 1500 properties under management and a top 10 agency in the Ray White network.” According to Mr Salvo, Ray White is renowned in Australia, if not the world, for training and professional development, one of the defining reasons he sided with the company. With a network reaching to every corner of the country, professional training is available at any time of the day, ensuring his team is at the top of its game when it comes to service, legislative changes, and professional development. With the ever-changing nature of the property market during a global pandemic, Mr Salvo said it had been crucial to his team’s success to say connected throughout this challenging period. “We are a part of the largest brand in Australia, and one that learns from each other. During the pandemic, I doubled down on with regards to staffing, and their training and support,” Mr Salvo said. “Through this process, rather than cutting staff or forcing annual leave, we doubled down and invested in our team. We didn’t let a single person go. In fact, we put on more staff to accommodate for growing demand in property management and leasing.” “We have sent our team care packs and provided a space where they feel a sense of belonging in such an isolating time.” Mr Salvo said Southbank’s residential market had reverted back to stability during the past 12 months despite seeing a mass exodus of the prominent student housing market and other factors like issues with combustible cladding and a lack of interstate migration to Melbourne. That market stability has come in the form of first home buyers eager to make hay of stamp duty savings and concessions, many of whom have rented in Southbank for a number of years and are now ready to enter the market. As for Southbank’s rental market, Mr Salvo said it was one of the most adversely affected by COVID in the country. “As of January 2020, we had 1400 properties under management and our vacancy rate sat at 0.67 per cent. At that point we had 30 properties on the market for let, that flared out to 176 properties overnight,” Mr Salvo said. “Its highest point was 6.79 per cent during the peak of pandemic in August last year. We are now sitting on 62 properties up for let and 3.53 per cent rental vacancy.” “Since I have been involved with rentals, it has been a very easy conversation with landlords when you are telling them rental prices are increasing. So, to tell them that we need to drop rents by a certain percentage and educate them to go with the tide has been an immense challenge.” “It was chaos. I took a very active role in business. I looked at as the biggest opportunity of my business life. If we can offer the service and can deliver through this period, we are going to attract good will and clients.” During the peak of 2020 lockdowns, average rental prices dropped $88 per week, which signified an 18.16 per cent decrease since the start of the pandemic. That figure has increased, but Mr Salvo does not see any significant movement in the rental market until international borders are open • For more information: raywhitesouthbank.com.au

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