The name “Ray White” has now become an alternative to the phrase “real estate”. All built from the beginnings of one man.
Joseph, Ray’s father, moved the family to Crows Nest, a small country town. Ray, now a young man, was restless and displaying his career characteristic “let’s get on with it” drive, rented a disused shed on the town’s railway siding. He opened the doors, determined to engage in any business where he could bring value to the community. He was prepared to do anything. Sell farm machinery. Sell insurance. Sell new motor car and any items of equipment.
The town was the district centre for many German immigrants. The Germans were dairy farmers, the key by-product of which was skimmed milk, ideal for pig production. Ray saw an opportunity to provide a service to those farmers and, at the same time, to create a broader spread of clients. He opened a weekly pig auction “venue”. He was the first to understand the benefits of offering a broad range of services to a committed client base.
Ray was clearly an innovative marketer. He developed and had an innate understanding of the auction process and its benefits. Ray worked hard. Alan White remembered the home life of his youth as a happy home.
Part of the legend of Ray White was recalled among the people of the Crows Nest district. During Ray’s time amongst them, more than one impoverished family was know to have taught their little ones to pray each night – “God Bless Father and Mother and Mr Ray White.”
The Ray White Family
In 1906 Ray wed Florance Wilcox and they had four children together, two boys and two girls, Max, Alan, Marjorie and Joyce. Ray worked hard
Then the move to Brisbane. What a major and momentous decision, at 46 years old, to start again in an unknown and much larger market – how big Brisbane must have seemed! He set up business in the “Colonial Mutual” building in Brisbane’s main street, next to the General Post Office. This location “next to the GPO” identified him with the most important establishment in the City. He always claimed that identification gave the business great recognition.
Still trying to cover a broad market, Ray resorted to giving good quality goods to entice prospective buyers to his doors. By this time, several other agents had begun to copy the Ray White “sells anything” approach but none could match the “human interest” style of the Ray White advertisements.
Real estate quickly became his core focus. Advertising property from Surat in the West to Mackay in the North. A suburban picture theatre, a banana farm lease, even a medical practice. “Ray just loved the competition, the challenge of business.” Ray White was an honest, kind and temperate man, with lofty ideals and he lived up to them.
Ray White had well and truly become a stand out agency in the 1950’s. Suddenly there was confidence in the post-war optimism and Alan was the right man in the right place. Under his leadership, Ray White Real Estate expanded to include 15 company owned offices through Queensland.
“Alan created the springboard. The job of the 3rd generation was to jump on it and take the company to an international operation. But the strongest fulfilment of our company’s ambitions will come through the 4th generation” – Brian White (Joint Chairman, 3rd generation)
As was now the family tradition, Alan’s sons, Brian and Paul joined their father in the business. Together, they made the controversial decision to expand beyond Queensland and introduce the franchising model.
Ray White Today
The company has continued to test its potential. New services, new locations, and the momentum continues with a constant restless determination.
A superb group of key executives is now moulded into the new and broad Ray White family.
The company is the clear leader in residential sales across Australasia and Indonesia. Increasingly significant in Commercial, Rural and other non-residential agency activities.
Underlying all of this is the family’s continued ownership of the Group and the day to day commitment by the 3rd and 4th generation descendants.