Today (Friday, January 29), Elders Real Estate Ararat will take over J. B. Barham Real Estate in Stawell.
J. B. Barham Real Estate officer in effective control Rodney Baxendale said the takeover was a step forward for the business.
"It's going to give us a new look and new opportunities," he said
"We'll have access to all the resources available to the Elders network.
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"All the J. B. Barham staff will be staying on in their current roles, so we'll just expand on what we're already doing."
Elders Ararat co-director David Jennings affirmed people could expect the same service despite the new name.
"It's just a rebrand at this point in time," he said.
"There are some very good brains there and they've got some good systems.
"We just want to create a bit more synergy between Ararat and Stawell. It's a good fit for everyone."
Mr Jennings said the takeover had been in the works for some time.
"Me and Michael (Fratin) were talking one day about how we could expand our business, and we just got wind of an opportunity through a mutual friend of Rodney's," he said.
"So, we met up and came to terms.
"It's been a bit delayed. It was supposed to happen on the 30th of June last year, but we didn't because of COVID and the uncertainty there."
J. B. Braham's rise from humble beginnings
J. B. Barham Real Estate was founded in 1987 by Jim Barham, who still works at the agency as a rural sales consultant.
Mr Barham sold his first property in 1953, and today is revered for his almost peerless knowledge of farming properties.
He moved to Stawell about two decades after taking over his father's real estate agency in Marnoo.
Mr Barham said after some initial uncertainty, setting up a new business in Stawell became the natural choice.
"In '87 when we came to Stawell I was not really sure what to do," he said.
"We were still getting inquiries and people calling on me, so we decided to set up in Stawell."
Mr Barham said the business was a far smaller operation when it started.
"It was just a rented, serviced office," he said.
"But that got to be a bit cumbersome, so we bought a house very close to the main street on a big block, and used that.
"After about another two or three extensions we have got quite a large office complex here."
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In 2006, with the business then well-established, Mr Barham decided to hand over the ownership to Mr Baxendale.
"Rodney Baxendale was our senior employee at the time when I decided I wanted less of a workload," he said.
"I suggested he take the business over, which he agreed to do.
"Then I just worked in the rural properties section. So, I didn't have any responsibility then except for what I was doing myself.
"It's been an excellent transition."
Mr Barham said he is glad to see the business taking the next step with the takeover.
"I'm quite excited by it," he said.
"Rodney has been a great support and I'm sure we'll get the same support from Elders.
"I hope they do extremely well and I wish them all the best."
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