Raine and Horne

Reminiscences of Long Term Staffers HILE RAINE & HORNE has remained a family business for over 140 years, there have been others outside the famous commercial clan who have contributed to the success of the super brand. Dedicated and ambitious staff are the backbone of any successful business, and there is arguably no better example at Raine & Horne of this than Graeme Skarratt OAM. Working with three generations of Raines In 1959, when 23-year-old Graeme Skarratt OAM returned from a year hitchhiking around Europe, he knew he wanted to get a job in residential leasing. He had real estate agency experience before his travels and this type of work was in his blood, as his father was a property agent. Graeme had his sights set on Raine & Horne. “It was a very well-known firm, extremely well thought of in the community,” he recalls. After his third interview, Joint Managing Director Doug Higgins broke the bad news: “Look, there’s no future here for you.” Little did Doug Higgins know that Graeme had a 47-year career at Raine & Horne ahead of him. The young man showed grit and was able to convince Doug that he was the right person for a job in residential property management. After several years, he moved into the commercial team, which had one of the biggest commercial leasing portfolios in Australia, including impressive properties such as Challis House in Sydney’s Martin Place. By 1966, a boom in residential unit construction was transforming Sydney, and Graeme was tasked with managing home unit developments on behalf of Raine & Horne. “Life was young and hope was high,’” says Graeme, who travelled all over Sydney selling units in recently built three-storey walk-ups. “It was interesting to sell a new commodity that Sydney wasn’t used to and make a success of it. The sky was the limit. Sydney was doing well. It was a wonderful period to be in real estate.” Graeme had the chance in those days to work with some interesting characters. They included director Neville Hall, a brilliant valuer. Graeme remembers his penchant for quoting Shakespeare and giving boxes of crystallised fruit to staff members as a thank you for working back late – not to mention for the time in 1969 when he taught Graeme how to ski in the front entrance hall of Raine & Horne’s office on the corner of Pitt and Hunter Streets. “No two days were the same,” recalls Graeme. Rising to new responsibilities and challenges Another big personality at Raine & Horne at the time was the Sales Manager, former Wallabies player Jim Miller. In 1971, he persuaded Graeme to move to the Double Bay office, which had opened in 1968. Having worked in the area selling home units and leasing properties, Graeme was in his element. So much more than family ties W Previous page main: Dedicated director Grahame Allan, a Raine & Horne team member since 1982, receives an award for a colleague at Raine & Horne Dubbo from Mindy PowellHodges, the Head of Network, Sydney Town Hall, March 2023. Previous page inset top: Geoff Plasto, the dedicated leader of Raine & Horne Wellington, has been associated with the renowned brand for nearly four decades. Previous page inset Tony Hopper, Co-Principal at Raine & Horne Mollymook/Ulladulla/ Milton since 1997, brings a rich history with the brand, having also managed properties for Max Raine in the ‘70s and as a work colleague of Angus Raine at another firm in the ‘80s. 128