Raine and Horne

As Max tells it: “I was born on 3rd of November 1931, the day White Nose won the Melbourne Cup. Why is that famous? It’s the only time Phar Lap was beaten. That was to welcome me to the earth.” Learning the business from the ground up As the world shook off the vestiges of World War II, Sydney’s real estate market was changing and Max was determined to be at the vanguard of that change. As an 18-year-old, he started out with Raine & Horne, joining the family business, not at his father’s urging but because he genuinely wanted to do so. “I was always very interested in property back in a time when property wasn’t so interesting to other people,” Max said. “As a little boy I was constantly around people talking about real estate. “If my father had been a doctor and his father had been a doctor, I probably would have ended up being a doctor. It’s just one of those things that’s before you.” Initially tasked with collecting rents on properties from what remained of the Cooper Estate, and various other large estates, Max progressed through to the sales team, spending nights working on written guides that would, in time, form the basis of training manuals for new offices. He learned a great deal along the way, and those early days collecting rent gave Max valuable face-to-face contact with the residents of Sydney – landlords and tenants alike. In the aftermath of the war, inner Sydney had an abundance of low cost terrace housing in suburbs regarded as highly desirable today but considerably less so in the 1950s. Max would go from door to door manually collecting rents, and providing handwritten receipts. He explains: “You’d write out the receipts for all these people before you even called on them: That’s how sure you were that the rent would be paid. In those days terrace houses were out of favour – no one wanted to live in places like As the world shook off the vestiges of World War II, Sydney’s real estate market was changing and Max was determined to be at the vanguard One educative experience was to go out on relief duties as a rent collector. In his small Fiat (having broken the family taboo against driving a car) he knocked on hundreds of doors in the terraces of Waterloo, Redfern, Waverley Municipality, Surry Hills, Paddington and Pyrmont, asking for the rent. On one early trip he ended €10 short and had to make up the shortfall himself. He never suffered that loss again. 37

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