Although residential property prices and market conditions remain favourable as the wet season approaches, First National Real Estate Cairns Central principal, David Forrest has advised homeowners to avoid the six most common mistakes people make when pricing their home.


‘Local dwelling values have remained quite strong over the past twelve months and, with stock levels remaining comparatively low, as well as low vacancy rates, vendors may be tempted to be less careful with their pricing’ said David.


‘The six common mistakes always lead to the same outcome; a protracted marketing period, extra advertising costs, buyer caution, and a weaker negotiating position.’


David said one of the reasons First National Real Estate recently won Canstar Blue’s ‘Most Satisfied Customers 2016’ award was because the network’s agents are focused on helping customers bring their properties to market with realistic expectations and an appropriate pricing strategy. According to Mr Forrest, the six most common pricing mistakes are:


  1. Ignoring research
  2. Choosing an agent who provides the highest appraisal price
  3. Making emotional decisions
  4. Pricing too high from the outset
  5. Overpricing because you are not in a hurry
  6. Chasing the market


‘It’s incumbent on every homeowner to do their research on comparable local sales. That’s easy these days, with so many websites freely offering recent sale prices’ said David Forrest


‘Combining your research with that of your agent’s advice and current market analysis leads to an accurate, realistic price expectation. From there, a complete marketing strategy can be tailored to suit.’


The national average for the number of days it takes to sell a property fell from 50 days to 39 days in September. This fall means that if your property stays on the market longer than the average, you could be committing one or more of the six mistakes.

Aussies most satisfied with First National Real Estate


Buying or selling a home will be amongst the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, so you’ll want the best service, advice and value for money from your real estate agent as possible. Really, picking the right agent to guide you through the process should be one of your first and most important considerations. So, which real estate agents aremoving Aussies in the right direction, and which should be packing their bags?

To find out which real estate agents are rated highest across Australia, we surveyed more than 1,100 adults who have employed the services of an agent in their area over the last three years, whether it related to the buying or selling of a property, lease management or renting. They may not always be top of your Christmas card list, but estate agents are there to provide a vital service, whatever the specific needs. Our ratings take all aspects into account and give you an overall guide to which are meeting the expectations of customers.

In this, the inaugural year of our ratings for real estate agents, we found that First National Real Estate has been impressing more than any other firm, taking out five-star reviews from consumers in almost every single category, including communication and advice, problem resolution and value for money. In fact, no other real estate agent achieved top marks in any area.



img_8462_grant_emailCongratulations to Grant Stone from First National Cairns Central who has been listed on the 2016 ‘A List’.

Queensland’s coveted ‘A List’, which highlights the top one per cent of sales performers in the state, has been unveiled for the fourth year running

The list of 150 agents is spread across every market of Queensland and assesses 18,000 registered salespeople based on their sales performance and stock volumes, relevant to their individual marketplaces.

This is a great effort by Grant and is a reflexion of his commitment to his clients and excellence within the Real Estate industry. Grant is always striving for the best outcome for his clients and is a deserved recipient of this award.

Congratulations Grant from all your colleagues.


Customer satisfaction research and ratings agency, Canstar Blue, has announced First National Real Estate the winner of its 2016 ‘Most Satisfied Customers’ award, following customer research about the experience of homeowners, tenants and landlords with Australia’s largest real estate brands.


In assessing quality of service delivery nationwide, Canstar Blue focused on a series of measures incorporating agent advice and communication; problem resolution, value for money, marketing, moving services, contract handling and finally, overall satisfaction. First National Real Estate was the only real estate company to achieve 5-star ratings.


‘As members of Australia’s largest network of independent agents, First National Real Estate Cairns Central is delighted to be recognised as a customer satisfaction leader’ said First National Cairns Central principal, David Forrest.


‘There can be no greater measure of the success of the client / agent relationship than overall satisfaction. This award represents the fulfillment of our membership’s nationwide commitment to ensure we deliver Australia’s best real estate sales and property management services’.


Last year, First National Real Estate also received the Canstar Blue award for overall customer satisfaction in New Zealand, thus highlighting the excellence First National agencies provide on both sides of The Tasman.


‘Each and every one of our offices is committed to customer satisfaction so it’s no coincidence our network has now won this award in both countries. We see this as proof positive that our culture, training, communication, service and commitment to results sets us apart from our competitors’ said David.


‘A critical difference at First National is that our membership requirements relate specifically to service delivery, not generation of fees for our head office. As a cooperative, our agents work together, not against each other, and the Canstar Blue award confirms consumers see the benefits’.


Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle, congratulated First National Real Estate on the success, saying: “This is a great result across all customer touch points, suggesting First National is satisfying its customers regardless of their differing professional real estate requirements.


“Good communications and problem resolution are crucial elements of any good real estate service and it is notable that First National was the only one to rate five stars in these areas.”

First National Real Estate Cairns Central Shines at Awards Night

First National Real Estate Cairns Central was recognised for its outstanding achievement at the General Excellence and Marketing (GEM) Awards, held at a cocktail dinner at Sofitel Brisbane on Saturday night.


First National Real Estate is Australia’s largest independent real estate network and its gala evening celebrated the best of Queensland’s real estate performances over the past year, which according to First National Real Estate Cairns Central, principal, David Forrest, required the profession to continue to achieve results in an environment of tighter mortgage lending criteria.


‘First National Real Estate focused on delivering its agents advanced digital marketing tools and industry leading professional development throughout 2015’, David Forrest said.


‘This contributed to the network being voted “Australia’s number one employer” and the number one network for “brand, culture and support” in an independent survey of industry experts.


‘Our staff have worked and trained hard to maintain a leading edge and the results have been impressive.’


At the presentation, First National Real Estate Cairns Central received the following awards.


  • Highest Increase of Property Management Gross Revenue (%)
  • Commercial  Highest Number of Exclusive Listings
  • Commercial Highest Number of Settled Sales


Key staff also received recognition for their individual performances:

  • Grant Stone received the Gold award
  • Chris Eustace received the Silver award
  • Susan Anderson received the Silver award
  • Patrice Hayton received the Administrator of the year award


David Forrest said the First National GEM Awards are an important event as they present an opportunity for the network’s members to celebrate achievements, while encouraging their colleagues to aspire to an ongoing process of performance improvement that benefits customers.




Issued by: First National Real Estate Cairns Central:


For further information contact: David Forrest, Principal, First National Real Estate Cairns Central, on 07 4046 9300 announces ‘most recommended’ agents for 2015



Not so long ago, a real estate agent’s most powerful tool for winning business was the number and sale value of properties they’d sold.

These figures still count – but in an era when 88 per cent of consumers are reading online reviews to determine the quality of a local business, it’s bona fide reviews from other vendors that often influence their decision to choose one real estate agent over another.

As Australia’s only truly independent real estate agent ratings website, with almost 100,000 genuine reviews from vendors, is delighted to announce the most recommended agents Australia-wide for 2015.

“These are the most independent real estate awards in the country because they’re determined purely by clients’ experiences of their selling agents,” says Mark Armstrong, CEO of “The ‘most recommended’ agents are those who received the highest number of positive client reviews for properties they sold during 2015.

“The only way agents can qualify for these awards is to list and sell property, and receive reviews for the properties they sell. And, because each review is linked with a property transaction on, they carry substantial credibility with the people who read them.”

Within the most recommended awards there are three categories for agents and agencies:

  • Australia’s top 100 most recommended (see below)
  • the top 10 most recommended in each state
  • the most recommended in each ‘qualifying’ suburb (that is, suburbs where an agent or agency has sold at least five properties and received at least five positive reviews during 2015).

All winners are listed here.

Cairns City most recommended agent or agency

Sue Anderson of First National Cairns Central and Cairns Beaches has taken out top honours in Cairns City for 2015 with positively reviewed sales

First National Real Estate Headshots

First National Cairns Central and Cairns Beaches is  not alone in their awareness of the importance of vendor reviews. “Australia’s most recommended agents already know that having genuine reviews in the public domain is the most credible and effective tool to help vendors choose an agent,” says Armstrong. “Now, First National Real Estate Cairns Central and Cairns Beaches and the other winners can use their ‘most recommended’ status as a powerful tool to boost their profiles. It’s a genuine game-changer for the industry.”

By Mark Armstrong

Cairns councillors expected to sign off on $550 million C3 towers

THE tick of approval for the $550 million C3 tower development is expected to be granted today when the proposal is brought before Cairns Regional Council.

The project, first announced early last year, involves the construction of one 24-storey high and two 23-level towers in Sheridan St, opposite the city’s convention centre.

Hailed by business leaders as a way to inspire renewed confidence in the Cairns CBD, the 796-unit complex will likely be a mix of residential and holiday accommodation, as well as office and shopping spaces.

Once built, the three towers will be the tallest in the city, with the smaller two measuring 69m above ground level and the taller reaching 72m.

They will dwarf the city’s tallest building – the Cairns Corporate Tower – by more than 13m.

Developers Frank Gasparin and Peter James previously told The Cairns Post construction of C3 would directly provide 100 fulltime jobs a year over five years and up to 240 jobs indirectly.

While communal facilities including a pool, barbecues, landscaped open spaces and a gym area have been proposed for the top podium of each building, the council’s officers have recommended these be for residents and guests only and not be open to the public.

The company behind the project is CIU1 Pty Ltd, a consortium of city property identities led by Mr Gasparin and Mr James.

The site – an old Queensland Rail property owned by the two developers – is not a stranger to grand proposals, with at least three now lapsed high-rise development applications presented to the council since 2005.

According to the developers, the site was also previously considered for a university and a performing arts campus.

Mr Gasparin, who lives in Cairns, yesterday said he and Mr James believed the time was now right for the towers, with the city’s economy on the turn.

“A few things need to happen for the city really to move on, and I think behind the scenes things are happening,” Mr Gasparin said.

While he said the Aquis casino mega development “would help”, he said C3 was not dependent on it going ahead.

Another large-scale project coming to the city is the $450 million Nova 8 seven-tower development on Spence St, with works beginning last year.

Approval for C3 is subject to normal utility, parking, and privacy conditions, as well as an assurance the towers won’t impact on air traffic.

Work is expected to begin late this year or early next year.