As one door closes another opens
A GREAT grounding in rural properties and lifestyle has seen Rodney and Catherine Millett easily fit in to the Maleny community.
Since taking over Maleny and Hinterland Real Estate in November they have been impressed by the natural beauty of the area as well as the people.
Now they have taken over the long-established Humphries and Fisk Real Estate.
This follows Ian Humphries and Patricia Fisk Humphries deciding to sell and go travelling throughout Australia and Europe.
Born in Toowoomba, Rodney attained a Bachelor of Applied Science and Rural Science while studying at Gatton.
He had a career in grain trading on the Darling Downs and Wagga, as well as a stint in the US and UK before working in Brisbane.
Catherine is a North Queensland girl, having been born at Charters Towers but her parents were in education so the family moved around.
She has a degree in media, community and marketing and worked mainly in community engagement with the Federal and State governments.
"We've talked about doing something like this for many years,'' Catherine said. "Combining our skills.
"Mum and dad have lived here for the past 15 years. That's what brought us here.
"And Rodney's mother is at Caloundra.
"Community wise, it's been fantastic. If we are working in the front yard everyone stops for a chat.''
Maleny and Hinterland now boasts more than 60 years of experience in real estate.
"The team's been great,'' Rodney said. "Having the experience of David, Jen, Jacky and Kate not only helps how we took this agency on but how we will incorporate the new business.''
The hand-over of Humphries and Fisk came March 1 but it was not until April that they closed the doors.
Not only are Ian and Pat saying goodbye to real estate after 27 years but Maleny as well, heading to North Queensland and Spain.
They initially bought the old fire station and started there as LJ Hooker, then moved into the newsagency.
In 1994 they bought the old post office and operated from the corner site.
Those years in a rural real estate agency brought with it some interesting times, Ian said.
"I had an old client, and in order to sell the place I put the vendor and purchaser together.
"But getting the snooker table in the contract got in the way.
"We finally got it in, but not the balls, the cues or the scorer so I felt obliged to buy them myself.
"What did it teach me? Humility.''
As for Pat's remembrances, there have been so many.
"There was this time at the end of Curramore Rd. We were walking the people down the path and there was a big black snake at the front door.
"We had to edge them to another part of the place pretty quickly.''
Then there was the time Ian was showing a buyer what was a very steep property at Corks Pocket Rd and the buyer couldn't get back up.
So Ian drove his truck down to get him, but that wouldn't get up either.
Eventually they were rescued ... and you reckon that didn't get in the papers.