Community / News / Business / 11th June 2020
TAKE FIVE: with Chris Korff from Ray White Korff and Co
Tell me about your business:
We have been operating since June 2009 as Korff and Co and the collective Ray White Franchise. We have two permanent employees - Ann Bowden, and Danny White in Narrabri, and also work closely with Don Schieb at Coonamble.
We sell all types of livestock in live auctions, we operate at the Gunnedah Prime Market weekly sale and can consign livestock, through arrangements to all manner of saleyards throughout the state, both store and prime sales. We are accredited to use electronic sales platforms (Auctionsplus and Farmgate)
We also sell livestock directly to processors and feedlots direct from the farm. We sell rural and residential properties, conduct clearing sales and now offer electronic clearing sales through Ray White Nasco in Brisbane to great effect.
How has your business been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 has made us make changes in the way we operate, particularly around the inspection side of things. We are using more electronic devices and new practices have come into play, which is not altogether bad.
Have you had to change the way you do business?
Auctions have been affected, especially where social distancing has to be carried out. That has been impossible for excess and clearing sales. However, livestock sales have been maintained with some strict guidelines to allow buyers and agents to continue.
How have livestock markets fared post drought and then COVID-19?
Livestock markets are the best we have ever seen them. Following several years of drought the commodity prices have held well.
We are currently experiencing one of the best periods, probably since the early wool years when it was a pound for a pound of wool.
Has there been a drop-off in the local house market?
It was definitely quiet for the first half of the year, driven by drought and finance and confidence all round. The rain seems to have some of the finance industry seemingly looking on us favourably at the moment.
What do you feel was the main reason for the drop-off? Are things starting to pick up again?
Local confidence is the real cause - we seem to have let the drought and lack of water get to the community as a whole. Whereas, in reality, we are a very strong community and we have a lot businesses that other towns don’t.
There are a lot of young people in business and trades. We have a number of new service businesses that are growing all the time. We have doctors, two pharmacies, two supermarkets, mechanics, builders, electricians, painters.
We have some very strong retailers that have grown in the last few years. Sure, we have lost some too, but mostly through age.
We have a number of young farmers that have bought in or returned to manage the family farm. We have a strong hospital and aged care facility.
We have an abattoir that is getting it feet under it and two local butchers both in new hands. We have education that is strong and competitive and respected.
The government has recently announced the HomeBuilder package - do you feel that will, in turn, support the real estate industry through new land sales?
How can local people help local businesses, now and into the future?
Local business needs to support local business where it can. Local people need to support local business where they can.
The local businesses are the ones that repeatedly supply sponsorship and support for many events and organisations, which out of town businesses do not regularly support.
Council also needs to participate in all areas in order for the town to reach its potential - they need to remember we all live here.