A small number of independent Victorian rural real estate agents gathered in early 1981 to examine the idea of creating an association to enhance the efficacy of their company in the face of growing competition from large, franchised organisations. Following this inaugural discussion, a steering committee was created and charged with outlining the ideas upon which such an organisation would be founded. The committee was united on four important points.
The organisation should do the following:
Develop cutting-edge marketing strategies and expert training to ensure that consumers get the best possible results.
Have the ability to expand nationally and globally to create a powerful referral network for its members
Allow member offices to maintain their autonomy so that they may continue to deliver local knowledge to clients while customising their businesses to their unique needs.
Only the finest agents in any given town, suburb, or nation should be considered for membership.
The ‘First National Group of Independent Real Estate Agents Limited' was formed as a not-for-profit public corporation limited by guarantee on December 3, 1981, with the first Board of Directors elected on February 16, 1982, with these broad aims in mind.
Immediately, a national growth strategy was implemented. The membership requirements were revised and increased to maintain consistent quality of service, with only those agencies holding the following attributes being considered:
Integrity and a history of success
A spotless track record
a passion to deliver outstanding service
In their area, they have progressive leadership.
Commitment to the network's ideals
Continuous improvement is a priority.
The distinctive First National ideology struck a chord with agents and consumers equally across the country, with membership and sales gradually increasing.