Por­te­ous sib­lings joined fa­ther’s firm af­ter years over­seas

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Liftout -

OLIVIA and An­drew Por­te­ous credit their fa­ther Wil­lie with giv­ing them a solid plat­form on which to build suc­cess­ful ca­reers while they were grow­ing up.

“I re­mem­ber when we were 16, dur­ing the school hol­i­days, it was ex­pected that we go and get jobs,” Olivia said.

“It’s the best gift you can give a child, learn­ing the joy of earn­ing your own money, so that you have that value sys­tem and a good work ethic, which we’ve con­tin­ued with.”

De­spite build­ing his own very suc­cess­ful ca­reer and busi­ness, Wil­lie had no as­pi­ra­tions for his chil­dren to join him in the in­dus­try, only want­ing them to be happy and “do some­thing sen­si­ble”.

Grow­ing up, Olivia and An­drew also had no plans to fol­low in his foot­steps.

Olivia went to univer­sity in the UK and stud­ied Clas­sics and Latin be­fore trav­el­ling.

She was en­joy­ing life in Por­tu­gal when she was asked to join a devel­op­ment com­pany and sell hol­i­day vil­las and apart­ments to the English.

Af­ter four years in that role, she re­turned to Aus­tralia and worked with Mir­vac for seven years be­fore join­ing her fa­ther shortly af­ter he opened his busi­ness, Wil­liam Por­te­ous Prop­er­ties In­ter­na­tional.

An­drew had dreams of be­ing a pro­fes­sional ten­nis player.

“My fa­ther said get your ed­u­ca­tion first but by then it would have been too late to com­pete at that level. In­stead I ven­tured to Ja­pan for five years and stud­ied Ja­panese lan­guage as part of a Bach­e­lor of Arts at Sophia Univer­sity in Tokyo,” he said.

While all three mem­bers of the Por­te­ous fam­ily now have highly suc­cess­ful ca­reers, they rec­om­mend peo­ple look­ing to come into the in­dus­try get some life ex­pe­ri­ence, build skills and get other qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

An­drew said it was im­por­tant to be ma­ture and re­silient when you came into real es­tate.

“Through­out my life peo­ple have said you should join your fa­ther but I never con­sid­ered it un­til I came back to Perth af­ter liv­ing over­seas for 28 years,” he said.

“With 15 years of sales ex­pe­ri­ence, it felt like the right time to turn it to real es­tate.

“My first ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try was sell­ing a ma­jor res­i­den­tial project in the city; with the GFC the project did not go ahead but it was a great op­por­tu­nity to cut my teeth.

“That was at the same time that Wil­lie set up his com­pany, and at 39, I fi­nally felt ready to join him.”

Olivia said real es­tate was not the glam­orous life of­ten por­trayed in shows like Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ings; you needed to be able to han­dle re­jec­tion, have pa­tience and truly en­joy be­ing around peo­ple.

Af­ter nearly 40 years in the in­dus­try, Wil­lie said he still loved houses, prop­erty and peo­ple, with a lot of clients be­com­ing good friends.

“A lot of peo­ple say to me ‘why don’t you re­tire, aren’t you tired of putting up home open signs on Satur­days?’ but I still get a real buzz out of it,” he said.

“I get the same buzz out of a $500,000 home as a $50 mil­lion home.”

Wil­lie said the next 20 years were go­ing to be very ex­cit­ing in Perth.

“Olivia’s hus­band is a de­vel­oper/ builder and An­drew’s wife is very in­volved in busi­ness,” he said.

"I think the op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to grow the busi­ness and take a po­si­tion in new de­vel­op­ments are go­ing to be huge.

“With a col­lec­tive 70 years real es­tate ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind them, I would say the fu­ture for the busi­ness is bright.”■

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d470300

An­drew Por­te­ous, Wil­liam Por­te­ous and Olivia Por­te­ous: re­silience, pa­tience and an abil­ity to han­dle re­jec­tion are nec­es­sary for a ca­reer in real es­tate.

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