The origin of Fitzsimmons Real Estate was at 108 Cunningham Street, Dalby when the business was commenced by the late F.W Higginbotham Snr., in partnership with Mr H.N. Hillard as Accountants.
In 1937 Mr Higginbotham purchased the shares of Mr Hillard and commenced selling Real Estate.
In that year Mr Higginbotham was joined in the Real Estate business by his son Mr Fred Higginbotham who would be still remembered by older residents of Dalby.
In 1950 the Real Estate business was leased to Mr Gordon McDonald who subsequently purchased it in 1953 and operated until 1960 when Fred and Joy Higginbotham repurchased the business.
They relocated to 116 Cunningham Street in 1963.
In 1969 Bill and Donna Fitzsimmons purchased the Real Estate Business.
Bill was on a couple of weeks holiday and one day Bill and Donna happened to park out the front of the Real Estate office and Donna suggested to Bill that he should see if Fred would sell the business.
Fred said he would sell and the purchase price was all of their savings.
In the early days at 116 Cunningham Street the office had petitions that were about 1500mm high and there was 2 offices plus a reception area.
There was a hole on the wall between 2 offices and this was where a phone was positioned on a stand.
The 2 offices shared the one phone, either salesman could turn on their chair and reach for the phone.
The whole office could hear the conversation including customers in reception.
Fitzsimmons Real Estate was the agent for the Darling Downs Building Society and later Heritage Building Society and people would bring their bank book in, deposit and withdraw money with the receptionist hand writing the information in the book and then stamping it.
At the time there was a small rent roll with a card system in place.
When a tenant come in to pay rent the receptionist would locate the tenants card which was in alphabetical order, look at the calendar and write in the amount paid and paid to date and then write a receipt.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s we relied on 35mm cameras to take house photos.
You would wait until you had enough for a whole film and go for a drive and take front photos.
The film was dropped off for developing at the camera shop.
We did have a instant camera but the quality was poor and it was expensive.
At that time contracts and letters were typed in duplicate and we did not have a photocopier.
When required we would go next door to O’Sullivan and Edgar Solicitors and use their photocopier.
During this time Bill’s son Andrew worked at the business later to leave and pursue other work.
The 1981 flood came and the water come half way up the footpath in front of the office.
The business was growing and in 1986 it was relocated to 39 Archibald Street, Dalby which was formally occupied by Russ Napier Machinery.
The new site was refitted with many offices and a large reception area.
Initially there was no heating or cooling other than pedestal fans and a few electric bar heaters.
After a few years a ducted evaporative air conditioning unit was fitted and a gas heater was fitted.
The toilet was out the back and around the corner and depending on weather conditions the walk could be unpleasant.
There was some car parking on site for 6 vehicles all of which sat in the sun or rain.
Son Michael had been working as a registered Valuer around Queensland for many years and he joined the business during this era.
Michael was kept busy with Valuations for financial institutions and private matters later to become a Rural Salesperson in the business.
Son Andrew came back to the business and was involved in all aspects of the day to day running also becoming a licenced General Auctioneer.
Bill’s daughter Kaye also worked in the business during the 39 Archibald era and still works in the business today.
During this time at 39 Archibald Street it was pre internet.
The office was open till 6pm every night as buyers had to come and look in our window to see what properties were for sale.
Salespersons would wander out, start up a conversation and see if they could strike up a relationship.
It was normal for an out of area buyer to phone ahead, give a description of what they were looking for, turn up on the arranged day and possibly look at as many as 10 houses.
Sometimes inspections would run over 2 days, looking at each property was the only way you could see them.
As we know now days the buyers look at the internet site and they may only decide to look at 2 or 3 homes after they have ruled out the rest based on photos they can see.
In approx. 2008 our current office was built and now we have air conditioners in each office and internal toilets.
At times since 2008 staff have numbered 6 in Administration/ Property Management, up to 4 Salespersons in House and Land Sales and 2 in Rural Property Sales.
Our current staff have racked up some big years as at September 2022 including:
Kaye Martin a total of approx. 25 years.
Shirelle Parsons a total of approx. 22 and 1/2 years at Fitzsimmons Real Estate.
Phil Chambers a total of approx. 30 years.
Aaron Landgren a total of approx. 19 years.
Shonnie Fitzsimmons a total of approx. 12 years.
Andrea Hands a total of approx. 7 years.
Other more recent staff members include Peta Spies and Sarah Lewis.
Since Bill Fitzsimmons took over in 1969 the business Fitzsimmons Real Estate have concentrated on House and Land Sales in Dalby as well as Farm Sales and conducting Clearing Sales.
Bill Fitzsimmons passion was for Rural Farm Sales and Clearing Sales.
Since the 1970’s Fitzsimmons Real Estate has conducted Clearing Sales and Property Auctions that number in the hundreds.
Bill’s attention to detail when preparing and conducting Clearing Sales has seen many comments over the years from attendees that Fitzsimmons Real Estate conducted the best run Clearing Sales in the district.
When Bill was in his prime his feel for closing a deal was instinctive and he did so effortlessly.
Once Sellers or Buyers dealt with Bill they became friends or did business again in the future.
Bill sadly passed aged 87 years and 10 months in January 2021.
Bill held a Valuers licence from the 8th of May 1970 until 17th of March 2003.
He was a President of the Darling Downs branch of REIQ and a former delegate to State Council.
Bill held a Real Estate Agents licence in Queensland from 17/11/1969 till his passing a period of 52 years.
Bill held his General Auctioneers licence from 14/07/1970 till his passing.
In all our general business activities we have always strived to be fair and polite to everyone and to do the best job we possibly can.
Our customers range from people with very little to some who are extremely wealthy and we treat them as equals.
To potential customers reading this background on our business we look forward to working with you.
To our current customers thank you for your support.
Fitzsimmons Real Estate