The story of the Kingsberry family as told by their son, Ben
When Dad was approached to buy the business by Bert Howell, Dad was working for the public trustee (and had been for twenty eight years after starting there at 15). At this stage he had progressed through the public trustee's office and had reached a stage where he was being offered promotions to become the Public Trustee in other areas of Queensland.
With a young family he and Mum decided that Townsville was the place where they wished to raise their family, and did not accept the offers. His time at the Public Trustee was what his reputation has been based on and as a result he still works for a number of solicitors performing legal searching and providing advice on various matters.
Bert knew Dad very well and believed strongly that Mum and Dad were the right people to sell the business to because he wished to sell to someone ‘with integrity' (his words, not ours). Consequently to this he waited for quite a long period for them to be in a position to purchase the business from him and refused to sell it to a number of other people who he was approached by over this period (specifically other real estate agents in town who he was unwilling to entrust his clients to). After purchasing the business the name was changed from ‘Brownhill, Kirk' to ‘Kingsberry, Brownhill, Kirk' which became known around Townsville as "KBK".
When Dad bought the business from Bert, Bert had a reputation as ‘Mr. Bow Tie' because he always wore a pork pie hat and a bow tie. As Dad left the Public Trustee on his last day he was duly presented with a Pork Pie Hat and a Bow Tie which subsequently hung behind his desk (the same desk used by Bert and still used by Dad today) for quite a number of years - these are still in his possession today.
At the time when Mum and Dad bought the business they had three young children under the age of five with another to come two years later so initially Mum was not heavily involved in the business. By 1990 the business had grown to a level where the demands of a large rent roll, sales business and small body corporate business were becoming too great for Dad to handle himself. Over the following years Mum became more involved in the business and as kids grew up she was able to commit more time to Kingsberry Body Corporate Management and it began to evolve into what it is today.
At this stage the business was situated in the front offices of Hollimans Arcade in Flinders Street West. In the late 1990's Mum and Dad moved the business to where it is today at 108 Charters Towers Road, Hermit Park. In 2006 they re-branded under the Kingsberry name as Kingsberry Property.
From when Mum came into the business on a more full time basis (although only during school hours for a long time) they ran the business and continued to grow for a long time, as they watched their kids develop, graduate high school, go into uni and get trades etc. At this stage each was doing their own thing and there was no actual succession plan in place.
Two years ago a discussion was had between myself and Dad about the possibility of me coming back to the business. At this stage I was working as a Valuer in Brisbane where I had been for about ten years, but wanted to come back to Townsville for the lifestyle and because it's a great place. This has since resulted in my relocating and coming to work within the business.
Mum or Dad are remaining very much involved in all aspects of the business and the three of us are now working together to build on an already strong base. This message is likely to change over the coming years, as my involvement increases and they are able to take it a little easier than previously.