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 About L.J. Hooker

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About L.J. Hooker

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As Sir Leslie Joseph Hooker said; “Real Estate is not about houses, it’s about people.”
Les Hooker opened the first L.J. Hooker office on Maroubra Road, Maroubra, Sydney in 1928.  Initially, Les Hooker spent his time much like L.J. Hooker agents today – meeting people, talking to them, developing relationships and gaining trust. 

With money at a minimum, Les Hooker set about developing a state of the art promotional system to maximise the impact of signboards, giving birth to the now famous Red and Yellow colours.

By the mid-1930’s Les had grown his business and established a name synonymous with honesty and integrity.  It was time to take the next step - opening the first city L.J. Hooker office at 12 O’Connell Street, Sydney in 1935.

In 1936, the business had expanded into Kensington, Kingsford and Randwick.  By 1938, the company was in the position to purchase H.L. Cross & Co. and relocated to the heart of the city on the corner of Martin Place and Pitt Street. 

After the Depression came the war, leaving Les with just a skeleton staff, but the business went on.  By the end of the war, L.J. Hooker Limited was ready to be floated on the Stock Exchange.  The company was successfully floated on 1 July 1947, paying dividends of up to 25%.  By 1956 the dividend had risen to 50%.

With the establishment of L.J. Hooker Investment Corporation Limited in 1958 the company moved into a variety of diversified areas; however this didn’t distract Les from his roots in agency real estate.  During this time the agency division grew across Australia, completing the national network with the opening of an office in Perth in 1960.

Ever the innovator, Les was the first to introduce the concept of real estate franchising into Australia with the opening of the company’s first franchise offices in Bankstown, Miranda and Newport in 1968. 

Les Hooker became Sir Leslie Hooker in 1973 for his services to business and
commerce.  The following year he retired as Chairman of the parent company but remained on the Board as Founder Chairman until his death in 1976.

Since Sir Leslie’s death the company has gone through some challenging times, especially when the focus was taken off the agency business. But in the spirit of its founder, the company has grown by placing its focus squarely on what we do best – help people reach their real estate goals.

In 1989 the real estate agency business was purchased by the Queensland financial institution, SUNCORP (known today as Suncorp Metway Limited). 

1996 was an historic year in the L.J. Hooker story, as the company reached out internationally, purchasing the Challenge Realty Group in New Zealand.  In 1998, the entire group was re-branded L.J. Hooker.

In 2002, L.J. Hooker opened its first offices in Indonesia - strengthening our Asia Pacific network with L.J. Hooker offices already in Papua New Guinea and China.

2003 saw growth of the network in New Zealand with the amalgamation of long established Auckland real estate franchise group Olsen & Everson – bringing seven new offices into the L.J. Hooker network.

In recent times, the company continues to expand further internationally, with new operations established in Shanghai and China during 2004, Fiji in 2005, the United Arab Emirates in 2006 and in India in 2007. In addition, L.J. Hooker now also boasts in excess of 20 offices throughout Indonesia!

Today, our mission is a one stop shop experience for the customer public. This creates many opportunities to our franchise both in terms of income and multiplying business. L.J. Hooker is currently capturing all parts of the transaction cycle in order to provide the customer with greater value and an exceptional experience.

L.J. Hooker, proudly serving the community since 1928…because when it comes to real estate, nobody does it better ®

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