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Donovan Estate Agents

Real Estate Agent - Vince Donovan

How long have you been in Real Estate & what made you decide on a career in the industry?


I’ve been in real estate pretty much all my life. I decided to concentrate on being a full time licensed agent 23 years ago. I started selling land when I was around 23 years of age. I started our agency, Donovan Estate Agents because I thought I could make a difference. People said to me, ‘don’t open up in Mosman or Middle Harbour as it’ll be too hard’ – and I said, “I’m never afraid of competition.” 


Being a boutique office what is the dynamic & are you a close team?

We’re a growing family business, so we have family members swanning in and out of our beautiful office at The Spit on a regular basis. My son, Robert has always had a penchant for real estate, and so he’s come on board a couple years ago now, working with me side-by-side hands-on closing some significant deals together – which has been just magic. My daughter Nichole, has recently come back to the business in an advisory role after almost 15 years within significant roles in the global creative industry, having started her own company in that time as well. Our clients who’ve worked with her love her, and I always enjoy having her around. Being so close to the water, our dynamic’s always been relaxed with a ‘just get it done’ heads-down approach. 


A stunning view from a recent sale at Mosman

What areas do you / your team specialise in & what words of wisdom would you provide to buyers looking in these areas - residential?

We specialise in Mosman, Cremorne and Middle Harbour waterfront property. However, we work along the Northern Beaches as well, and we have a loyal following. We know every waterfront property in Middle Harbour, because we have the absolute unique advantage of being able to show property by boat. We’re proud to say, there’s no better way to purchase a waterfront property, than by boat. We’re known to locals as being unique and proactive in this way. They say, ‘you’ve got a lot of energy’. We say, it’s good to have an active agent.


What stands out as unique about the suburbs that you work in ?

Most people stay in the Mosman or Cremorne area for a lifetime. If they sell they’ll usually buy predominantly back in the area. If it takes them 30-40 years to sell their home, that’s fine – there’s always someone looking to move. And, I can understand why they stay. The homes are beautiful. The neighbourhood has all the gorgeous shops, fantastic schools, and a great lifestyle. While the market might change occasionally – the properties in these areas are a very safe, long-term investment, as well as an exceptional place to call home.


Quite often though, with sellers living so comfortably in their homes for many years they especially benefit from our somewhat unique offering of direct connection to all the trades required to make any improvements flow freely, ahead of sale (electricians, plumbers, tilers, gardeners, cleaners, everything and anything you might need). This process of preparing for sale can be sometimes daunting otherwise, but in our service we facilitate an easy process of connection to trusted trades for the vendor, which can make it seamless for them. And, we don’t ask for any financial benefit from our vendor for that, other than a stronger property on the market for sale. There are only a handful of agents in Australia who arrange this process in a similar way to us. This is a huge point of difference for us, and is a huge win for our clients, it just makes it all so easy.


What I love about the areas we work in, is we come across a lot of very successful people. I see in many instances, they’ve been ‘through the mill’ in life. They’ve seen the ups and downs, they’re very smart. And, it makes for a great neighbourhood all round. We can comment on the breadth of that success, as every fortnight I make it part of my day to personally hand deliver 4,500 of our local Market Insights Updates across the local areas of Mosman and Cremorne. I’ll occasionally meet various very interesting locals along the way, as well as further interactions in my general meetings across the neighbourhood in the hours after that. 


As I’m talking to people, quite often they’ll say to me ‘if I had X in this area, then I’d move…’. I keep a track of those desires, and as a result, I’ll quite often say in return ‘I know exactly where that is, from my walking’.


Location-wise, we’re just far enough from the city, that your mind gets a break. Our office alone is 2-minutes from Mosman, Cremorne and Seaforth. And, by boat, we can be in Northbridge in 8-minutes to show a waterfront property, and in Cammeray within 5-minutes. Not far again from the action of the neighbouring Northern beaches. You get the best of so many worlds.

A view to be envious for from a recent sale at Mosman


What changes if any, have you seen in the marketplace in relation to trends, so the type of buyers that are looking (families, investors, overseas buyers, retirees, downsizers), what they are looking for, change of developments in the areas if any, & changes in price?


People are tending to renovate a lot, and stay longer. Overall, the buyers in our area are looking for lifestyle. Even though the market’s gone down slightly, all the locals and local buyers know it’s a long-term game. When I speak to locals they’ll say they’re not concerned about the market coming off 5-10%, as the overall average is excellent. Because they’re so often switched on in business, they’re thoroughly on top of this position. Mosman and Cremorne are always safe places to put your money. My work in these areas is honestly a pleasure.


What was your most memorable sale in recent times & why?

We had a recent sale in Burran Avenue, Mosman where the vendor had tried a number of ways to achieve a high result and wasn’t able to do so. We way surpassed, when we took it on, the vendor’s expectations and failed attempt to sell previously. I’m a big believer in the emotive value in the sale of a property. People get emotional, and if you’re good at reading emotion, like I’m especially attuned to in those circumstances, then you can push the value of a sale through the roof and quite often hit a home run. When it comes to Mosman, it’s quite often a lifestyle decision because people always know the money will be safe in the long term. I’ll also say an interesting part of looking after buyers and sellers in the area is that they are really often very private people.


What interesting property/ies are you working on now? 

Currently, we’re working at connecting some buyers off-market to some waterfront property but for this, we're looking for a very particular home, which will make a sale for a vendor seamless. Quite often these sales of ours are under wraps, and we just focus on making it happen through our database of buyers and sellers. We deal with some high net-worth people, who want very particular homes, and who will often prefer a discreet and private approach. Quite often it’s like fitting a shoe to a foot, you’ve got to know exactly what shoe fits, and where it is. 

To get in touch with Vince & the team visit :

or call 02 9968 1077 or (+61) 412 363 369

or drop by at Suite 8, 235 Spit Rd Mosman NSW 2088

0412 363 369 or overseas (+61) 412 363 369

Donovan Estate Agents
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