After more than 30 years as Tamworth’s real estate power couple, Richie and Robyn Thornton have bid farewell to LJ Hooker.
The dynamic duo have handed over the reigns of the business to The Professionals, who have taken over the business and the old LJ Hooker shopfront on Peel St.
The changing of the guard has seen the merging of two offices with LJ Hooker staff becoming part of The Professionals team of 29 members.
For Mr Thornton, 64, the decision to step back from a leadership role came after 32 to years in the local industry, and a decision to leave by the time he was 65.
He said the team at The Professionals shared the same values as he and his wife and the opportunity for the transition could not be refused.
However, you won’t see the last of them just yet with Mr and Mrs Thornton still heavily involved in the commercial and industrial aspects of The Professionals “indefinitely.”
“When we got into this business 32 years ago, I had three promises to myself,” Mr Thornton said.
“The third was not to be here at age 65.. and I’m 64 this year.
“We have had three or four opportunities (to sell) and then this one looked like it was going to get over the line so we had to take the opportunity while it was there.
“We’re in a transitioning role. We will continue on for the foreseeable future until the whole thing is sorted and settled down and running like clockwork. “And then we’ll decide what to do from there – there’s no time on it, we’ll know and they’ll (the new owners) know when the time is right.”
The Professionals director Michael Jackson said he was “over the moon” by the transition.
“I’ve always thought Tamworth was a wonderful place to set up a good business,” he said.
“I’ve always had intentions of growing the real estate part of the business and we thought this was a good opportunity to get the economy of scale in a real estate business. It’s a pretty good fit for us.
“Tamworth is a great centre and is one of the largest growing regional places in Australia. This is a wonderful business and we look forward to taking it on and growing it.”