'Significant abuse of trust' at Lismore real estate agency
THE mystery surrounding the changes to long-standing Robert McLennan Real Estate Agency in Lismore has been solved.
A "significant abuse of trust" within the agency, an economic downturn and COVID-19 has forced Robert McLennan Real Estate to downsize and relocate from office suites on Woodlark Street to its new location.
Long time realtor and businessman, Robert McLennan, said he could not talk publicly about the incident within the company as it was still being investigated by NSW Fair Trading, but it involved one of his former employees.
He could, however, reveal his real estate offices had moved to the revamped New Tattersalls Hotel building, affectionately known as The Tatts by locals on Keen St, which he purchased mid-last year.
"We relocated in early May for a combination of factors - a downturn in business and then COVID hit," Mr McLennan said.
"What happened internally really drained our budget, so we moved operations down there, where we can pay our own rent.
"Business is still operating but at a limited extent right now.
"It's a double-sided sword ... I looked at the business economics as it was, opposed to moving into the hotel, and was driven to move business there in order to also properly conduct the onsite management of the hotel."
Mr McLennan said the small team was in an osmosis phase, in terms of moving forward with the agency post-pandemic.
"Our new offices are situated in the saloon bar, which we've converted and the nightclub is behind the offices," he said.
"My sister and I are there, she's been with me for a number of years.
"We just don't have signage up yet."
He said they planned to continue to build business back up post-COVID.
"I am here to help people buy and sell real estate and have 40 years experience in the industry," he said.
"Another young fellow is starting today and is being trained up.
"As the real estate industry comes back after COVID, we will keep existing in some form … I enjoy the industry and enjoy helping people."
He said he would soon reveal details about the Tatts Hotel renovations.
Find Robert McLennan Real Estate Agency at the Tatts Hotel at 108 Keen St Lismore or visit http://www.robertmclennan.com.au/