Published by The Colac Herald:

You can’t keep a good woman down and Colac estate agent Merryl Hilton is a good woman.

Her realty business has survived a tumultuous first year which has included severe bushfires in February and personal injury from a serious fall – a broken foot requiring a moonboot.

But she has motored on… literally.

Residents might have seen Mrs Hilton cruising the streets of Colac in her “pimped-up” mobility scooter, handing out orange, white and black shopping bags to locals.

Against these odds, her business continues to grow with rentals trebling since opening her One Agency business a year ago. “And we’re hoping for further growth come spring,” she said.

She also sustained further physical injury following another fall while adjusting to the cumbersome footwear.

“When I came back to work after the injury I thought ‘how am I going to get around’,” she said. “I can’t just sprint up to the bank anymore. So I decided to hire the ‘gopher’.”

Merryl has celebrated her first birthday with One Agency by giving back to the community. “I’ve not given to vendors this time around – I’m a community minded person,” she said. “I’ve been like it since I was little. It’s something my mother instilled.”

“Merryl’s commitment to all sectors of the community comes from a real and irrepressible caring attitude and when first we spoke with her, that came through as the main driver of the person she is.”

John Stewart
Head of Australasian Membership One Agency

To mark her debut year she donated $200 to the Long Road Appeal which is dedicated to building a healthier community by bringing specialist care to Colac. She also donated a Backpack Bed for the Homeless, an organisation providing emergency bedding for those doing it tough.

In August, she facilitated a raffle with the prize of an exclusive gift pack from Thankyou Co. This company donates all the profits from its quality products to those in need, with the goal of ending global poverty in this lifetime. You can find out who won by checking out her post on Facebook.

At the beginning of the year Merryl was instrumental with the ANZ in organising a charity auction for locals impacted by the devastating fires. “We raised $59,000 and 100% of this went directly to helping these farming families,” she said.

From bushfires to waterlogged, the region has seen more than 17 inches of rain this winter.  "We would love to send some of our water north to the drought areas," said Merryl.

“Merryl’s commitment to all sectors of the community comes from a real and irrepressible caring attitude and when first we spoke with her, that came through as the main driver of the person she is,” says One Agency Head of Australasian Membership, John Stewart. “That caring sets her apart in the way she guides, advises and assists her sellers, buyers, tenants and investors.”  

Colac has more to offer than just a centre for farming and the Colac market remains buoyant with homes in the $100,000 to $300,000 bracket often selling after their first weekend inspection. The Colac market at present has days on market on average down to 44, it has a median house price of $298,000 with a compound annual growth of 6.2%, average rental is $300 per week with investors averaging more than a 5% yield. The area has seen 282 properties sold in the past year and approximately 100 homes are currently listed for sale.

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This story was also covered by REB Online, read their article here.

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