RT EDGAR – RICH IN HISTORY
18 September 2017
With a rich and proud history spanning more than 120 years, the RT Edgar brand has grown from humble beginnings to become a household name synonymous with luxury real estate across Victoria.
RT Edgar was founded by Robert Thomas Edgar in 1896, as a local Hawthorn agent. A bold move, at a time when real estate in Victoria was still reeling from the most recent financial collapse. Edgar, then only 24 years old, was a visionary, foreseeing boundless opportunities in the real estate market.
As Edgar had foreseen, the business quickly grew throughout the early 1900s alongside Melbourne’s rapidly developing suburbs. Edgar was joined for a short time, by business partner Mr Hunt and the business became Edgar & Hunt.
Edgar’s son Jack joined the firm shortly after, and the company was rebranded RT Edgar and Son, a name which continued through to the end of the 1970s. Both Robert and Jack helped to create what are now considered to be some of Melbourne’s most exclusive residential addresses.
A time of growth: 1930s
Despite the extremely difficult climate, RT Edgar and Son continued to grow. The firm was joined by Colin Anderson, a peer of Jack’s, and together this younger generation grew the company’s reach to the nearby suburbs of Armadale, Malvern, Kew, Toorak and Melbourne’s CBD.
By the end of the 1930s Jack Edgar and Colin Anderson had made significant inroads in establishing themselves as the most sought-after real estate agency in these areas.
A time for change: 1940s-1960s
With the beginning of the Second World War, Edgar and Son, like many businesses, faced significant upheaval.
By 1945 Robert Edgar had retired and the company was sold to son Jack. With a new generation at the helm, the company again flourished. Jack brought on board John Geake, who became a qualified valuer, and Harold Clapp, who became one of Melbourne’s most celebrated auctioneers. Together the young team saw the company grow from strength to strength throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
New markets: 1970s
The 70s continued to see significant growth for the company and at this time, the company was rebranded RT Edgar (VIC) Proprietary Limited.
With a number of competitors beginning to emerge across the market, RT Edgar saw further potential for growth, in the post-war Baby Boomers who were now actively engaging across the market. The company hired a new generation of agents to look after this niche group.
Colin Anderson continued to work through till his death in in 1979, when his son Warwick joined as a junior cadet. Following Colin’s death, John Geake and Harold Clapp took over, with John as Managing Director.
By the late 70s, RT Edgar had firmly established itself as one of the foremost real estate agencies in the South Eastern suburbs and was now ready to expand its reach into regional Victoria, in particular overseeing the snowfield properties in the Alpine regions.
A time to rebuild: 1990s
Following unprecedented growth in the early 80s and the market crash that followed, RT Edgar faced some extremely challenging years. The company was restructured in 1993 and the Directorship became a solid and successful partnership between Jeremy Fox, Warwick Anderson and Michael Ebeling.
During this period, the company also expanded to oversee the sales of prestige costal properties in Point Lonsdale and Portsea, and hence the first of the RT Edgar “franchises” emerged.
In 1990 the office of RT Edgar relocated to Toorak, returning to the suburbs for the first time since the Hawthorn office closed almost 100 years earlier. In 1996 the office was moved again to its current location at 10 Wallace Avenue, Toorak.
Throughout this decade, the firm continued to build in size and reputation and by the late 90s, resumed its position as one of the premier real estate agencies in the South-Eastern suburbs. The company also enjoyed further expansion at this time across regional and costal Victoria, with new offices opening in the Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges, Flinders and Rye.
Today, the visionary zeal of Robert Edgar continues in current directors, Jeremy Fox, Michael Ebeling and Warwick Anderson. Together with their team, they are the driving force behind RT Edgar’s ongoing innovation and evolution as Melbourne’s leading prestige real estate agency.
The company’s strong expansion plans continue, with offices now open in Brighton, Hawthorn, Albert Park, Williamstown, Monash, Caulfield and most recently Carlton and Mount Eliza. RT Edgar is proud to boast a cohesive group of franchises, whose Directors and staff all approach their work in the luxury property market with dedication and integrity.
In Toorak, our Project Division under Director Mark Wridgway, has grown exponentially over the last four years. Other Toorak Directors Anthony Grimwade and most recently, our youngest ever Director, Oliver Booth, have extended the contribution to ensure RT Edgar continues to lead Victoria’s luxury real estate market.