The Professionals brand originated in Australia. And we've got to give our brothers and sisters across the ditch credit for what they achieved. Professionals began in 1976 when six independent Brisbane real estate agents joined forces to form a cooperative. They wanted to challenge the traditional real estate model and give the big boys a run for their money. It was a bit of a revolution.
Instead of competing with each other, they started working together as a network, while still maintaining their status as independent business owners. Founded on a set of shared principals and bound by a common purpose, the model quickly caught on. In 1983, about the time Poi-E was being recorded by the Patea Maori Club, New Zealand real estate businesses began to join the Professionals brand. We've been expanding ever since. Our members are still independent, New Zealand-owned business, but we all have a say in the future direction of the group and draw on its strengths and resources.
As a cooperative, we don't need to create profits for shareholders, which means we can keep our fees fair. Profits are reinvested back into valuable group assets such as professional development programs, advanced software systems and sharp marketing tools. So it’s with good reason that the Professionals is now one of the most recognisable and trusted real estate brands on both sides of the Tasman. And here in New Zealand, we're proud to be part of that.