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Stuart Irving, Irving & Keenan Real Estate: Client Q&A

Stuart Irving is a founder of the Mount Lawley family-owned real estate agent Irving & Keenan. He is also a long-time client of PSZ.

How did you begin your real estate career?

By default really. I came to Australia in 1967 as a “10 pound Pom”. I was an ex-coal miner with $26 to my name. Obviously I needed a job. My first job in Perth was selling office supplies at Edwards Business Machines then later I moved on to selling houses. I was naive but prepared to have a go.

How and when did you start your own agency?

I started working from home with my wife and three small children underfoot in 1978 as Stuart Irving Real Estate. I crossed paths with Peter Keenan who was another local rep and in 1980 we teamed up as Irving & Keenan.

It’s a family business. Who works there?

My son Brad is now my boss. There’s also my wife Peta, my daughter Cath and seven other staff members.

You’ve run a successful real estate business for nearly 40 years. What’s your secret?

Talking to people is still really important. No amount of texting and emailing can replace that. Negotiating a deal is not always easy and to arrive at an outcome I always like to sit down and eyeball people and discuss it.

What’s been your career highlight?

Surviving in a tough industry.

How long have you been a client of PSZ?

Around 30 years. I meet a lot of people through my business, including accountants, but I’m confident I have one of the best in Carlo and the PSZ team.

What services has PSZ provided for you apart from the obvious tax returns?

I feel I can call on PSZ for advice whenever I need to, like when my former business partner retired and his shares were transferred to my son Brad. Carlo also recently set us up with Xero accounting and an SMSF.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

My wife and I love to escape to our farm in Denmark. We bought it soon after I started the business. We farm cows and alpacas and I have to say it’s an ideal place to get away from the stresses of real estate.

Any thoughts of retirement?

What would I do with myself?

Three words that describe you…

A people person.

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