Campbelltown family want to make real estate business carbon neutral

Family affair: The Holmes family - Troy, Rebekah and Kane - are hoping their real estate business will become the first carbon neutral agency in Macarthur. Picture: Chris Lane
Family affair: The Holmes family - Troy, Rebekah and Kane - are hoping their real estate business will become the first carbon neutral agency in Macarthur. Picture: Chris Lane

This year has presented plenty of challenges for people in all lines of work.

But for the Holmes family, who run Holmes Real Estate at Macarthur Square, 2020 has also presented an opportunity.

Troy Holmes, his wife Rebekah and their son Kane, are working towards becoming the first carbon-neutral real estate agency in Macarthur.

The Campbelltown family started their business at the beginning of the year, never expecting the trials that would face them and every business in the region.

Mr Holmes said adapting to a more remote way of working helped the family business realise they could do more to reduce their carbon footprint.

"I think it's everybody's responsibility to take care and do anything you can," he said. "If you can do something to make a difference, no matter how small, you should. Thinking that you can't make a difference is a defeatist attitude.

"We might only be a small office of only a few people, but I had no doubt that we could do something and lead by example. I think we need to accept that as humans we're having an impact on the planet and it's incumbent on all of us to do something about it, regardless of your views on carbon."

Mr Holmes said the family had a variety of plans and practices in place to reduce their impact on the environment.

These include digitising the office and moving to a paperless work space, which involves using digital brochures, digital sales presentations, electronic sales agreements and electronic signing of contracts.

The Holmes clan has also worked hard to reduce their energy consumption, use hybrid vehicles and, extending beyond their work, eat a meat, dairy and egg free diet.

"We are looking at services that can measure our footprint and then we'll be investing in more carbon credits, re-growth of trees and protection of land so that our office can move towards being carbon neutral," he said. "There's a lot to learn, but it's our number one goal outside of the function of listing and selling homes and providing real estate services to our clients."

Mr Holmes said adapting to change was the key to success.

"I'm a very optimistic person, so I try not to look at the pandemic sitaution for business as doom and bloom, but as an opportunity to say, 'how do we make the new norm work for us," he said.

"Let's embrace it. It's been quite revitalising for me, after 18 years in this business. It's been good to have a rethink."

Mr Holmes said he was extremely proud son Kane had decided to join the business, having grown up around real estate his entire life.

"It makes me proud that we're a family that can work together as well as live together," he said.

"We are a business that essentially deals with families. Family businesses are the backbone of this country, and there's plenty of them here in Macarthur."

I think we need to accept that as humans we're having an impact on the planet and it's incumbent on all of us to do something about it.

Troy Holmes, Holmes Real Estate principal