Some say that life is the culmination of many fortuitous moments thrown together. Others call it taking a chance, while many leave it up to fate. Yet regardless of how we choose to define our present day circumstances, our Chairman Atha Limnios believes that hard work, resilience, and having the courage to seize the opportunities that are presented to us are at the heart of what makes a business successful, longevous, and always one step ahead.
So what inspired you to start your own business all those years ago?
Atha: “It was back in 1968, when Helen and I had just gotten married and were looking to buy our first home. A family friend of ours was heading back to Greece for an extended time, and had asked if we would run his fish and chips shop until he returned. Well, we jumped at the chance and within a year his business was doing really well. Helen and I enjoyed the challenges of working together, running a small business, and renting a home. But I felt hungry for more.”
While a natural in business, English was a second language for Atha, and it was his inability to communicate confidently in Australia that held him back from starting his own. It was only when he bought his first home from an agent who also had a language barrier that he felt inspired to “grab the bull by its horns”. In 1969 he challenged himself with something new: real estate.
Hardworking, free-thinking and ambitious are three words that describe Atha Limnios. It takes a lot of courage, dedication, and perseverance to get into the property industry, and the life and times of a real estate agent aren’t always as glamorous as they look. In the early days Atha remembers doing it all: running two successful fish and chips shops, earning his license and trying to sell homes in whatever spare time he could find – all while raising his young children and instilling in them the work ethic, morals and guidance they still carry today.
What have been some of the most challenging and proud moments over the past 49 years?
Helen: “Every day there is a new challenge. For me personally, I had to juggle the role of full-time wife, mother, and business owner. I was one of the first of our friends to get my real estate diploma, and the only one who saw it through. And for nearly the entire time we were building our business we were raising our children; our professional life has always stood alongside our personal one… from working late nights at the office to squeezing in routine inspections after school pickups.
Atha: “My language has always been a personal challenge; to be able to overcome the difficulty of communicating in the English language, and then having a team of 10, 12 sales people who you constantly need to inspire, promote, and encourage – whilst knowing that these people look up to you as their leader to drive their passion and make something out of it. And this is still a challenge today – knowing exactly what I want but not always being able to communicate it, and with changing technologies and new systems… you have to continually be learning in order to stay ahead of the game.
Having achieved more than most in nearly 50 years of business, where do you see Limnios Property Group in the next 50 years?
Atha: In life you need to take the bull by the horns and make your own decisions and opportunities to succeed; if you never took a calculated chance, where would you be? I am proud to work alongside each of my children today, and while it can be challenging for all of us at times, we have all helped to grow our family business into what it is today.
Helen: We built our business from the ground up… from our first home to our first office on William Street where we stayed for 24 years, and then to Newcastle Street where we have proudly been growing ever since.
Atha: With each success we remember the hard work and opportunities that brought us here, and we don’t stop – we always look ahead and work with the times, the market, and the technology… We are forward thinkers and free thinkers, and we look forward to the next 50 years of Limnios Property Group and seeing where our children, and maybe even their children, will take it.
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This year Limnios Property Group celebrates 49 years of business. As industry leaders here in Western Australia, we are proud to owe our successes to the passion we have for what we do, the drive we have to continually challenge ourselves and stay ahead of the ever-changing game, and to our clients, colleagues, family and friends who’s loyalty and support has helped shape our family business into what it is today.
In particular we’d like to thank our amazing team, some of whom have been with us for nearly 20 years. Without their vision, passion and motivation to succeed, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the fruits of our labour as much as we do today. Our strong family values and service come handcrafted and we pride ourselves on the strong company culture we have created, and of the history, experience, knowledge and advice we hope to always share.