I came from a farming and cattle trading family in the North West. Through this and along with my brother Tony we became interested in auctioneering from an early age. We followed this interest into a passion for the estate agency world. While I created what is now GOC Estate Agents Ltd, my late brother Tony would create his own legacy as a founding member of the commercial property consultancy, O’Connor Kennedy Turtle.
In 1976, I arrived in Belfast as a ‘wet behind the ears’ country boy to join the then trailblazing firm of Brian Morton and Company who were dragging Northern Ireland estate agency into the 20th century. I was supposed to undergo 3 months of training under legends like Eric Cairns, Denis Templeton and Kevin Milhench. However, after my first 3 weeks, I was selected to return to the North West to open the new Derry office as Brian Morton started to expand. I eventually returned to Belfast and became a partner in the old established firm of Agar, Murdoch and Deane before deciding to go solo in 1994 under my own name.
Soon after, I asked Kirby to join the team. At the time Kirby was already creating waves in the industry with her passion and natural talent. I quickly realised that she would be a great asset to my growing business. She had entered the estate agency world right after she passed her A’ levels, joining Halifax Property Services on a training program. She hit the ground running, and after 3 years was promoted to be a manager in the Ormeau Road branch. Kirby is currently the Managing Director of GOC Estates Agents Ltd and leads a great team of passionate professionals.
We originally set our roots in South Belfast on Stranmillis Road and have remained here to the current day. Since starting off here 25 years ago we have moved twice. Each time to bigger and better premises, purchasing the current building in 2003.
We have become a staple of the South Belfast area, and we feel strongly about our local community. Most of the properties we sell and manage are within the area and we have established a strong relationship with the people who live here. We currently sponsor the Instonians Seahorses mini rugby team and support local charities. Having grown as a community-based business with customer service at its core, we have taken this ethos with us when branching out with new projects across the greater Belfast area.
We have very much enjoyed organising 'Christmas Jumper Day coffee mornings' in aid of Cancer Fund for Children.
The team also ran the Belfast Marathon Relay in aid of Motor Neurone Disease, of which I’m very proud.
Over the years we have been involved in some of Belfast’s landmark developments at Wellington Square on Annadale Avenue, Danesfort on Stranmillis Road, Malone Meadows, Margarita Plaza and Park Avenue apartments in the city centre.
We are currently working on many new projects with developers in the Greater Belfast Area and are looking forward with great optimism to the next 25 years.