Family Tradition

A Family Tradition of Respect and Loyalty


In 1968, when RT Forsyth Real Estate celebrated 70 years in business, President of the Real Estate Institute, Max Swell said: "It is rare to find a firm that has survived after such a period as a third generation of Career Real Estate Men. This is to my knowledge the only such firm in the City of Sydney." Today, with the fourth generation of Forsyth real estate men, James Snodgrass, heading up the company, it is one of the oldest family-owned real estate companies in Australia.

From the early years, the Forsyth family has valued its relationship of trust with the local Chinese community. In the late 1800s, Chinese market gardeners who leased land from the Forsyths trusted Thomas Todd Forsyth to mind their money, give management advice and also provided loans. Robert Todd Forsyth continued this relationship, assisting Chinese residents with official forms, writing letters and representing their interests. The family is proud to have been regarded as a trusted source of advice to this community through the decades.

Forsyth has continued to provide trusted professional advice and quality service to generations of immigrants who have made Willoughby their home. When Robert Todd Forsyth founded his real estate agency in 1898, he was committed to providing personalized service and being accessible to every property owner. Over the decades, the company has welcomed successive waves of immigrants to Willoughby, including Italian families who arrived after WWII, followed by people from Yugoslavia and Armenia and then by immigrants from Asia.

Over the decades. Forsyth Real Estate has enjoyed the confidence of tens of thousands of families who have bought, sold or rented through the company, as well as numerous Trust Companies, Government, local authorities, public and private companies and community organisations. Some clients have been with the company for 60 or 70 years, through two or three generations, and it has even been known for long-term clients to stipulate in their wills that their home is to be sold by Forsyth. 

A commitment to community service is also a strong tradition in the Forsyth family. Robert Forsyth was on the Committees of Royal North Shore Hospital and Willoughby Benevolent Society. His wife, Annie, was awarded an MBE in 1939 for her work with the Red Cross, hospital auxiliaries and Tresilian North Mothercraft Training School. Through the depression and wars to modern times, the family has been involved with youth organisations, Rotary and Apex Clubs to support those in need.

While continually evolving to meet changing market needs, Forsyth Real Estate has retained a sense of family tradition, a commitment to personal service and a focus on achieving results for their clients, and continues to remain at the forefront of the real estate market on the North Shore.