In 1968 the still unnamed company was facing difficulties, struggling to sell two bedroom apartments in Ryde for $9,750, with parking for an extra $500. In 1969 the company undertook its largest development to date; 18 apartments in Meriton Street, Gladesville. The project was a success, and Meriton as we know it today, was born.
The new company was floated on the Stock Market as ‘Meriton Properties’. However, in 1973, after a brief and volatile relationship with the Australian Stock Exchange, Mr Triguboff bought back every share, paying $3.00 per share, $0.70 above the listed value.
In 1974, the market turned. Difficulties in selling meant developments had to be leased. By today’s standards the sites were small, with an average of 10-15 apartments. Disheartened, Mr Triguboff decided that there was no future in Australia. He began to wind down building and sales across the portfolio, with a plan to move to the United States. At the last minute, a site purchased for $150,000 was approved for 30 apartments. With this newfound opportunity, Mr Triguboff decided to keep Meriton in Australia.
Over the next decade Meriton rode a rollercoaster of economic circumstances. By 1979, the sales team, which had grown to 18, was reduced to one. Three years later, in 1982 things had picked up again. In that 12 month period, a single salesperson sold a record 94 apartments. Sites were only open on Wednesdays and salespeople worked from their cars – a far cry from the integrated display centres of today.
During the 1980’s, Mr Triguboff introduced three new policies to the Meriton business model:
- Buy during a slump, sell during a boom
- Only build in areas that can sustain new development with existing infrastructure
- Always keep adapting to cater for the current market
These policies have been the key to making Meriton the success it is today. By listening to valued clients and understanding market trends, Meriton continues to grow.