From corner store job to heartwarming home sale: Samuel Shooter’s full-circle moment

When Samuel Shooter sold the pastel lemon cottage on Wirraway Close in Dubbo, it represented a lot more than just another sale.

For the SJ Shooter Real Estate director it was an opportunity to repay the kindness an important figure in his childhood had shown to him 28 years earlier.

The house belonged to Moira and her husband Charles, and it was Moira who had given then 13-year-old Samuel a job at her corner store all those years ago.

“It was 1996 and this was the corner store, or milk bar, we would go to on the weekends,” Samuel recalls.

“It was near Christmas and I said to her, ‘I think you’re the nicest corner store owner I’ve ever met’.”

A little shocked to have received such a compliment from a teenager, Moira thanked Samuel before walking away, only to return a moment later to offer him a job.

Samuel admitted he’d never had a job before, but jumped at the opportunity to earn a bit of pocket money over the next few years.

“So I packed the drinks fridges in that corner store, three days a week, for a couple of years,” he says.

“Of course we went our own ways between then and now, but just recently they came and asked me to sell their home, which was a real treat some 28 years later.

“It was a heartwarming and really touching experience.”

Moira and Charles’ Dubbo property.

Samuel says that while he didn’t know it at the time, working in the corner store taught him business lessons that still help him to this very day.

“One of the key things was being consistent,” he says.

“You had to be there on certain days, at certain times, and even with how the contents of the drinks fridges were structured, there was a certain way it had to be done, including the drinks that weren’t in the fridge and where they had to be stored.

“So that was one of my first lessons in systems and processes.

“Another thing I learnt from Moira was just how important it was to greet everyone that came into the store with a smile, find out how they are and to establish a connection before looking for a transaction. 

“And I know there were plenty of both in that little store.”

Samuel says the connections didn’t stop there as it turned out that Charles, an architect, had designed the home of the buyers who then ended up buying his home.

“Charles was the architect for their home that they were currently in… he had put it together for them 20 or so years ago and when the opportunity to downsize came up and it was their architect’s home it was almost a no-brainer for them,” he says.

“And that couple, I had also taught their son guitar decades ago.”

Samuel says irrespective of whether you live in a regional area or in the city, making and maintaining strong community connections formed the backbone of real estate and he said the Wirraway Close sale was proof of that.

“Every time I go grocery shopping I stop and have a chat with people,” he says.

“That’s marketing and that builds trust. It builds appreciation and affection for our business and what we do.

“And I think a big part of what we do as business owners isn’t just help people buy and sell homes, but it’s our contribution to the community.

“You can have the most successful business and life in the world but without contribution those other things can feel and sound a bit empty and a bit hollow.

“It’s when you look at what you’re able to give back to the community, and the improvement you make to other people’s lives, that you go, ‘Yes, we’re doing this right’.”

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