Council committee members were saddened today to hear of the passing of Grahame Cooke this morning at 6.30am. Grahame will be sadly missed and fondly remembered for his outstanding leadership of the company during his ten year tenure as chief executive from 1994.
Grahame was well and very favourably known to all of the Council Committee as the majority of Committee were franchisees during the period when Grahame was leading LJ Hooker. Grahame was an outstanding mentor to many within the network and provided insightful predictions of future trends within the industry and plotted a course that took the company from very troubled times to undoubted industry leadership.
It was Grahame Cooke who established the strong working ties between Corporate and Council and laid the foundations for the resilient and respectful relationship between the two organisations today.
From the time Grahame assumed the leadership role his vision and entrepreneurial attitude became infectious and the network adopted a progressive attitude supported by Grahame’s enthusiasm and pro-activity.
Grahame was one of the few in the industry who recognised the disruptive potential of the commercial internet websites and campaigned vigorously for the major brands to nurture their own branded sites and to keep off the industry-wide sites. Of course history has proven the wisdom of Grahame’s judgement and the fact that his advice was not followed has left the industry highly disrupted and subject to external control.
He was the creator of the Captain’s Club and the Admirals group, the marketing straplines of “thank you Mr Hooker” and “nobody does it better” and he pushed the network to live up to those qualities.
Together with his wife Lynne, Cookie made an indelible impression on our company and our industry, according to Franchise Owners Council President, Richie Thornton.
“All LJ Hooker franchisees will be mourning Grahame’s loss as he is indeed one of the company’s great legends and sits on the right hand of our founder in terms of impact on the strength, structure and position of our brand in the real estate network” Mr Thornton said.