Majella and DNG Galvin setting the standards in auctioneering

5 Jul , 2024  

The inaugural Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) Surveying Excellence Awards were staged at Croke Park on the afternoon of Thursday, December 7th, where Majella Galvin of long-established, industry-leading West Cork estate agents and auctioneers DNG Galvin in Bandon was honoured with the prestigious Emerging Leader award.

DNG Galvin Auctioneers & Valuers in Bandon, County Cork have been successfully matching people and property in the Rebel County since 1981. Fronted by sisters Majella and Caroline Galvin, who took the reins from their father Michael, DNG Galvin is an experienced, conscientious and innovative family-run estate agency firm with expertise in the sale, letting and valuation of residential, commercial and agricultural property in Cork city, West Cork, Bandon, Bishopstown, Clonakilty, Bantry, Kinsale and everywhere in between.

The Galvins’ strong local ties and extensive knowledge and experience of the Cork and West Cork property market ensures expert guidance throughout the entire property buying and selling journey, from listing to closing, with exceptional levels of support and guidance invariably provided throughout.

The firm’s longstanding market-leading status was duly acknowledged at the 2023 SCSI Awards, when popular property expert Majella Galvin – renowned industry-wide as an innovative, dedicated and highly-qualified estate agent, valuer and property advisor – was honoured with the Emerging Leader award.

A chartered surveyor, estate agent and RICS registered valuer, Majella is following proudly in the footsteps of her late father Michael, who founded the family business, built it up from scratch over the decades and provided her with the best possible grounding in the world of estate agency and auctioneering / valuing. The Cork lady was humbled to be recognised with this major award at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland’s national conference last month:

“I was delighted to receive the Surveying Excellence Award. Going back to when I was growing up, I always wanted to be an estate agent like my dad. It’s work I love and I’ve always strived to be the best I can be. I went to college and received my qualifications but the industry is always changing and you have to be innovative and keep up with everything.

“The award is recognition of all the work that has been invested into the business. I was going to viewings with my father from a young age. Myself and Caroline both ended up following in his footsteps. Caroline actually studied accountancy first and did a bit of work here and fell in love with it, so she went back to college and studied auctioneering.”

Majella graduated from University College of Estate Management in Reading with a Degree in Real Estate Management and Valuation. Upon qualifying, she spent some time working in Dublin but has been at the forefront of the family business – which had broadened its reach by joining the DNG Group in 2005 – for eight years and counting.

Everything DNG Galvin has achieved in establishing itself as an estate agent of choice in West Cork and beyond can be attributed to hard work, dedication and empathy – understanding client needs and working with them whilst consistently providing a keen personal touch. Regarding the qualities that make for an industry-leading chartered estate agent/surveyor, Majella notes:

“Putting people first and knowing the market, being skilled and experienced at your job and having good communication skills are all very important. Also, being innovative because the industry is changing and you need to be a step ahead. Ultimately, it’s about listening to clients, understanding exactly what they want and working with them towards achieving their goal.”

As for prevailing challenges facing the estate agent’s sector, the short supply of suitable properties is an obvious one that jumps out: “Stock in the market is low and it’s difficult for both buyers and sellers,” Majella continues. “70 per cent of people are buying if they are selling, so stock is a big issue affecting everybody.

“Also, there’s an inadequate supply of the right type of housing. There are a lot of people looking to downsize but homes that would suit their needs aren’t being built. Most new homes being built are semi-detached or apartments and I think the industry needs to look closer at the design of properties, particularly for an aging population. We need to design and build houses to suit people’s needs and futureproof them, perhaps by adding a downstairs bedroom. Trends would suggest that we don’t need as many bedrooms in all houses as we did before…

“There aren’t enough houses being built in the first place and at the same time the second-hand market is very tight because if you are going to sell you have to find something else first. And there’s nothing on the rented market, either, so it’s a bit of a Catch 22.”

Winner of the Employee Shining Star Category and the Power Within Champion categories at the 2022 Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards, Majella had the distinction of becoming the first female chartered estate agent in West Cork in the summer of that same year. She is also president of Bandon Toastmasters Club, chairperson of the SCSI’s Southern branch and their Membership and Public Affairs committee.

“I’m very conscious of the fact that a lot of people find the buying and selling of property stressful and confusing as there is a lack of education in this area and you can really only gain knowledge from experience,” the forward-thinking Cork chartered estate agent states.

“That’s why I’ve decided to set up property clinics, which will be available both online and in person from Spring onwards. In collaboration with other industry professionals involved in the process of buying/selling a property we will provide a step-by-step guide to buying and selling a property. These property clinics are free and aim to simply and take the stress out of the buying/selling journey.”

Looking to the future, Majella is confident that it’s onwards and upwards for DNG Galvin. “It’s about how we manage the business and continuing to embrace technology will remain a big part of that,” she concludes. “You have to cater for your target audience and one thing we have never lost is that personal touch.

“My dad got to know properties and people in the area. We know and understand the local community and we tailor our approach to treating each client as an individual and listening carefully to their needs and adapting our strategy to suit these needs

“We’re building 30,000 homes a year in Ireland but we need to increase that to 50,000 or 60,000 just to break even, with the growing population, so I can see prices continuing to rise until we catch up. I believe prices will continue to rise but at a slower rate. We have a robust economy and interest rates are going to start coming down, which will improve affordability, but supply is still the big issue. You can’t sell properties that aren’t there.”

DNG Galvin,

Market Buildings,

New Road,


County Cork

Tel: 023 884 4958

Email: [email protected]

Web: dnggalvin.ie

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, June 2024, Vol 10 No 6