As the first real estate agent to speak at AREC 2016 on the Gold Coast on Sunday morning, Ivan Bresic captured the room full of 4,000 agents with his opening remarks.
“Writing $2 million in gross commissions is actually easy; it’s the first $1 million that people get stuck on. Most of the industry, 80 per cent of agents, do not climb that mountain,” Mr Bresic said.
“That first million-dollar mountain is the big one – that’s the one you absolutely need to climb. It gets easier, you get confidence, your database grows, you start getting calls, listing calls. That actually gets easier because you can put a support team on,” he said.
Mr Bresic started out in the industry when he was 17, working with John McGrath and Shannan Whitney before launching BresicWhitney in 2003 at the age of 23. The Sydney-based agency now has 120 staff across four offices.
“The game is changing,” Mr Bresic said. “I remember admiring agents 10 years ago; with respect, they are semi-irrelevant in today’s real estate world. The change is really quick,” he said.
“I remember my first year having a goal of doing 25 sales. It was a tough year. I lost listings, I had no self-belief, little confidence. People took advantage of my inexperience – it was tough. But I went about the business with great people around me. I had great support. In year two I doubled it – I went from 25 sales to 48 or 50. By then I was 22 years old and putting on an assistant.”
In his third year, Mr Bresic doubled his sales again, this time to 99 deals.
“We all need listings. It’s not selling anymore," he said. "Let’s not even talk about selling; you need to be able to list."
However, when young agents join BresicWhitney today, listings do not even feature on their daily work schedule. Instead, Mr Bresic said he has designed a process, or journey, that allows new recruits to become million-dollar agents in a matter of years.
“The Holy Grail of our success,” Mr Bresic revealed, “the thing that has underpinned our success the most over the last 13 years has been our buyer work. That’s the Holy Grail. We say ‘forget the listings, let’s just focus on buyer work’.”
The industry leader explained the importance of servicing buyers, bidding for them at auctions, sharing data and information, and effectively becoming their adviser
“Almost act like a buyer’s agent,” he said, “because you start something – a relationship.
“For those of you who aren’t writing a million or more in commissions, start with buyers. Start servicing them. Take ownership of them. Every call-back book is worth $100,000.
“As you get better with buyer work, your open homes improve, you know what you’re talking about, your call-backs get better. Your product knowledge improves. All of a sudden you have better knowledge of the four or five suburbs you work in. Your database grows – finally you can list.”
Mr Bresic singled out the top agent in the country from a crowd of thousands – the REB Top 100 number one agent for 2016, Alexander Phillips.
“How many do you have in your database?” Mr Bresic asked.
“Two thousand,” Mr Phillips replied.
“He has two thousand people in his database,” Mr Bresic said, turning back to the audience.
“The size of your database determines your income.”