He hadn't sold a property for 15 years, yet that didn't stop the head of a major franchise operation and training company from proving his sales skills were still up to scratch, closing 11 property deals in just three months while working part-time hours.
Confirming he’s still got it, RE/MAX WA managing director Geoff Baldwin said he made the sales working 15 hours a week.
“My main motivation in getting back into the selling game was because of my training group, Real Estate Rocks,” Mr Baldwin told Real Estate Business.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘That’s all well and good Geoff but things have changed since you were working in the field’.
“So I thought, enough is enough, let’s get back into it and see what I can do.
“I stupidly told some friends I could do 10 properties in three months working minimal hours.
“But it ended up that I sold 11.”
In 1997 Mr Baldwin stopped actively selling property and instead took on a more senior role in the industry, including being appointed the CEO of the former WA-based Roy Weston Group, and later, the purchase of the RE/MAX WA franchise. But despite the 15 years between sold stickers, Mr Baldwin was able to combine his old and new skills successfully.
“I am not doing this to sell volume but to show that I have the right skills,” he said.
“It shows people that these age old methods still work; it is all about the relationship with the person and the respect and trust you build.
“All the technology and presentation systems are fantastic, I love them and use them and encourage others to use them.
“You can have as many of those technologies as you like. But if you don’t have the trust then you have nothing.”
According to Mr Baldwin, whose group has expanded to 14 offices in just under three years, the biggest difference between selling in the 90s to now is the fast-paced lifestyle of vendors and buyers.
“People have less time and higher expectations and seem to be less reasonable,” he said.
“It is hard to slow people down and get them to give you their full attention.
“To get around this I ask them how important their $500,000 or $1 million property is, and they say very important. So I say, 'Ok, then you should be able to spend one hour with me right now working out the best way to get you the best price.”
Mr Baldwin is offering one agent the chance to work closely with him as his assistant, working from his Nollamara office in the northern suburbs of Perth. According to Mr Baldwin, the perfect candidate will be a hard worker who can perform under pressure.
“It will be tough, they will have to be able to put up with my demands and keep up with my expectations,” he said.
“It will be a yearlong placement and, hopefully at the end of that they will be able to go out on their own and lead a successful real estate career.
“It could be someone very new to the industry or someone that just needs some guidance.”