EFFECTIVE HABITS: An effective business unit

Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point’s director, Jason Boon, has a six-year unbroken run as the network’s number one agent, selling $130 million in property last year. Here, he reveals how he does it

If I know anything about real estate it is that there is no magic wand that guarantees success.
Instead, it is about simple, little things: small steps repeated every day. I apply them to my personal life, my work and the practices of the team in which I work.
Every day begins at five in the morning. I go for a surf or spend time with my little boy, do circuit training, drink a green quinoa juice, have a coffee and get into the office early.
There are a couple of lines that I read every morning and they set my pattern for the day:

“Life becomes the way it is lived” is one, and the other is, “To be a person first and a real estate agent second”.
This is how I visualise what is going to happen; we gradually grow into the likeness of that which we think about most.
I operate in a team that we call an Effective Business Unit (EBU). It consists of myself as head of the team and two others, Anne Humphries and Geoff Cox. Anne’s job is to take away whatever causes me pressure – the internet, doing emails, replying to reports, setting up properties for sale, the photography, copywriting and ad placements.
Geoff has the ability to sell real estate and will often look after the secondary clients, people who want to talk to a real estate agent but are not quite ready to buy or sell. He is paid a commission on every sale that we do. I’m accountable to these people and they’re accountable to me.

What I have tried to create with this arrangement is a free flow situation so that all I do is talk to people who want to buy or sell real estate – on the phone, in the street, in their living rooms, the shops or a solicitor’s office. I am totally focused, not only on being an area specialist, but on getting the business.
That has to create an enormous edge because while others have to do everything, I only have to do that top 20 per cent and I do that all day every day, six days a week. That is how I become good at that part of the job.
I am a paper person and a visual person so I write down the names of everyone I am going to speak to that day. I also write down the name of the owner of each property and who is going to buy it. People think I’m a fruit cake but I’m right more often than not.
I don’t plan too far ahead; I try to work in the day and I work on the job at the moment. I do what a person needs to do to be good at this job. By that I mean that I take ‘Jason’ out of the equation and do what ‘a person’ needs to do. A person needs to do his calls in the morning – at least five before 11.30am – his listing appraisals in the afternoon and his buyer appointments in the middle of the day.

Three times a week I meet with Anne and Geoff at 8.30am. On Mondays we go over all the buyer inspections we did on the weekend, we talk about the buyers and their needs, about which buyer would suit which property, and we allocate tasks for getting back to people who viewed.
We call it our ‘chess morning’ – moving the pieces around the board until they’re in position. Wednesday is ‘profile day’, working through how our profile will look in the paper, what ads will go where and making sure we have as much of a presence as possible.
Friday is more relaxed and we’ll meet in a coffee shop, talk about the week that has passed and what could happen on the Saturday. We can have eight to 15 opens on the weekend so we need to work out how they will be managed and the people best suited to help us. Real estate is about relationships and because there are three of us in the EBU there is time to build these relationships.
We form at least three or four relationships per day, 24 relationships in a week, 80 relationships in a month and, down the
track, that comes to 1,000 relationships a year. When I first started in real estate I would stand out at the front of a building from about seven in the morning, looking as though I was there to show buyers through an apartment. There were about eight buildings where I did this. People who lived there got to know me and thought I must be selling a lot of apartments.
Eventually I really was selling in those buildings.
Even now I keep myself visible. I walk up and down the main street once a day, just seeing people, getting to know them and going into the coffee shops. I visit all 30 of the ones in my area at least once or twice every two months.
It took me a long time to develop a profile in this area but now people know me as an area specialist with a niche in high-end apartments. If somebody around here wants to sell they will at least give Jason Boon a call. It’s a lot better than making 50 cold calls a day and being told to get lost.
When I go into a listing appraisal I take in knowledge. I know the roads, the buildings, the streets, the history of the area and what used to be there in the 1800s. I know these things because I’ve done my research; I’ve been to the NSW State Library.
I can walk into a new development and show them the house that was once there, I know their floor plans and the rates per square metre. Knowledge is power and you use that knowledge. You don’t talk yourself up, you talk about the property, the area and you give them a visual of something similar you have sold. You tell them about the types of buyers who will be interested in their property. And most of all, you create a visualisation for them of a good result – one they’ll be happy with.

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