Top 100 Agents 2012

Real Estate Business’ inaugural Top 100 Agents ranking not only identifies the most productive agents in Australia, it provides a clear blueprint for those agents that aspire to reach the pinnacle of their profession

IDENTIFYING THE real estate industry’s top performers is about a great deal more than simply dishing out bragging rights to the number one sales agent in Australia.

 

Real Estate Business’ inaugural Top 100 Agents report has not only identified the most effective and productive sales agents in the country but has also revealed the key characteristics, business practices and attitudes that place this elite group ahead of the pack.

At a time when most agents are battling tough market conditions, there is great merit in understanding what the top performers are doing within their businesses to ensure they consistently hit high sales volumes.

While agents have no influence on the overall performance of their local market, it is well within their capability to decide how they adapt and react to market conditions. In boom markets, everyone prospers, but even when times are lean agents with the right business acumen can still prosper.

Real Estate Business looked beyond sales volumes and the number of properties sold in order to provide a valuable snapshot of the broader business approaches adopted by Australia’s top agents.

This report looks closely at the effects that technology, support staff, experience and education – as well as dealing with adversity – can have on a business.

While we believe that crunching the numbers tells a story, we also believe that getting closer to the top agents themselves reveals considerably more about what makes them tick. In the following pages we’ve profiled a number of our Top 100 Agents to give you an up close and personal view of what sets them apart.

In April, more than 400 of the country’s top performing agents submitted their details for assessment – an outstanding response given the substantial amount of data required.

Agents provided a detailed breakdown of their individual sales for the 2011 calendar year so that their data could be verified, ensuring the transparency of this benchmark ranking.

Data collected included number of sales, sales volume, years in the industry and listing numbers, among other information. These data were then analysed to provide a more detailed profile of the top performing agents.

Leading property analytics company RP Data then verified the sales data provided by every agent, ensuring the highest possible level of accuracy across all submissions. This complex process has been addressed in detail in the sidebar.

In isolated instances, where RP Data did not have sufficient data to verify an agent’s submission, figures were verified by a senior member of the management of the franchise group or network.

Once verified, an agent was ranked on the following three criteria:

  •     Sales volume
  •     Number of sales
  •     Average sale price

These criteria were weighted equally, with entrants given a ranking for each.

The individual rankings were then added together, forming the basis for the final Top 100 Agents ranking. It is this list that now follows in these pages.

Our report also features detailed profiles of some of Australia’s top performers, along with a breakdown of their key performance metrics. If you want to know what it takes to be a top performer, you’ll find the answers here.

We thank all of the agents – and their personal assistants - who took the time to do this. Many also took the time to contact Real Estate Business about their entry, making sure they submitted their data accurately and on time.

Some commented that it was refreshing to be judged on the numbers that count – particularly as this is how their performance is judged by their peers and their principals.

Methodology: RP Data

RP DATA VERIFIED the findings and results of the Top 100 Agents report by correlating the information provided to Real Estate Business by participating agents against RP Data’s own data.

This information was derived from online listings, print listings and RP Data’s ‘Recent Sales Advice’ team, whose members call agents to collect and validate property sales.

RP Data then provided a report to Real Estate Business on the degree of correlation between the information supplied and RP Data’s own database.

This enabled Real Estate Business to scrutinise entrants and to conduct further investigation into those whose claims did not correlate with RP Data’s database.

While RP Data believes all the information in its database is complete, accurate and reliable in all material respects, it does not warrant its accuracy or completeness and to the full extent permitted by law, excludes liability in contract, tort or otherwise, for any loss or damage sustained by any person or body corporate arising from or in connection with the reliance on such information and data in the findings and results of the Real Estate Business Top 100 report.

A message from our sponsor

AT AUSSIE, we understand just how competitive the real estate market is, as our mortgage business reflects what is happening in the housing sector.

To be listed in the Top 100 Agents report is no mean feat, and we congratulate those who have achieved that honour. Knowing that you have outperformed so many other high calibre colleagues in these challenging times is a high accolade indeed.

Aussie has worked hard to achieve success, especially in an uncertain property market, and any competitive edge a real estate agent or mortgage broker can have over their competition is worth its weight in gold.

We enjoyed record sales through the global financial crisis, and to continue that we recognise the value of having successful partners to work with us.

We have recently partnered with RP Data to identify some of the highest performing real estate agents across the country and to offer them a unique invitation-only partnership opportunity to help increase their sales.

We have thousands of potential pre-approved buyers and sellers we want to share, and with the customers’ permission we can introduce the local agents to them, ensuring a truly VIP, full-service value proposition.

Once again, Aussie congratulates the Top 100 Agents. Aussie is proud to sponsor this report because a partnership between the best in our industry and the best in yours has synergy that can achieve fantastic results.

Agency breakdown
RAY WHITE, Australia’s largest real estate group with more than 700 offices nationally, dominated the inaugural list with 17 entrants. McGrath Estate Agents, with around 45 offices in NSW and, more recently, in Queensland and the ACT, wasn’t too far behind, however, with 10 agents making the grade.

Other groups to perform strongly included Victoria-based hockingstuart, which has around 50 offices in its network, along with The Professionals (300+ offices), each with five entrants, followed by RE/MAX, which had four of their top performing agents doing well.

State breakdown
WITH A list heavily influenced by sales volume and average price, there’s little surprise that NSW agents dominated. Yet agents from Queensland, operating in what’s been one of the weakest property markets on record, certainly punched above their weight, netting 17 entrants in this year’s Top 100 Agents list.

Victoria (17) and Western Australia (14) were next best, followed by South Australia and the ACT with two each, and the Northern Territory with one. No agent from Tasmania made the final Top 100.

CRM breakdown
THE TOP agents interviewed by Real Estate Business all professed to relying heavily on their database (or content management system, CRM). The most popular CRMs used by the country’s leading agents were MyDesktop (17 agents) and Complete Data (12).

PortPlus and Box+Dice, which were each being used by five agents, were also popular.

Key challenges
THERE WAS an incredibly varied response to this question. Some of the more common responses focused on getting vendors to set realistic prices; increasing competition and agents lowering commissions to get business; softer market conditions; and maintaining their high performance levels.

One other common answer was achieving a viable work-life balance, a response that helps remind agents of the toll this industry can have on individuals. As one respondent said:“I am about to become a father for the first time, so I feel this will bring with it challenges. It will be important to have a balance between work and family, without a negative impact on my business.”

Time – or not enough of it – was another hurdle for some agents.

“Similar to 2011, I am continually challenged by time,” one respondent said. “I am focusing on making every moment count.  My biggest challenge at present is staying on top of office referrals and incoming enquiries and opportunities.  Unless our administration and systems are strictly followed, it’s easy for opportunities to be lost through the cracks.”

Or there were those that see only clear skies ahead.

“No major challenges this year, it is a fantastic market for anyone with a great attitude.”

High achievers

Process driven
TOP FEMALE - $80,109,600/148 PROPERTIES SOLD Karen Vogl, (Rank 11), hockingstuart Ringwood

WHEN KAREN VOGL was finishing her environmental science degree at the University of Melbourne she dealt with a number of real estate agents, it was then that she thought – there must be a better way to sell property.

As a systematic and process-driven person she knew that selling a home could be just as structured.

While her passion and focus was the environment, she began to feel discouraged with the industry.

“You don’t see the results of your work,” she recalls. “I could be working on something in the 90s and 20 years later still not see any results.

“It’s not like putting a house on the market. You sell it in two months and everyone is happy.”

After completing her eight-year degree and almost seven years in the industry, she quit to focus on building a real estate career.

“I am a very systematic person, I like to follow a plan,” she says.

“So I can show my clients a very clear and well thought out plan as to how we will sell their house.”

As the highest ranked female in the Top 100, Ms Vogl has proved her approach has worked. But it hasn’t always been easy being a female in the real estate industry.

“I think, especially in Victoria, it is a very male dominated industry and I would love to see more female principals,” she says.

“Within my group there are a couple of female principals, but they’re not working at the coal face like I am, being an auctioneer, listing and selling homes.

“It can be quite lonely when you are the only female up against five blokes.”

Ms Vogl and her husband opened up their hockingstuart Ringwood office in 2007, but they had to prove it was viable.

“We had to prove to hockingstuart that our business plan could succeed in Ringwood,” she says. “It wasn’t in their plans to open an office in Ringwood.”

“My husband looks after the business side and I look after the listing and selling. It is what I am best at.”

When it comes to female agents moving up in the industry, Ms Vogl has one simple message.

“Believe in yourself. It may sound corny, but it is so important to believe that you have a right to be there, up against a lot of males,” she says.

“Use your empathy but you’ve also got to be a little bit hard to deal with disappointments and rejection.”

Point of difference
YOUNG GUN - $46,149,000 /85 PROPERTIES SOLD Ray Harb, (Rank 22), Barry Plant Real Estate Point Cook

RAY HARB definitely lives up to the reputation of being a young gun. Not only is he a successful real estate agent under the age of 30, but he prides himself on taking on challenges and pushing the envelope in real estate.

“My best advice to someone young just starting out in the industry is to get your name out there in your local area and find a point of difference,” he says.

“What do you do better than the older, more experienced guy next to you?”

When Mr Harb decided he was going to start a career in real estate he faced many challenges. At just 20 years of age he didn’t have the life experience that many believe takes to sell a home successfully.

He struggled to get his foot in the door, handing resumes out to all major networks and independents in his area. Finally he got his break with Ray White and after 12 months learning the ropes he moved to Barry Plant, where he has been for five years.

“Starting out was very hard,” the 26 year old recalls. “People don’t tend to take you seriously until you have proven yourself as capable.”

Mr Harb was determined to find a difference that would set him above other agents. His area of Point Cook in Victoria is traditionally a private treaty area. Recognising an opportunity to stand out he decided to encourage clients to try an auction, and while his office might only use auctions three or four times a year, the publicity they have received is priceless.

“It was a great way for me to show I am not afraid to take clever risks in order to get a client a better deal,” he says.

“Because auctions aren’t done often in our area we had a great response, with crowds turning out to witness the auction.

“This meant clients and potential clients saw my face and what I have to offer as an agent.”

“It was something I was quite nervous about to begin with, but I knew it was a good idea.”

But it’s not all about challenging the norm Mr Harb warns. “I put my success down to a lot of face-to-face contact with my buyers and a lot of networking,” he says.

“I go out of my way to assist people and be seen in the community. People recognise and notice my vehicle zipping around town at all hours of night and they know I am working late.”

Mr Harb is also conscious of the importance of good business and client relationships.

“I depend on a lot of referral work but it goes both ways, if I have a tradie client I make sure that all my clients know I have an electrician friend, or a plumber that can help them, “he says.

“I think about them and refer them work and they return the favour.”

Property magnate
TOP ROOKIE - $48,998,050 /64 PROPERTIES SOLD Rick Hockey, (Rank 19), Hedland First National  

RICK HOCKEY loves property. Always has. That’s why topping the Rookie category isn’t a surprise, having been a property investor for more than 30 years.

Mr Hockey, who worked in the mining industry for 27 years, saw an opportunity to invest in property almost from the get-go.

Mr Hockey had purchased so much property that the First National office – through which he bought most of it – told him that he may as well work for them. So he did.

And he’s been busy ever since, having started as an agent just three years ago.

“I haven’t had too many quiet periods,” he says, having won the network’s Rookie of the Year after his first 12 months.

Mr Hickey, who likes being out and about talking with clients, says he works long hours. “I like to get back to people,” he says. “Your reputation is important in a town the size of Port Hedland [population  20,000].”

This is a point regional and rural agents would know only too well.

“Even if you have got bad news, it’s important to let clients know,” he says.

Sporting edge
TOP REGIONAL AGENT - $71,114,00/ 115 PROPERTIES SOLD George Rafty, (Rank 9), PRDnationwide Newcastle  

“SPORT CAN teach you a lot,” George Rafty of PRDnationwide Newcastle reflects. “When I look at what I have become I have to consider how much playing sport taught me about discipline and about structure. It teaches you to be competitive.”

Born and bred on the coastal town of Newcastle, in NSW, Mr Rafty began playing soccer at a young age. He played for NSW in the under 15s and toured Europe as a 16 year-old.

“I have always had that desire to succeed and that started very young on the soccer field,” he says. “I always wanted to be the best and I would spend a lot of time practicing.”

According to the father of three, he was born to interact with customers.

“My father came out to Australia from Greece in the 1940s where he set up an iconic Greek restaurant in Newcastle.

“As a small child I worked in the restaurant before and after school. It was a good introduction into client service. My parents taught me the values of hard work, empathy and how to care and respect for people and customers.”

Mr Rafty began working full time at his parent’s restaurant at the age of 15 and continued until he was 28, but he always knew real estate was his goal.

“I was 18 when I bought my first house, with mum and dad’s help with the deposit,” he says. “I always was interested in real estate I used to like picking up the newspaper and flicking straight to the property section.”

This October Mr Rafty will enjoy 20 years in the industry. But he says his success and longevity of his career comes down to one simple reason.
“I have a love and a passion for what I do. It is an incredible feeling to know you have been a part of one of the biggest decisions in a person’s life,” he says.

But Mr Rafty admits it isn’t an easy business to succeed in.

“You have to work hard and I was born to work hard,” he says.

“I grew up working six days a week.”

But according to Mr Rafty Newcastle is a “safe place” for real estate. “The metro agents might not realise that we have a very unique and competitive town here in Newcastle,” he says.

“We have vineyards 40 minutes away, beaches around the corner and within 20 minutes you can find a waterside home that sells at $7 million and affordable homes at $270,000-$400,000.”

A total transformation
NO. 1 DOLLAR VOLUME - $130 MILLION Jason Boon, (Rank 10), Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point, NSW

THE RESULTS weren’t there early on for Sydney-based Jason Boon, Richardson & Wrench’s top sales agent. Mr Boon recorded the highest dollar volume in the Top 100 but admits his first 10 years in the industry were lean by his standards, with annual sales around the $10 million mark.

This, he says, was for personal reasons. His first employer, McGrath Estate Agents, fired him twice, while he departed of his own volition before being fired a third time for his inability to perform adequately.

Mr Boon, who has no issue with the reasons he was sacked by McGrath – in fact, he regards founder John McGrath as someone who helped mentor him – says it took a year away from the industry for him to get focused on what he wanted to do.

“I came back in 2001 and adopted the attitude of a day at a time, and being present and available,” he recalls. He visualised where he wanted to be, and what he wanted to happen.

“I wanted everyone to call me if they owned real estate in Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay,” he says.

But the transformation from agent generating below-par numbers to one who has turned around $130 million in one year wasn’t something that occurred overnight – far from it. He just decided to get real about what he wanted and what he was good at.

“I really wasn’t good at reading and writing,” he says, “but I could talk. All I do is talk all day, make relationship appointments, meet people that want to sell [and buy], and get out in the area.”

Geoff Cox and Anne Humphries, his support staff, handle the tasks they can do better than him, he explains, removing the “negative energy and pressure” that came with doing things to which he wasn’t suited.

While at first he didn’t have the money to justify employing support staff, he was confident the investment would pay off – which it has.

Mr Boon doesn’t have time for people who say they don’t negotiate on their commission. “I will not lie,” he says. “My commissions vary from 1.75 to 2.25 per cent – I’ll negotiate. If I have a good relationship [with the vendor], and if I didn’t have to work very hard, [I’ll negotiate].”

He also laments that agents can buckle under pressure when trying to absorb and respond to the many messages that come from trainers.

Training, he believes, is becoming complicated and overpowering, with too much emphasis on achieving specific sales metrics, reciting slick dialogues and learning to control the client.

“It becomes a pressure cooker,” he continues. “I don’t agree with perfection because it leads to paralysis. How do you absorb all this [information]?”
Ironically, despite his servicing vendors who own multi-million dollar properties in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Mr Boon believes there is nothing complicated about how he deals with them or what they expect.

“They don’t put up with [slick] dialogue, they don’t want to be put into a ‘mechanism’,” he says. “They want to know how it is, where it’s at and can they get the deal done. Be knowledgeable and direct and put forward a situation so they can make choices. You can’t tell them what to do.”

Flying high
NO. 1 NUMBER OF SALES - 189, Jay Standley, (Rank 53), Barr and Standley Real Estate, Bunbury, WA

IT MAY sound cliché, but Jay Standley, leading agent at Barr and Standley Real Estate in Western Australia, ‘reaches for the sky’ almost every day.

Not only is he kicking goals in the real estate industry, but he is also an avid pilot.

“I own my own plane and I take it out when I need to clear my head – it’s my outlet,” he says.

While the ‘sales mentality’ is in his genes (his father and business partner established Barr and Standley 40 years ago) he fell into real estate, he recalls, “by default”.

“I wanted to be a pilot,” Mr Standley says. “I even applied for the Air Force twice, but failed. I was devastated – it was all I ever wanted to do.

“Real estate was my fall-back, but once I got into it, I decided I was going to be the best that I can be,” he continues. “I found some people that were doing really well in the industry. I sat at their feet, got coached by them and invested a lot of money to learn the art of being successful.

“I don’t take a huge amount of credit for what I’ve done because I’ve learnt from other people. I couldn’t do what I do without my effective business unit (EBU), my three support staff."

Within the EBU, everyone takes responsibility for a different section of the business. “I’ve got Casey dealing with marketing. She oversees the listing as soon as I get it in, she contacts the sellers, organises photos and does write-ups from the website.

“Emily is our contracts coordinator. As soon as we sell, the property goes through to her and then she contacts the buyer and seller. Her job is to make sure the settlement is as smooth as possible.

“Daniel is our buyer’s agent and he deals with the buyers. If you call me, he will answer the phone and 90 per cent of calls are people wanting to view a property.”

“If you remove all the activities you need to do and you focus just on selling, you can do a lot more sales.”

Despite his success, however, Mr Standley is no workaholic. As a father of three, he counts his family as the most important success in his life.

“To me, real estate is just a job,” he says. “Jobs come and go, but there are certain roles that will never change – the role of a husband, father, friend and son. You don’t want to lose your priorities.”

Not surprising, then, that the best advice he can give to fellow agents is to stay grounded and remember the importance of taking time off.
“I am as disciplined outside work as I am at work,” he says. “I know no amount of success at work can compensate for a failure at home.”

Think local
NUMBER 3 - $74,199,113/77 PROPERTIES SOLD Ric Serrao, (Rank 3), Raine and Horne Double Bay, NSW

$80 – THAT was the first commission cheque Ric Serrao received for his first sale.

The top gun agent, who generated just over $74 million in sales during the 2011 calendar year, has come a long way since his early days working for real estate agency LJ Levi in Sydney’s Rose Bay. Mr Serrao, who had worked a series of odd jobs including time spent at KFC, driving taxis and cleaning dishes, took up real estate after a friend suggested he would be good at sales.

It was a prophetic suggestion.

Mr Serrao, whose Portuguese parents immigrated to Australia and settled in the Sydney suburb of Earlwood, had a lot to learn about the clientele around Rose Bay, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“The area I was working in had quite a diverse variety of clientele, a lot of Jewish clients, and a lot of South African clients,” he recalls. “These were cultures that I needed to learn about.

“[But] if you’re nice to people, if you do the right thing, you’ll get by. And I think it goes a long way if you’re genuinely trying to help, even if you are just ignorant. People see that.”

“The key is to get those people to have a pleasant impression so you get referral business. For me, I’m a big one on referral business, and that’s an area you can dominate.

“I dine locally, I do everything locally and I think that helps me big time.”

Mr Serrao also has kind words for his support staff, which includes his fiancée, Lucy Apoyan, his business manager. “Lucy runs not only my business but also my home. We’re now looking at getting an assistant for her, so she has a little bit of balance in her life as well,” he says.

“Basically I’ve got one admin person and one in the field helping with open for inspections and prospecting.”

“I would encourage anyone to get a PA, because it will definitely change your business. Not only productivity wise, but for your balance of life.”
Mr Serrao doesn’t spend too much time in the office, except for key meetings and staff catchups.

“When people ask me where’s my office, I literally show them my $900 phone plan with the iPad, I point at it and say, ‘Here is my office’.”

Critically, he says agents must keep up with technology if they’re to match their increasingly savvy and informed clients. “I had a situation where a client asked me what a property sold for over 18 months ago. They knew the answer and were testing me. As it turns out, they had a property for sale which we had listed and hadn’t sold it yet.”

“The basics don’t change - be a good, hard working person, follow up and do the basics. But, technology accelerates that and gives you good time management.”

This includes social media, he adds. “I was talking to a movie producer out here from LA as a client, and he said of a particular actor, that they can now put a dollar value on his twitter account.”

Mr Serrao says he does discount his commission, generally working for anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 per cent. But he will often add in performance bonuses. “[A previous] sale, we had a client that was prepared to sell for $1 million, and our fees on that was 1.75 per cent plus GST, so you could say we discounted it.

“But then we had an incentive that if we got over a $1 million for it we’d get two per cent. If we got $1.1 million we’d pick up five per cent commission. I like to use a performance scale and I like to be creative.”

One piece of advice Mr Serrao has for budding and new agents is to get out there and meet people.

“If you’ve got nothing to do, go and door knock. Go up and down cafes and have a cup of coffee, put a board next to you so people know you’re in real estate. Self-promotion is a big thing.

“Do some volunteer work, so people know you’re real and not just about the money.”

Over and above
NUMBER 2 - $81,127,000/ 114 PROPERTIES SOLD, Edward Hobbs, (Rank 2), Biggin Scott Richmond, VIC   

EDWARD HOBBS of Biggin Scott is always thinking real estate.

On a Saturday night when he is enjoying a beer at the pub with mates he’ll whip out his phone and send an SMS to potential clients.

“A message on the weekend to say, ‘Sold five out of seven properties at auction today, I would love for you to be a part of our success’, shows a client you’re not just in it for nine to five,” he says.

This dedication to his clients is what delivers him great results. But Mr Hobbs wasn’t always in real estate. He knew once he was in the industry he wasn’t going to leave again, so when he got the nod from his current boss he took the opportunity to take six months off to travel across Europe when he was in his early 20s. Three years later he was living in London.

“I didn’t want to half start a sales career and then have to come back and start again from scratch,” he says.

But Mr Hobbs doesn’t regret his gap period. Instead, he believes it helped make him a successful real estate agent.

“I made the right choice in travelling - it has been critical in both my work and home life. Real estate is a very taxing career and it can be very exhausting. I didn’t want to get into it too early and burn out,” he says.

At 27 years of age Mr Hobbs was refreshed and raring to go, and in just seven years he has nabbed more than 65 per cent of the market share in Cremorne, near Melbourne’s CBD.

“I am the household name there,” he says. “I have sold 35 out of the 38 properties on the market in Cremorne last year.”

While he admits he is not the most expensive agent in the area, he believes his difference is that he knows the area inside out.

“I know the budget of the area and that is something that has worked beautifully for me,” he says. “It is very hard to get traction in an area unless you are evidently there every month doing newsletter drops and being seen.

“But once I achieved that it has become a fundamental part of my business.”

Best of the best
NUMBER 1
Peter Chauncy, McGrath Estate Agents Mid North Shore, NSW
79 NO. OF SALES IN 2011
$88M DOLLAR VALUE OF SALES IN 2011
21 AVG. DAYS ON MARKET
7 YEARS AS AGENT
CRM AGENT BOX

JUST HOW do you get from being an ‘average’ agent, churning out a low, perhaps respectable, volume of sales, to one who’s earning six figures in commissions each year?

“Four years ago, I was an agent who was consistently doing somewhere around 30 to 50 sales,” says this year’s number one agent on the Top 100

Agents list, 30 year-old Peter Chauncy, of McGrath Estate Agents Mid North Shore.

Nothing wrong with these numbers, many agents might say.

But in what is a lesson in how to expand your horizons and think big – really big – Mr Chauncy says becoming intensely goal focused, along with a massive dose of dedication and commitment, made all the difference to his stellar career.

“You need to be incredibly focused on your goals,” he says. “You need to know how many appraisals you need to generate to get a certain number of listings; and how many listings you need to generate to get this many sales; and have a really structured disciplined set of goals that’s in front of you 24/7.”

He attributes his sales surge to world-renowned motivational speaker and trainer, Dr Fred Grosse, along with McGrath Estate Agents Mid North Shore principal Shane Smollen, who is the franchisee of eight offices in the network.

“The importance to having a coach or business mentor is absolutely imperative to being successful, quicker,” he says. “Having someone to be accountable to really helped.”

Yet the boy from the bush – Mr Chauncy grew up on a 2,000 acre property about 45 minutes from the NSW town of Bowral – also had a sturdy sales foundation on which to build his career. After studying at The Kings School in Parramatta, Mr Chauncy made his way into a retail business selling beds.

“I got a job working part time as a salesman at 19 while studying a business degree, and was quickly promoted to store manager at age 20,” he recalls. “I got really good at selling beds, and sold thousands of them.”

After doing this for three years, he was eager for a new challenge. And so, at age 23, he began his real estate career with a franchise group.

“The art of real estate is about building rapport, great relationships and trust,” he says.

“A large number of people who try to make it in real estate fail or don’t do well, so I was aware of that and it was a motivator and constant reminder to keep me on track.

“What I did was find time to pull over any other agents in the office that I could and work with them, and I offered to do anything for free.”

“It’s more important than ever to communicate effectively, and to talk to your clients or your buyers every day.”

“But when you do make a sale, make sure you let everyone in your marketplace know. Future vendors follow successful agents.

“Success marketing is key,” he continues. “Consistency is so essential. We have just over 60 per cent market share in our core area, and every person in our area is receiving some sort of success message from me every seven days. It’s been like that for the past four years.

“Do they get sick of me? Maybe, but when they go to sell their property, they are likely to think, ‘This is the guy I need to go to’.”

Like many of the agents in the Top 100, Mr Chauncy is supported by an able team that allows him to focus on selling.

“My role is fairly clear,” he says. “I list the property, negotiate, follow up my pipeline, and I communicate with my vendors every day.”

“I’ve got Pip who manages all the admin associated with the listings and running my diary. Amanda focuses on the buyers and builds great relationships with them. She helps them find a property. She also does the marketing and builds a really good relationship at the time of listing, which takes the pressure off me.

“Putting on a team helped clear my head and day up and allowed me to reach the next level.”

Mr Chauncy says agents may fear the extra expense that an assistant brings, particularly if the sales dollars aren’t quite there to justify the additional cost. Yet, in his case at least, it just made him more determined to succeed.

He admits he’s a workaholic, working up to 75 hours each week. But he loves it. “I really am passionate, and that enthusiasm and passion really rubs off on people, and I think that’s been a key part to our success,” he says

Next step for Mr Chauncy is becoming a principal at the  new McGrath Crows Nest office, which is due to open in August this year.

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