Michael Clarke and Cherie Humel-Clarke were crowned Sales Agent of the Year – Metropolitan and Principal of the Year – Metropolitan respectively at the 2015 REB Awards. We caught up with this dynamic duo recently to discuss what receiving the accolades has meant for their business.
Firstly, congratulations on taking out your respective titles at last year’s event. How did it feel to walk away from the ceremony with an award?
In terms of Principal of the Year, it’s not based on a dollar figure that you bring into an agency so for me it was more about the recognition – 10 years’ worth of work and particularly the last five years with starting up our own business.
A principal is not generally somebody who is being really tapped on the shoulder by their peers but this is the kind of thing where it just brings huge satisfaction because of the recognition that is widely acclaimed now.
It’s one of those things that make you feel like you’re on the right path and a successful one.
[Winning] was massive for me because not only did it help to justify all the hard work over the last 10 years but in many ways it was an emotional experience because there I was on stage, getting an award and it wasn’t that long ago that I pulled into a service station and couldn’t even afford to put petrol in the tank.
It was very humbling as well, knowing that that award was very much the combination of both mine and Cherie’s efforts.
It was marvellous for our team too – having your staff there and realising that they are working for good people and they’re working for people who are forward-thinking and striving to be the best. That part of it made it all the more sweet.
You’ve been able to promote your awards through things such as your email signature and website. What advice would you give to agents who may be reluctant to enter their names for awards given that you’ve both been able to use it as a marketing strategy?
We were two of those people who never entered in awards but I think one of the things we like about Real Estate Business was we felt that it was truly independent.
We thought this is something that holds a lot of weight. It is truly an independent award and, as a result, that was one of the reasons why we actually thought, “Bugger it, we will go in this”.
Sometimes it isn’t the right time but I think for us it was a burgeoning business and we knew that we were kicking some pretty major goals.
I think it’s certainly something somebody should do if they feel they might be doing well in a particular area.
If you genuinely feel that you’re doing something different or that you’ve achieved something special, then it can be a worthwhile experience just putting down on paper what you’ve done over the past 12 months and reflecting on what you’ve learnt over that period.
How has the award changed public perception of Clarke & Humel Property?
If you look at the real estate market in general, there are people every day promoting they’re number one at this and number one of that. The thing we find with REB is it’s an independent judging panel but also it’s got that important industry weighting [so] it meant so much more.
A tremendous amount of goodwill has flown in as a result. People saying, “You’ve done really well. Congratulations!”
REA Group, the parent company of realestate.com.au, has partnered with REB for the 2016 Real Estate Business Awards, to be held in Sydney on 16 June.
Now in its fourth year, the Real Estate Business Awards reflects the evolution and maturation of leading real estate operators and networks.
This year’s event will be held on Thursday, 16 June at The Star in Sydney, where more than 800 real estate professionals are expected to gather to recognise the industry’s top performers across 26 award categories.