Zed Real Estate came into operation less than two years ago, with its director and principal auctioneer Zed Nasheet leaving the LJ Hooker network to start his own business. And since then, the company has been busy building on its growth and differentiating itself in the industry.
Mr Nasheet, who is one of Australia’s most notorious real estate agents for his social media campaigns, told REB that real estate doesn’t operate around databases anymore, but rather, around social media.
“Social media is revolutionising this industry and digital marketing has taken over, so there’s no such thing as databases anymore. It’s about getting business through word of mouth,” he said.
“You’ve got to think outside the box. We’re marketing to people that can’t stay away from their mobile phones for more than five minutes.”
Zed Real Estate has been extensively using social media channels to boost property listings and sales.
“We’re different because I’ve built the biggest social media portal in the industry — I started property videos in Australia. I sold a property through Snapchat and four houses through Instagram last month. We’ve embraced innovation and diversified our skill sets,” he said.
“I also use vlogs to help sell properties. Ten years ago, when I started doing these vlogs, people used to laugh at me. And now, these are the people that don’t know what they’re doing.”
Since its launch, the business has closed about 150 settlements, a mixture of both on and off market. Within six months, it sold approximately $100 million worth of properties.
Mr Nasheet said technological advancements are radically changing up the way that businesses within real estate operate, and these businesses should change with the times or risk being left behind.
“The old ways of real estate are gone. If businesses don’t catch up to it, they’re going down very quick. A lot of people have struggled in today’s market, and in a market like this, you’ve got to think of ways to differentiate yourself not only to survive but also to gain knowledge,” he said.
“People don’t hire you because you’re a local agent; they hire you based on the knowledge you’ve got, your negotiation skills, your pitching skills and the strategy you’re going to implement for them when selling the house. It’s also no longer about who you know, but about who knows you in today’s market.”
Mr Nasheet identifies his business as a multi-service property specialist with a wide range of services across the real estate landscape.
“Another reason why we’re different is that we offer services in-house — finance, commercial, rental, lawyers, architects, builders etc. — they’re all in-house. It’s like a one-stop shop. So, when you walk into the building, you have a whole suite of consulting services available.”
Mr Nasheet also said that real estate should be viewed as a business of people.
“We’ve always been a people game. We’re in the property game, but without people, there wouldn’t be any real estate,” he said.
Using people skills
Mr Nasheet and a colleague, Claudia Michaels, recently had a business meeting over breakfast at a cafe in Brighton where they overheard two gentlemen talking about real estate.
Having overheard their conversation, they couldn’t help but introduce themselves to the two gentlemen and discuss how they could add value and be of service to them.
The gentlemen watched one of Zed Real Estate’s property videos, were taken by its marketing strategy and engaged the company.
Conversation led to property-specific discussions in relation to current and off-market properties, and the gentlemen expressed interest in one of their off-market properties.
In the five days that due diligence was being conducted, the gentlemen inspected the property and at its first open made an unconditional offer.
They closed the deal within that five-day time frame, for just under $3 million.
“I’m so against the old way of how businesses and real estate agents make their money. It’s not the way I think.
“We had another client remain on the market for 14 months with four different real estate agents who weren’t producing them results. They had paid more than $40,000 in traditional marketing. That’s not how it works anymore,” he said.
Zed Real Estate will soon be moving into a new office in the next three months. The office, currently in the renovation stage, will house its 25 staff.
“We aim to grow it to 150 people by this same time next year. We have plans to grow it four more levels high, so there will be six levels in the coming years. We’re also aiming for an office in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Western Australia,” he said.
Mr Nasheet’s vision for 10 years from now involves owning a dedicated real estate business that functions off a single tower.
“I want to own a Zed Tower — the biggest real estate tower in the world. I don’t intend on franchising; when you franchise, you lose control. I’d rather have a building with 300 agents representing my name,” he added.