“I’ve got three inspections on a property after taking a photo and putting it on my Instagram stories,” Ben Wakely said.
He started in life as a professional rugby player and turned to real estate 18 years ago.
“I started buying property and doing them up,” Mr Wakely told Real Estate Business. “I was fascinated with real estate; I didn’t have an education, so I thought while I had to sell them, why not do it myself.”
He has had a successful career, starting at PRDnationwide in 2001 and then moving to Urban in 2012. Just two years later, he became a partner at Urban.
A couple of years ago, he decided to invest in his social media brand to change his approach to listing properties. Now he features properties on Instagram.
“The people who [follow me on Instagram] are pretty cluey; they start following agents to see what is on the market,” he said.
Mr Wakely has invested time, effort and money into his social media and recently got eight inquiries about a property shortly after uploading a photo.
“With me, I’m authentic,” he said. “I put up photos of my family and son; it is just me – I don’t build up my ego.”
That is the approach Mr Wakely takes to his real estate because he has noticed a lot of ego in the industry.
“If you are a good person, with good values and you treat your clients with respect, you’ll get results,” he said.
Recently, he got a listing after the vendors considered six different agents.
“I respectfully presented to them, and they told me I’m one of two,” he said. “There was one thing they were concerned about; the other agents were ringing them all the time. I said, ‘Guys, I’ve been busy, I’ve sold three properties at the weekend... I’m not chasing business and leaving your house behind. I’m just focused on the market.’”
Mr Wakely has recently partnered with UrbanX to power his own Ben Wakely Properties.
Due to his success listing online, he does not see the need for a shopfront window where he sells in Paddington, Queensland.
“I will get some physical office... but it won’t be on the ground floor,” he said.
“I started when people used to walk up to the window and look at the cards. I’ve been in those times.
“The game has [now] changed.”