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Are support roles the secret to early career success?

13 January 2021 Grace Ormsby
secret to early career success

For aspiring real estate agents, more time in a supporting role can be the best thing for your career, according to an up-and-coming director.

In a recent episode of the Secrets of the Top 100 Agents podcast, Marshall.Chan.Yahl director William Chan acknowledged that for many young workers in the real estate industry, the temptation to be a standalone agent when they are starting to produce results can be strong.

But he would encourage agents against taking the career leap too soon, expressing the belief that “more time in a support role is actually a good thing”.

“You can actually take the time to learn and improve the craft without the pressure of making sales and getting ahead of that debit and credit or making a commission if you’re in commission only,” he reflected.


He said that “a lot of people, when they start out in a business, they’re getting a lot of support which helps grow them”.

“But when they get to a point where they’re starting to produce some really good results, there might be other agencies trying to recruit them. And they sort of forget what’s happened in the beginning,” Mr Chan acknowledged.

A lot of agents “look for external factors and things that they think will help them without looking within themselves and looking at what they could be doing to improve their own situation”, he continued, noting that these are oftentimes scenarios that lead to associate agents looking to become fully fledged, standalone agents.

For agents who are chasing faster results, Mr Chan offered up some advice: “If you’ve got a really good environment, a good support, stick with it, even in the hard times, because that really shows your true colours.

“I really think that’s going to get rewarded in the future.”

The director has attributed that sort of loyalty as playing a critical role in his own success: “I started in real estate back in 2010 as an assistant to a pretty well-known agent at the time. And throughout that process, I spent two and a half years just working, doing a lot of admin and buyer work under that agent.”

Reflecting on his own career’s beginning, Mr Chan spoke of the influential advice given to him by that agent, who he credited with saying to him: “‘William, to make it in this business, you’ve got to have loyalty and hard work. If you keep to those two, you’ll do very, very well.’

“I’ve basically made that a bit of my mantra for the last 11 years. Loyalty and hard work for me is very important.

“I think that’s carried through throughout my career.”

While he began his career under the Century 21 brand and spent the better part of his formative career with the franchise, he’s recently gone into business with former Century 21 principal Craig Marshall and colleague James Yahl.

The trio kicked off Marshall.Chan.Yahl on Sydney’s North Shore almost 18 months ago.

“We’ve done pretty well,” he said of the new venture, which already boasts two offices and more than 20 members of staff.

“It’s been a very, very busy year!”

Listen to the full conversation with William Chan here

Are support roles the secret to early career success?
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