Ahead of REB’s Women in Real Estate Awards 2020, one of Australia’s top dealmakers reveals how real estate agents can tap into their strengths to better service their clients.
Speaking on a recent episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents, Cunninghams Real Estate’s Georgi Bates told editor Grace Ormsby that drawing on her own experience in real estate, the work — and approach — that many women take to their roles within the profession shouldn’t be underestimated.
The second-highest ranked dealmaker in REB’s Top 50 Dealmakers for 2020, and a self-professed advocate for women, said: “I feel as though a lot of women just don’t back themselves.
“We’ve got so much to give, and we’re just so good at it.
“I don’t want to get competitive in the sense, but I do believe women, once you really get down to it, can be so much better than anyone at doing this.”
According to the Northern Beaches-based agent, “the industry really needs to grow and have more women — not just in support positions, but as lead agents and directing the business”.
“It’s such a big window of opportunity.”
Calling women “nesters”, Ms Bates sees real estate as a natural extension of the strengths of many females: “We get how a household runs, we understand what are the important things — [and] wanting to be there for our families.”
Drawing on her own intuition and gut feeling, the agent highlighted how she can walk into a property and meet with clients and is “very good at picking up on what is really going on underneath”.
“Whether that’s a divorce or there is something happening. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of domestic violence cases as well. I know it’s across the nation, but down the Northern Beaches as well,” she said.
“Women are very good at connecting and picking up on things, but then we also, we naturally want to really please clients and [we know] how to do that.”
In her own work, it means Ms Bates is always looking at: “What can we do differently?”
She added: “What can we do to make this whole transaction, not only an incredible experience, [but one that] they’re automatically going to pick up the phone and remember that experience and call us next time when they go to sell?”
She has realised that “that first week of putting a property on the market is probably one of the most stressful — you’re juggling kids, you’ve got your house, you’re nervous, you’ve got your first open house inspection coming up”.
Acknowledging that when it comes to selling a house, vendors are dealing with an encroachment on their personal space, it led Ms Bates to embark on a different kind of customer service: “How about we just drop over Friday morning a beautiful quiche or a chicken katsu tori, or whatever the meal is going to be, and it’s sort of like a home-cooked meal?”
From the agent’s perspective, it’s a little something that means her clients don’t have to then go and worry about cleaning up and doing everything for one night.
“They’ve got so much on their mind,” she commented, expressing the belief that it’s the little points of difference that “women get”.
“And whether or not they’ve thought of it, I know most women would be on board with doing something like that, thinking, ‘Hey, why don’t we use this practice and put it into our team?’
“I think those little personal touches are more heartfelt and, you know, we really mean it.”
Little things aside, it’s not the only elements of skill the agent and her team will bring to the table for their vendors: “Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got grit. This team, we’re feisty, we’re ruthless — when it gets to negotiation, we want to get the maximised result for our clients.
“So, there’s that approach, but we do it with grace.”
The agent is also an advocate for real estate professionals taking themselves “out of the comfort zone”.
Likening it to jumping into freezing-cold water, Ms Bates said you may lose your breath, “then suddenly everything starts to feel OK”.
“It immerses the brain because you get this flood of chemicals every time you immerse into the water and then your whole body is feeling alive. Your body adapts and it becomes easier and easier,” she said.
“Real estate is so much like that.
“So, throw yourself into the deep end where it’s a bit uncomfortable.”
Considering the more you do something, the more comfortable you’ll become, Ms Bates said whether it’s door knocking, picking up the phones, gift giving or taking part in your community, “throw yourself into it”.
“It gets easier and easier,” the agent concluded.
The full conversation with Georgi Bates can be found here.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.