It is evident that NSW agent and principal Ric Serrao has put in the hard yards to rise to third rank in the REB Top 100 Agents 2023. He spoke to REB about his strategies for success.
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After placing 32nd in 2022, the Raine & Horne Double Bay and Bondi Beach licensee in charge and selling principal ascended to number three this year in the Top 100 Agents ranking.
The ranking – which is determined based on figures achieved in the 2022 calendar year – revealed that his total residential property sales value surged by 71 per cent year-on-year from $395 million in the 2021 calendar year to $675.3 million in 2022.
Mr Serrao also rose from ninth in 2022 to third in the Top 50 Agents NSW 2023 ranking.
Focusing on servicing prospective buyers has contributed to his success, and is an important skill for agents to master, according to Mr Serrao.
“I think that as vendor agents, we do buyer work poorly. Hence, the rise of buyer’s agents has been and will continue to be quite great.”
Being an auction-oriented agency has helped with the buyer work, Mr Serrao said, as he and his team can collect information from prospective buyers at auctions and subsequently contact them.
The agency also receives numerous enquiries from the auctions, he added.
“We’ve also started cross-referencing those enquiries using tools such as iD4Me. We can put in email addresses and phone numbers, and get a grasp of what that enquiry might be and whether they’ve got something to sell,” he said.
“We’re diligent with every lead we get (whether that’s through Domain or realestate.com.au) in finding out who that person is, and whether the enquiry should be attended to now or later.”
Mr Serrao sold a range of properties in 2022, from one-bedroom apartments to prestige and waterfront family homes.
However, he noted that interest rate rises and increased cost-of-living pressures have changed the types of properties he sold in 2022 compared to 2023.
“We saw the prestige market accelerate. But the properties at the lower end priced up to about $2 million – or what I call the mortgage or investor belt – pulled back,” Mr Serrao said.
He observed that as the volume of higher-end properties decreased, prices increased. Conversely, as the volume of lower-end properties increased, prices declined.
Mr Serrao has also benefited from receiving referrals from solicitors, financial planners and other parties. He said he always expresses his gratitude to his referral partners by sending thank you notes to maintain the relationship.
“At the end of the day, however, it’s about working with people in my community like fitness trainers or patrons at the local cafe,” he said.
“But it’s taken a lot of time to get here. It means I don’t necessarily have to knock on doors these days. Having said that, one can never be complacent.”
Improving his referral network over the next 12 months is something Mr Serrao is striving for, noting that “if you’re called in on something from a referral, you’re already one step ahead of the game”.
Alongside this, he said he would focus on the professional development and growth of his team to enable them to build and manage their own teams.
When asked how other agents could replicate his success, Mr Serrao advised them to focus on long-term goals rather than scoring quick runs in the short term.
Being a team player is also crucial, as is ensuring that agents do not burn bridges, he added.
He concluded: “You may be asked to do things you don’t agree with, whether it’s being asked to work with other agents or giving splits away.”
“But keep your eye on the big picture. Real estate is like superannuation. It’s about bringing in long-term sales rather than that initial hit of getting a deal done right now.”
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