One of Australia’s top real estate agents has revealed exactly why he took the independent route — and how it’s paid off for his business.
REB Top 100 agent Dib Chidiac has made a massive jump from the 20th place to the seventh place in this year’s rankings, boasting 198 listings, 155 sales and more than $250 million worth of properties sold over the 2020 calendar year, with an average sale price of $1.6 million.
But apart from accolades, one of the biggest achievements for Mr Chidiac throughout his 11-year real estate career has been the opening of his very own independent agency, Dib Chidiac, in 2019.
Serving the City of Canada Bay and the broader Inner West, the agency offers a “unique style of sales and property management services to clients”, with a full range of properties on offer, from $500,000 apartments to multimillion-dollar waterfronts.
“It’s been an interesting challenge,” Mr Chidiac said on REB’s Secrets of the Top 100 Agents podcast about stepping away from a 10-year career in the national network Concord to establish his independent agency.
The principal added: “I was a salesperson [at first]… so opening up my own office and becoming a principal that looks after not only sales… but also staff, property management, admin and everything else in between was a challenge. There are different scenarios that pop up… decision-making that you have to do now that you didn’t before.
“It’s been a journey, but we’ve been successful and it’s pretty exciting.”
Going the ‘independent’ route
Unlike most new business owners in real estate, Mr Chidiac opted to establish an independent agency as opposed to starting with a reputable franchise, where he had observed that “there are people that make decisions for you”.
According to him, going on the “independent” route allowed him to employ a unique approach into his business, including using his own name for branding.
“I had a brand within an area. People knew who I was, which was great, so I just used that to my advantage, instead of branding it something else and then having to start with questions like, ‘Who’s opened that and who are they?’” Mr Chidiac said.
“I just went with the flow… [because] for me, if you already have the systems and the processes and the manpower, you don’t really need to go with a franchise model or a private model.”
This strategy has ultimately paid off, with Dib Chidiac surpassing sales expectations, according to the principal.
“When we first started the office, the target was nowhere near what we actually achieved,” he said.
Along with an extraordinary sales record, Mr Chidiac also prided the agency for “growing people within the business”.
“[We brought] people along in the journey, and taught them and helped them progress along the way,” the principal added.
Being in charge
Mr Chidiac operates the agency with his wife, Stephanie, along with a team of professionals — all bound by the belief that “every property is a unique asset that can be made more valuable through smart marketing and plain hard work”.
According to the principal, wearing many hats — a husband, a father, a sales agent, a business owner and a mentor — has allowed him to hone his discipline and sharpen his ability to choose the right people for his team.
“You just have to be very disciplined with your time; disciplined with your diary; disciplined in your habits and processes,” Mr Chidiac said.
“It’s also about having the right people around you. I have a team that looks after certain parts of the business and I sit down with them all the time. I’ve got a property manager that runs the property management department, and I have Stephanie who looks after operations and acts as my co-director. I have a sales team. I have a PA. I have an EA.
“I’ve structured it pretty well. It’s like glue, basically.”
But through all the roles that he plays day-to-day, the principal said that he makes it a point to do one thing at any given time — lead by example.
Whether listing or selling a property, or managing the business and training his team, Mr Chidiac said his work ethic “[is] doing what I actually say I’m going to do”.
“When you lead by example, when you’re actually present and at the forefront, people around you will naturally gravitate towards that,” Mr Chidiac concluded.
Listen to the full conversation with Dib Chidiac here.