Throughout Network Week, REB will talk to agents from different real estate groups to find out why they chose one group over another and how their brand is helping them succeed.
First up is Damian Raxach from One Agency. Damian has been an agent for 21 years, but he only made the switch to One Agency recently.
What got him across the line? How does the group help him build a sustainable real estate business? And why does he feel lucky, even if he did find himself trapped on an apartment roof for hours?
How long have you been a real estate agent?
Why did you switch to One Agency?
There were a number of reasons but I think probably for me the most important was I felt it was time in my career to run my own race. I had an excellent principal at Harcourts and had a very good relationship [with them], but it was time for me to do it for me. I wanted to look at new ideas and different things, and I knew I [would have more opportunity to do this working for myself]. That was probably one of the biggest things about why I chose to leave.
I chose One Agency because there was no need for me to reinvent the wheel. Everything was done for me. I literally just walked in and away I went.
What is the best thing about being a real estate agent?
Everything. I really like the flexibility it gives you. While everyone knows, and is absolutely correct, that we do work exceedingly long hours, we do get to pretty much pick and choose those hours. I look at some dads who have the archetypal nine to five role and they miss school assemblies, they miss school races, carnivals and things like that. I’m pretty lucky. I get to go to the vast majority of those if I choose to. It’s great, it gives me great flexibility. I go and watch my son play football every Thursday afternoon. For me, probably that’s one of the main things.
The other thing is it’s probably one of the only professions I can think of where your pay cheque is governed by your skill level and your commitment to the industry and the profession. You earn as much as you deserve to earn.
How does being a part of a real estate network help you to secure more business?
I don’t know if it helps me to secure more business, I think what it does is probably give me the ability to utilise the people and services around me. I look at things like the companionship, the ability to pick up the phone to an agent in another area and say, “Mate this is the challenge I’ve got”, or, “This is the problem I face”, or “This is the document I need” or whatever it may be, “Can you help me out?” And 99.9 times out of 100, I get the help I need. As a sole trader or as a local independent you would never have that ability. So using the people within the brand is probably the most powerful for me.
How do you structure your day? What is a regular day in the day of Damian Raxach like?
You can’t ask a real estate agent that question! With great difficulty!
We use an ideal week and an ideal day, but do we follow it? Probably not as strictly as we should because that’s the whole nature of the beast of our industry, things can crop up. Very often I’ll go home to my dinner table and speak to my wife and go,“Well, I didn’t expect any of that to happen. My to-do list is now five times longer than it was this morning”.
Look, it’s very hard but we try and structure our day so we’re in the office in the morning doing the tasks we need to do, the prospecting we need to do, the client communication we need to do. And then in the afternoon we’re generally out at appointments, appraisals, buyer appointments. We try and structure the day to [be in the] office in the morning, appointments in the afternoon. That’s about as good as it gets and I’ve got a very good PA who cracks a very strong whip ... couldn’t survive without her.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an agent?
Oh God knows! My boyhood dream was to be a teacher but I never actually did that. When I left university and was thinking about going into teacher training, I just for some reason answered this advert in the paper and became a real estate agent and the rest is history. I’ve done it for 21 years now.
Do you have any funny or ridiculous stories of things that have happened to you while you’ve been an agent?
Millions. All the obvious ones, walking into a house when you’ve been told there’s no one there and finding people you shouldn’t find there and finding them doing things you shouldn’t be finding them doing. Locking yourself on the rooftop of an apartment building and being stranded for hours. I could go on and on and on. There’s probably millions but they’re probably a couple of the best.