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.
Today, we speak to Martin Scott from Barry Plant about how he ended up with the group after giving various other options a go. We also uncover why he made the switch from journalism to real estate.
How long have you been an agent?
I’ve been a real estate agent since 2000.
How much of that time has been with Barry Plant?
A little more than four years.
What made you pick Barry Plant?
We tried it independently as Mildura Real Estate for a number of years and then we tried another franchise which didn’t work out. So we had to make a decision about whether we’d go back to independent or join another franchise group. We interviewed a number of franchises and we decided we did want to stay with a franchise model. Barry Plant was our choice and they chose us and we chose them so it worked out well.
What are some of the unique factors about Barry Plant as a network?
They didn’t have a big regional footprint at the time but they were certainly very strong in their market share particularly the east of Melbourne, but across all of the outer suburbs of Melbourne too. They did demonstrate to us that it was part of their strategy to go regional and they wanted some regional businesses to do that with. They were also able to demonstrate that their high achievers within the group were exceptional. They were real industry and market leaders, where as some of the other groups weren’t able to demonstrate their success.
What’s the best thing about being a real estate agent?
There’s certainly opportunity for reward and there’s good flexibility within the role. No two days are the same when you’re out there selling, although I haven’t been selling for quite a number of years now, that’s certainly where everyone gets their grounding. Once you get a taste of real estate it can be pretty addictive. [You are] always looking for the next deal.
How do you structure your day?
It’s probably not terribly structured because of the role I do. It can be quite reactive to things that crop up on a day-to-day basis, whether that’s taking phone calls like I am now. There are a lot of third parties that are trying to get some leverage off real estate in terms of social media sales people, website sales people, they’re all promoting their service to the industry to try and get a slice of the pie and a lot of that has to be put under consideration fairly immediately to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity but at the same time that can be quite a distraction as well.
Any advice for independent agents who are struggling or agents unhappy with their network?
I think it’s a matter or what you put in, you get back or you reap what you sow. Within any network, there are high achievers and under-achievers or strong offices and not so strong offices. They’ve got the same exposure to the same principals, the same training, the same that everybody has, but you’ve still got to be prepared to drive the brand, not just lean on the franchise to do everything for you. Franchises are a great support but it’s not an armchair ride to having a great business. You still need to work hard.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an agent?
I’d probably be a journalist, that’s what I was before I got into real estate. So that’s probably where I would have stayed. I thought that was a good career, and it was talking to people, and there’s definitely some good opportunities there that I would have liked to explore but once I got into this, it’s probably where I’ll finish.
What made you switch careers?
At the time I was based in Mildura and I didn’t see myself moving to the city to chase those bigger opportunities. Journalism’s fairly limited when you’re in regional areas so that was probably the main thing, the opportunity to make more money really.
How has being a part of Barry Plant helped your career?
Since joining the Barry Plant group, we’ve never looked back. Our market share has grown very steadily and very strongly in that time. We compete for the number one position in terms of market share in our area and prior to that change, we were probably third or fourth so it’s been successful in that regard. It’s also strengthened our property management business to have a good brand and some strong direction in the marketplace. People from the outside can see that it’s well controlled and it gives people confidence to deal with us.