Join Tim Neary as he chats with Fletchers Victoria director and auctioneer Tim Heavyside about the importance of getting the basics right, as well as maintaining a strong vendor–real estate agent relationship.
Tune into the latest podcast to find out why structure, manner and performance are the central focus on maintaining consistency as an agent as well as having a resilient brand.
Tim Heavyside also shares his experiences with a former director, whose words of advice have resonated with him throughout his 15-year career, forging his success.
You will also find out:
- What the public really wants from agents
- The fundamentals to a successful campaign
- How property videos have changed the game
Tune in now to hear all this and much, much more in this episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents!
Announcer: The Top 100 Agents are the best of the best, listing and selling more than any other agent in Australia. These are the practises, actions, and beliefs of the most successful agents in Australian real estate. Raw, honest, and completely uncut.
Tim Neary: Good day, everyone. It's Tim Neary here. I am editor of Real Estate Business and host of the Secrets of the Top 100 Agents podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I'm very pleased to welcome on the show today, ranked 20 in the Top 100 ranking for 2017 from Fletchers in Victoria, it's Tim Heavyside. Hello, Tim. Welcome to the show.
Tim Heavyside: Good day, Tim. Glad to be on the show today.
Tim Neary: Thanks very much for making the time available. I know that you're a keen golfer and you like to travel and cook. Just before we get started, I thought how much of a golfer are you? What's your handicap?
Tim Heavyside: I'm terrible. I'm on 22. I'd love to say I can get more golf in, but I'm selling too much real estate to practise as much as I'd like.
Tim Neary: That's what they say, isn't it? If your handicap's too low than your business is going the wrong way. Your handicap's on the right side.
Tim Heavyside: 100%, mate.
Tim Neary: Now Tim, you've been in the game 15 years. In 2016, you sold a massive 127 properties. You were telling me off-air that one of the main things that you like to focus on is consistency. Let's start there, shall we? How do you fold having that consistent approach into your business of real estate?
Tim Heavyside: Yeah. Sometimes you might have any type of industry irrespective and it could be in the building industry or be an estate agent or a doctor or anything. What I'm finding with good quality people in general, there's always a consistency with them. If you're a good quality builder and you're reliable and you're getting a lot of awards, well people are more likely to feel more comfortable to go back to that builder to do products with them because they've got some form of experience and consistency behind them.
That's something that we're proud of, that we've got a lot of consistency in our approach and structure, our manner, the ways that we perform for people. If you might come to one of my auctions, you're going to see a consistent approach at the next auction. I'm not saying it's going to be the same result, but the way that we'll approach that, serving buyers, serving the vendor, creating good customer experiences around a consistent approach.
For all the listeners out there that are estate agents that are thinking "Well what does that sound like? What does that mean?" Well after the sale you're getting onto those external Rate My Agent websites and entering into awards like the REB Salesperson of the Year awards and hopefully getting to that point where you can get recognised in one of the Top 100 REB awards. Then people are going "Oh, gee. He was 20 this year. Last year, he was 17. The year before he was 17." There's a fair bit of consistency with that individual, that person. It provides you an opportunity that you can really target that out to any new vendors, I guess, that are looking at your brand and going "Gee, I wouldn't mind using Tim Heavyside and his team."
Tim Neary: You talk about branding and as you speak about consistency like that, I'm reminded of the McDonald's for want of a better choice. The McDonald's business model which is essentially if you go into a McDonald's store in Victoria and you go into a McDonald's store in Adelaide, you're pretty much going to get the same product. That's what they strive to do. Although it's not exactly the same thing in your business, if you deal with the Tim Heavyside team on one day and you deal with the Tim Heavyside team in another month, you're going to get the same ... You're going to get the same service. You're going to get the same product almost. Is that what the public wants from real estate agents, Tim?
Tim Heavyside: Yeah. I also think it comes down to having a brand where you're fairly resilient. Let's say for example, you've won a listing and set in motion this rollercoaster this business is, that you win a listing. That's your job to win a listing. You lose a listing. Well that's part of business as well. You don't get too emotionally carried away one way or the other. You lose the listing and it's a lot of gratitude, respect, and you with the vendor very well and you move on very quickly. The agents out there that dwell on it and "That was my only opportunity. I can't afford to feed my family this week," then you dwell on that all week, that's just all negative energy. You don't want to be having that.
The other side of the coin is, Tim, when agents get a listing and they carry on too much and "Well I can put my feet up this week. I don't have to work as hard this week because I've got that listing. Gee, I'm good." You go "Hey. Hey, fella. Have you seen this listing I've got?" That's your job. Don't get carried away. You want a level of consistency as well in that respect in terms of winning and losing listings. You're carrying yourself in a manner that is respectful, professional, and you're actually amongst your own colleagues in the industries. People are saying to you "Well he's got a consistent approach about his manner or her manner." That's very important, Tim.
Tim Neary: Doing the basics ... It sounds like, Tim, that if you do the basics right and you keep doing them then the results will follow.
Tim Heavyside: Yeah.
Tim Neary: Some listings you'll get and some listings you won't. Don't rely on that one event. Just keep moving. Just keep moving forward.
Tim Heavyside: 100%. 100%.
Tim Neary: Tim, I wanted to ask you. You've been in the business a long time. Was there any piece of advice that you got early on in your career that resonated with you that you've implemented and that you still implement today?
Tim Heavyside: Yeah. One of my first directors told me, Tim, "You want to make sure you look after the client first. Not you first." What does that mean? If you go into an appraisal and you feel as though the right thing for them is to do the renovation and not to sell the property, do as such because down the track, they'll come back to you and you'll be their trusted advisor. In the end, you'll win. I've found that many times over the years.
What happens, you recommend to do the renovation if you feel like that's the right thing to do or not to sell that point in time because there could be a pending place or for their financial position or situation that the vendor's involved in, it's not to sell it, that right time isn't now. Then when it comes ... It could be in a contested environment and they don't sell. Then when they come to sell again, they just think of you. You're that person. You're generally going to get a better fee. You're going to have a better relationship. You've got trust. Overall, you're going to get a build on that brand again.
Tim Neary: You mentioned that word trust twice there, Tim. Is that ... How important is that in the vendor-real estate agent relationship?
Tim Heavyside: Especially if you develop it early and develop it quickly. I can't tell you the amount of listings that I get because people are referring me on or referring our team on to a particular vendor that's considering selling. It's hard to trust someone, huh? Notice similar too if you're looking for that builder or an architect or you're looking for a third-party endorsement, even right now you go "Where am I going to actually spend accommodation in Positano or I'm going to Hawaii and where do I ..."
You're always looking on that third-party reference site these days. Or you're going out to a dinner in the city one night, "Let's look at the reviews. Do I trust this is going to be suitable for me?" This is what modern-day world is now, Tim. If you've got that third-party that's recommending you, Tim, it helps build trust. If you get trust, it's fundamental to a successful campaign. You're not fighting with the vendor in terms of price point. You're fighting with them in terms of commission or advertise or how you're going to promote their property or method of style. They're trusting you from the start. If you can get trust early, it just makes for a much smoother transaction for everybody.
Tim Neary: I like the way that say that. It's not necessarily just for real estate agents. It part of the modern world. It's part of today's world. Getting trust early is important. This may be a difficult question to answer because it's difficult to quantify, but how do you do that? How do you get that trust and how do you get it early?
Tim Heavyside: Yeah. Sometimes begin very honest and there's a saying, "Go ugly early." That might mean bringing up one of the hardest things about what's holding back a buyer potentially. That could be you're on a main road. When you bought the property on this main road, you would have probably paid a 20% discount when you bought the home. That'll happen as gain. When you compare your property to other properties, you've got to look at the property at a 20% discount now moving forward. Does that make sense?
Tim Neary: It does.
Tim Heavyside: You talk about something like that, like that phrase and how you communicate that to a vendor. "Yeah, well I trust this person because that's quite accurate information." I had a situation just last Saturday where I had an auction and anything you could think of that this property had, I had. I had a situation where the relationship between the husband and wife had fractured so they were parting ways. The house itself backed onto a railway line. It was an irregular shape lot. Not like a little bit irregular. It was a triangular shape block of land.
It had a driveway that had just been put down, but it didn't actually have a permit yet. The driveway was put down, but it didn't have the final inspection yet. The contracts arrived to us late. Some of the land that was fenced in was owned by the railway, Big Rail behind. There was a lease in place. We only had heads up agreement of that lease. We didn't actually have the lease in place. We got the contracts Thursday night before the auction.
You think "Oh, that's not going to sell." But we had a competitive environment and an auction that sold because we communicated with the vendor on a daily basis. We got to all the solutions that the buyers needed. We performed on the day by reading out specific things, getting the auction videoed so we're never going to ... In the future, no one's going to have a crack at us. We did everything right. We did everything on a consistent basis. We work hard. There's a saying: "Work hard works."
Tim Neary: Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: Work hard works. You've got to work hard in this industry. You've got to work hard. You can't just say that "Oh, that's a solicitor's problem, Tim. We've only got the contracts late on Thursday. That's why it didn't sell. Oh, well it didn't sell because the irregular shape land or some of the fenced in part of the property." Not saying like it was just in the garden beds. Some of this fenced in land that the railway, Big Rail can take back, that goes across their decking. It was across their shed.
Tim Neary: Wow.
Tim Heavyside: It was a tricky, tricky sale.
Tim Neary: Yeah. Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: But we were able to communicate. The buyers bought it, fully understands what they're buying into. It was a competitive environment and the vendor was very happy not only with how we performed in terms of communicating with the buyers and them but also the price, the outcome.
Tim Neary: Yeah. Tim, it's easy when it's easy, isn't it? It's when it's difficult that it really shows up. The couple of thins that you said that really stand out for me: go ugly, go early. Go ugly early is probably important just in terms of establishing that truth relationship. It seems like that honesty and trust are coupled on the tote. The relationship between the two of them is strong.
It's a good example there you use around having a difficult case to bring to market but not shying away from it, not shying away from the ugly bits and just saying "This is what we've got. This is the situation." Because ignoring it is not going to make it go away. You put it upfront. You let everybody know this is what you're dealing with and then work around that.
Tim Heavyside: Yeah. You've got to keep moving forward, Tim. There's a good ... That moving forward analogy, there's good reason the car, the front windscreen is a lot bigger than the back rear view windscreen.
Tim Neary: Yeah. Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: That front windscreen is a lot bigger because you're always moving forward.
Tim Neary: That's right. Exactly. Tim, we're sort of getting to the end of the podcast now, and it's the time when I like to just talk about some of the experiential stuff, the stuff that you do in your business everyday. Is there a marketing programme that you've put together just recently that stands out for any particular reason? If it is, what is it and what was the outcome?
Tim Heavyside: Yeah. I think lately something in my videos that I've been doing is in property videos, I've been involving the vendor a little bit more. You get that ... People can ... It's a little bit more relatable to people. When they're watching a video on a property -- I can name a few properties that I've done this -- people get a sense of what they're buying. There's a lot more genuine feel for the home. I've found that to be very successful.
I just did a video recently on Monday where I had a dog on my lap and dealing with children and animals, it's not the greatest thing to do. Yeah, I had a dog on my lap, and it was very funny. It adds a different human element to everything. I like to keep things as real as possible. I know with that dog as I was doing the video, the dog had a bit of flatulence on my lap just as I'm doing the video. We didn't incorporate that of course-
Tim Neary: Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: ... on the property video tour, but it was pretty funny.
Tim Neary: Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: I'm sure there are bloopers about it. The thing is that people go "You're the guy that had the dog on your lap on the video."
Tim Neary: It stands out. Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: It creates a point of difference.
Tim Neary: Yeah.
Tim Heavyside: You stand out a little bit. Because otherwise at the end of the day, another guy in a suit with some shiny shoes and a name badge, you're another sort of person. If you can stand out a little bit but not too far out, you've got to keep it professional. It runs a fine lien I guess, Tim.
Tim Neary: And working within what you're comfortable with and you're very brave for using kids and animals because you can't ... You can't control them when the camera's running. That example of the dog letting off is probably a good one. It is a good idea, isn't it, to bring your own personality and your own stuff to the table so that people can get to know who you are at the same time that they're getting to see the bigger picture as well.
Tim Heavyside: Most importantly though, you don't let your ego get in the way of what's actually you're there ... You're there to serve the vendor. You're there to serve the buyers. A lot of agents don't understand that it's a service industry. When people say customer service, you just think that someone's going to pick up your bags. This serving ... You've really got to put yourself out there. Some people are nice about that and some people are not so nice, but you've got to keep yourself consistent in serving people.
Tim Neary: Tim, one last question. This is the business ... The cornerstone of this business is getting listings and selling them, getting properties and selling them. When you go into a listings presentation, what is it that you've got on your mind? What do you want to achieve when you walk in?
Tim Heavyside: Okay. I'm prepared on the phone call when I've set up the appointment to gather as much information about why I was called, why I'm going there in the first place. That could be that I'm prospecting that particular vendor or they've asked me to come in for whatever ... So I've got to understand why. What's motivating them or me to get into there? Getting all the information ahead of time and being prepared is key. Getting to the home in a timely manner and visualising where I'm going to actually have the board out the front is what I do when I arrive at the property so I know exactly where I want the board. My name's on that board and it's a Fletchers board.
When I go into the home, it's not about me. It's about them. My priorities are asking discerning questions getting to what's important to them and how I can be their solution. Then not talking about me and sometimes of course someone brings up "I've got a Cavoodle dog." It's so easy because I've got a Cavoodle dog as well. I go "Oh, I've got a Cavoodle dog. Oh, my dog's Chiko. He's two. How old's your dog." That's sort of drawing away.
Tim Neary: Start building rapport.
Tim Heavyside: If you feel a rapport, you might want to. That's okay, but it's not a have-to. It's not an "I have to." You then understand what's driving them, what's important to them, and solving that solution as quick as possible.
Tim Neary: Tim, it's been a real pleasure having you on the show this morning. Thank you very much for your time. I wish you all the best for another very, very strong 2017.
Tim Heavyside: Thanks for having me on the show. I'm very grateful. Thanks, Tim. I wish you all the best.
Tim Neary: Nice one, Tim. Thank you very much.
Remember to follow us on all the social media stuff: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin. You can follow we too on Twitter, @timothyjneary, if you want to do that. If you've enjoyed today's show, please leave us a five-star review on iTunes. It's the best way for new listeners to find us and for them to hear the great content that we are putting out. As always, realestatebusiness.com.au is where you'll find us. There's plenty of stories there on the business of real estate across the whole of Australia and on my guest today, Tim Heavyside. Thanks again for tuning in. We'll see you next week. Goodbye.