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How Lynsey Kemp is running ahead of the pack

23 February 2018 Demii Kalavritinos
Lynsey Kemp, Belle Property

Belle Property agent Lynsey Kemp chats with Tim Neary about how her habitual running created a healthy body and mind, leading to her ranking 41st in the Top 50 Women for 2017.

This Balmain agent discusses how being authentic establishes trust with vendors and how to convert competitive advantage into actual business growth.

You will also find out:

  • Her interesting case of selling an old mansion
  • Her true point of difference
  • Why she keeps the sale close to herself

Tune in now to hear all this and much, much more in this episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents!

Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes

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Full transcript

Announcer: The top 100 agents are the best of the best, listing and selling more than any other agent in Australia. These are the practices, actions, and beliefs of the most successful agents in Australian real estate. Raw, honest, and completely uncut.

Tim Neary:    G’Day everyone it's Tim Neary here, I'm editor of Real Estate Business and host of The Secrets of The Top 100 Agents podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Very pleased to welcome on the show today a rank number 41 in the top 50 women for 2017 from Belle Property in Balmain in Sydney, it's Lynsey Kemp. Hello Lynsey and welcome to the show.

Lynsey Kemp:           Thank you Tim. Lovely to be here.

Tim Neary:    That's fantastic to have you. Now, you're a keen runner, so that's all about healthy body, healthy mind, is that right?

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes, definitely.

Tim Neary:    How important is it to be sorta physically fit and in good shape to be a real estate agent?

Lynsey Kemp:           I think it's really important because I think you're constantly dealing with up's and down's and definite high's and low's and difficult situations, and exercise definitely keeps the head clear.

Tim Neary:    Okay, fantastic. How important is it to you to be a real estate agent?

Lynsey Kemp:           I really love my job. I've been doing it for 20 years now. I do love what I do. It's very important.

Tim Neary:    Fantastic. Now, you've got an interesting case at the moment, it's an old mansion that you've got that's going to auction tomorrow I believe.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes, I've got property going to auction tomorrow. I'm excited about this one because it's a lovely old traditional mansion in Balmain East. The building would be sort of 1840's so it's one of the old historic buildings in the area, right down beside the ferry. And one bedroom, it's 11 apartments been converted, and just got a lovely feel with the high ceilings, the white skirting boards. Lovely natural light in that property as well. So, it's a good one.

Tim Neary:    Has that attracted much interest so far?

Lynsey Kemp:           It's had good interest. I think we've probably got a couple of relatively strong buyers. It's not going to go absolutely crazy, but it's hopefully going to sell well.

Tim Neary:    How is the market in Sydney at the moment? Some people are saying it's starting to tail off a little bit.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yeah. I really think that the heat has come out of the market. It's still strong, we're still finding good prices being achieved. Things are just a little bit tougher. Really having to work for those buyers, particularly hard. And building the relationships obviously with the buyers. And in some instances maybe the campaigns are maybe just taking a little bit longer than turning over within that sort of 28 days.

Tim Neary:    Now, people say that it's when the market turns like this that the real sort of strength of the real estate agent comes out.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    When you sort of learn the best lessons. You've been in the business for some time now, in order to be competitive you need to have some kind of a competitive advantage I guess. What would you say is your competitive advantage in the area?

Lynsey Kemp:           I mean obviously there's the local knowledge after having been in the area for 20 years. There's so many buyers and sellers that I know very well. I've got massive database with just having sold for about length of time in Balmain. And because we're doing a lot of sponsorships and so forth, we've got people that we're dealing with on a day-to-day basis, we've got good market share, so we're turning over a good quantity of properties as well. So, dealing with all the hot buyers, and I suppose just our network. Pooling all those buyers from the different suburbs as well.

Tim Neary:    'Cause you've bene in the area for a long time haven't you?

Lynsey Kemp:           I have.

Tim Neary:    You've got longevity in the area.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    You would have sold a couple of properties a couple of times over?

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes. There's a few properties that I've sold up to four times, quite a lot that I've sold three times, but yes multiple sales is not uncommon.

Tim Neary:    Yeah, and that's sort of a real endorsement to the work that you do because people wouldn't come back to you if they didn't like what it was that you were doing.

Lynsey Kemp:           Thank you.

Tim Neary:    What do you think it is that the public wants from a real estate agent, and how can I guess those that are listening to the podcast, putting their own careers together, understand about the right thing to do to have people to come back, and resell those properties over and over and over again?

Lynsey Kemp:           I think they want an agent that they can relate to, that they know that they can trust, and that's open and honest with them, and is communicating with them just in a natural sense, not too cooky obviously, just really being real.

Tim Neary:    And you were saying also its very important also to be a good negotiator. What is a good negotiator? What differentiates a good one from a bad one?

Lynsey Kemp:           Negotiations obviously they are formed in many, many different ways. It's quite often you've got situations where you absolutely have to think out of the box. And it may be along settlements, it might be getting buyers in under licence, a lesser deposit, really just helping them through the whole process. And obviously maximising the sale price for the vendors.

Tim Neary:    So, finding a way to yes, but at the same time just looking after the best interest of the vendor?

Lynsey Kemp:           That's right. And sometimes buyers are a little bit confused because they're looking at lots of properties, so it's really just a case of trying to turn any concerns or negatives they may have about the property into positives.

Tim Neary:    When you started out, did you get a piece of advice from anybody that sort of resonated with you straight away and said, "That's kind of like the core of what I'm going to build the rest of my career around"?

Lynsey Kemp:           Yeah funny enough when I started 20 years ago, one of the first things I remember my boss at the time saying to me was, "Just be yourself. Just be yourself, it's basically like you're selling to your friends. And as long as you're real people will trust you. And they'll want to come back to you."

Tim Neary:    I think that's good advice. And on the other side of that coin as well, if you're not, if you try and pretend to be somebody else, you'll very quickly get found out, won't you?

Lynsey Kemp:           Absolutely.

Tim Neary:    I mean people can see through that. And it comes back to what you said earlier about being real and authentic, and establishing trust with the vendors.

Lynsey Kemp:           Definitely.

Tim Neary:    I guess with the buyers as well.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    And as the business has progressed, are you doing anything more now in your business that you used to do? Any one thing that you do more of? And on the other side of the coin we'll talk about it afterwards, anything less of?

Lynsey Kemp:           I think nowadays it's very much about having got a really good strong team. And my team know exactly what they're doing. So, that's well structured. I've got two admin girls and a co-agent as well working alongside me. So, we're very clear about what tasks we're doing. And I think that's really important because obviously I should get busier, you're just really making sure that everything is absolutely covered.

Tim Neary:    It's an interesting point that you bring up and when we talk to buyers as we do from time to time, they often say they're a little surprised sometimes they talk to the lead agent ... and that's a language that I'll use, that's a word I'll use. They don't notice and they think the real estate agent, and then once they've made the listing, once they've signed the listing agreement then they start dealing with other people. And they find that can be a little surprising for them, but those that don't feel letdown because they always have contact with the lead agent. So, I guess that would be a very important part of it. And you talk about the team dynamic, making sure that the team dynamic works like that. How do you get that right in your team?

Lynsey Kemp:           From a listing perspective, obviously I'm the one that's signing up the properties.

Tim Neary:    Yes.

Lynsey Kemp:           And I'm always present at open for inspections. I think that's exceptionally important because obviously there are occasions when a lot of agents are not present. I think that's one of my points of difference.

Tim Neary:    The trail of the team dynamic.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yeah.

Tim Neary:    And making sure that the seller never feels like they're being neglected by the lead agent.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yeah.

Tim Neary:    Yeah.

Lynsey Kemp:           So it's just all about regular communication with the vendors and the buyers. I always follow-up all the contract orders from a buyer perspective. My co-agent will speak to the other people that have inspected the property. As soon as they become a hot buyer I'm onto them. And with the vendors, I mean obviously from an admin perspective, my team are teeing up appointments and confirming appointments with them and so forth, but anything to do with the sale is certainly me that they hear from.

Tim Neary:    And then when they start to become that hot buyer that's when the negotiations start to happen I would imagine.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    And is there anything that you're doing less of now from an efficiency point of view, than what you were doing when you first started out? And there doesn't have to be.

Lynsey Kemp:           Anything less of now?

Tim Neary:    You know a lot of people talk about they do less telephone calling or they do less of the actual cold calling, or they do less running after bad leads, or they start to recognise that ...

Lynsey Kemp:           Yeah, difficult clients.

Tim Neary:    Yeah, yeah. They start to figure out, just become a little more efficient in their processes.

Lynsey Kemp:           A lot of my time is on the phone, so I must say I'm very efficient with my database, and I think that's a key part in an established agent's future. And actually probably a junior agent starting out really just setting up that database from the upfront, because when I started in real estate 20 years ago, there wasn't such a thing.

Tim Neary:    As a database?

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    Yeah.

Lynsey Kemp:           Not in the same sort of form that offering the same.

Tim Neary:    The CRM systems and things.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    Back in those days ... and I started out as well, not in real estate but when I started out it was just a clean sheet of paper and a pencil.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    And you started making notes. Now the market has changed as you quite rightly say, and from a marketing point of view, social media is the big thing, but you were saying that you also are still a bit believer in print media?

Lynsey Kemp:           We do actually still do a lot of print media. Yeah, definitely, because we have got a lot of buyers moving to our marketplace from the North Shore who may be downsizing, and I think probably there is a certain demographic that do still use print media. We tend to sort of anything sub one and a half maybe not so much, but the premium properties absolutely.

Tim Neary:    Still use that a lot? You also I would assume use the social media and there's a lot more video being done and a lot more photography.

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes, absolutely.

Tim Neary:    Joint photography.

Lynsey Kemp:           Joint photography. Absolutely. Videos, social media.

Tim Neary:    Employing all of those techniques?

Lynsey Kemp:           Yes.

Tim Neary:    Now, Lynsey it's been a pleasure having you in the studio. I've got one last question to ask you, we're sort of coming to the end of our time. Obviously the backbone of real estate is getting the listings and selling them. When you're going into a listings' presentation, how do you prepare yourself for that? What's your mindset as you go in?

Lynsey Kemp:           Well, you've always got to go in really like it's the first appointment of the day. So, for example, from here I'm off to a listing presentation. And you've really got to go in absolutely fresh, keyed up, smiley, all your information on hand, and just be ready to answer any questions to move forward.

Tim Neary:    On your A game. And what kind of information do you have? How do you prepare yourself?

Lynsey Kemp:           Listing presentation obviously all the information in relation to fees, points of difference, the brand, recent sales so we can talk through their property and where they believe it should be sitting in the market. Really then just a timing and everything to hopefully get the ball rolling.

Tim Neary:    Sounds like you sort of anticipate the kind of questions that the vendor might ask you, and then have the answer to those.

Lynsey Kemp:           Absolutely. And I do go through a few proposal with them.

Tim Neary:    Lynsey it's been an absolute pleasure having you in the studio today. Thank you for coming in. And hopefully we'll get you back in the studio sometime in the future and have another chat.

Lynsey Kemp:           Thank you very much.

Tim Neary:    Thank you Lynsey.

            Remember to follow us on all the social media stuff, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. You can follow me too on Twitter @TimothyJNeary if you want to do that. If you've enjoyed today's show please leave us a five star rating on iTunes, it's the best way for us to get new listeners 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 and real estate across the whole of Australia and on my guest today Lynsey Kemp. Thanks again for tuning in, we'll see you next time. Buh-bye.


How Lynsey Kemp is running ahead of the pack
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