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Focus on your strengths, delegate the rest: one agent’s mantra for success

By Malavika Santhebennur
11 October 2023 | 1 minute read
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South Australian agent Sally Cameron has reaped the benefits of identifying her strengths, staying in her lane, and employing a team who fills the gaps in other areas of the business.

The TOOP+TOOP Real Estate sales agent has soared from 90th in 2022 to 36th spot in the REB Top 100 Agents 2023 ranking, after selling 93 homes for $209.4 million in the 2022 calendar year.

She also jumped from 19th last year to ninth in this year’s Top 50 Women in Real Estate and placed third in the Top 50 Agents South Australia 2023 ranking.

Ms Cameron credited her growth to concentrating on her strengths and employing a strong team to perform the remaining tasks.

“Staying in my lane and doing what I’m good at has helped me succeed,” she told REB.

“I’ve filled the gaps by hiring the most amazing team of women. The stronger my team has become, the more successful I’ve become.”

Spotting strengths

According to Ms Cameron, her strengths include listing, negotiating and selling, along with understanding homes and how owners could improve them and their chances of selling their home.

“I make sure owners don’t spend money where it’s not required, and only put in the money where it’s going to increase the value of the property,” she said.

“My background is in buying and renovating high-end homes. I’m up to my eighth home now. My target market is people like me.”

Ms Cameron delegates other tasks to her all-female team of four, including a business manager and agent, who accompanies her to open homes, builds signboards, creates brochures and assists with contracts.

Looking after buyers

Ms Cameron’s philosophy centres on nurturing buyers, and as such, she creates several touchpoints with potential buyers and speaks to them at open inspections to understand their preferences if the current home is not to their liking.

She communicates the information to her buyer manager, who then nurtures the buyers and alerts them when a property that matches their preferences is listed for sale.

“I know a lot of agents nurture buyers well now but it’s something I have concentrated on from the start of my career,” Ms Cameron said.

This strategy led to her selling 54 per cent of her properties off-market, which minimises her days on market.

She primarily sold high-end properties in 2022, adding that she sold around 50 per cent of the properties in South Australia that sold for between $6 million and $7 million.

“I had the buyers. They didn’t want their properties to go to the market so they paid a premium,” she said.

It takes buyers who are in the market for top-end properties longer to find properties that match their preferences, meaning Ms Cameron has more time to nurture relationships with them.

“Buyers looking at the $1 million or $2 million price point are in and out of the market so quickly that it’s harder to forge a relationship with them,” she said.

“But the more expensive the property, the thinner the buyer pool, and the easier it is to pinpoint potential buyers because they typically have been looking for so long,” she said.

Ms Cameron also has a copywriter in her team (a former lawyer with a strong understanding of high-end homes) and a new agent that she recruited earlier this year.

Veteran agents thrive in tough markets

When asked how rising interest rates and lower stock levels have impacted her business, Ms Cameron asserted that it has been beneficial for her because vendors are seeking experienced agents as conditions become increasingly challenging.

“When the market was booming around two years ago, people were selling and listing with any agent because everyone could get an amazing result. The buyer didn’t understand how much they were leaving on the table,” she said.

“Now, buyers are scrutinising their agents more because of higher interest rates and understanding that an agent could be leveraging more money out of a sale price. They can clearly see that some agents are not experienced. Cheaper agents are not achieving the strong results that experienced agents are.

“I’ve found the current conditions better for my business. No one needs a good agent until they do. Right now, they do.”

Focus on yourself

Addressing new agents, Ms Cameron warned that real estate is a cutthroat industry but advised them to concentrate on their own business instead of focusing on how another agent might be performing.

“Don’t dwell on what you’ve lost. Focus on moving forward,” she said.

“If you get knocked down, bounce back up. You’ll learn from your mistakes. If you focus on yourself and consistently improve, you’ll become stronger and win listings.”

She concluded: “Once you gain momentum, take advantage of it. Feed off those results to win more listings.”

Click here to view the full REB Top 100 Agents, Top 50 Agents NSW, and the Top 50 Women in Real Estate rankings.

Focus on your strengths, delegate the rest: one agent’s mantra for success
sally cameron toop toop reb gbwxdv
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