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Young blood: The next generation of agents

What the next generation of agents think about hard work, passion and dedication.

Finding your place in a fast-paced, competitive industry where building trust and solid networks is vital, can be tough.

But armed with passion for the industry and dedication to providing excellent client service, the next generation of real estate agents are thriving.

When you speak to Helen Woodhouse, Kyle Dewey and Tiana Mueller it’s hard not to get caught up in their enthusiasm and be inspired by their can-do attitude, as they speak about an industry they clearly love.

Though each specialises in a different area of practice, each is equally dedicated to their client base and determined to make a positive impact on the industry they are so proud to be part of. While still competitive and motivated to get ahead of the pack, these agents also value the support and guidance of their more seasoned counterparts as key to success.

All three agents were finalists in the 2012 REINSW Awards for Excellence, with Helen and Kyle both winning their category, and are still pinching themselves.

As the only regional agent in her residential sales category, Helen said she was pleased to be a finalist but didn’t think she had much of a chance of taking home the top prize.

“I think there is a bit of a stigma that country people maybe aren’t as good as Sydney agents,” she said.

“To be announced as the winner was overwhelming. It proves that you don’t have to be selling million dollar apartments in the city to be the very best.

"Being selected as the winner across the whole of NSW proves that despite perception, regional real estate agents are equally as good as our city counterparts.

“It means so much to be recognised for all the hard work I put into my job every day. I love my job and to be recognised as a ‘young industry leader’ is just incredible!”

Kyle was equally surprised to be named the winner in his commercial agent category. Kyle said he had always enjoyed attending the Awards night with his agency, but to be up for an Award made for a whole new experience.

“It was phenomenal when they called out my name, it was such a great feeling, knowing that the last eight and a half years working in real estate boiled down to one defining moment, with me being recognised for my commitment to the industry on a state level,” he said.


 
Helen Woodhouse
Fitzpatricks Real Estate, Wagga Wagga

 

Helen has been working in the real estate industry for more than six years and completed her Real Estate Licensing Course through REINSW in 2009. Before working in real estate, Helen worked as a Conveyancing Clerk for a law firm where she gained valuable knowledge in dealing with the legal side of listings and sales. She is dedicated to having the highest level of training and knowledge to best serve her clients.

Is age a barrier?
“As a young agent, trying to prove that despite my age I’m just as professional and experienced as other agents is a challenge sometimes.


Age is a little bit of a barrier, but knowing the market, knowing the product and being able to speak confidently about what you are selling makes it easier. These days 70 per cent of my business comes from referrals, which definitely helps to overcome the ‘age issue’.”

What is the most challenging part of working in a regional area?
“I think we have to work a lot harder to make the same money. I need to sell three or four properties to make the same commission as some agents that sell one property in Sydney. But I love where I live, and I love what I do, so it’s not so bad,” she said with a laugh.

“Another challenge that I think is ‘unique’ to areas outside of Sydney is marketing. It can often be tough to convince vendors to spend money on marketing their property. You open Sydney newspapers and you see pages and pages of marketing for properties, but here most vendors can’t see the value in it; you really need to be convincing about why marketing is an essential ingredient for a successful sale.”

How can Principals keep young agents?
“Generally, I think having good support staff in an agency really helps. They keep you motivated and knowing you are working with people that are passionate about what they do really makes a difference. I think also having your directors’ support in terms of staying up-to-date with technology and training, especially as laws and regulations are constantly changing, is really important too.

“I think the fact that I love my job is what will keep me going. I love helping people, getting referrals, trying to go above and beyond to make sure my clients are happy – even if it’s a bit stressful for me. I love watching first homebuyers make that purchase; it’s great to be part of that really special and important time in their lives.”

What do you want to achieve this year?
“I like to set really ambitious goals that motivate me to succeed and achieve. I really just want to be better than I was last year; selling more houses, having more happy customers and becoming more knowledgeable in my role.”


 
Tiana Mueller
Peter Fitzgerald Real Estate

 

When she finished school in 2009 Tiana began studying to become a band manager, but a change of heart put her on a whole new career path.

Deciding she wanted to plunge into the workforce, Tiana followed in her father’s footsteps. He had forged a successful career in real estate, first in Wollongong and later in Sydney.

Starting out as a property officer, but it wasn’t long before she became a property manager and has never looked back.

 

What is your biggest challenge as a property manager?
“Age is a challenge. A lot of people hesitate to trust me to manage their investment property. The job of a property manager can be very challenging some days. There are days when you walk into the office, and there are repairs and complaints coming left right and centre from tenants and landlords. Having to juggle it all can be challenging, but that is what I thrive on: multitasking and solving problems.

How can Principals keep young agents?
“I think diversity and opportunity in a role is a great thing. That’s what I love about my role. I also think it’s really important to be able to learn about all aspects of real estate, sales and property management, which will help young agents decide what they want to do.

“Another important thing is training and development. The real estate industry is forever changing rules and regulations, and for a property manager it is paramount to know these. It is important for young agents to keep up-to-date, as I know that my knowledge of these is what has helped me gain the trust of my clients over the past two years. “

What do you want to achieve this year?
“I would like to continue to grow as a property manager and in my role. I am forever learning and that is what is so great about this industry. My main goal is to get my real estate licence as I believe that will help me with my career.”


Kyle Dewey
Commercial Property Group
 
 

Kyle has worked in the real estate industry since 2004. He began working in sales support, where he specialised in property marketing coordination and filled in the gaps for the sales and leasing team before moving to his current role as a sales and leasing executive.

In 2006, Kyle took on the role of property manager, with the responsibility of maintaining over 120 commercial assets. Kyle is an accredited auctioneer and a licensed real estate agent.


What is the hardest part of your job?
“I think for a lot of young agents the hardest part is patience. We want everything to fall into place now! But you learn that over time, you build your profile, and people start to know your name and know you. It takes time, but if you are committed it all comes together and is extremely rewarding.

“I think patience is a virtue and is particularly important for commercial agents. Sometimes in commercial sales and leasing it can take a fair bit of time and effort to get the transaction over the line. You really need to have a ‘never say die’ attitude to work on something over that period of time. But at the end of the day when you are successful and have satisfied clients and you know the deal is over the line it’s very rewarding. If you do the hard yards, you can secure a client for life. It can be challenging, at times but it’s totally worth it. My motto is ‘success is the only option!’”

How can Principals keep young agents?
“Support and having opportunities to develop is really important because it helps to keep you motivated. Both of the directors at my agency, Hayden Bennett and Matthew McHardy, are really supportive and they really have set up a good working environment. Everyone works with great synergy and it’s a brilliant place to work, which I think is really important to a lot of agents that are starting out in their career. Having these two mentors teach me so much over the years has been a vital ingredient to my success”

What do you want to achieve this year?
“In 2010 I became an accredited auctioneer. I knew from the moment I saw my first live auction that it’s something I wanted to do. I was just captivated by the auctioneer. So, this year I am looking forward to getting a bit more involved in that side of my career. I’ll still work as a commercial agent, but on weekends I’ll be trying to do more auctioneering. Winning the REINSW Novice Auctioneer Competition for the St George & Sutherland Shire Division and being a State finalist were great milestones that I achieved last year, and I’m very grateful to the REINSW for the opportunity”


This article was first published in the February 2013 edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.