By D'Leanne Lewis - Laing + Simmons Double Bay
My entry into real estate started at the ripe old age of 20. I had been working in the legal field, but wanted to save some money and travel overseas for a year.
I saw the job advertised as a PA to the Director of Sales at Laing+Simmons Double Bay, and I thought I could probably make some good travelling money by working for such a prestigious firm. My plan was to take off within six to 12 months, travel and have some fun.
My application was successful, but that plan to travel overseas for 12 months never eventuated!
On the march
After a year working in this role, I asked the Principal if I could move into sales. I was told I was too young. I never believed I was too young, so I left the firm and worked for another agency in Double Bay for two years. In my mind, my age was never a barrier, although in hindsight I was very inexperienced and had so much to learn!
I suppose I was lucky because I was then so naive and excited about being ‘in sales’ I didn’t realise how much I didn’t know – and how much I had to learn.
I didn’t grow up in the eastern suburbs – my family came from South Africa – so I didn’t have a database of clients, friends of family or local school contacts that I could utilise. Soon after starting at this other agency, I realised that in order to succeed I had to work longer and harder than anyone else. What helped was that I loved real estate, and after 20 years of selling real estate I still do.
So I worked long and hard and it was difficult. But it was rewarding. After two years working for this agency, Laing+Simmons Double Bay asked me back to work for them.
Within two years I had become an Associate Director. By the age of 30, I became a Principal and owner of the agency along with my four business partners, who included the original owner of the agency who had hired me as a personal assistant 20 years ago.
Rules to live by
My six guidelines by which I live my life are:
- Behave with integrity. As I am in life, that is who I am in work. I believe in karma. If you are a good person, good things in life and business will come to you. If you are a bad or dishonest person, then sooner or later it will catch up with you.
- Treat everyone how you would want to be treated.
- Never judge a book by its cover. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
- Always be the best you can be. If you are always learning, you are always growing.
- Never, ever give up.
- Be thankful!
I believe that we now have a great opportunity in this industry to make a positive difference to how the general public views real estate agents. In the past, there has been a negative slant about agents and I believe this is changing for the better and has been for a few years.
This article was first published in the March 2013 edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.
It is only through agents dealing and acting with the highest level of integrity that public opinion will change. I believe our industry is constantly moving towards better and brighter things.
I am excited to be a part of it!