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The debate: Are sales people the most important people in the real estate office?

We ask REINSW members which side of the debate they fall on.


Andrew Sorensen
Director/ Principal at R&H Charmhaven

Ask any salesperson this question and the answer will most surely be yes! However, after 12 years in the profession of real estate I can now, with a high level of confidence, confirm this statement.

Sales people actually are the most crucial part of the real estate machine. While the receptionist may be the ‘director of first impressions’ for the agency, the salesperson is an extension of the office. While the property management team may spend the day meticulously wading through maintenance requests, repair quotes and communicating with landlords, salespeople are charging forward oblivious to the rejection that they face.

External optimist

A salesperson needs to be the eternal optimist, as they never have a guaranteed income. Salespeople are forced to constantly remain positive and upbeat. This outlook only strengthens an office, and I have seen on many occasions where a salesperson has been able to look at a rental issue with a glass half full attitude and lighten the heavy load on the property management team.


In a business sense, property management provides a steady income that doesn’t vary greatly. In most cases, this can be the most certain income that a real estate office can get.

The simplest demonstration to the answer of this question is to look at some of the most successful real estate businesses in operation today. You may have noticed a large number of independent brands and boutiques operating around Australia, a number of which started as top sales people splintered off to create their own versions of real estate businesses.

Sales people are crucial to real estate as they provide the energy, the enthusiasm, the never say die attitude, the entrepreneurship, the vision and the highly competitive nature required to drive growth in any market. 



Alex Hart
Principal at Hart Real Estate

Our office has had an outstanding quarter in sales. Our bottom line this quarter will be great. I’m happy.


Our sales team was the main contributor to this spike in our bottom line. However, if I were predicting the health of our business in five years’ time, would their performance this quarter be the most important factor in my calculations? I’m not so sure.

It’s fantastic to have a great sales team. It’s even better to have a genuine rainmaker or two in your office.

However, your rainmaker may desert you and the sales market is unpredictable. If you don’t also invest in the other areas of your business, you’ll likely struggle to thrive in the long term.

Critical players

While sales people are important, other team members are just as critical.

First among these is the property management team. A strong, efficient property management team significantly contributes to the health of the entire office by creating a solid basis for a lasting and viable business, creating an administrative structure for the office, and providing an excellent training and professional development ground. In a well-run office, the property management team contributes a great deal to sales, as well as providing a valuable and reliable source of revenue in its own right.


Our office has always had a strong property management team. It has been galvanised by the recent explosion of regulatory and compliance obligations to become an extremely efficient and effective administrative operation. This has helped to improve the functioning of the office as a whole, which benefits everyone, including the sales team.

Neither the sales nor the property management teams could operate effectively, and successfully compete in the marketplace, without strong administrative, HR, and IT/ marketing support. Investing in these teams is also essential to the health of the business over the medium to long term.

This article was first published in the September 2014 edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.