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Insight: Andrew Lutze reveals how to make it in sales

By Andrew Lutze - Partner and Sales Executive at Cunninghams Property

When I was fresh out of school, I hopped over to Ireland to coach rugby, play music and travel. When I returned, I planned on going to university to do nursing, as a strategy to go into physiotherapy the back way. But I deferred university to figure out what I really wanted to do.

My friend was working as a property manager at the time and told me about his day-to-day job. I thought it sounded really interesting; get out of the office and into the car, drive around and meet people. So I applied for two jobs. I went with Cunninghams Property because they offered me $14 more a fortnight. I was all about the money at that age. But it turned out to be a really good decision for me..


Into real estate

I started my career in real estate as a cadet. I learnt all the facets from reception and property management to trust accounting, but I predominantly spent my time in leasing and sales, being a sponge.

Back then, we couldn’t email contracts. We had to physically run them around to solicitors’ offices, so there was a lot of time in the car.

I spent about two and a half years in a mentoring program with John Cunningham as his PA and shadow. After that, I went out as an individual salesperson.

People person

The people aspect of the industry is what I love most. Real estate isn’t a profession for me – it’s a passion. I love the thrill of the chase and getting the deals done. It’s great when you receive a wonderful testimonial from someone, about how you’ve helped change their life.

Early on in my career, when I was a bit naïve and young, it used to be all about the dollars. Now it’s definitely about making a bit of a difference.

Do your research

Once you have your Certificate of Registration, you need to upskill yourself and do your research. The worst thing an agent can do is start with one company, move to another and keep jumping around because you’ll lose momentum.

Real estate is all about momentum.

Don’t wait for an ad to appear in the paper. Approach different agencies. Tell them how their auctions are going. Tell them how their marketing looks compared to competitors. Give them a reason to say “well, this person has shown some initiative and behaviours that we like; they’ll be an asset to our firm”.

Top Tips

Andrew Lutze shares his best advice on starting in sales.

Own it
Get a patch and own that patch. Be known for selling property in that patch. You can do that by letterbox dropping, meeting the shop owners in the area, and getting involved with the local schools and community events. Like any business, you need to invest a bit of time, effort, energy and money into this.

You really should have a mentor, whether they are in your office or from somewhere else. They will guide you along the way and they’ll certainly share some wisdom and experience about how you can accelerate your career.

There are a number of trainers and sales agents out there that can give you wisdom and training platforms. The faster you can upskill yourself, the faster your confidence will grow and you’ll start to become more of an agent that people can trust.

Be a team player
As much as sales people are individuals, you need to be a team player. When I’m looking for good sales people, I like it when it says on their resume that they’ve played some competitive sport. Most team players just see what they need to do and do it.

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