By HEDGIE GUNDRY
From a young age, Simone Luxford, Director at Essential Property Wealth, was intrigued with how to create wealth from property and has gone on to build her own successful property portfolio. Today, as a top buyers’ agent and a valued member of the REINSW Buyers’ Agents Chapter Committee, Simone is focused on shaping and elevating the industry in any way she can.
How long have you been in the real estate industry?
I’ve been in the industry for around 11 years, but realised from quite a young age that investing in property would be an excellent long-term wealth-creation strategy. I purchased my first property when I was 25 and, when it doubled in value after four years, it sparked something in me. I was doing a business degree at the time, majoring in accounting, and my passion for real estate grew from there. I was intrigued by the dynamics of how you can create wealth from property.
After I graduated, I went into brand consulting and market research – one of my clients was a buyers’ agent. I helped him with his search strategies and also began to build my property portfolio. By then, I just had this burning desire to work in the industry and help people buy quality properties.
After a couple of incredible opportunities working with Jacque Parker at House Search Australia and the team at National Property Buyers, I established Essential Property Wealth in 2018. It had always been a goal of mine to nurture and grow my own successful business.
Why did you choose to specialise as a buyers’ agent?
During my early days of property research and investment, I realised most people don’t know what they don’t know.
You need to ask yourself some simple and specific questions when making property investment decisions – and, if you don’t ask them, it’s easy to make a mistake. I wanted to become a buyers' agent to help people avoid making costly mistakes by giving them the information they need to make informed decisions and buy quality investments.
“I think what I love the absolute most is securing the best quality property, whether it's a home or an investment, within or under a client’s budget, and just sharing in their happiness and celebration when I deliver the good news. It's so rewarding.”
What do you enjoy most about your job?
This is a tricky question, because I love everything about what I do!
I love going to work every day. I love the research. I love building relationships and I’m constantly meeting new people. I love the variety, as no two clients or purchases are the same. But I think what I love the absolute most is securing the best quality property, whether it's a home or an investment, within or under a client’s budget, and just sharing in their happiness and celebration when I deliver the good news. It’s so rewarding.
Who do you look up to in the real estate industry and why?
From a buyers’ agent perspective, it would have to be Jacque Parker, as she gave me my first career opportunity and was integral in mentoring me through the day-to-day ins-and-outs of the business. She truly helped me to gain the valuable experience I needed. We both share a passionate and ethical approach to doing the right thing for our clients, and both strive to shape and lift the industry.
I also have to mention John McGrath and his early books, You Don't Have To Be Born Brilliant and You, Inc. These fell into my hands when I was researching the industry and how to transition from a corporate role to a business owner. His stories of tenacity, passion and mindset inspired me to take on the challenge and succeed. There are little bits of gold in those books that still inspire me today.
What are the critical skills needed to be a successful buyers’ agent?
You must be a people person. You need to have the confidence to put your hand out and introduce yourself. You need to spark conversations and communicate articulately with selling agents, clients and other buyers’ agents – with everybody. You also need excellent research skills and a determination to go the extra mile until you find that perfect property. Exceptional negotiation skills are, of course, crucial. You need to spot a good opportunity and go for the win-win. In terms of personal skills, you have to have stamina, passion and resilience. You also have to be patient and never give up. I like to say you need to be your clients’ ‘Energizer Bunny’. You need to keep going.
“If you want to become a buyers’ agent, my advice would be to take it slowly. Buying someone else’s home is a big responsibility. Do the study required, get the right qualifications and secure work experience with the best in the industry to help you succeed.”
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning an industry award has been on my list of long-term career goals for a while. So being nominated as a finalist in both the REINSW Awards for Excellence and the North Shore Local Business Awards last year was terrific.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Top of my list this year is actually to win an REINSW Award for Excellence! I hold these prestigious awards in very high esteem. They’re not given out lightly and people work hard for them.
From a business perspective, my goal is to continue growing organically. I’ve just hired a new team member and I’m currently recruiting for a buyers’ agent who I can train up to deliver quality, gold-star client service.
I also want to focus on our new property management offering, which I’ve been working on behind the scenes.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
I’m a mum of two kids, so I’m busy running a business and a household seven days a week. When I’m not working, I spend my time with my family.
We love going on new adventures, camping, four-wheel driving and exploring new places, especially off-road. You never know where a bush track will take you!
I also love renovating and taking on new restoration projects. Even if it’s sanding back an old piece of furniture and learning how to whitewash it, I’ll give it a go.
Is there a phrase you live by?
Where there’s a will, there’s always away.
What’s the best advice you would give to someone just starting out?
Many people come into the industry thinking they’ll be driving around in an expensive car and making loads of money in the first 12 months. But it takes time to be the best at your job, to build the right skills and gain valuable experience. If you want to become a buyers’ agent, my advice would be to take it slowly. Buying someone else’s home is a big responsibility. Do the study required, get the right qualifications and secure work experience with the best in the industry to help you succeed. Because that’s what you ultimately want. Everybody wants to succeed.