By Hedgie Gundry
Smart, hardworking and dedicated, Colliers International’s Edward Gorddard is considered to be one of our industry’s brightest young stars.
What does your role involve?
I’m currently an Analyst for the NSW Residential Team at Colliers International. My role can be broken down into two parts. First, I manage all of our enquiry and sales reports from both an internal and external perspective. These reports allow us to evolve and develop our sales techniques and are also essential for our clients. Secondly, I also focus on research to support our new business strategies.
How long have you been in the real estate industry?
I joined Colliers International in 2016 in a part-time role as a weekend host while I was studying for my Bachelor of Property Economics at UTS. This was my first real estate role. Since then, I’ve taken on more responsibility and have transitioned into my full-time position while studying in the evenings.
Did you always want to work in the real estate industry?
When I was going through high school, I thought I’d pursue a classic profession, such as accountancy or law. Thankfully I travelled overseas when I finished school, which gave me a chance to reflect on what I really wanted to do. At this time, I spoke to family and friends who work in the real estate industry and I could see how much they enjoyed it. I started my degree and haven’t looked back.
Who do you look up to in the real estate industry and why?
There's no one specific individual, but there are two groups of people I really look up to.
The first consists of our support teams, or what I call the “quiet achievers” of the industry. They have such an impact on the success of individuals, teams and organisations. They get the job done without any fuss and are the backbone of the industry. Some people notice, some people don't, but they are crucial to how we operate.
The second group I look up to are our high achievers, especially at Colliers International. They are a huge motivator for me in terms of what can be accomplished.
“You have to start somewhere and I want to learn from every task I do and then move on. For me, it's not just about learning from what you're taught and what you do, it's also being willing to improve on that.”
What do you enjoy most about your job?
A couple of things. I enjoy the variety and having to adapt to the ups and downs of the residential market. The opportunities and challenges are always changing and every day is different. The other thing I enjoy is the collaborative nature of my role. I’m always working with someone, especially on the systems training side of things.
What are the key skills needed to be successful in your job?
Top of my list is a willingness to learn, especially being so young. You have to start somewhere and I want to learn from every task I do and then move on. For me, it's not just about learning from what you're taught and what you do, it's also being willing to improve on that.
Being proactive and putting your best foot forward is also really important. This is especially the case from a management perspective, as managers recognise when you’re being proactive and they're more confident in your ability. Being proactive, even when it's a challenge, is even better.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been two highlights so far.
Winning the Operational Support category at the 2019 REINSW Awards for Excellence was definitely one. It was a bit of a shock to the system, as I genuinely wasn’t expecting to win given the quality of the other finalists. But it was a proud moment, especially being recognised by other industry professionals for my hard work.
The other highlight was finishing my degree late last year. Juggling full-time work and study is really challenging. For months, I’d finish a 9- or 10-hour working day and then head to my lectures until 9 or 10 o’clock at night, three evenings a week. Completing these studies was extremely rewarding.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Now I have some more free time having finished my studies, I’d like to participate in more industry events and committees. One of my goals is to get out of my comfort zone, meet other industry colleagues and engage with renowned real estate experts to improve not just my residential knowledge, but other product lines too. Even if I have to go on my own, it’s all character building.
Late 2018 and 2019 was a difficult market for the residential sector, but we all learnt a lot. I know that I certainly did in terms of processes, reporting and research strategies. I really want to increase my knowledge of current trends to make sure we adapt well to more favourable market conditions into 2020.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
I play a fair bit of sport after work, which provides a real switch off from the hustle and bustle of my day-to-day job. I also love getting out of Sydney and heading up the coast to camp and surf. I try to do this once a month, as it’s really relaxing and provides a nice variety to the nine to five work routine.
Is there a phrase you live by?
I have this phrase written on a note stuck to my computer, so I’m constantly reminded of it: ‘You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.’ It's a good reminder that in order to achieve your goals, you have to start somewhere.
What’s the best advice you would give to someone just starting out?
I’m still only at the beginning of my career, but if I was to offer advice it would be to just keep your door open for any opportunities that come your way. And by opportunities, I mean even the mundane tasks you might get asked to do, as you never know where these opportunities will take you. You learn and grow, making you better in the long run. Don't be scared and put your hand up for anything.