Taking the lead

11 October 2021

By TINA LIPTAI

From his first day in the real estate industry, Will Gosse knew he had found his place. But far from the traditional path of sales or property management, he’s forged is own path in management to become a business owner and industry leader.

Will Gosse is one of a new breed of industry leaders and, as a Director at BresicWhitney, he’s changing long-held industry perceptions about leadership.

Though he’s passionate about real estate, Will realised early on that working as an agent wasn’t for him. Instead, he’s built a career focused on the business of real estate and innovating to help the agents around him thrive.

Foundation in finance

Straight out of high school, Will had his sights firmly set on a career in finance and was recruited into a cadet program at investment bank, UBS.

“I was thrust into the world of full-time work at 18, while studying economics at university,” Will explained. “It wasn’t relaxed work and provided a steep learning curve for an inexperienced teenager.”

After three years of fast-paced work and study, Will decided he needed a change.

“I was ambitious, but my plans at the time were to enjoy the student life and take it easy for a bit – that lasted about two weeks,” he laughed.

“I picked up a casual job in real estate as a sales assistant while I finished university and quickly fell for the industry. It was obvious from the beginning that no two days working in this industry were the same.

“I enjoyed the autonomy and the feeling of not being chained to my desk. I also met lots of interesting people.

“All the things that I loved about the real estate industry at the start of my journey are still important to me today.”

“I would like to continue to be a voice of support to the industry and show people who don’t have a background in sales or property management that a great career in real estate is possible.”

Taking the next step

What started as a part-time role quickly became full-time, as the team grew its sales volume and market presence through inner-Sydney Paddington. Will’s team joined BresicWhitney in early 2014.

“I’d never been in a work environment like it – high energy and high focus from everyone,” Will recalled of joining BresicWhitney. “It was run like a big business, but with the heart of a small business. I enjoyed being part of the company, but over time realised sales wasn’t really a match for my personality and I wanted to utilise the skills I’d built in business.”

Moving to leadership

In 2016 Will joined BresicWhitney’s corporate team, which marked another significant shift in his career focus.

“I had a new energy for real estate and my purpose was clear,” he said. “I wanted to make the process of real estate better.

“I had the opportunity to work on exciting and innovative customer and staff projects with the leadership team across all areas of the business. This included launching a free building and strata inspection initiative, the construction of a successful off-market selling platform, the introduction of a centralised CRM, and many other data and creative initiatives.”

Will said that he believes in the value of providing an environment where real estate agents can focus on their careers as agents, and not have to spend their time and attention on managing a business.

“I think that for a real estate business to be successful, there must be a willingness to invest in people and the processes that support them,” he said enthusiastically. “We have a range of admin staff, creatives and other support staff who work in the business to take away the ‘non-sales’ tasks from agents, so they can focus on doing what they are great at.”

Will has continued to expand his role and, in 2019, joined the shareholder group as the only non-sales member, helping set a pathway for others who aspire to be business owners, but not necessarily work as agents.

Combining his experience as an agent with his background in business and finance, Will brings unique insight to tackling day-to-day tasks, as well as and longer-term strategy.

“The way I approach everything is with a problem-solving lens,” he explained. “Experts can apply textbook solutions, but that often confuses and convolutes in a fast-paced property environment.

“Applying yourself practically and efficiently is more important. With a legal issue, for example, there are usually things you can do early on to avoid escalation. I like to find that point where parties walk away satisfied. This is best supported by culture and those around you.

“It’s important to build a culture where people work together to solve problems.”

“I think that for a real estate business to be successful, there must be a willingness to invest in people and the processes that support them.”

The future

Having already packed a lot into the 10 years since he started out in his career, Will is looking forward to expanding on his management role.

“Transitioning from an employee to a business owner has been a huge mental shift,” Will said. “The biggest difference between how I used to work and now, is that when you are an employee you are focused on what you can get from the business – whether that’s money, developing new skills, getting a promotion etc.

“But as an owner, and effective leader, you focus on what you can put back in.

“I am so grateful for the opportunities real estate has given me. I would like to continue to be a voice of support to the industry and show people who don’t have a background in sales or property management that a great career in real estate is possible.”

“I think that for a real estate business to be successful, there must be a willingness to invest in people and the processes that support them.”

“I would like to continue to be a voice of support to the industry and show people who don’t have a background in sales or property management that a great career in real estate is possible.”

Why I love real estate

“There are few other industries where you have the power to make what you want out of your career. Opportunity and autonomy are boundless. I embrace the unpredictability of the real estate industry. In fact, it’s one of the industry’s best attributes – no two days are the same and the consumers’ expectations of us are always changing.

One thing that does frustrate me about real estate is the public perception of the industry. But a generally poor perception is, in itself, our opportunity. It means the bar is low and even a 10 per cent improvement on those expectations will deliver positive experiences.

Our opportunity to do better is something I love.”

Will’s career tips

1. Don’t limit yourself

You don’t need to be in sales or property management to have a great career in real estate. There are different paths you can take in the industry, and I encourage people to explore that. There will always be a need for leadership and independent thought in our industry.

2. Invest in yourself

I’m very supportive of education and training, but it needs to be practical and applicable to make an impact. People who invest in self-development above and beyond the basic requirements of the industry will go far in their careers.

3. Surround yourself with the right people

The people around you have the biggest impact on your success. That’s friends, mentors and colleagues, not just those you work with every day. Spend your time with the people who are going to bring out your best.

Leadership insights

“Without a doubt, one of today’s biggest leadership challenges is COVID. Teams need guidance and support every day, because there’s still so much uncertainty and ambiguity.

Providing regular and up-to-date guidance is important, but you also need to find the balance and not let COVID dictate all the decisions in your business.

It’s very easy to be consumed by the day-to-day issues that crop up in a volatile environment, but those who focus on their broader strategy and future direction – even when things are uncertain – will be rewarded in the years ahead. Invest in your people and processes and don’t lead from a place of fear.

There is always something to worry about. Today it’s COVID, but there have always been other threats to our industry and, in the future, there will be more challenges.

The reason I say this is to highlight that it’s not so much the challenge you face, but how you respond to it that dictates your future. A good leader knows how to get out of the weeds and demonstrate confidence through their choices and strategies, so their teams feel supported.”

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