Industry Insiders: A column featuring the experience and opinions of leading industry proponents brought to you by The Real Estate Voice.
Company or organisation Agency HQ
Job title Chief Executive Officer
What attracted you to the real estate industry (and when)?
I started my career as a livestock auctioneer. A family friend who worked in real estate invited me to conduct an on-site property auction and I was hooked.
What do you love most about the industry?
The industry is fast-paced and always looking to innovate and change — and working with a lot of successful, motivated people.
What do you consider your proudest moment or greatest achievement (in the industry)?
I have had a lot of great moments and received some top awards. But the proudest moment is watching the agents who took a leap of faith to join me at Agency HQ grow successful businesses and take home more money.
Biggest challenges in the industry? How has the pandemic affected the way people buy, sell and rent property?
For us, the pandemic has validated the necessity for full remote operations. What agents are seeing is that there is no need for costly fit-outs, big shop windows and carrying large overheads.
All our agents are set up remotely and have everything they need at their fingertips. Buyers and sellers understand virtual tours; buying at online auctions; and sales records that continue to get broken, even with the latest shutdown.
Latest real estate/economic trends affecting your state or region?
We cover Queensland and NSW. Although all areas are very strong, it is fantastic to see the growth in regional areas. These trends should continue.
With everyone being able to work remotely, regional areas offer a more affordable and better quality of living for many.
Our commercial and industrial agents have also seen tremendous growth, with our Brisbane team having record months.
How would you improve the process and incentives for property ownership, from an owner-occupier and investment perspective?
The most obvious area for Sydney is to change stamp duty. The NSW Government is apparently looking at changes and this would help young families looking to buy first homes and make it easier for empty nesters to downsize.
What’s the biggest misconception people have when buying or building a home?
A couple of areas when buying — people underestimate the costs, including solicitors, banks and stamp duty.
Recently, people have also been spoilt with low interest rates. I think many underestimate the difference in payments just a couple of interest points makes.
What tips would you give for future-proofing an investment?
If you are buying an apartment, make sure you look at the strata report carefully and make sure there are no big building repairs on the horizon.
What should prospective buyers look for when choosing a property?
Everyone has different needs, depending on the time of life. Young couples want good schools; easy access to parks; and other families around. That’s why the newly planned communities are so popular. If you are making a big move interstate, etc., it’s a good idea to rent for a while before buying — to see if you like the area.
In terms of technology and interaction, what do you think buying a home will be like in 2030?
People expect quick response times. A lot more information that was once available only to agents will be accessible to the public. I think there will always be a need for an agent, but the way they do business will be different: paperless; and working virtually, with no large overheads.