FRANCHISE NEWSNEWSQLD

Area Specialist drives top results for Bayside duo

Brisbane agents Debbie Watkins and Ryan Connor say their partnership with fast-growing real estate network Area Specialist is powering them to their strongest sales results.

The pair opened their Area Specialist Bayside office in Cleveland in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs in October last year. Now they say they have only one regret: that they didn’t make the switch earlier.

In the first seven months of operation they wrote more than $700,000 in gross commission, all of which they keep in the arrangement with Area Specialist. That GCI is up 25 per cent on their previous best results.

Ms Watkins and Mr Connor are long-term local residents in the area who have both worked in real estate for nine years.

That expertise has helped them build a loyal base of clients in the leafy suburbs of the Redland City Council region on the southern shores of Moreton Bay.

After working in the traditional real estate franchise model they feel they are now appropriately rewarded for their hard work.

“We opened in October and by November we realised we needed a property management department so we brought in Debbie Harley who has 20 years of experience as a property manager,” Ms Watkins said.

“We have many clients who are investors so with Area Specialist we are able to offer them the full package whether they are buying, selling or renting their properties.”

The rental portfolio has quickly grown to 60 properties, an income stream that was not available to the duo before joining Area Specialist.

Denise Walker, with 30 years of real estate experience, has also joined the team as a third sales agent.

“It helps that Ryan and I are hands-on working as a team,” Ms Watkins said.

“Both of us are there for the open homes, there are times when we are at properties to help with cleaning before going on sale. If we need to go to a store to pick up cushions for the photo shoot we are happy to do that too.

“We wanted to open an office where there was trust, empathy and support for our clients. We go above and beyond for all of them whether they are vendors, buyers, landlords or tenants.”

While the financial rewards are attractive for agents joining the Area Specialist network, Ms Watkins said the best part of the job is seeing the satisfied clients who become repeat customers.

With the boom period during Covid many interstate buyers discovered that the attractions of Bayside suburbs of Brisbane had been a well-kept secret.

 “About 30 to 40 per cent of our buyer interest is from interstate,” Ms Watkins said.

“It is only 25km to the city, there is a train line, the bay and the islands are on your doorstep and it is a half-hour drive to the Gold Coast.”

The diverse market in the area can range from a $200,000 townhouse to $4 million properties.

“We do work with a lot of developers and we have just sold five townhouses off the plan,” Ms Watkins said.

“The buyer energy has softened a bit although I wouldn’t say prices have dropped. But it is going back to an old-school real estate market where you have to work with your buyers more.”

Area Specialist founder Michael Choi is thrilled with the partnership with two highly skilled agents who offer exactly what the sign out the front states – the local knowledge and experience that delivers the best service for customers at any stage of their real estate journey.

“They have achieved so much in such a short time and we look forward to a long-term relationship where we help each other’s business grow further,” Mr Choi said.

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Noel Mengel

Noel Mengel is a freelance journalist and author based in Brisbane.

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