Area Specialist model expands to Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula agent Lloyd Hillard is looking to give other agents the chance to be their own boss while earning much more than in a traditional real estate office.

Mr Hillard and Michael Choi, founder of real estate agency platform Area Specialist, opened their new Mornington Peninsula business this week.

The rapidly expanding Area Specialist platform provides technology and marketing support while offering agents a greater slice of their gross commissions than in a traditional franchise.

“Michael and I are replicating his successful Keysborough office in Melbourne’s east down here on the Mornington Peninsula,” Mr Hillard said.

“We give real estate professionals the option to be their own mobile agent where they earn 100 per cent of their gross commission while paying a monthly fee for the Area Specialist support.

“If they want that team environment they can choose to work from our new office and still keep 75 per cent of their commission.”

Mobile agents also can grow their own rent roll, which isn’t an option under the traditional model.

Real estate runs in the blood for Mr Hillard, whose father and stepfather were real estate agents.

“When I first got into real estate it was all about the real estate agency,” Mr Hillard said.

“Now it is all about the agent.

“Before Covid, we saw the way things were changing and set up an independent office but we quickly realised that agents need that back-end support.”

Covid changed the way many people approached their work, whether it was working from home prompting buyers into areas such as the Mornington Peninsula, or real estate agents who discovered a more efficient method of reaching their goals.

“Michael and I are taking the back seat as directors of a business which is there to support the agent putting their personal brand out there,” Mr Hillard said.

“Although the office will look like a modern real estate agency, we are really in the business of a 360-degree set-up with admin, branding, lead generation and trust accounting.

“I like the analogy with a pilot. When agents are selling something which is someone’s biggest asset, they can get caught in the trap of being the pilot flying the plane as well as trying to do everything else, serving the drinks and nuts and checking the fuel.”

Area Specialist gives agents more time for their core business, focusing on the client to give them the best result.

Mr Choi said the Area Specialist model puts more money in the pockets of the agents who sell the property.

“We want to partner with top-performing agents and help them start their own business without the cost, time or risk associated with a traditional real estate business,” Mr Choi said.

“We have a proven track record with agents earning $1 million to $2 million in commission in our system. With us they get their own branding, they get paid more and have tax benefits.” 

The Area Specialist name really means what it says, Mr Hillard said.

“We want to attract the top agents who really know their own locality.”

With the market starting to soften agents will need reliable, efficient technology support more than ever, Mr Hillard continued.

“I have researched a lot of different brands and agencies. To me it is a no-brainer that this is the best model and opportunity for agents to serve their clients and earn what they are worth.”

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Noel Mengel

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

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