Sarah Bell: I’ve got Marcus Chiminello joining us on the Elite Agent AREC lounge. Fresh off the stage yesterday, how did it go?
Marcus Chiminello: I really enjoyed it, Sarah.
Sarah: I loved your message about just cutting away all of the noise and the fat of what agents are doing, and return to the basics.
Marcus: And that’s what it really is. I think it’s easily forgotten. The basics are the basics and they are the simplest things to do. People get complicated and bogged down in technology and distractions rather than sticking with those fundamental basics.
Sarah: I liked what you said about young agents being more concerned with their Instagram accounts than their bank accounts. I think that’s a real sound bite that everyone can take away from that. You don’t do it instead of, do you?
Marcus: No, you’re complementing your basics with things like that rather than having it as a strategy in replacement of the basics.
Sarah: Tell me about your human strategy with your database. You talked about a fit database and going from a quantity database down to a much leaner, high quality database. Was that a bit scary to let go of the records or the numbers?
Marcus: It was initially because it is this giant leap of faith to really focus on a smaller amount of people in the quality database rather than volume.
I don’t think you can really dilute your relationships with those people and I mentioned yesterday about the 80/20 rule: look at you getting 80% of your results from 20% of the people that you interact with. Focus on those people 80% of the time. So flip the attention. Don’t dilute it across 1,000 people when you physically just can’t do it.
Sarah: If you were a young agent starting today, how do you start with now this smorgasbord of tools?
Marcus: Yeah, it’s a difficult one. Yeah. I think there’s three stages of real estate where your number one focus is income when you start. It’s all about doing deals, making money, and surviving and selling everywhere, taking on everything, and you need to get that deal exposure.
Then there really comes to a point where you’re career focused. I’m in this for the long haul, this is not a job, I’m not experimenting with it, I’m in this profession for the long haul. So you focus on career.
Then I think you need to then progress from career to specialisation, to specialising a particular market, particular price point, style of home so people recognise what you stand for as a real estate agent and as a real estate professional.
So what I focused on is becoming an expert in a particular area, a particular price point and over time, people gravitate to me that have got similar homes that I bear a record of selling, and at the end of the day when you look who at makes more money in a profession? A generalist or a specialist? A GP or a brain surgeon? It’s always the specialist.
Real estate is very much like investing. You’re investing a dollar a day. You don’t expect to be a millionaire in a week. So it’s consistently doing the right things over a long period of time. You are set for success.
Problem is, most agents, 85%, 90% are guilty of doing the right things, some of the time. And you’ll get good results some of the time. You’ll have good income some of the time. So it’s all about consistency.
Sarah: What qualities do you think are salient among that high performance echelon that you’re a part of?
Marcus: If you look at guys like, though I’ve never met him I’ve heard really great things like Alexander Phillips, James Tostevin, Gavin Rubinstein, myself, Adrian Bo, but there are so many great operators in Australia, that’d be absolutely ruthless with their time, in not wasting their time, either enjoying it, or really impairing their time into their business. They’re not dawdling, they’re not walking the hallways of the office, they’re not at the water cooler, type of a person.
I think time management is number one thing, because everything else can be learnt. You can learn the scripts and you can learn and adapt it to your own personality, you can learn all that. You can go online and become a really great real estate agent from afar. But I think managing your time and looking after yourself is really important.
Sarah: Wellness and well-being is an increasing trend across all industries where work is hard with the digital world, we’re working all the time. Balance is emerging as the new green. It’s the new thing that we all need to be paying attention to.
Sarah: And so what do you do in that hour a day that you’re talking about?
Marcus: The way that I prioritise things, it’s number one: me. It sounds selfish, but I’ve got to look after myself to have the ability to then look after my family and run a great business. And so, I’m usually up at half past five, it’s gym, it’s just listening to some great music, just starting the day positively. Not letting someone else influence how my day starts.
So I hate those days where you forget to set your alarm and you wake up late and it’s all rush, rush, rush.
Sarah: It’s reactive.
Marcus: And then you have people calling you cause you’re behind and you’re not working on your time you’re working on other time. And people calling you and you’re start your day disastrously. And I hate those days. I feel like just turning my phone off and going, “I’m starting again tomorrow.”
So I start really positively in that way, and have some time to myself. And I’m really passionate about kicking feet, and for me that’s my disconnect. That’s a really great release for me. And then I get home. By the time I get home I have half an hour just to set my day up, send some e-mails to clients, team, make sure my day is already turning, by the time everyone gets into the office.
I always want to get a head start on my top competitors and my colleagues. It’s the reality. And then it’s time with the kids, you know? Time with the kids, my wife, and they’re all off ready to go to school, I’m ready to go to work and the day starts.
Sarah: So it’s a sustainability practce, really?
Marcus: It is. And discipline. Consistent discipline.
Sarah: Starting is not hard, maintaining is hard.
Marcus: Absolutely. You can do it for a day. Anyone can do it for a day.
Sarah: Anyone can do anything for a day, can’t they?
Marcus: I think time management is the equaliser. Because everyone has those days to give.
Sarah: And self-management?
Marcus: Yeah absolutely, and I think self-management comes back to discipline. Like the ability to not have to always be a cannibal to someone else, to have the ability and the initiative just to do it.
Sarah: Marcus, thank you so much for joining us on the AREC. It’s been really great to catch up with you after your presentation. I really enjoyed it and our readers did, as well. So thank you so much.
Marcus: Great, no, it was great to see you. Thanks Sarah.