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Brett Hayman: Olympian to AREAs winner

As a three-time World Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Brett Hayman knows a thing or two about discipline. Here, the Hayman Partners director explains how adopting the same approach in real estate has seen him rise to the top of his field.

To the average person there wouldn’t appear to be much of a connection between real estate and elite rowing.

But when you talk to the ACT’s best selling agent, Brett Hayman, you quickly realise a calm but strategic and competitive mindset is needed in both professions.

A three-time World Champion and dual-Olympian rowing coxswain, Mr Hayman has swapped winning a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics for taking out the Annual REA Excellence Award for the Top Residential Salesperson in the ACT.

“I wouldn’t be half the agent I am today if I didn’t have that Olympic and World Championship background in rowing,” he said.

“You learn a lot from those types of experiences. You learn time management, you learn how to communicate, and you learn sheer competitiveness.

“You learn a lot about mindset and not to let outside influences affect you because you can’t control those things.”

It’s sage advice from a 23-year industry veteran.

Going out on their own

But despite his success, the Hayman Partners director is still excited to receive such an award.

Mr Hayman said it’s validation that he, and business partners Shane and Sue Killalea, made the right call when they decided to go it alone almost three years ago.

The trio had been working as part of a leading brand but decided to start Hayman Partners after realising they wanted to create a more bespoke offering for Canberra vendors and buyers, with a clear focus on customer service and nurturing a family-owned business culture from the inside out.

“We were in a franchise business for nearly 20 years, and then we decided to break out and go out on our own almost three years ago,” Mr Hayman said.

“So it’s rewarding to know that you can actually do it on your own without a franchise model. In fact, our business has grown about 35 per cent.”

A record year

Mr Hayman said 2020 was a record year, and, together with team member Martin Faux, he sold 132 properties and wrote $1.6 million gross commission income.

That’s about 10 sales and $200,000 more than the previous year.

Mr Hayman explained that focusing on their auction strategy and keeping their auction clearance rate in the 90 per cent range helped achieve the stellar results, and those numbers haven’t wavered so far this year.

“Our average auction campaign is about 28 days on the market, but our average auction at the moment is selling within 19 days,” he said.

“Homes are just selling prior. There’s very limited stock in Canberra.”

Quick decisions

Being a smaller agency stood Hayman Partners in good stead during peak COVID-19 months last year, with Mr Hayman noting they could make decisions and adjustments swiftly.

He says, with a large rent roll, they knew they could survive without selling a property and having that security was a welcome relief.

“We kept our staff and our clients updated every step of the way,” he said.

“One of the most important things we did was send out an email to everyone saying, ‘No matter what happens, no one is going to lose their job’.

“The directors took no fees and no pay during the COVID period we were locked down, so it just gave the staff a little bit of enthusiasm and knowledge to go and educate the clients as well.”

Brett says he’s been business partners with Shane and Sue Killalea for 19 years, and there’s never been a cross word between the trio.

While he was reluctant to put just his surname forward as the brand, Mr and Ms Killalea were fully supportive, and the research companies they engaged to help develop the name, Hayman Partners, recommended it as Mr Hayman’s name has a solid standing in the community.

But that doesn’t mean Hayman Partners is a one-man show. 

“We’re really well aligned and support each other in different ways,” Mr Hayman noted.

“When you work on each other’s strengths, and you can pool them into a business relationship, you’re 99 per cent of the way there.”

Actions achieve results

The Hayman Partners’ team works on the philosophy of backing up their words with actions to achieve results.

“We don’t promise our clients the world and then give them an atlas and say, ‘Thanks, sign up, see you later’,” Mr Hayman explained.

“We try to offer really great service, negotiation and marketing. We really focus on that.”

Hayman Partners takes service seriously and they take a personalised approach, adapting their communication methods and frequency to suit the client.

“We have some clients that might say, ‘Ring me twice a week’, and we’ve got other clients that we need to ring twice a day and organise absolutely everything for – from the plumber to the gardener and the removalists and their purchase,” Mr Hayman said.

Moving forward, Mr Hayman said the goal at Hayman Partners is for everyone to continue to build on their careers and improve as individuals and together as a team.

“Our goal is for everyone to improve 10 per cent every year,” he said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.