Elite AgentFeature Interviews

Brian Devereux: Educational opportunities are everywhere

Years in the industry? 
32, and I’m the Director of Gateway Residential

Did you choose real estate or did real estate choose you?
I chose real estate by accident really. I had arrived from the UK where I was a tradesman by profession in the woodworking industry. At that time I just wanted to enjoy the weather and wanted a job with some variation. I saw a small ad in the paper and applied.

They offered me the job and said their only reservation was being new in the country I didn’t know many people, but if I worked hard I’d do okay.

First sale?
My first sale in 1988 was an interesting one! I opened a home for another rep who had had the listing for six months – and we were in a boom market!

It was on the market for $98,000 and I got an offer for $96,500 thinking they’d be over the moon but they wanted to sleep on it, then they called the next day to say they wanted $97,500…. I couldn’t believe it!

Anyway, I got the extra money from the buyer, and even then they didn’t want to sell so it was my first negotiation about the benefits of selling and what they would gain by moving.

Quite a baptism and an accelerated learning experience. Ironically, the buyer was a judge and about four years ago I had to apply for an ‘extraordinary’ licence due to accumulating too many infringement points and at the hearing he said he wanted to declare he knew me. I didn’t even realise it was him.

Most memorable sale?
There have been a few over the years but most recent was probably about three years ago when I decided to use Openn Negotiation for the first time.

A lovely retired couple lost their son to cancer and were finalising his estate. They had taken eight months to sell his home at the other end of the city and dropped $80,000 in the process.

Now they wanted to sell his investment property so I went through the options with them and they said, “Yes let’s give it a go, after the last experience we’re happy to try it”.

Thankfully it all went well, selling in 16 days and for $24,000 over the reserve price which was great for them.

What type of business do you focus on?
Our business is made up of Residential Sales and Property Management with some rural/special rural properties in the price range of $300k to $2m.

What’s the most important part of your day?
A good start in the morning really sets you up for a productive day. So a run and/or swim down at the beach around 6am followed by a good coffee gets me off on the right foot.

Where would you like to be this time next year?
I think with what is happening right now planning anything is difficult, but I would like to be able to travel overseas. I’ve got some interests in Europe I’d like to visit.

Challenge for the industry?
The immediate one is of course COVID-19, although being in Perth we are thankfully in pretty good shape, but I do wonder about where this will all end up and what effect it may have on the market, and people’s livelihoods

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Without doubt investing in yourself and your personal development. Education is better now than it’s ever been and there is access to so much you really need to take advantage of the information available to you.

I wish I was given the advice earlier but even now I look to everyone in the industry for ideas, even some who have only recently joined the business. I think everyone has something unique to offer.

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