Cae Thomas: Take time to read the play

Cae Thomas started in real estate straight out of school more than a decade ago.

“I started in the inner west, in Dulwich Hill, Marrickville and that little pocket,” he remembers.

“My first transaction was a $326,000 unit in Redfern, and gradually over the years, I’ve just moved up the ladder.”

He met Gavin when the pair were working as personal assistants at Ray White Double Bay.

“We rubbed shoulders when we went on this kickstart event together that Ray White organised and we were roomies who just clicked,” he says.

Stints at a couple of other agencies followed, with Cae progressively listing larger, more expensive properties.

When Gavin came through one in Bondi, Cae was offered a job with Team Rubinstein.

“He was like, ‘mate, do you want a job?’, and I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready for it yet’. Afterwards, I was thinking about it and was like, ‘let’s just bite the bullet’. The rest is history,” he says.

Cae readily acknowledges you’ve got to be ready for TRG.

“This is not a normal operation we’re running here; it’s serious.

“In real estate, it’s a job where if you don’t have routine, it’s super relaxed whereas now it’s super tight.

“I’m up at 4.45am every day, I’m exercising ‘til 6.30-6.45am, then I’m in the office at 8am,” he explains.

“I’m held accountable by different people and it’s a great operation.” Like many in the TRG team, Cae believes fitness is imperative to sustaining the long hours and demanding workload.

“You sweat out all the bad energy and replenish it with good stuff,” he explains.

“It just clears the head. They’re not short days and that can burn you out if you don’t start them with your head in the game.”

Noting real estate is a rollercoaster, Cae’s recent ride has involved a lot of highs.

As one of the Team Rubinstein originals, he now has his own sales team and has sold 27 properties in the past 12 months.

“It’s the first year on my own after being under Gav’s wing, and it’s exciting times. The numbers really count now because we’ve got targets to hit,” he says.

“By the end of this week, I should be over $600,000 GCI, and I think that’s a pretty good achievement for the first year being by myself.”

When it comes to his leadership style, Cae notes he’s learned a lot from Gavin.

“Each conversation is a new thing for me, so I don’t rush into things like I used to,” he says.

“I sit down, plan it out, so I’m prepared. I’m big on incentivising my guys, and I have that from Gav as well, so if they’re adding value to a sale, they get a slice of the pie. That’s what I think motivates the team.”

He also explains working with Gavin has taught him to slow down and take the time to read the play.

“I bring a lot of energy to the table. I’m very fast-paced,” Cae says.

“But he’s taught me to slow down and read the play before you act on it, and that’s been very valuable for me with a lot of different vendors.”

In the future, Cae would like to have a larger team, bringing in the next wave of real estate achievers.

He agrees TRG will likely outgrow their current premises pretty quickly due to the fastpace and sheer energy that’s apparent.

“Every month we’re pumping each other up to hit our targets,” he says.

And yes, he believes that intense focus and energy can be sustained.

“When you have a good week, you set targets, and you tick off those goals, that itself gives you your life and your energy,” he says.

“When you’ve chased a property for four years and you finally get through those doors, then list it, then sell it, that gives you energy.

“It’s pretty amazing.” 

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.