This year is shaping up to be a bumper one for Lauren Moore. The Brisbane buyer’s agent has more than $30 million worth of property to find for her clients and, at the start of the month, six new buyers came to her in less than a week.
It’s a solid position to be in, but not one Lauren takes for granted.
Since starting Lauren Moore Property in the leafy inner north suburb of Grange three years ago, Lauren has held on firmly to her motto of fostering “clients for life”.
It means she’s selective in which clients she takes on, and she focuses on high-end properties in the northern suburbs as opposed to a scattergun approach.
“I never want to take on a client that I can’t service exceptionally well, because my business is modelled off client referrals,” Lauren explains.
The growth she has witnessed since starting her business has been exponential.
A former sales agent and real estate training expert with almost 20 years’ experience, Lauren’s lightbulb business moment came as she was standing in the playground of her children’s school.
“When I was in our schoolyard I really noticed a lot of frustration from families,” she says.
“Our market is in such high demand, and there’s no stock, so families were coming into the school so frustrated about missing out on properties.”
Lauren, who was rejoining the workforce after having children, also noticed that most people didn’t know what a buyer’s agent was.
She knew there was a clear market for the service.
“Because I’d lived in Sydney I had seen Cohen Handler and Rose & Jones launch,” Lauren says.
“In terms of me launching in Brisbane as a prestige buyer’s agent, it was the right time for the market to have some competition and someone in this space.”
Lauren rolled out the business with a website and branding she’d done herself or quite economically and was surprised when she built momentum quickly.
“I didn’t expect it to take off as it did,” she recalls.
“I thought I’d work a couple of days when the kids were at school. But, knowing my nature, it was never not going to become something.
“It’s gone from strength to strength.”
Lauren says at the moment the Brisbane market is “completely a vendor’s market,” with limited stock causing headaches for buyers.
She says her role has taken off as more and more buyers discover they can have someone to support them, explain the buying and selling process to them, and find them properties.
“Realistically, a real estate agent’s job is to work for the vendor,” Lauren explains.
“Their main priority is to list a property, their second priority is to market it and their third is to get it sold.
“That’s all done for their brand and the vendor’s benefit.
“In that process throughout the years, buyers have gotten a bit lost.”
Lauren says many buyers don’t understand how the buying and selling process works, and hiring a buyer’s agent can make for a much smoother, better-informed experience for everyone.
“Buyers don’t understand how the auction process works,” she says.
“They don’t understand when an agent can’t give them a price, and they don’t understand where the average pricing is.
“The need for buyer’s agents arose from a lack of understanding about what’s actually happening in the industry and the fact that a few buyers had been turned off by a couple of bad apples in the industry.”
Lauren brings a wealth of experience in all facets of the real estate industry to her clients.
She grew up with real estate in her veins, with her mother running her own agency.
At 21, Lauren joined Ray White Paddington as a cadet, working alongside George Hadgelias in sales, but focusing on buyers.
“It was back in the days where you had the photos in the windows and you used to canvass who was walking past,” she recalls.
“If you could grab a buyer and then start working them, it was the beginning of the relationship.
“I really liked the process at the end when you got to hand over the keys to somebody who has just bought their new house.
“That’s how my love for working with buyers started.”
A shift to head office saw Lauren lead the Ray White Youth Program, where all of the cadets the franchise took on undertook training in areas such as prospecting, listing and running a sales campaign.
She added another string to her corporate bow when she set up the group’s Registered Training Organisation, which rolled out registration and licensing courses.
Over the years, Lauren has also held roles at HomeGuru, a division of realestate.com.au, and Domain and Australian Property Monitors.
“There’s not much I don’t know about how the industry operates,” Lauren says.
“From the franchise background to the training background, to the way the sales process works, to the way negotiations work all the way to how the auction floor works.
“I’m very well rounded in all of those aspects.”
As well as ensuring her buyers understand exactly what’s happening during their search for the perfect property, Lauren prides herself on providing key market advice, and that includes sometimes telling her client to skip a property, rather than pay too much.
She says many vendors also come to her and, as she’s still a licensed agent, she’s able to match them with her buyers.
Lauren also highly values working with real estate agents and building strong, mutually beneficial relationships for all parties.
She refers properties to agents and agents come to her when they think they may have a property for her buyers or even if they are on the hunt for more stock.
Keeping the channels of communication open is particularly important when it comes to off-market sales.
“I have my own off-market stock list where vendors come directly to me,” Lauren says.
“So I’m currently working for two of the top agents in Brisbane, trying to find them properties.”
On the other hand, there have been times agents have answered Lauren’s call for a specific type of property she’s on the hunt for but been unable to find in advertised listings.
Lauren says there is a range of other benefits of sales agents and buyer’s agents working together, not least of which is that she can offer highly qualified buyers.
“When buyers come to us, the first thing we ask is ‘have you got your finance ready? If we found the perfect house tomorrow would you be able to offer on it?’” she says.
“By the time I start working with a buyer, they’re so qualified they could buy a house the next day.”
Lauren says working with a buyer’s agent can also help selling agents win listings.
“I have a lot of agents who, during the listing process, will say, ‘I work with this buyer’s agent and I can get her through to see if any of her buyers like your property’.
“There are a lot of benefits to working together.”
To meet the rapid growth in her business, Lauren employed a second buyer’s agent, and former selling agent, Jillian Breen, about a year ago.
She also recently put on two administrative assistants.
Lauren says the remainder of 2021 will be about growth, more sophisticated branding, and ensuring they have enough staff to cater to new clients.
“We’re just trying to work out how many people we need on board to manage our clients exceptionally well so that we maintain our ‘creating clients for life’ motto,” Lauren says.
“That’s our goal for 2021, consolidating and making sure we are doing everything really, really well.”