We Are Real Estate

Emily Whitehead: Be yourself

Buxton agent Emily Whitehead has held just about every job in the business, and the biggest lesson she’s learned along the way is to let clients see the real you

On getting into real estate
My first taste of real estate was when I started working part-time as a receptionist. The more I worked in the business, the more I wanted to learn about the industry. In the 10 years I have been working in the industry I have gone from receptionist to assistant property manager to sales assistant to sales consultant and now to sales manager and associate director. 

The happiest moment in my career
I have had some great highs in my career. The happiest moment was my first big personal award: The Rising Star award for the Buxton Group in 2016. This award highlighted how far I had come in such a short amount of time. 

The most memorable moment
I’m pretty sure the first property that I sold will always be my most memorable. I’ll never forget the exhilaration I felt from putting the deal together, the purchaser’s excitement, the vendor’s happiness. I still get that rush now when I make a sale. 

Best advice she’s received
Just be yourself. When I first started as a sales consultant I felt a lot of pressure on what was expected of an agent, especially a female agent. The industry was very male dominated (a lot has changed since then) and there was pressure to conform to what was expected.

I still see it quite a bit in this industry – agents try to be someone they are not. They learn all the scripts and dialogues but the reality is people want to see the real you. By being yourself, clients will trust you and you will be able to build meaningful relationships with these clients. 

Biggest challenge
The real estate industry is no different to other industries in that as technology advances, so too does the way we go about selling/leasing homes. There will always be a need for the personal element of the transaction but quickly adapting to the technology is vital. Using the technology to our advantage is also crucial. There are a lot of interceptors (online referral companies) that take a cut out of the agent’s commission. No amount technology will ever overtake the importance of great personal relationships.

Change for good?
I would like to see more of a nursery for young and inspiring agents to be able to learn their trade without the financial pressures. A lot of young agents don’t succeed and get disheartened because they are thrown in the deep end and left to their own devices to sink or swim. Putting together some sort of apprenticeship/traineeship would also benefit the industry because young people will be better prepared and more knowledgeable.  

‘Elite’ agent means
My definition of an elite agent is a top agent. To be a top agent you need to be a proactive agent. You need to think outside the square. You need to be diligent, communicate correctly and clearly. You need to be fully informed in the market place and also with the external economic factors that influence buyers/sellers and, ultimately, the market. The more information you can provide your clients with, the more they can make an informed decision with their individual situation. No sale nor client is the same and an elite agent will recognise this and tailor the campaign and his/her communication style to the individual situation. 

#WeAreRealEstate is a series of short interviews with 140 agents all over Australia exploring the industry’s hopes, concerns, future challenges, and what it really means to be an Elite Agent.

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