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Evan Williams: The gentleman of real estate

It was only last year when Gavin Rubinstein announced he was forming his own brand under the Ray White banner. In our final installment on how The Rubinstein Group operates, we speak to sales executive and associate director Evan Williams.

Read the entire series on The Rubinstein Group here.

Known in the industry for achieving the highest residential auction price on record, Evan Williams brings a very different life perspective to the high-energy team at TRG.

A father of three, a professionally trained opera singer, and a community stalwart, he’s known in the office as the “gentleman of real estate”, with a referral network that’s second to none.

On a weekday afternoon, you will just as likely find Evan coaching kids’ rugby union as you would at an open home.

Yet this is another real estate high achiever with a work ethic that goes above and beyond.

“Because a lot of my business comes from my spheres of influence, including family, the schools my children go to, the rugby club and my wife’s small business, I allow that to be part of my business,” Evan reflects.

“I just organise life in such a way that the pieces fit together.” And those pieces fit together neatly to reveal a compelling picture.

Over a 14-year career in the industry, Evan has sold some of the best-known properties in the Eastern Suburbs.

His real estate sales resume includes The Lighthouse Keepers Cottage at Vaucluse, the Commonwealth Bank at Rose Bay, and ‘Cleveland’ Darling Point.

In late 2017, he also clocked up an industry record when he sold the apartment block ‘Eynesbury’ at auction for $33.25 million.

The story of how that sale came about says a lot about Evan’s approach to real estate.

He met the vendor back in 2005 when working in leasing and new business.

“I remember calling him to offer him assistance leasing an apartment, and he said he owned the whole block but would love to discuss leasing,” Evan explains.

“Fast forward 12 years and I was selling the whole building.

“I like that story not because  it’s an Australian record, but because it’s about seeing things through and it came off the back of property management.”

Evan’s a big believer in seeing things through.

He and Gavin have been ‘quasi-partners’ for years and their relationship dates back to Ray White Double Bay.

His reputation in real estate is built on a long-standing commitment to the Eastern Suburbs community.

“I’m part of the furniture in the community,” he explains.

“I’m a big supporter of charity, and I do a lot of charity auctions, but when I’m doing that or coaching rugby league or at school, never do I talk real estate.

“People know what I do because they know me.

“I guess it’s a long-term strategy in the back of my mind to be a trusted advisor.

“I don’t expect anything from anyone, and I think it’s important to have that attitude.”

As for his tips on building a network, Evan notes it’s all about reputation.

“You’ve got to have a good reputation,” he says, adding some of the best agents establish theirs by stepping outside any real estate stereotype.

Meanwhile, Evan explains he and Gavin complement each other well because both know how to put on a performance, but each has subtle differences.

He says every member of TRG brings something unique to the table, but are united by unfailing loyalty for each other, and a will to succeed.

“Gavin is a very loyal person,” Evan says.

“The close group of friends and clients he works with essentially become family.

“If you look at the people who have worked with him, his retention rate is fabulous; I can’t think of anyone who’s ever left him.”

A portrait hanging on the wall in the office reveals this culture painted for posterity.

Depicting all TRG’s founding members, it’s a symbolic reflection of a family that works well together with the clear belief they will stand the test of time.

Evan has no doubt that will likely be the case.

“When you look at this office, you think it’s a brand and we’re all the same, but it’s actually a very different genetic makeup and I think that makes us possibly the most progressive brand in the country,” he says.

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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”.