‘Face time’ is the secret to success for this AREA winner

Getting face-to-face with his clients and not hiding behind text and email is what Jeremy Wilkinson credits his latest AREA win to.

The Harcourts Launceston Director recently took home the Annual REA Excellence Award for Top Residential Agent in Tasmania, after selling more than 160 properties in 2022.

He previously won the same coveted accolade in 2020.

For Jeremy, the secret to his success is simple – going old school and keeping things simple.

“Truly, it’s about getting back to real basics,” Jeremy says.

“It’s about getting on the phone and spending a lot of time chasing new business.

“And that came about because of my team, which free me up, free up my time so that I can actually do that.”

Team work makes the dream work

After almost 20 years in real estate, if there’s one thing Jeremy knows, it’s that you’re only as good as the team around you.

And he says his team of four is second to none, comprising an office manager, a buyer’s agent, an administrative assistant and a fourth person that does buyer and admin work.

“They let me get out there, in person, to talk to people,” Jeremy notes.

“I realised that we all hide behind our emails and our texts a little bit too much.

“If I couldn’t get face-to-face with people then I was on the phone to people and doing the hard bit.”

Jeremy says when clients select an agent to sell their home they want nothing more than to deal with that agent as much as possible as opposed to dealing with assistants and associates.

“When people employ you, they want you,” he says.

“And I’ve been able to give them me because of what my team does on the back end.

“I’ve seen a lot of agents focus on doing things the other way and spreading themselves thin, but I thought, ‘No, I’m going to go the other way’.

“If people want me, they get me, and they get me whenever they want me.”

Play to your strengths

The added bonus of having such a strong team around him, Jeremy says, is that they are able to do the tasks he’s not good at, such as paperwork and administration tasks.

Rather than try and fumble through those day-to-day jobs, he says having those skilled in certain areas, keeps the whole ship sailing smoothly.

He also credits his success to servicing buyers more than ever.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeremy says it was hard to get face-to-face with people and many agents forgot to service the buyers as well as vendors.

In the booming market Covid helped create, Jeremy says focusing on servicing those buyers helped him generate significant market traction.

“You could sell anything in a second but people forgot those buyers are going to be sellers one day, and if they love you, they’ll come back,” he advises.

In the months that followed, Jeremy says a lot of those buyers then reappeared asking him to sell their property, and this happened regardless of whether they had bought from him or not.

“Then the big wheel keeps turning and you end up getting two, five or 10 jobs out of just one sale,” he says.

“And that’s something we all want.”

The importance of reviews

Jeremy says despite having won an AREA previously, he didn’t expect to win this time around and he admits it’s always good, even as someone who has had great success, to “have someone to chase”.

The AREA for the top residential agent in each state is a data-driven award, taking into account an agent’s sales volume, sales value and rating and reviews. 

Jeremy says he and his team do concentrate on following up clients to leave a review, not with the purpose of winning awards, but with the aim of securing more clients.

He says most of his client reviews are secured through an automated process with text messages and emails, but if a client opens that text or email and doesn’t leave a review, he does follow up with a phone call.

“Again, it’s really about getting back to basics, picking up the phone, having a chat and going, ‘I’d love it if you could leave a review’, then we normally get one two minutes later,” Jeremy explains.

“The key is to do that (ask for a review) quickly while there’s still that warm, fuzzy, I love my agent feeling.”

Jeremy notes that those reviews also bring in a lot of new business, with would-be vendors “shopping agents hard” online before deciding which ones to call.

“I reckon we get between 20 and 40 per cent of our business on the back of people ringing up going, ‘Hey, we’ve read your reviews’,” he says.

Looking forward

Over the next 12 months Jeremy and his team want to continue to grow, service their clients at the highest possible level and reach their KPIs.

While Jeremy admits that when he started in real estate he focused on becoming a “million-dollar agent” he now prefers not to think about money and GCI but the numbers behind the end result, including the number of appraisals and open homes he does.

“All I’ve got to do is two appraisals a day, every day of the working week,” he says.

“And if I do that, I’ll hit my goals.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.