Fielding a winning team

When an ex-professional rugby player starts his own agency, you can be certain teamwork will be top of the agenda.

And so it is with former Queensland Reds player and renowned inner-west Brisbane agent, Ben Wakely, who has launched Wakely Properties to service Paddington and its surrounding suburbs.

As you’d expect, Ben knows plenty about hard work, commitment and sacrifice. These traits were forged early in life at Brisbane’s famous Rocklea Markets with his father.

“I used to work with him out there – I’d get up early and work in school holidays – but I also just always had that entrepreneurial side.”

And while football was his passion, Ben knew there would have to be life after the game, so he kicked off his career in real estate while still playing professionally.

“I knew rugby wasn’t going to last forever and you always need to have something else.”

He started the hard slog of earning his place on the property field, taking on a role with a well known brand in Paddington.

“Instead of sitting around and doing nothing at Ballymore during the day, I thought I can make something of my day – so I went and worked.

“I’d go to training in the morning, go to the gym, then put on a suit and go to work, then head back to rugby training in the afternoon.

“I ended up doing that for three years, and for probably two of those years, I would have been working seven days a week.”

In 2004, Ben decided it was time to hang up the boots and get busy selling full-time. He had been in the industry nine years before partnering with Dan Argent (now UrbanX CEO) in 2012 at Urban Property Agents.

They became renowned as the go-to agents for Brisbane’s inner west.

When Dan started UrbanX – a platform providing administration and marketing support for highly experienced agents keen to break free of franchises and keep more of their commission – Ben launched ‘Wakely Properties’ on a new offering named UrbanX (office).

You see, Wakely Properties is a little different to other UrbanX partners, many of whom are smaller agencies based around one or two pivotal, well-known agents.

In contrast, Ben is building a multi-agent operation, helping train and support a new generation of professionals.

“I’ve been selling for 20 years and I want to be able to build a team, help others improve professionally and create a good team culture and environment.

“I know the power of a team. Together everyone achieves more.”

Ben is truly a local expert having lived and invested in Paddington his entire adult life. He said trading in local property at a personal level added another dimension to his skillset.

“I’m not property specific, I’m an area specialist. I think it’s really important. Using an out-of-area agent to sell your home is like asking a shoulder doctor to perform open heart surgery.

“I’ve owned a lot of property in the area and can speak with experience. You get the best advice from people that have ‘been there and done that’.”

UrbanX is helping Ben meet his ambitions, allowing him more time to concentrate on his professional and personal legacy. As a dad of two, he knows just how precious each of those minutes are.

“It’s not all about the money for me – I invest my money wisely and make it work for me and my family. What motivates me is being able to work smarter so I can spend more time with my wife and kids.”

The arrangement with UrbanX is going from strength to strength.

“They do the backend, tackling our admin and marketing. It means I can be out on the road listing and selling property, which is what I want to do – dealing with buyers and sellers.

“Over the next 12 months, I want to be able to help the crew working with me, plus the new people that come on, so we can grow the business, service clients to the best of our ability and get great results for sellers and buyers.”

The future of Wakely Property and UrbanX looks bright, as they forge a new path and set a bold example for anyone wanting to create their own multi-agent brand.

“I look at everything as an opportunity. I believe life happens for you, not to you,” Ben reflects.

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