In Sandringham, Victoria, Hodges Real Estate director and sales agent Kylie Charlton has carved out a successful 28-year career based on the simple philosophy of placing herself in her client’s shoes.
Now, she’ll share an insight into the lessons learned along the way at AREC 2019.
Kylie Charlton freely admits she knew “absolutely nothing” about real estate other than the lifestyle it could offer when she pursued a career in the industry straight out of high school.
In the years since, she has put in hard work, sought to learn from the best in the business, started her own agency and become a record-breaking sales agent, with a hugely impressive list of testimonials.
“If I can do it, anyone can,” Kylie modestly notes.
“I’m not highly educated, personally I didn’t come from a background of money. Rather I am where I am due to hard work, grit, and finding my confidence.”
From the ground up
Like many, Kylie started in reception, handling everything from tenancy and sales inquiries to administration.
“Basically, that taught me everything about real estate. I worked with great operators and came to understand that renting, buying, or selling can be very stressful for the people involved at the time.
“It taught me empathy and multitasking, along with the importance of good communication.”
Systems, procedures and amazing culture
Over the next few years, Kylie worked at various agencies as a property manager before finding herself at Collins Simms Hawthorn.
“That business gave me the most amazing grounding in communications. They were the biggest agency in the area with a rent roll of about 1200 and seven property managers.
“They had really good institutional systems and were process driven. This allowed them to be consistent. The culture in that business was brilliant. We all got on extremely well and most of us still keep in touch today.”
Kylie remained there for four years before a new opportunity beckoned.
It’s not about the money
Kylie’s next role involved running the property management sector of a smaller agency, where the pay was better, but the rewards were less.
“I soon realised that was a mistake. I had taken the position for the money, but it turned out that’s not as important as culture and satisfaction.”
A position in commercial real estate beckoned, and it would set Kylie on a new, exciting path. Using her knowledge of systems and procedures, she took on a commercial portfolio and within 12 months turned the business finances around.
Success as an agent is about putting your head down, making the calls, knocking on doors and offering an excellent service. Do the right thing and the money will follow.
Going it alone
Fourteen years ago, Kylie had her first child, and in the haze of motherhood had an idea to start her own business catering to commercial clients.
“My son was five months old and I felt bored, so I started a business offering condition reports to big business. That company is now run by my husband and is still going today with major property funds amongst our clients.
“But the truth is I missed real estate, the communication it offers and how it’s a vehicle to help people.
“So, I started Charlton King Real Estate, built a rent roll and sales team from nothing and ran the business
for five years before merging with Hodges.”
Finding her confidence
Kylie is now ranked amongst the very top agents in her area, has recorded some of the highest sales prices and the highest total sales values.
Her client testimonials are a glowing indication of her attributes as an agent.
Kylie notes this success comes down to consistently valuing the relationship with the client and envisaging herself in their position.
“I like to put myself in the shoes of the other person and understand that everyone deals with situations differently.
“As a human being all we want is to know that we are valued in a relationship.”
She also says years in the industry have given her an ability to read the play and the personality, and that honesty and transparency guide every interaction she has.
“It’s about communicating well, honestly and consistently, then you hold great integrity and can be confident that you’re a good person at the end of the day.”
These days Kylie notes she has the good fortune to be selective about the people she works with and takes on as clients.
“It has to be someone who shares the same values as me. I’m interested in transparency and open communication.
“Over the years I’ve learnt that ultimately the best reward is when people have enjoyed a good experience with me as their agent.
“Success as an agent is about putting your head down, making the calls, knocking on doors and offering an excellent service. Do the right thing and the money will follow.”
Kylie will present at AREC with Lisa Totaro at 12.15pm on Sunday, June 2.