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From flipping burgers to selling houses: The secret recipe to Adrian Borg’s success

Adrian Borg spent a decade at McDonald’s and eventually managed one of the restaurants. While his job satisfaction ended up falling away, Adrian says it was the perfect training ground for real estate. Here, the Richardson & Wrench Rooty Hill sales executive explains how the fast food giant helped him develop customer service and hit KPIs. He also reveals the ethos he approaches his sales career with, and how some wise words from a family member have inspired him.

It was following his grandfather’s advice that led Adrian Borg to a career in real estate.

Just two years ago, the Richardson & Wrench Rooty Hill sales executive was managing a McDonald’s fast food restaurant but felt the rewards for his dedicated efforts were not matching up.

“I’d started at Macca’s when I was 14 and worked my way through the ranks to become one of the restaurant managers,” Adrian explains.

“But after 10 years, I’d had enough of it.

“My grandfather always told me, ‘If you always do what you always did, you will always have what you always had’.”

Adrian says it was remembering those sage words that prompted him to apply for a job in property management at Richardson & Wrench.

“I saw an ad on Facebook, and at 2am I applied for the position,” he says.

“Within 48 hours, I got a phone call and I gave my notice the next day.

“Two weeks later, I was there (Richardson & Wrench).”

A risk worth taking

It was a bold move for Adrian, who switched from knowing his role at McDonald’s inside out to taking on a new challenge, all while taking a pay cut.

But two years later and he already sees the very strong rewards for his efforts.

“Taking that jump was definitely a risk, and a financial risk as well,” he notes.

“But it was worth it, and if you put your mind to it, anything can pay off.”

Adrian notes that his time at the hamburger restaurant stood him in good stead as a property manager and now as a sales agent.

McDonald’s taught him a lot more than just how to flip a burger, with managers expected to hit KPIs and run a smooth, profitable operation.

“There’s a lot more to McDonald’s than what people see,” Adrian says.

“Stress levels are high, and you’re always trying to achieve targets. It’s competition-based, and it’s all driven by results.

“McDonald’s helps develop you as a person and makes you more comfortable dealing with people every day.”

Adrian notes that there were sales targets to meet, dollar amounts to hit, and you had to analyse how much was being spent on labour to achieve these targets.

“It really helps you get into a business mindset from an early age,” he says.

The road to sales

Adrian started in property management at Richardson & Wrench but just four months later moved across to the sales team.

He says he and fellow sales executive Kayla Welsh decided to join forces as they were both branching out simultaneously, and it’s been a winning combination.

The pair received training through Pittard Training and Ben Price to prepare them for “the real world”.

“I’m glad we went through that training before we actually went out on our own because it put us in a position to put those things into play straight away, rather than just being in practice,” Adrian says.

Adrian says his sales ethos is simple but highly effective. He focuses on delivering honest advice to his clients, even if it’s not always what they want to hear.

He’s also a firm believer in being flexible in his actions to ensure he delivers good customer service.

“What they (vendors) see at the listing presentation is what they get throughout the whole sales process,” Adrian explains.

“There will be some things I won’t agree with, and there will be some things that I do agree with, but I give the vendor the time and the floor to say what they think in regards to the sales process and what they want to see.

“They’ll get the truth from me, and I’ll be very honest with them.”

Adrian jokes that “there’s no rest for the wicked”, but he’s earnest when he says he will always do what needs to be done, no matter the time of day.

“As I say to my vendors, ‘If there’s a buyer that wants to see a property at 8pm and you’re willing to open up your homes, I’m going to be there’,” he says.

Memorable for the wrong reason

A first sale is something every agent recalls, but for Adrian, it was less than ideal, with the initial sale falling over.

“My boss basically said to me, ‘It’s better for it to happen now, than for it to happen later’,” Adrian recalls.

“It gets you prepared for it at the start, and you know what you’re getting yourself into.

“You’ve got to fail sometimes to succeed.”

Just as clear in Adrian’s mind is the memory of his best sale to date. He says he and Kayla have set a few suburb records, but it’s the sale of a two-storey house at 160 Rooty Hill Road North that he recalls most fondly.

“It’s a beautiful home, and we ended up selling that one for more than $100,000 over what the owner was expecting,” he says.

“That was a private treaty sale, and (the sale) comes down to the training we did in the negotiation and sales process.”

Dynamic duo

Adrian says he and Kayla make a great team and share each sale 50/50. 

In the beginning, they got a lot of office leads and did a lot of prospecting with cold calls, door-knocking and letterbox drops.

“In the mornings, we’d make calls until about lunchtime, and then after lunch, we’d do some door-knocking for about two hours, and then the rest of the afternoon would be letterbox drops,” Adrian says.

The tried and tested methods worked, and now the pair are receiving more referrals from satisfied clients.

Adrian says COVID-19 isn’t really a factor in their sales as they “know no different”.

“We’ve just seen that as a normality,” he says.

“We’re not using it as an excuse, we don’t really mention it to our clients.

“Sales are going up all the time… real estate is growing and prices are on the up.”

Adrian says while some vendors have been a little hesitant as they can’t hold open homes, he always explains that private inspections definitely have their upside.

“Private inspections are actually a good thing because you’re only dealing with serious buyers,” he explains.

The future

Going forward, Adrian also has some clear career goals. He and Kayla are about to put on their first assistant, and perhaps one day Adrian will own his own agency.

But whatever path he chooses, he says he’s determined to get the balance between work and family life right.

“I’ll always do everything for my clients and go above and beyond but family will always be something I’m orientated to and that will never take a back seat, no matter how busy I am,” he says.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.