The esteemed principal of Ray White Ascot said the single biggest area that many agents let themselves down with was they don’t give people enough time.
“If you have never met someone and you are given the responsibility of managing their biggest asset, and their most emotionally invested asset, you need to give people your time,” Mr Ferguson said.
“If you don’t give people the time they need to build the faith that you are the best person to deal with – forget about the property and the negotiations – they need your time to understand what it is that your owners want to achieve.
“Every person has a different reason or agenda.
“Most people who don’t give time just reek of commission breath.
“Lots of agents are looking for a quick buck. So many agents just want to earn money but they need to build a business.”
Ray White Queensland CEO Tony Warland said many people were thankful for the guidance and leadership that Dwight Ferguson has given over three decades.
“There are many people in our industry who regard the success of their career directly attributed to the support, belief and guidance that they got from Dwight,” he said.
“Whether it be myself some 29 years ago or the newest person in his office, with all the ambition in the world, he will help them succeed.
“Dwight has helped the Ray White network grow. The style and grace with which he helped (one of his agents) Sonya Treloar to open Ray White Bridgeman Downs was impeccable.
“The standards that he sets in his family, and work family, are those that we are most proud of.
“Dwight is a leader, a great father, and loving husband and that moral compass is of high attraction to the people who work with him.”
After 15 years owning the blue-chip agency Ray White Ascot, Mr Ferguson said the biggest thing agents need to have to ensure longevity in real estate was they must love what they do.
“I don’t just like selling real estate, I love it. I always have and it’s always been about the people. It’s never really been about the houses. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a $10,000,000 house or a $50,000 block of land on an island in Moreton Bay, the owners still have needs.
“Their needs might not be the same, but it’s their needs and you have to manage them individually.”
He says this was one simple area that many salespeople fail at.
Ray White Ascot director Tonja Ferguson said she’s very proud of her husband.
“Our primary goal in opening our business was to offer the highest level of service and results, build an enviable reputation and provide for our family. While our commitment in these areas have lead to many successes and to being a consistent number one Ray White office in Brisbane, our most valued business achievement is growing a happy, successful team. When we see individuals grow and succeed with Dwight’s guidance it really gives us so much happiness and pride. Dwight has always shared his time and knowledge generously with his staff, clients and colleagues, without compromising his focus and commitment to me and our girls and this is what really epitomizes what kind of person he is and why he achieves what he does. “
Mr Ferguson has a team of loyal agents, many of whom have worked with him for a long time like Leigh Kortlang (13 years), Anneke Cleary (14 years) and Damon Warat (15 years) who started with him at just age 17 years old.
“The longer your staff stay with you, the better their results are anyway. They all have their ups and downs but it’s never got anything to do with their business, it’s just life,” he said.
“We are in the people business and if people don’t feel wanted or appreciated they won’t turn up and deliver.”
Dwight Ferguson himself had a wonderful mentor and coach in his own father, renowned real estate agent Barry Ferguson, of Redcliffe.
“My dad was an awesome real estate agent and a real people person. He’s passed away but he was the best listing agent I ever met and I learned a lot from him,” said Mr Ferguson, born and bred in Redcliffe.
“Redcliffe is very similar to Ascot as far as tight communities but it’s a totally different demographic.”
Dwight Ferguson didn’t have a direct path into the real estate industry as his father wouldn’t allow it as he was considered too young.
He’s a boilermaker by trade and did an apprenticeship at the Railways Workshops at North Ipswich in 1983, while playing rugby league.
He actually played footy – fullback, center and wing – for the Ipswich Jets with the famous Queensland footy family, the Walters brothers and he worked with Allan Langer’s dad.
“Kerrod Walters also started his apprenticeship at the same time as me but football dragged him away to the NRL, and Kevvie Walters went to the Canberra Raiders. I was there to play footy but I finished my apprenticeship and then I worked at Evans Deakins Industries, which became Downer EDI,” Mr Ferguson said.
“I always wanted to be in real estate but dad wouldn’t give me a job. It wasn’t a young person’s industry and I was too young. Dad kept saying to me ‘one day’.
“Then he went to a conference at Noosa and he met these guys at Ray White Tingalpa who had his son start in the business and he came back and talked to me then. He told me to start. I was a postman by then and I had built a boat and went fishing a lot.
“I went net fishing, I loved it in the estuaries. I grew up on the water and had a boat licence at 12 years ago. My father and I were competitive line anglers.”
Mr Ferguson never stops learning and credits former agent Jean Stone for instilling in him early the importance of talking to people on the phone.
“When the winds of disaster blow up with someone’s backside, you learn to adapt. And Jean was truly the best agent. But I’m continually learning from young agents too with how technology helps to adapt.
“But in 28 years of selling real estate, I haven’t sold many houses over the phone to someone who hasn’t inspected it.
“Back when I started there was no email, you couldn’t send photos. Any child can sell a house. Our job is not to just sell a house. Our job is to get a premium price.”