Elite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWSNSW

Hard work and dedication the key to Kayla’s success

Kayla Welsh joined the real estate industry just four days after finishing high school, and the Richardson & Wrench Rooty Hill sales executive hasn’t looked back since. Here, Kayla explains what she loves about the industry, her nerve-wracking first sale and how hard work is the bedrock for all she has achieved.

There are two things Kayla Welsh isn’t scared of in life – handling rent arrears and hard work.

Known for her calm determination and tireless work ethic, the Richardson & Wrench Rooty Hill sales executive has spent the past two years building up a strong client base and an even stronger reputation in the Rooty Hill, Oakhurst and Plumpton areas.

“I’m young, I’m hardworking, I’m driven, and I’ve grown up in a good family where we were always taught and told that you have to work hard to get places,” Kayla explains.

“I like to think I’m very competitive, and I don’t take no for an answer.

“I’m there to make sure that my clients get the most amount of money in their pockets at the end of the day.

“I want to make sure that all parties have a happy and successful experience with me.”

A QUICK START

It’s this laser focus that saw Kayla start applying for jobs in the real estate industry even before she graduated high school six years ago.

She knew she’d likely start on reception and have to work her way up the ranks, but that was no barrier to Kayla pursuing her dream.

When Richardson & Wrench Rooty Hill reached out to her, and a family friend who had a connection with the agency said they were a good bunch to work for, Kayla jumped in straight away.

“I graduated (high school) on the Thursday and started full-time on the Monday,” she recalls.

“I was the receptionist for about three months, and then I moved to property management as a property officer, and then I became the arrears manager in the office.”

While most in property management dread dealing with tenants who have fallen behind on their rent, Kayla says she enjoyed the task and that every day was different and taught her something new.

A GREAT MENTOR

Just two years later, sales manager David Frendo poached her to be his sales associate. Kayla credits him with providing her with a solid base to launch from when she finally became a stand-alone agent almost two years ago.

“David honestly taught me everything I know,” she says.

“He taught me everything from prospecting to how to sign up an agency agreement, what to say, market appraisals, how to conduct open homes.

“Pretty much everything I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt from David and the owner, Roy Amery.”

Kayla started in sales about the same time as fellow sales executive Adrian Borg and, together, the pair have formed a sales team.

Kayla says they also received training from Ben Price, who really put them through their paces.

“He was very tough on us, which is good, and I’m thankful for that,” she explains.

“He used to make us record ourselves doing fake market appraisals, and then he’d pick them apart. But I really appreciate that because he put us in some awkward positions and took us out of our comfort zone, and you need that in real estate.”

NERVE-WRACKING FIRST SALE

Kayla had what potentially could have been an awkward situation for her first sale when her best friend decided to list her house with her.

Still working as David’s sales associate at the time, Kayla says he guided her well.

“I hate selling people’s houses that I know because it’s so nerve-wracking, but it’s always so good once you finish up and get them a good result,” she says,

“She interviewed a few agents, and she didn’t just pick me because I was her best friend.”

Kayla’s hard work paid off, and she won the listing and helped her friend achieve a result above her expectations.

“It was the best feeling because not only did I help someone find the dream home that they were looking for, but I helped my best friend sell the property that she grew up in,” she says.

“It was really special.”

NO EASY FEAT

Since then, there have been many sales, but Kayla says the one that stands out was earlier this year when she took on the challenging job of selling a property three other agents had failed at.

The property, which comprised a house, a granny flat and an outbuilding, had been on the market for more than a year when Kayla took over the listing.

She says it was a tricky property to sell as the vendor wanted it to be advertised as a property with a house and two granny flats, but the third dwelling was only approved as an outbuilding, and that’s how Kayla promoted it.

“I got the job done, and I ended up selling it for over the price that any other agent was able to secure an offer at,” Kayla says.

“I remember putting the sold sticker on it, and it was the best day of my life.”

Kayla says her time in property management has stood her in good stead throughout her sales career.

She has the knowledge and respect for tenants who are nervous when a landlord elects to sell their investment property and can help them, as well as the owner, through the process.

“It’s quite a daunting process when you’re selling your property and tenants are living there,” Kayla says.

“And obviously, for the tenant, it’s extremely hard on them. You can’t be certain that you’re going to be there forever because the landlord might have different plans.”

Kayla says investors that buy properties through her also appreciate that she can provide accurate rental appraisals based on her solid, recent property management experience.

A STAND-ALONE AGENT

For Kayla, most of her time as a stand-alone agent has been spent in the COVID-19 era, but she’s taken it all in her stride and offers a pragmatic approach to the challenges it presents.

She tries not to focus on ‘can’t’ and prefers to put her attention on what she ‘can’ do.

“I’m finding that COVID hasn’t affected us too much, other than the fact that we can’t do market appraisals face-to-face, and we’re not allowed to do open homes,” Kayla says.

With private inspections still allowed, Kayla says she books prospective buyers in at 10-minute intervals, which means they still see each other as they would at open homes, and there’s still solid competition for her properties.

When it comes to appraisals, Kayla says FaceTime, Zoom and the phone are an agent’s new best friends.

“In the past two months, every property I’ve listed, I’ve listed without inspecting them. 

“Owners are trusting what they’ve read online about me as an agent.”

What owners have read online are Kayla’s reviews from past clients, which include vendors and buyers.

GENERATING SOCIAL PROOF

She says generating social proof is critical to winning new clients, and she actively pursues online reviews.

“As soon as a property sells, I send them a link for RateMyAgent to leave a review if they were happy with my services and how everything worked throughout the sales process,” Kayla notes.

“As soon as I speak to a potential new vendor, I send them a link to read all of my most recent reviews.

“Sometimes they (previous sellers and buyers) offer for me to pass on their number to potential clients if they want a little extra proof.”

Going forward, Kayla and Adrian are looking to put on their first assistant to help them grow their business.

Kayla says she and Adrian work well together with complementary skill sets and personalities. 

She also loves the Richardson & Wrench Rooty Hill team, which she says is like “a big family”.

“We’re all competitive in our own ways, but we do it in a way that we boost each other up,” she says.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.