The secret behind Chari Emirzade selling almost one thousand homes in six years is astoundingly simple – picking up the phone.
Hard work and picking up the phone.
Picking up the phone when others are scared to.
Picking up the phone more than his competition.
Making more connections, gaining more appraisals and securing more listings than other agents in his core farm area of Corio and Norlane, in Geelong’s northern suburbs.
It’s that work ethic that has seen the Barry Plant Partner named the network’s top lister and seller for the past four years.
“I’m sitting at 956 sales in just under six years,” Chari says.
“When I started in real estate, I wanted to sell 200 properties per year, and everyone said, ‘That’s impossible’.
“So the day I started, I put a process in place, a strategy, a game plan, and the year I started I sold 207 properties.”
That first day in real estate was about six and a half years ago.
Originally from Cypress, Chari stepped onto Australian soil for the first time in 1997, before heading to Europe a decade later.
He returned to Australia about seven years ago with his wife and eldest son in tow.
“We came here with three pieces of luggage and $10,000 in my pocket, Chari recalls.
“So I had no option but to work hard.”
As a former commander in the military, Chari was disciplined and ready to put in long hours and serious elbow grease to establish himself as the name and face of real estate in Corio and Norlane.
But it didn’t happen overnight.
“I’m a big believer in prospecting, especially picking up the phone,” Chari says.
“When I started, I was making phone calls for 12 hours a day.
“To be able to list more, I had to get into more doors, and I was doing crazy numbers of 20 to 30 appraisals per week.”
In those early days Chari admits the going was tough, but instead of focusing on purely the number of calls he made, he preferred to take note of the amount of “connections”.
His goal each week was to make 380 to 400 connections.
The key to making those connections was not to ask the potential client whether they wanted to sell their home, but to offer them something, be it market advice, or just simply a friendly voice on the end of the line.
“I just wanted to get to know them, and I wanted them to get to know me,” Chari says.
“I just wanted to be a provider and not someone that was pushy.
“I’d provide them with information on what the market was doing, but I didn’t ask, ‘Do you want to sell today’?
“I believe in building relationships.”
It took about two years for all of those calls and connections to really start paying dividends, and Chari admits there were a few moments when he questioned whether he was going to make it.
But he was determined not to quit and, after eight months in the game, he made the brave decision to hire his first personal assistant.
“I was actually behind in my retainer, nearly $20,000, but I wanted to speed up the process a little bit more and get into more doors,” Chari explains.
“Then, because I started listing and selling more, I needed someone to deal with the forms and contracts and the administration side of things.
“So, believe it not, when I was down $38,000, I got another PA.
“I was scared, but eight months later everything changed.”
Chari says he never lost faith that things would turn around.
“I thought that if I call more than anyone else, I will get there.
“If I do more appraisals, I will get there.
“If I list more than anyone else, I will get there.
“There was no point working really hard for the past two years and then fading in the last minute.”
Chari says picking up the phone to prospect is one of the simplest things agents can do physically, but psychologically a lot struggle with it.
Many agents get caught in a negative mindset and focus on all that can go wrong, instead of what can go right.
Chari says as well as keeping a positive mindset, the key to prospecting by phone is allowing the strategy time to work.
“You’re going to have days where you’re not going to have connections, and there will be days where you don’t get any appraisals, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working,” he says.
For younger agents just starting, Chari has some simple strategies they can use when prospecting by phone, although they are also useful if door-knocking in person.
Chari says simply cold calling to tell someone you’re going to be in their neighbourhood doing free market appraisals and asking if they’d like one as well, is a good way to start.
When you have a good sale in the area you can call to let other homeowners know.
On a more micro level, agents can use the 10-10-20 strategy every time they list or sell a property.
That means you contact the owners of the 10 properties either side of the home you list or sell, as well as the 20 properties across the road.
“Never forget about your past clients,” Chari advises.
“Some agents, when they sell it (the property), they forget about it and forget about the clients.
“I don’t. I still call them every six months and see if they need any help.
“After you sell their house, they’re not a client anymore, they’re a friend.
“I call them and say, ‘It’s been a year, happy anniversary. How are the kids? How are the neighbours?’
“They’re not ready to buy or sell again, but they’re not going to forget about me and when they’re at a barbecue and someone says, ‘I want to sell my house’, they’re going to give them my name.”
Last financial year Chari sold 168 properties, and he says he’s on track to hit 200 again this year.
Next year he hopes to push that figure up towards 300 sales, and he is quietly confident of hitting that target given he’s gaining a lot of traction from social media.
“I didn’t do anything (on social media) a year ago,” Chari says.
“I just put up a couple of sold pictures and nothing else.
“No I do testimonials and share them on social media, take good pictures, run ads, do competitions and all sorts of things.”
Chari is a big believer in the saying ‘the early bird catches the worm,’ as he starts each day at 4.30am.
His first task is to write out his business plan for the day, before settling in for 45 minutes of “education time,” which can be anything from listening to a podcast, reading a book or going over scripts.
Chari is a big fan of James Tostevin, Mat Steinwede and is quite partial to Tom Panos’s training as well.
“Knowledge is power,” Chari says.
Up next is the gym, before he spends time with his two sons over breakfast and helps around the house with daily chores.
Chari says he likes to ensure he’s had his “time off” in the morning so that when he arrives home at night, he is 100 per cent present and spending quality time with his family.
“I know I don’t have to rush or stress about anything at night time. I can spend time with my kids, with my family because I’m going to be up at 4.30am to do what I need to do then,” Chari says.
Chari’s parting advice to other agents, especially those new to real estate, is as simple as his strategy for selling almost 1000 homes.
“Believe in yourself and don’t quit,” he says.
“You will never unlock your true potential if you quit.”