Be on top of the market environment. Have discipline in your systems. Keep your word at all costs.Of European heritage, Nick Countouris was born in Sydney. He earned an Honours degree in Economics from London and Masters in Business from the University of Technology (UTS) Sydney and uses the academic discipline together with his vast experience in property to take a holistic and centred approach to his client’s investment needs. As a Pyrmont resident, together with his wife and daughter, he has an in depth knowledge and respect for the local community, supporting various charities and events.
What was your first job, and what was the most important thing it taught you?
At the age of 12, my parents threw me into a pizza shop as punishment for poor grades! Three very long months and working hours from 5pm -2am triggered my early manhood. I was serving drinks, cleaning/setting up tables, and every other duty that was thrown onto me. I was paid a little over $13 for the entire evening. But, it taught me stamina, and I learned how to save every dollar and contributed to my school fees the following year. My grades drastically improved to say the least.
What do you like most about your work in Real Estate now?
I’ve always been affected by “Real Estate” investing myself, and assisting my family. I originally got into property development, and was responsible for managing a development that included both luxury residential apartments and a Coles supermarket. I just loved what I was doing, exceeding my client’s expectations. I also love challenging the status quo. I enjoy the creative process of selling and finding more efficient ways of doing things. For example, we try to use technology as much as we can to obtain the latest information for our clients with RPData, APM and the like.
What do you still find most challenging about what you do, and how do you deal with it?
Multitasking. As a relatively new franchise, my role as principal is three-fold: Growing the business, maintaining the back office, and managing staff and their targets. Time management and prioritising makes the week’s task load achievable. Micro meetings and constant communication on a daily basis are essential.
Define “Success” for you personally? What will you have achieved?
Success at this stage of my life is defined by my ability to manage both family and work time so that neither is compromised. Developing as person is one thing, and growing my business and spending quality time with my family is another.
Describe what a typical day looks like for you?
Meetings, call backs, prospecting, and improving efficiencies in back office. I save my call-backs from the afternoon, I think by the time 3pm comes people can be a bit more receptive, rather than being hassled in the mornings.
Is there one thing that’s not obvious about you that you wish more people would “get”?
I’m constantly running the numbers in my head. With years of experience and knowledge in the field, I now feel confident to adjust a strategy for my clients and ensure that their risks are always minimised.
What’s your secret skill or superpower that makes you so good at what you do?
My word, at all costs. Customers may overlook certain parts of a transaction, but they are generally unforgiving when it comes to your word, even if that means getting a better deal for them. They don’t want to associate with misleading agents.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received, and why?
In the spirit of testimonials, I was selected by a fellow agent to negotiate the sale of their property. I felt that this in itself is great recognition.
Is there anything you’re afraid to do or you would do if you weren’t afraid to do it?
You should never walk away from a challenge ever, even when the odds are against you. Better to have lived one day as a lion, than 1000 days as a sheep.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? What would you do more quickly?
The only advice I would give (and continue to give myself now) is to stay disciplined. If I could give any young agents starting out some advice it would be to stick to a sales process, stick to some systems, pull out a wealth planner and focus and stick to a weekly plan. And don’t forget your prospecting calls!
What’s next? What are your short term/long term goals?
Short term goal is to bring the business out of infancy. I will continue to grow organically and meet my annual targets. My long-term goal is continue working in an industry that I love most. Being known as a specialist in a given real estate field requires years of consistency and being at the top of your game. In the long term, this should come naturally if I continue to love doing what I do now.
Eds Note “In their own words” is a new series where we profile top agents and property managers from all suburbs across Australia who have interesting stories to tell about how they came to be where they are today.