Out of the Comfort Zone: Jack Richardson, hockingstuart Armadale

From selling boats on the Victorian coast to becoming a well-respected agent and auctioneer in Melbourne, Jack Richardson brings a sharp eye to the sales market in his role at hockingstuart Armadale. Fresh from winning the REIV 2016 Novice Auctioneer of the Year Award, he shares his goals for 2017.

Jack, how many years have you been working in real estate?
I started at hockingstuart Armadale three years ago. I wanted to start at a well- established office that has market share in their area and has great systems in place, and I knew hockingstuart Armadale would be a good fit.

What motivated you to get into real estate?
I’ve always been good at selling. However, I originally sold boats through my own business in Queenscliff for a couple of years, which really honed my sales skills. I also had a few friends who worked in real estate, and the more I learnt about what they do on a day-to-day basis, the more I thought real estate would be a good fit for me.

What is the market like in your area right now?
Armadale is a hive of activity at the moment. The Stonnington area is well sought-out throughout the year, but I do find the February market tends to kick-start the year with a bang. This bumper market looks set to continue right throughout 2017. In particular, the housing market has been incredibly strong and older-style apartments are also selling well.

What or who inspires you?
The people I work with at hockingstuart Armadale keep me going every day. They really do keep you accountable and also give plenty of support.

What crossover skills do you bring from your experience selling luxury sports boats?
The most important skill in selling is being able to talk to people and convincingly portray the benefits of what you’re selling. The two also go hand-in-hand when it comes to negotiation. When I was selling boats I needed to negotiate the best fees on behalf of the vendor, much like my role as a real estate agent.

Define success for you?
I’m always pushing myself and using my passion for the industry to better myself as a real estate agent – I see this as success. Our branch also dominates our sector of the market, so success for us is to continue to grow our market share.

In your ‘briefcase’ right now is…
I carry a folder instead of a briefcase. Inside I keep a couple of auction authorities, marketing schedules and a pen.

Is there something or someone that you couldn’t live without?
As an agent, it would have to be my mobile. We’re essentially a service-based industry, so I couldn’t do 90 per cent of my work without it as it’s how I communicate with all my clients!

What is your essential piece of technology or app for agents?
hockingstuart has a great system for running inspections – we have iPads to take names and details from interested buyers. This goes into an internal system which helps us log the properties they are looking at, and what sort of price ranges they want to stay within.

It also allows us to send interested buyers emails and text messages so we can alert them if an auction is coming up. It makes the buying process so much simpler and streamlined for them. Similarly, it’s fantastic for vendors because their properties can be sent to buyers who might not have otherwise seen them. It’s one of the ways hockingstuart makes the buying and selling process easier for everyone.

Favourite thing about reading Elite Agent Magazine?
I really enjoy reading the interviews with experienced agents. Being relatively new in this industry, it’s helpful to read their tips and advice.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?
I’d like to continue honing my auctioneering skills and to become a go-to auctioneer in my area. I’d also like to grow my listings and sales. These are the things that will really set me apart as a reputable agent and hopefully inspire people to approach me for sales guidance.

Do you have any words to live by, or a favourite quote?
I like the phrase ‘control what you can control’ – this speaks to me in my work as an agent. We are very much in control of our own careers; the more we put into it, the more we get out of it.

As REIV Novice Auctioneer winner in 2016, any advice for someone starting out as an auctioneer?
Get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there as much as possible.

It can be terrifying at the start, but the more you do it the easier it gets.

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