Jellis Craig has announced new appointments of two talented agents within the group.
Geordie Dixon has been appointed as a Director of Jellis Craig Hawthorn, Balwyn and Glen Iris offices.
Carla Fetter has been appointed a Partner of the Jellis Craig Armadale, South Yarra and Richmond offices.
Carla, 36, has been with the business for 13 years and in that time worked her way up from reception to running her own team. She is proud of her feat to reach partner in an industry “where there are not many women as partners or directors.”
Carla didn’t have any real estate ambitions but started in the receptionist role by chance. Within 3-6 months she realised she enjoyed the energy, environment and the people. One and a half years later, partner Andrew McCann and Nathan Waterson asked Carla to join their team in a sales admin role. That organically transitioned to helping in sales and she has been listing for almost 10 years.
About six years ago, Carla was listing 30 properties a year but this year is on track to reach 70 listings.
She says her style is based on trust.
“I believe that people choose to work with me based on like and trust basis. It’s important they like me and I like them, because then the working relationship will be a lot better. With like comes trust as well. A big reason for why I love real estate is that I’ve developed amazing relationships with clients. I love seeing my clients happy, whether it be the seller who gets their top price, or the buyer who buys their dream home. I love their emotional reactions.”
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is an advantage, Carla says.
“Any female can be as successful as any other agent in the industry provided they invest the time and energy as much as top performers do. I am in the office before 8 am and I’m getting home after 8 pm. I don’t have children so I don’t have to worry about being flexible, I’ve been fully committed to this industry for the last 10 years. I don’t think that’s a drawback and clients respond well to working with a female, provided we deliver on our promises.”
Now that she is a partner in the business, Carla’s goal is to see the business succeed as a whole while focusing on mentoring younger agents.
“I want my team to become successful in their own right. I’ve got a young agent, David, and I am trying to develop him as quickly as possible. I have a new admin person and I want to ensure she has great job satisfaction. I think I’ll be in this role for a long time, I want to continue to grow. At the moment we are performing very well and we keep setting the bar higher to achieve our goals.”
She hopes her appointment to partner can inspire other women within the business to aspire to be director, partner or investor and wants to see more women join the upper ranks of the business.
Geordie, 42, was destined for a career in real estate with her father and grandfather both real estate agents. She has spent almost 20 years in the industry, most of that time spent with Jellis Craig. She is the first female director within the organisation, a fact she is not taking lightly.
For Geordie, it was important she wouldn’t become the token female director and wanted to make she wasn’t a director “just in title”.
“I didn’t want to move off selling and my day-to-day role, but I wanted to be part of the board and the corporate level to make a difference to women and make sure women in the network can see that if I can do it, anyone can do it. The big message with my appointment is that there is opportunity there. There are 7 women in directorship or partnership role in Jellis Craig which is fantastic. It is moving forward and that mentality has changed, and I would like to think the industry is not just a boy’s club anymore and there is more acceptance within the group.”
Her goals include mentoring young female agents as well as taking the business to the next level with social media and the internet.
“I want to bring back old school manners and courtesy within the workplace and foster a safe environment where people feel equal at any stage. It’s about making sure people can find a voice and equality and mentoring throughout.”
To get more women involved in the upper echelons of the real estate world means creating more flexibility and options within the network, Geordie says.
“It comes down to the network or corporation. You have to create an environment or platform where they can pick the kids up from school and then come back to work. That’s the beauty of real estate: it’s not about clocking in, you can be mobile, half the time we are face to face in someone’s living room. You are the engineer of your own destiny, what you put in is what you’re going to get out.”