Jeremy Wilkinson: Keep your eye on the goal

Harcourts Launceston director Jeremy Wilkinson is the type of agent who sets a goal and sticks to it. In 2020, his aim was to be top residential salesperson in Tasmania and it was something he recently achieved at the REA Awards after selling 115 properties that were collectively worth around $46 million.

Although Jeremy’s team tipped he might be in the running, he says nothing is ever in the bag, and it was a “pretty cool” achievement that was good for his office, his team, and the Harcourts brand in general.

It was also a welcome reward for him personally after a year with its fair share of ups and downs.

The year that was 2020

Last year was a busy one for Jeremy and it followed a few years of solid momentum in the Tasmanian property market.

However, when Australia entered lockdown, like many, he had fears for the immediate future.

After two weeks watching Netflix and creating an “awesome garden”, Jeremy decided it was time to get back to work.

“We got back into it and literally, my March last year was the best month I’ve ever had in 20 years,” he says.

Jeremy attributes that success to the fact his team kept “running”, while many around him ground to a halt.

“We kept doing what we do, which is make the calls and talk to the clients. We just took market share off other people by being there ready to do the job.”

An appraisal a day

Jeremy’s perspective of 2020 might make it sound easy, but behind the scenes two decades in real estate have taught him the value of systems, procedures, and following the process.

His reputation is forged on relationships, his routine is built around achievable goals.

Each day he aims to obtain one appraisal, in the knowledge that momentum quickly adds up.

“I take all numbers and dollars out of it. The dollars come if you work hard and I know that sounds a bit silly, but it’s the truth,” he reflects.

“All I have to do is one appraisal a day, because if I do 285 or 265 appraisals a year, I’m going to get my 110 to 140 listings a year, and that’s just going to be good for everyone.”

Good people around him

Supporting Jeremy in that goal is a team who keeps him on track.

Each day they present him with a folder of people from his database who he needs to ring personally.

“If I can do 30 calls a day, I’m happy,” Jeremy says.

Those calls aren’t about asking for an appraisal, he’s not telling people how many properties he sold in the past two weeks.

Instead, they are a brief and friendly chat, drawing on detailed notes of every conversation Jeremy’s had with that person in the past.

Each two-minute call is designed to build genuine rapport with people, and the routine reaps results.

The value of the touchpoint

Jeremy’s daily calls are part of his commitment to personalised touchpoints that also extend throughout the selling journey.

He notes the Tasmanian property market has changed a lot in recent times, with campaigns lasting as little as a week between listing a property and a signed contract.

Throughout, Jeremy is proactively contacting his vendor at every stage of the process; when the property is loaded online, when the first inquiries come in, after every single appointment with a prospective buyer, and after a contract is signed.

The latter is critical, Jeremy notes, and it’s at this point that he is in contact with the vendor more than ever.

“I wasn’t doing that back about five years ago and it reflected in the numbers,” he says, explaining the simple act of touching base regularly after a contract is signed has seen his numbers double.

Stellar service and solid reviews

In addition to selling 115 properties last year, Jeremy also received 61 five-star reviews on realestate.com.au.

These reviews are a natural result of his personalised service, but he explains obtaining them is about “being gutsy enough” to ask.

“It’s like asking for a listing,” he says. “Don’t be scared, that’s our job.”

It’s also about getting the timing right. Like his routine of phone calls and appraisals, Jeremy has set times in the sales process when he asks for a review.

“Do it as soon as it’s basically sold. Have a go at it then and have a go at unconditional stage, but have a system in place around that,” he suggests.

He also stresses you cannot ring someone randomly. You have to ensure that you have done the best job possible for a vendor, then the likelihood is they’ll rave about you.

Goals ahead

With the top residential salesperson award for 2020 neatly ticked of his to-do list, Jeremy’s next “big, hairy, audacious goal” is to be the number one agent for Harcourts Tasmania, and in the top 10 Harcourts agents nationally.

Next financial year he aims to be in the top five, and he says these goals are important as they compel him to keep improving.

The art to achieving them involves having the systems in place along with the right people, he adds.

Meanwhile, he notes the real magic trick of his success lies in simply being himself.

“It’s showing that you’re enthusiastic, you love what you do and not deviating from that.”

You can listen to Jeremy’s full interview with Elite Agent managing editor Samantha McLean as part of the Elevate podcast series here.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.