We Are Real Estate

Matt Bolin: Adding value outside the norm

He used to run a TV production company but switched to real estate after the GFC in 2009. Matt tells us the importance of being an expert in your local market, how to meet the challenge of technology and transparency, and what it means to be an 'Elite' agent.

On getting into real estate 
Prior to real estate, I spent the first decade of my career in the film industry, in lighting for film and TV. I had my own business, with trucks, vans, a warehouse and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. The GFC in 2009, coupled with massive technology changes in film and the birth of my first child had me ready for a career change.

A friend of my brother-in-law who had a successful agency suggested I’d be great at real estate, so I made the leap.

Funnily enough, my Dad was an agent in the same area, but I was definitely not ready to follow in his footsteps straight after school. A bit of maturity and experience in other areas, and having my own business, was perfect training.

Learning how to present a product in its best light from some of the world’s foremost creatives in the film, television and advertising industries was also a great complement for my current career.

The happiest moment in my career
The happiest moment in my career was when I was approached by my current business partners and made the leap from working as an agent at another agency to being a part-owner and principal at Ray White Upper North Shore. Being part of a collaborative team with like-minded partners that I really respect and admire makes me happy every day.

The most memorable moment 
A block of 27 brand new apartments in Turramurra very early in my career. I built a relationship with the developer who took a big leap of faith with me, a new agent who was just starting out.

The successful sale of these apartments allowed me to make a name for myself; it effectively kick-started my career. We were both young guys, with young families, risking everything and working really hard. I still have a great relationship with him and have resold many of these apartments.

Best advice he’s received
Mr Ian Mcpherson, my high school industrial design teacher, once said, “Measure twice, cut once.” It was excellent advice that applies to many areas of life!

Biggest challenge
Technology and transparency. The public now has access to most of the same information we do, so we must add value in different ways. We must be absolute experts in our local market. We need to respond in real time, we need to move faster, and service should be faultless.

Change for good?
The end of ‘bottom-feeder’ agents whose only value add is to offer a reduced commission. They don’t have longevity and only damage our industry by creating a race to the bottom mentality.

‘Elite’ agent means
To me, it’s not all about GCI. Show me an agent who has balance in life, who is a good parent and partner, follows their passions, and maintains friendships.

I measure my success on my client feedback and reviews. That’s the footprint I leave, that’s my legacy. Did I just make a sale or did I take care of my clients and provide them with an excellent experience? That’s my definition of success.


#WeAreRealEstate is a series of short interviews with 140 agents all over Australia exploring the industry’s hopes, concerns, future challenges, and what it really means to be an Elite Agent.

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