We Are Real Estate

Michael Coombs: Focus on the people, not the money

Sixteen years in real estate has seen LJ Hooker AVNU agent Michael Coombs go from $250,000 for his first sale, right up to a $21 million sale some years later. But he says success and happiness doesn't only come from money – it's more about who you can help along the way.

On getting into real estate
I left school and worked as a landscaper but growing up I always loved looking at houses and going through open homes. I use to go through as a kid, when I was about 15 years old, and ask a lot of questions. Most of the time they would kick me out. I grew up with very little money and living in a tiny apartment with three sisters and a single mum. I wanted to work out how to buy my mum and sisters a house. So I did work experience and dreamed about being a great real estate agent one day.

The happiest moment in my career
When I sold my first apartment for around $250,000. Also, many years later, when I sold my highest house sale for $21,000,000. Both very exciting times! Talking for the first time at the AREC conference was very special. I have been going to AREC for years so to get up on the same stage as so many great people was a very proud moment.

The most memorable moment
17 Stanley Ave Mosman. Its was a large, grand estate that had been on the market for a few years with other agents. This home was amazing and had so much history in Mosman. It was built in the late 1800s by gold miner Edward Stanley who the street was named after. I sold it for a great price only a few months after listing it.

Best advice he’s received
Focus on the people not the money. If you look after people and help people, you will succeed. Advice from my grandmother before she passed away.

Biggest challenge
The biggest challenge is not getting left behind. I believe we will see so much change over the next 12 months and if you are not the best in the business with technology, data and social media, you will struggle.

Change for good?
I would like to see the industry catch up with the times and adapt quicker to technology. We are far behind on how we sell homes compared to the rest of the world.

‘Elite’ agent means
An agent who dominates their market place and has a great reputation.

#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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