Industry veteran Nick Psarros has amassed dozens of awards over the past decade-and-a-half, and he’s recently added another to his trophy cabinet.
As Ray White’s reigning No 1 international salesperson of the year, it’s no surprise the principal of the group’s Port Adelaide office was named South Australia’s Top Residential Agent at the 2020 Annual REA Excellence Awards.
Nick tells Elite Agent the key to his long-term success is consistency.
“I have been consistently doing well for a long period of time, so it’s not something that I just won,” he says.
“I’ve won many awards over many, many years, and if you’re consistently doing the same thing over and over again – if you’re doing a good job – then the better you do, and the more accolades, the more referrals and the more business (you get).
“So I knew I was going to be up there, but of course, I didn’t know that I was going to win it.”
Nick sold 184 properties in 2020, earning just over $1.32 million in commission in the process.
“The award was based on not only the number of sales, but how many reviews you get,” he adds.
“I actually had more reviews than anybody else, and the highest amount of reviews per sale, and they were all verified and so that’s why I won the award.”
Before entering the real estate industry in 2007, Nick had been renovating and selling properties.
He says negative experiences he had with agents provided him with some salient lessons on how not to conduct himself when he entered the industry.
“I remember one guy was on my doorstep every day saying, ‘When are you going to be finished? When can I list the property?’” Nick recalls.
“I gave him my listing and then he disappeared; there was no communication, no nothing.
“I had no idea what was taking place and then, finally, two weeks later, I got hold of him and I said, ‘Mate, where have you been?’
“He said, ‘I’m the kind of agent that you’re not going to see me or hear of me until I’m sitting with you around a kitchen table with an offer in my hand’.
“I said to him, ‘Well, you’re the kind of agent I don’t want.'”
Nick also knew exactly what he did want – an agent with excellent communication skills and processes that would keep him “in the know”.
“When I got into real estate, I thought to myself, I’m not going to be like that,” he says.
“I’m going to work for my vendors and keep them in the loop every step of the way, give good communication, good reporting, and let them know the truth upfront.”
When asked what helped give him the winning edge in a year with as many speed bumps as 2020, his answer is simple – he just kept working.
“We had the pandemic, and all of my competition went into hibernation, or suspension mode. In other words, they shut up shop, they went home and they didn’t do anything.
“I worked. I said, ‘Look, I can’t change what’s happening. It’s happening, whether we like it or not, but what I can do is make sure that my attitude is right’.
“I maintained a positive attitude, it’s not the end of the world, there’s a lot of things we don’t understand about what we’re dealing with, but I’m still going to service my buyers and sellers, because a lot of people wanted to sell in this market.
“So, while everyone was taking a holiday, I was actually working, and I was selling properties, and I was getting good reviews, so I did extremely well during COVID.”
Nick was also quick to adopt virtual solutions, particularly when it came to communicating with prospective buyers and sellers.
“I did a lot of Zoom and I did a lot of Skype calls and a lot of videos, so I could get all the information that the buyers needed to make an educated decision if we sold properties to interstaters,” he says.
“I also ran my auctions online, I was one of the first to offer auctions online.
“So we were selling to a lot of interstate residents online, selling over the phone or via auction and the different mediums that we adopted – a lot of Zoom and Skype meetings showing people the homes.
“It was business as normal – a bit more work than normal but we had a positive attitude, we were there to get the business done and we got the business done and I guess the proof’s in the pudding now.”
Despite the relative success of South Australia’s public health response in dealing with the pandemic, there were still myriad social restrictions in place when it came to regulations around holding open houses.
Agents were still allowed to physically take prospective buyers through a property, but rather than a traditional open-house setting, inspections had to be arranged by appointment and adhere to strict COVID-safe guidelines.
For this reason, Nick says it was vital to ensure he was dealing with qualified buyers.
“I had qualified buyers, and I said, ‘Look, my vendor’s happy for me to open the property’,” he says.
“‘We’re obviously going to be COVID-safe and all the rest of it, but if I show you this property, which is a lot of work in preparation, are you in a position where you can actually put an offer in and actually secure this property if you like the property?’
“I got so many deals done, I was so busy, so we did very, very well and at the end of the day, the dire predictions never materialised.”
Although Nick says a solid knowledge and understanding of market conditions underpins everything he does, he is quick to add that it’s only part of the puzzle, and he sees interpersonal skills as being his most valuable asset.
“It’s about people, it’s not about houses,” Nick says.
“I truly believe that and I want to offer an elite service, and whether you’re selling a $250,000 a unit or a $1.5 million home, it doesn’t matter, I will give excellent service.
“You can teach people about the market but I think it’s your attitude to your work and the way you treat people, and how you put it all together to get the best outcome that’s most important.”