One of Century 21’s leading regional agents, Troy Kearney, believes that geography is no limitation for success in real estate. He shares his top tips for operating in the bush.
Mr Kearney opened his office, Century 21 Bathurst Region, two years ago and during that short period achieved prestigious Double Centurion status, placing him amongst the top one per cent of over 100,000 Century 21 agents across the world.
An interesting challenge that Mr Kearney has had to overcome in regional Australia is buyers and sellers often knowing each other. “There is a genuine sense of community in regional markets like Bathurst – everyone knows everyone, and everyone looks out for everyone. It really is fantastic and a great draw card to live in a regional area.
“However, we have had to change the structure of our business to accommodate for this. The water can get clouded between buyer and seller, so we now have specific buyer agents and specific vendor agents to avoid the parties crossing paths.”
Mr Kearney believes that to succeed in regional markets, agents must have a point of difference and credits the utilisation of state-of-the-art technology as a major competitive advantage for his business. “We were one of the first real estate teams to import 3D Matterport cameras into Australia and this technology has been a game-changer for us. It helps us to generate more listings and reach a much bigger buyer audience.”
Imported from the US, the Matterport camera rotates and captures 360° imagery of each room in a property which is then rendered into a high-quality 3D model. Prospective buyers can virtually inspect and interact with the property via a direct link from the listing itself or through email, text, database mail outs and social media.
“It is now a common occurrence for us to transact property that the buyer hasn’t even physically stepped foot in – they have only walked through the home using virtual technology,” said Mr Kearney.
“Being able to virtually promote our listings in such a realistic way is incredibly powerful in harnessing the mix of investor and owner-occupier interest coming out of capital cities to Bathurst.”
Following this theme, Mr Kearney is a strong believer in promoting property far and wide through traditional channels that also help to create borderless real estate markets. “Having operated in both metro and regional markets, I would say it has been a little tougher convincing regional homeowners of the value of vendor paid marketing. Some may think that the marketing spend comes from an agent’s commission, so we have often had to overcome this misconception.
“Our client’s value transparency and telling it like it is, so we show them case studies and help them to understand the benefits. This information often helps to alleviate the hesitations surrounding a vendor’s marketing investments,” said Mr Kearney.
Mr Kearney said that working with the global Century 21 brand and network has helped to solidify his reputation in the local area and beyond, whilst also providing the support of a close-knit network.
Above all, Mr Kearney asserts that hustle breeds success, regardless of geographic location: “If I do an appraisal for a client, the pack is back to them that night, or I’ll be available to talk through a listing later at night when clients are home from work, settled and the kids are in bed.
“You can’t switch off at 5.30pm and back on at 9am the next morning – if you hustle for everything and put in the hours, you’ll be setting your clients up for a win,” said Mr Kearney.
CoreLogic has reported that many regional markets are seeing value increases as capital city dwelling values are falling. Over the past three months to the end of February, regional dwelling values increased by 0.9 per cent.