We Are Real Estate

Paulette Contessi: Higher education

While many others in the industry say technology is the biggest change they’re facing, The Agency’s Paulette Contessi believes the biggest challenge is coming from within

On getting into real estate
Very early on when at uni studying commerce (marketing/PR), I took a role at LJ Hooker as a junior rep. I loved it but felt I was too young and needed some world experience, so I moved to Sydney and worked in hospitality.

When I returned, I started an event management company and then moved into recruitment, opening my own agency. I loved the thrill of matching a candidate with an employer and thought back to my six months at LJs, so I sold up and moved into real estate.

The happiest moment in my career
Definitely my happiest moment in my career was finding a partner in The Agency. Having worked for myself for nearly 20 years, I knew it was going to be hard to work for someone else, as I had pretty high standards when it came to service. The Agency has been the perfect fit, the security of a great team with the autonomy that I need to work freely.

The most memorable moment
Just before returning to real estate, I had handed my property to a “guru” and in those six months she had my property, it gave me enough insight as to how much this industry had evolved (for the worse) with less client contact and less accountability. No nurturing of buyers and the blame game at full tilt.

As soon as I was registered, I took the property away from her and sold my home with a new, fresh marketing angle and it sold before I could even open it.

Best advice she’s received
Be yourself, be authentic – don’t “be” a real estate agent.

Biggest challenge
I actually don’t believe that people will leave the sale of their biggest asset to a “robot” or cheap alternative. The biggest challenge for this industry is a fight from within. I believe it is imperative that a minimum education standard across Australia should be implemented, the minimum being a Diploma in Property Services.

It is just a fluke that larger incidences of breaches in contract law haven’t occurred. Apart from raising our education and knowledge standards, it will also go a long way to raising our professional profile from the dredges of used car salesmen to “professional industry”.

Change for good?
Minimum education entry standards.

‘Elite’ agent means
An agent who has the whole package: education, knowledge, ethics, systems, good reputation and gives back. Not necessarily the million-dollar agent, as some of these aren’t the most ethical.

#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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