Joining the real estate industry three years ago from a development and engineering background, Tyson Clarke has already achieved formidable success in Brisbane’s high-end market. He spoke with Hannah Blackiston about work ethic, building a profile and delivering on promises.
Tyson Clarke has a different attitude to real estate. Despite only being in the industry for three years, his expansive background in other industries has given him a level-headedness and dedication that’s hard to fault. But there’s no lofty goal setting or eyeing up of market share for Tyson. He’s just here to deliver what he says he will – an easy and successful outcome for his clients.
As a senior sales executive at Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty, Tyson is working across the same patches as some big names in prestige real estate. But he doesn’t seem like the type of person who spends much of his time thinking about the competition, instead focusing on building up his database and working hard to impress his clients with the level of service he can provide.
So how do you walk into the Queensland high-end property market and start gaining a following of clients who are not only happy to do business with you, but are also trusting enough of you that you can build up a significant number of off-market sales, something Tyson has been able to do over the past three years?
“I got that exact same question a barbecue on Saturday night, a fellow said to me, ‘I’ve been in the industry for 15 years and I’m way behind you, how have you done it?’ And I said I’ve got no idea. I just am who I am, I talk the way I talk. I’m honest with people. If I say I’m going to do something I do it.”
As someone who has worked in a number of different industries, including engineering and mining, Tyson is able to connect with his customers. They’re similar people to him, people who have built up a business and are looking for someone who’s going to make the property process easy for them. His high-end clients want someone who’ll have things done when they say they’ll be done, and won’t come up with excuses.
“I work extremely hard, any of my clients and anyone in the office know it’s not uncommon for me to be doing contracts at eleven or twelve o’clock at night. One guy who’s house I just sold in December thought I was joking, then I knocked on his door at quarter past twelve, all the lights were out, and I knocked on the door and said ‘mate you need to sign this now, I told you I wouldn’t be going to bed until it’s done’.
“In real estate, because it’s such an emotional thing and you’re dealing with people’s livelihoods, if you tell them you’re going to do something they expect you to do it and they also expect you’re not going to stuff them around in the process. So I guess getting to where I’ve got in that short time, it’s just being honest and if I say to someone I’m going to do something I’ve always been able to get that done to date.”
This dedication to results and straightforward manner has gained Tyson a lot of referral business, and he credits word of mouth as part of the reason he was able to find success in real estate so quickly. Having some experience in the industry already, prior to his role at Sotheby’s, it was just a matter of turning that into a sales career.
Off-market sales are something else Tyson does a lot of. His little black book of buyers and sellers, some of whom may be waiting for the perfect property to come along or some of whom just don’t want to have their house subjected to numerous open homes, are ready and waiting for him to deliver them the perfect option. Tyson says his pre-screening process is so thorough that he knows when he brings someone to a house that they’ll buy it, so there’s no messing around with buyers who don’t have financing or aren’t in a position to make an offer.
“I get a lot of calls from buyers that may not have been able to find what they want on the market but are happy to work with me. They might be people who have just come to town, but they’ll hop in my car and I’ll drive them around and find out what suburb they want. I’ll go down streets and get them to write down the numbers of the houses in the street they like. Then I’ll approach them all and see if I can be the conduit to make something happen.
“On the seller side, I get a lot of people that say we’re not ready to sell just yet or I’ve got one property at the moment where they’ve got three kids under the age of four and they just can’t do open homes, it’s impossible for them. So that I said, okay I can just qualify buyers and bring them through and show them your property. I guess coming from an engineering background and being very detailed I qualify people very well. So I guess I’ve had a lot of success in that space.”
It isn’t a task Tyson takes lightly, and he knows that should he bring buyers around who aren’t suitable or waste his sellers time he’ll lose that trust. It’s all about playing the long game, a property may take months to sell but the process has been as easy for the seller as possible and Tyson has added more happy clients to his book of contacts.
“In that off-market space I’m very honest with the buyers, I’ll tell them up front that there won’t be any negotiation. I tell them what the price is and if they want to buy it they buy it or if they don’t think it’s a fair price, they don’t. I think as long as you’re honest with everyone and set the ground rules from the start people find that refreshing. You’re not playing games with anyone and you’re not wasting anyone’s time.”
Unsurprisingly, there aren’t any goals for Tyson this year, or any big number he wants to hit. He’s just going to keep doing what he’s doing – delivering the service that has got him to this point. Tyson works with some of his buyers for months leading up to the sale, which means he’s currently got a number of properties in his pipeline for the second half of the year.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and not deviate from that. At the end of the day, I think it’s good karma. If you just try to be a good person and do the right things for people then you can’t go too much wrong. It’s when you do the wrong thing that you come unstuck.”