For Victorian agent Alicia Walker, her 20-year real estate career has always been about far more than just selling property.
Instead, she views it as an opportunity to have a lasting effect on people’s lives.
Alicia prides herself on the relationships she builds with clients.
She firmly believes there’s no one-size fits all approach to selling a home and sees real estate as a way to serve her community.
It’s this philosophy that will underpin the launch of her new boutique agency, Saint & Wood, and it is set to be a very different type of brand with a truly people-first approach.
Alicia explains the name of the agency itself is a nod to the bayside community it serves, incorporating both St Kilda and Elwood into the title.
“I love this area and have a deep passion for the Melbourne bayside region, and when the name Saint & Wood came to me, I felt it encapsulated that connection and feel,” she says.
Alicia notes this connection to her local area is critical. It’s her home, her backyard and a place she actively advocates for.
“The bayside ticks every box in terms of accessibility, beachside lifestyle, green space and an engaged and motivated community that’s great to be a part of,” she says.
Every element of her new brand is designed to reflect this vibrant feel, with her funky new office currently taking shape in Elwood.
The office is open-plan, comfy couches beckon amidst an array of plants, while a mural of Elwood by a local artist takes pride of place on the wall.
“It’s warm, friendly and community-facing,” Alicia explains.
“It’s inclusive yet exclusive and speaks to what we stand for as an approachable agency that’s keen to make a difference, not just for our clients, but the wider community as well.”
With the office steadily taking shape, Alicia is also building a likeminded and committed team around her and says a series of values will underpin her brand.
Her primary focus is on providing a tailored real estate experience for every vendor, but the business will also factor in greater causes, including supporting local charities and committing to environmental sustainability.
“We’re using green electricity, and are currently working toward achieving sustainability accreditation,” Alicia says.
“These values are entrenched in our vision for the brand, and we intend to live them not just speak them.”
For Alicia, the unveiling of her new business marks her second foray into agency ownership.
Previously, she teamed up with her father, running an office with a national franchise.
Together the pair grew a highly successful real estate business that was renowned for its results, leadership, and positive employee culture.
This time around, Alicia notes she was keen to put her own unique stamp on her business and has partnered with the Agents’Agency to bring that vision to life.
“I loved being part of a big group but this time I wanted to have my own creative control over the branding and feel of the agency and the services we offer,” she says.
“I also wanted to be part of a real estate network that offers support, mentoring and networking opportunities, and the Agents’Agency delivers the best of both those worlds.”
Alicia says she first met Agents’Agency founders Manos and Maria Findikakis at a conference a number of years ago, and was instantly taken with their warm, friendly and down-to-earth approach.
“They’re incredibly genuine people and the opportunity to work with them feels like being part of something special,” she says.
“Saint & Wood also has that family feel that’s incredibly supportive, and partnering with the Agents’Agency’s aligns with that vision.”