We Are Real Estate

Sally O’Connell: A different approach

Jellis Craig Armadale agent Sally O’Connell is challenging the real estate industry by doing things her own way

On getting into real estate
I chose real estate as a major career change from private client banking at the age of 40. I selected the company I started my career with by asking people who had recently bought or sold what their experiences were like with the market leaders in the area. I had one interview with my chosen company and they offered me a job within a week.

The happiest moment in my career
When clients trust you and take your advice on board and with that advice they achieve their goals. In addition, my happiest moments are when I am able to change a person’s perception of real estate agents as a professional by surprising them with a different approach to what they may have experienced in the past from real estate agents.

The most memorable moment
Early in my career I was referred an amazing home in my core area that was in the price range that I was aspiring to move into relatively quickly having joined the industry as a 40-year-old. It was a July campaign and I went against more experienced advice to not sell a significant family home in the middle of winter in Melbourne. I ended up attracting a record number of buyers to the home and selling at auction for significantly more than my vendor’s reserve, with five bidders. What has been so memorable about this sale was that it launched and fast-tracked my career into the price range, property type and area that I aspired to be. The buyers and sellers I met from this one campaign continue to be one of my best lead sources today.

Best advice she’s received
Work out what your average hourly rate is in real estate and use every hour you are working wisely. 

Biggest challenge
Real estate is a people business first and foremost and most of the new technology is creating incredible efficiencies for the companies and agents who embrace it. I think the industry will continue to be challenged by disrupters trying to get a cut of what can be a very lucrative business and as a result an individual agent’s ability to earn the current day level of income will decrease over time. 

‘Elite’ agent means
An elite agent always acts in a professional manner with honesty and integrity. Success follows elite agents who represent the best interests of their clients, their company and the industry.

#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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