To succeed in real estate it takes a combination of tenacity and drive. The Agency’s Jesse Raeburn has both.
In four short years he’s managed to build an impressive real estate career that recently saw him act as one of the selling agents on The Block. Now he’s set to swap his suit for a toolbelt when he features on the upcoming season as one of the contestants.
Only four years ago, Jesse was working in another field but desperately wanted to make the transition into the real estate industry that he always had a passion for.
Jesse originally followed in his father’s footsteps, working as a tiler, but realised he needed to follow his dream.
But having no experience and living in a city where he had no contacts was the first big challenge he had to face.
“My Dad was always pretty keen on me pursuing another dream and for me that was always real estate. So I packed up and moved to Melbourne. I stayed with a friend while I did my agents rep at the REIV and then set out looking for a job in the industry. That was around four years ago,” Jesse said.
“One of the directors at the REIV told me if you wanted a job in the industry you had to go and get it. So I went out and called 50 agencies. Three of them gave me an interview and two of them offered me a job.”
For Jesse, he knew that he faced an uphill battle to make it in real estate as many agents leave the industry after a short period of time.
“Everyone always told me that real estate will be the hardest job you’ll ever have, particularly when you start out. Eighty per cent of the people who start in the industry leave in the first six months. Of those 20 per cent who are left, 80 per cent will leave after 12 months.
“My goal for the first year was just to pay back my retainer. I managed to do that quite comfortably which was great.”
After establishing himself over those first four years, Jesse built up a strong track record and has always worked hard for his clients and to generate new business.
Recently he has made the move to The Agency after meeting Peter Kakos during their time on The Block.
“I first met Peter Kakos when I was selling a property on The Block and we just got along like a house on fire. I feel like we have very similar personalities. He’s someone who is extremely passionate and enthusiastic about real estate and he was someone I wanted to work with.
“Peter’s pitch to me was that he was more interested in training and building me as an agent, than his own personal real estate. He’s very focused on training, leadership and coaching rather than putting a listing out and that was something that was really important to me. Real estate really is so much more than just listings and selling. It really is about personal growth and development and having a happy work/life balance.”
Jesse always had the dream of being a contestant on The Block but was realistic about how hard that might be to achieve. However, being an agent he realised there might be another way to make it. He set a more realistic goal to sell one of the houses on the show. As fate would have it and through some hard work, that opportunity actually presented itself.
“I’m not a senior agent and most of the agents on the show have been in the business for 20 years. I couldn’t rely on being called in, so I put a plan in place to get in front of them.
“I tried to sell them a property to use on one of the seasons as I felt that would be a good way to put myself in front of the right people.”
Through some industry contacts Jesse was able to offer the producers a house to use in one of the episodes and that opened the door to taking a bigger role in the show.
“I called my client who owned the oldest house in St Kilda called Wattle House which was built in 1830 and was also once owned by Alfred Felton. I managed to get my client to let them use the house for a couple of weeks for a challenge.
“After that, I was introduced to one of the producers and I tried to sell him a $15 million property to use on one of the seasons. I think he was impressed with the effort I had put in to get in contact with him and with the selling ability, as I was pushing pretty hard for him to buy the place, obviously.
“But he said to me that he loved my energy. He could see the work I put in. So he offered me the opportunity to pitch my skills to the contestants and the rest is history.”
After continuing to impress the producers, Jesse managed to land a starring role in the upcoming season of The Block as a contestant and he’s feeling extremely confident about how he is going to perform.
“As a real estate agent it’s in our personality to be confident. Every listing I walk into I think I’m going to get it. Whenever a vendor says, ‘can you sell it?’, it’s always a yes. You always have to be confident and that’s what your clients look for in you. So going into The Block, I’m feeling very confident.”