After I finished high school I got into an engineering course, which I didn’t start because I just didn’t have a passion for it. So I deferred it and thought I’d try and get into real estate.”
After completing his licence and with a vision to one day having an office of his own, Malek walked into his local real estate office and asked for a job. Despite a resounding no from the owner, partly due to Malek’s age and partly due to no role being available, Malek returned the next day.
“I walked back in and said, ‘Look, you can’t judge me; you don’t know my work ethic, you don’t know my character’. So he said, ‘Well, because of your eagerness I’ll take you on, but you’re going to be on probation and I’ll start you in property management. If, two years from now, I think you’re ready for sales, I’ll move you.’”
Six months later and Malek was moved into sales, beginning a career in real estate he’s never looked back from. He was just 21, but he had the passion and the drive to turn his career into something great.
Fast forward 17 years, Malek and his business partner Phillip Mercieca have had the doors open at Ray White Gladstone Park for nine months and have already made the top 15 Ray White offices for Victoria. While that in itself would be a great achievement for an office which, as Malek says, hasn’t even finished crossing its t’s and dotting its i’s, Malek himself was also recognised at the end of 2018 as the top residential agent in Australia, according to SQM Research.
The Top 100 Residential Real Estate Agents 2018 list was released in December 2018 and is the first of its kind by SQM Research. This list was compiled by analysing the sales figures of 53,650 residential agents who had their name published on an advertisement in 2018. It stands out from other lists which focus on dollar value, choosing instead to highlight an agent’s role in focusing on their vendors’ needs and market share.
Malek ranked highly in the five categories considered by the list, including market share and days on market. With 76 sales, an average of 29 days on the market and a 78.4 per cent conversion rate, Malek’s results speak very highly of the level of service he provides his clients.
“When I found out I had made top of the list, I was thinking, ‘That’s great news’. I didn’t realise it was national; I thought it was in my market. I was thinking about the sales I’d done and I was pretty happy with it. But when they told me it was across the whole of Australia, I was a bit speechless and very humbled. And then I spoke with Ray White Victoria CEO Domenic Belfiore and Chairman Brian White and I realised what a massive achievement it was. I feel very humbled and very, very grateful.”
Market share was a very important factor in the SQM Research ranking, and it’s something Malek and his office work hard to maintain. They’re intent on doing things differently than the other agents in the area, with a focus on social media and marketing. Over the last four to five years, Malek has been championing Facebook and targeted marketing. He works closely with a creative director to create standout videos for the properties he lists.
It helps that he’s working in the area he grew up in and has a strong sense of connection to the community. Malek and his team support local businesses and give back as much as they can, which has allowed them to become very well known in the area. While some offices are struggling in a cooler market, Ray White Gladstone Park is currently clearing around 80 per cent of their stock and seeing big crowds turn up to their auctions.
“I think that, with 17 years in the industry and a lot of local area knowledge, I’ve got the stats behind me and the confidence to talk with my clients. I’m honest about what they’re going to get for their homes, I don’t deceive them, and I make sure I’m meeting with my clients every week of the sales campaign. On top of that, I’m calling them; there’s a lot of touch points so they know what’s happening in the campaign and there are no surprises on auction day.”
Being named number one agent has opened up a lot of doors for Malek. He’s been invited to speak at AREC 2019, he’s been approached to do sales training and the media attention has only served to boost his profile. Which is good, because for someone as ambitious as Malek growth is always on his mind.
“In the next two years we’re hoping to crack the top ten offices for Ray White, then the top three, then eventually the top. You’ve got to have a big vision.”