Matt McKee is no stranger to adventure, but even he says there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of opening an agency with your name on the door.
McKee Real Estate is the most recent entrant into the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie property market in New South Wales, and it’s already making waves.
“We opened in January and achieved listings and sales pretty much straight away.”
Matt’s path to agency ownership wasn’t immediately clear when he started his property career in 2011, but his natural selling attributes came to the fore and directed his calling.
“I always had an interest in property and real estate, but I originally wanted to be a developer. When I got offered a sales role and for the first three months it was pretty ordinary … but then a switch flipped, and I realised I was actually pretty good at it.”
“Pretty good” is a gross understatement. In his second year in the industry, Matt was awarded Rookie of the Year. Then, not too long after, he was invited to become a partner in the business.
“I was only 24 and already one of the leading agents in Newcastle, so it was pretty cool.”
Matt continued his professional journey and eventually joined a major brand to spearhead their service in the Lake Macquarie area.
It was there he began to realise the strength of his personal brand.
“What became apparent was all my business came from my name and my leads, not so much because of the brand I worked for.
“There was one month in particular where I signed up quite a few properties and every one of them were my own referrals.
“I thought, ‘Why am I doing this for someone else when I can just do it for myself?’
“I’ve had some really good mentors during my time, and I liked the professionalism and marketing structure of the bigger agencies – much of which I’m carrying over into my own business – but there isn’t as much value in the brand itself as what people from the outside might think.”
Matt said the pandemic also demonstrated one of the challenges around working for a large company.
“When COVID hit, I couldn’t be as agile in a big agency. I wanted to be able to adapt and change and have more control so I could cater my service more to the individual client.
“Now I have full autonomy on what I can and can’t do and what I can offer to clients.”
Matt looked at several models for opening his own agency, but it was Dan Argent’s UrbanX platform that provided the most attractive avenue for launching his venture.
“After the first phone call with Dan, I thought, ‘This guy knows his stuff and UrbanX will get me where I want to be’. It was the perfect model for what I was looking for.”
Matt said the fast turnaround in setting up the operation – particularly during the Christmas/New Year – was a testament to the UrbanX crew’s professionalism and commitment.
“It was a structured, seamless procedure from when I gave the green light, to being ready to open the doors.”
Matt said while going solo has been an exciting move, it didn’t come without anxieties.
“I’ve got messages that I sent Dan that are full of nerves, but I really just had to back myself and be confident that it would work out.
“There was a bit of fear, doubt, uncertainty and a load of different waves of emotion, but at the same time there was also a sense of excitement and fulfilment that I was actually creating something that’s bigger than myself.”
And the upsides haven’t just been professional. Matt said those around him have noticed he’s walking taller since opening McKee Real Estate.
“There’s a new energy around my life and a lot of people have noticed that. My energy levels went back to going through the roof. I’m just so excited about getting back to business and helping people.”
For more information, visit www.urbanx.io
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