Feature Interviews

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  • Photo of Bigger, better and bolder

    Bigger, better and bolder

    It’s no secret that property managers are often used as a battering ram, caught in the middle of the landlord’s wants and the tenant’s needs. It’s no simple task managing the competing interests of varying parties, and the complex nature of the job often sees property managers leave the profession soon after entering it. MEN…

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  • Photo of Community Goals

    Community Goals

    What was your first job? I am a forward-thinker, so my first job was the result of a work experience opportunity through a program run at my local high school. I had no real intention of becoming a pharmacist but wanted a permanent part-time job working Thursday nights and Saturday mornings at Miranda Fair. So …

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  • Photo of The loyalty effect

    The loyalty effect

    Ben Collier is different to many other agents I’ve interviewed. He’s quiet, considered, and doesn’t need to be the centre of attention. While other agents might prefer to take on the high-profile speaking gigs and seek recognition for their achievements, Ben is just not that kind of guy. He doesn’t give too many interviews and…

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  • Photo of Hungry, humble and smart: how Upstate gives customers a five-star experience

    Hungry, humble and smart: how Upstate gives customers a five-star experience

    When experienced agents Pete Mosedale and Lachlan Yeates decided to start their own real estate brand, it wasn’t a move they took lightly. For 15 years they had enjoyed the comforts of a franchise system, appreciated the support provided, and valued the strength of a network. “It was the right time in the market,” Pete…

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  • Photo of Home is where the heart is

    Home is where the heart is

    Holly Komorowski wouldn’t be where she is today without a couple of chooks, a lot of heart and a Nike “Just Do It” attitude. Synonymous with innovation in Canberra’s competitive real estate market, Holly has won the 2019 Gold Area as Agent of the Year at the Annual REA Excellence Awards. Taking out the top …

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  • Photo of Staying in one lane and making it count

    Staying in one lane and making it count

    What a difference 23 months makes. In January 2018, Jye Read was down on his luck. Stuck in a hospital bed after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, the O’Brien Real Estate agent knew something had to give. Call it a cliche, but the then 22-year-old knew this was a make or break moment. What…

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  • Photo of Designing for delight

    Designing for delight

    Chuck McDowell won’t be taking a long holiday this Christmas. Yes, the MRI Software Senior Vice President, will make a quick trip across the Pacific Ocean to see family in Atlanta, Georgia, but then he’ll be straight back to work. MRI Software acquired homegrown property management software solutions company Rockend in July, which means Chuck …

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  • Photo of Property Management is where the heart is

    Property Management is where the heart is

    A real estate professional of over 20 years, Lia Jagielka says her heart has always been in property management. “I don’t know anyone who aspires to be a property manager when they grow up – no-one says when I’m an adult I want to collect rent and conduct inspections,” she reflects. But when she landed …

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  • Photo of Bread and Butter

    Bread and Butter

    Bread and Butter LJ Hooker Narrabeen’s Grant Matterson started out as a baker, but when the time came to change roles, fate ensured he got his start in real estate.

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  • Photo of 2020 vision: Dean Mackie

    2020 vision: Dean Mackie

    This year at Christmas, the property management team at DiJONES Neutral Bay will be taking a decent break. Incredibly, for almost 3000 properties under management, they will only need one property manager to log in for one hour per day over the holiday period. For Dean Mackie, CEO of DiJONES Lower North Shore, this type…

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  • Photo of You ain’t seen nothing yet: Ray White Norwood

    You ain’t seen nothing yet: Ray White Norwood

    In Adelaide’s affluent east, Ray White Norwood has quickly established a reputation as a growing agency that people want to sell with and agents want to work for. Talk to owners Sam Brincat and Jason Spagnuolo, and it soon becomes apparent this renown is no accident. It’s equally likely they’ve only just begun to make their mark. Early …

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  • Photo of Steve Carroll: Reinventing and reimagining your capabilities

    Steve Carroll: Reinventing and reimagining your capabilities

    Originally from England, it was Steve Carroll’s lifetime ambition to move with his family to Australia and work in the media industry. At the time, Steve held a position in Europe’s largest media company, EMAP, based in London. Eventually, an opportunity came up in their Sydney office – and when opportunity knocks, Steve answers. He …

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  • Photo of Holly Komorowski – growth and gratitude

    Holly Komorowski – growth and gratitude

    What’s your most memorable moment/career highlight for 2019?It is difficult to identify just one moment or highlight. The year has been full of affirmations and amazing experiences. I am most proud of the culture that is home.byholly. I believe culture stems from the top and I foster culture leading by example. I embrace my team …

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  • Photo of Cathy Baker – Building relationships over counting transactions

    Cathy Baker – Building relationships over counting transactions

    What’s your most memorable moment/career highlight for 2019?My most memorable highlight from 2019 was being offered the Belle Property Franchise and Belle Property Escapes Franchise for the entire Central Coast Region. This, coupled with getting to spend a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson at a leadership conference, changed my life. What’s the biggest …

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  • Photo of Sally Cameron- Changing with the market conditions

    Sally Cameron- Changing with the market conditions

    What’s your most memorable moment/highlight for 2019?I have had some very memorable sales this year, but the most noteable is when I was showing a Singapore-based family through a beautiful home in College Park at 7.30 am on a Sunday. The family left, and as they drove off the next-door neighbours backed out of their …

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  • Photo of Jeremy Wilkinson- More than  successful sales

    Jeremy Wilkinson- More than successful sales

    What's your most memorable moment/highlight for 2019?I know it’s not about the dollars, but for 10 years my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) was to crack $1 million GCI. I went over this by $250. What's the biggest thing you've learnt this year?On the back it not all being about the money, it’s really important…

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  • Photo of Betty Ockerlander – systems and sales

    Betty Ockerlander – systems and sales

    What’s your most memorable moment/highlight for 2019? I think my career highlight for this year was winning the REINSW Sales Agent of The Year. I was humbled to receive it, especially as I was up against such tough competition. I was lucky to have my team with me too, which felt amazing. They play a big …

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  • Photo of Business without borders: Inside eXp Realty

    Business without borders: Inside eXp Realty

    Since its inception in 2009, eXp Realty has broken new ground with its cloud-based real estate brokerage. Now that the USborn realtor has expanded to Australia, Kylie Dulhunty takes a look at what the virtual agency has to offer on our shores. The rapidly burgeoning cloud brokerage, eXp Realty, has hit Australian shores with its…

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  • Photo of Empathy and Understanding the key to service

    Empathy and Understanding the key to service

    In an increasingly technological world, David Holman knows people are more important than ever. The Direct Connect Chief Executive Officer says the moving services company’s employees and the vibrant culture within the organisation are what makes things tick. Of course, technology aids their workflow and makes things easier for customers, primarily renters who are moving …

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  • Photo of Don’t stop me now – real estate’s elder statesmen

    Don’t stop me now – real estate’s elder statesmen

    Ken McCarthy doesn’t know the meaning of the words ‘slow down’. At the spritely age of 89, the Ray White Helensburgh Director is one of Australia’s oldest real estate agents. There must be something about the name Ken as down south, in Geelong, Elders Rural Real Estate Sales Manager Ken Drysdale, 69, is also one …

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  • Photo of No matter what business you’re in, you’re always in the business of people

    No matter what business you’re in, you’re always in the business of people

    What was your first job and what did it teach you?My first job (part-time) was at Coles as a checkout chick. It taught me the importance of money as we had to balance the till after every shift. How long have you been in real estate?I’ve been selling real estate for seven years. This time …

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  • Photo of Tony Heath: Your name is your reputation

    Tony Heath: Your name is your reputation

    It might be unlucky for most, but for Tony Heath the number 13 has proved nothing but fortuitous. His wife, Julie was born on the 13th, as was one of his sons. On July 13th he celebrated 28 years in the real estate industry and 28 years with McLachlan Partners on the Central Coast of …

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  • Photo of Zig while others zag – Manos Findikakis

    Zig while others zag – Manos Findikakis

    For years the industry has been hearing the agent is now more important than the brand. In 2015, Eview founder Manos Findikakis took that philosophy to a whole new level. Now he will share his recipe for success at the Business of Real Estate 2019. Eview Group founder and CEO Manos Findikakis readily admits when…

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  • Photo of Martin Millard: From humble beginnings

    Martin Millard: From humble beginnings

    Martin Millard has been through the wringer and come out the other side. He’s still a little crinkled, definitely more enlightened, and has a dry, but earnest, sense of humour. Unorthodox is the only way to describe the Harcourts Solutions Managing Director’s journey in real estate. It’s a career that started 19 years ago with …

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  • Photo of The domino effect

    The domino effect

    Ask Maria Carlino about her goals for the years ahead and she’s crystal clear in her response. “Ten thousand-plus property managements is my goal for The Agency in the next three years, with a presence in every state,” she declares. That’s no small target for a brand that was founded less than two-and-a-half years ago. …

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  • Photo of A whole lotta love: Scott Harman on leadership in a challenging market

    A whole lotta love: Scott Harman on leadership in a challenging market

    Scott Harman isn’t afraid to knock on doors. His path to real estate began as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. He’s not fazed by picking up the phone either. Most of his 31-year career has been spent dealing with high-rise owners in the tough market that is the Gold Coast where many of his sales were…

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  • Photo of Don’t be a fire risk: Preparing rentals for bushfire season

    Don’t be a fire risk: Preparing rentals for bushfire season

    With bushfire season starting earlier, and lasting longer, landlords and property professionals need to make sure investments and incomes are better protected should disaster strike, says insurance leader Sharon Fox-Slater.  This comment comes on the back of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service being forced to bring forward the start of its bushfire danger …

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  • Photo of Timeliness, insight, perspective: A look into REA’s new reporting tools

    Timeliness, insight, perspective: A look into REA’s new reporting tools

    Ben Auchettl understands the key to a successful marketing campaign is being armed with the right knowledge. The realestate.com.au National Sales Director knows agencies and agents need to watch the market to get a handle on what branding and advertising strategies are working right now. Ben, who is also responsible for products such as Premiere,…

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  • Photo of Tom Larkin: Director of two offices at 29 with further growth plans ahead

    Tom Larkin: Director of two offices at 29 with further growth plans ahead

    Tom Larkin started in real estate on his 18th birthday. By 23 years old he had his own real estate office in an area he knew nothing about – Barry Plant in Frankston. By 26 he had become that area’s most successful agent and now, at 29, he is director of two offices, has a…

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  • Photo of Using data to guarantee rent: LongView Real Estate

    Using data to guarantee rent: LongView Real Estate

    In Australia the traditional real estate model is changing with agencies employing in-house photographers, videographers, database experts, marketing and creative specialists. In November last year, LongView burst onto the scene in Melbourne, providing a data-driven agency focused on property investors. Co-founder Evan Thornley is a former co-founder, chair and CEO of LookSmart, a pioneer of …

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  • Photo of The changing roles of real estate

    The changing roles of real estate

    ONCE UPON A TIME, a real estate agency comprised a principal, sales agents and a handful of support staff. Now, with big data and technology coming to the fore, the traditional real estate roles are changing with the times. Ahead of the Business of Real Estate Conference, Kylie Dulhunty looks at US game changer Compass and the roles they see…

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  • Photo of ‘Tremendous benefits’ –  What the Rockend acquisition means for real estate

    ‘Tremendous benefits’ – What the Rockend acquisition means for real estate

    There has been a lot to celebrate at Rockend over the past couple of weeks. Firstly, the milestone of 40 years of operation, an extraordinarily proud moment in the company’s history. Secondly, the acquisition of the company by global property software player MRI Software. While MRI Software is a global company with enormous scale, both …

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  • Photo of What to do when sales volumes are low

    What to do when sales volumes are low

    Difficult real estate markets can still provide an opportunity for business growth, a leading real estate accountant says. Live Real Estate Accounts Managing Director Chris Mercer says agency leaders should not only see a changing market as a threat but as a great opportunity for growth. “Not all businesses are on a solid financial footing,”…

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  • Photo of Transformation through innovation a winner for Noosa agency

    Transformation through innovation a winner for Noosa agency

    Twenty minutes from the hustle and bustle of Noosa’s Hastings Street, Cooroy is a quintessential Queensland country town with one foot firmly planted in the future. Here, the focus is a vibrant community navigating the transition from farming and timber industries to a thriving residential and rural area that is in demand for families, treechangers…

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  • Photo of Byron Kerr: A new brand of leader

    Byron Kerr: A new brand of leader

    Byron Kerr isn’t afraid of declining stock levels. In the 2018-2019 financial year, when the Melbourne market was on a downward slide, the O’Brien Real Estate Mentone director and his team sold more properties than the year before. “It was a market with decreased stock levels of about 25 per cent,” he said. “Yet we …

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