CASE STUDIESElite Agent

Tori McGregor, Fletchers Hawthorn VIC

Tori McGregor came to Australia from the United States seven years ago, fell in love with the Eastern Suburbs of Victoria, and decided to stay. Now she is one of Fletchers top Sales Agents and juggles her successful real estate career with her strong family commitment.

When did you start in real estate?

I have always been interested in real estate and have been in sales and customer service careers my whole life. However, when my boys were younger, I knew I couldn’t commit the time needed to a real estate career, so I held off until about two and a half years ago.

What are your qualifications?

I am an agent’s representative and working on my full estate agent’s licence. Everything I’ve done over the years, ranging from the travel industry, anthropology, photography, marketing, and administration, has some relevance to my real estate career, which serves me directly or indirectly in my day to day activities.

What made you choose a real estate career?

I’ve wanted to be in real estate since I was in my 20s. I love the people, the energy, the chase, the lifestyle. Every day is different and it’s never boring. I enjoy taking any situation, positive or negative, and making the best of it. I love figuring out what makes people tick, how to work with buyers and sellers to obtain the best outcome, and resolving the challenges along the way.

Which area do you specialise in? What are the challenges and what do you especially like about the area that you work in?

I work primarily in the inner Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, in Boroondara. There is such a huge range of properties that one day I can be in a modest one-bedroom flat and the next day in a multi-million dollar five-bedroom home. It’s a highly sought-after area, which keeps demand high. The biggest challenge is the competition: I’m surrounded by very professional competitors who are continually improving their skills to be the best in this market. However, being surrounded by the best can be very inspiring, and makes me desire to be one of the best too.

Can you tell us what differentiates your agency?

I started out with a smaller agency which enabled me to learn a lot about myself and the business. I had a clear vision of where I wanted to be in five years’ time, so I knew a move was on the cards. I looked around at several agencies, but Fletchers was the stand-out for me, as I liked the company’s structure along with its rare team culture. It’s unique in real estate to find a company where the sales team actually work as a team and support each other. Our CEO works with the internal team to make sure we’re always using the best practices and offering our clients the best marketing tools and website.

What are some of the real challenges you have faced in the business?

My biggest challenges are the propensity to want to please everyone and to occasionally doubt myself. I also have an interest in becoming an auctioneer, which is a personal and professional challenge. Most auctioneers in this area are male, so I think it’s time for some of us women to step up and show what we have to offer.

What’s the best advice you have been given?

“Perception is reality” – I think that was from Tom Panos. (Thanks, Tom!) That rolls around in my head on a daily/weekly basis.

What are your most important values?

Do unto others as you’d have done unto you. Not for religious reasons, but I think you should treat others the way you want to be treated. I believe in Karma, so I try and do things that will bring good things back my way.

What are the key features in maintaining a healthy agent/vendor relationship?

Find out what the vendor wants and expects, and then deliver more. It’s all about setting expectations, delivering, communicating, and advising. Every vendor and every sale is different. You must treat each experience on its own merits.

Do you have a mentor, or someone that inspires you?

I have several people that inspire me. Growing up, I had some great female role models in my grandmother and my aunt. They were independent, confident and intelligent. My first sales manager took the time to teach me several skills that I still use today. I am inspired by the people that I chose to be around me. Each one offers a unique inspiration, either personally or professionally.

Have you won any awards, and if so why?

I won an award at Swinburne University for the Highest Grade in ‘The Marketing Concept’. I think that was when I realised I was good at sales and marketing. I worked hard in that class, but I enjoyed it so much, it was never a chore.

What would be your dream job?

My first dream is to be one of the top agents in the Eastern suburbs. After that? Perhaps hosting one of the real estate shows on the Lifestyle Channel. Or starting my own show, combining my loves of travel and real estate…..Stand by on that one.

How do you relax outside of real estate? Do you have a favourite sporting team or holiday destination?

I love luxury travel, adventure travel, cultural travel. Fitness is also very important to me and I’m just about to run the Melbourne Half Marathon. I combine running, strength training, and boxing on a weekly basis. It helps me de-stress and keeps me positive and feeling great. I also enjoy good food, wine, and chocolate! My ultimate holiday would be a combination of physical activity, such as trekking, skiing, or rafting, spa time (massages every day!), and luxury accommodation to retire to at night.

If you could have any three people at your dinner party, who would it be and why?

I would invite Richard Branson, Hillary Clinton (and perhaps Bill too), and Margaret Thatcher. They all had the confidence and resilience to succeed even when the challenges were great and the obstacles seemed insurmountable. What set them apart? They had the same number of hours in their week that I do. How did they use those hours to get to where they are now (or were)?

Do you see the market recovering further in the next few months?

We are currently in a healthy, normal market. The hot market was unsustainable. We have buyers and we have sellers; our job is to bring the two together in the most equitable way for our clients, while dealing fairly and transparently with everyone. Anyone can sell a property in a hot market. Give me this market any day, as it will show you who is good at their job and willing to work hard to get the best outcome.

What advice would you give someone starting out in real estate?

Don’t expect instant gratification. Be in this business for the long haul. Work hard, work smart, and network both inside your company and outside in the community. Build relationships and remember, we may do this every day, but most of our clients do this once or twice in a lifetime. Remember what it’s like to be on the other side of the table. It can be the best job in the world, but it takes commitment, hard work, positive energy, and a winning instinct.

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