Tristan Tomasino: Director and Senior Auctioneer, Biggin & Scott Yarraville

Celebrating industry leaders who have dramatically boosted their sales performance in a year, Tristan Tomasino recently beat 39 other entrants to win Josh Phegan’s ‘Changed Agent’ award. Having overcome some serious personal and workload challenges, it appears that the sky is the limit for his young and dynamic business in Yarraville, Melbourne, where the next goal is to help others do the same.

What was your first job, and what did it teach you?
The first job I had was sorting all the mail into post office boxes in our family business. My sister and I would start at 6.00am and then we would hop on the 7.30am train and go to school. Then when we came home we would serve customers in the Post Office & Tattslotto shop. It taught me the value of money and hard work. Nothing ever comes easy and real estate is much the same. You reap what you sow.

What do you like most about your work now?
No two days are ever the same. I’ve always had high energy levels; when I was young my mum took me to the doctor as I was always on the go and running around. I drove her insane, but the doctor informed her that later in life it would be an asset and I would use those energy levels to my advantage. Sitting in the office is not in my blood. I love being on the road, getting face to face and making things happen.

What do you still find challenging about what you do, and how do you deal with it?
Learning to say no is a skillset in itself. It is so easy to say yes, yes, yes to everyone and before you know it your day is a mix of early appointments, paperwork at 11.30am, lunch, then some more appointments, then back in the office and out we go again. The challenge is about compressing time and making the most out of every day, hour, minute that we work.

Define ‘success’ for you personally – what will you have achieved?
Being happy and emotionally level 24/7 is what success looks like for me. Real estate is such a ride; we can have some amazing highs, then before you know it you can lose two or three deals. Success for me is moving on and looking at the bigger picture. I want everyone in our business to have this same grounding about work and life. If we all buy into this, I’ll have a great work environment and as a team we can achieve anything.

Describe what a typical day looks like for you.
At 5.30am I jump out of bed; my energy levels in the morning are extremely high, so I make the most of that energy and listen to podcasts, exercise, meditate, visualise the day ahead, look at my goals and try to clean out my inbox. By 7.30am I’m in the car; I get a quick coffee from my sister’s café then into work.

Any administration that needs doing is completed first thing to maximise my productivity. From here my day is very straightforward. No appointments until 1pm, with lunch at 12pm sharp. Calls in the morning then out in the afternoon getting face to face. If I don’t have any appointments in the afternoon, I still attempt to get out and meet people. The more people we meet, the more success will follow. This business isn’t complicated. I’ve learnt over the last 12 months that breaking your day down hour by hour is ridiculous – things do pop up and we need to be flexible, but this structure is simple and it works. I’m home by 7pm.

Is there one thing that’s not obvious about you that you wish more people would ‘get’?
People see the family business and assume everything came to me naturally, which to a certain extent it did; but no one has seen the blood, sweat and tears of what it actually takes to make it work. The countless hours of training, the sacrifices made and the numerous times I failed before things started working.

What’s your secret skill or superpower?
Hunger. Easy to say, but harder to actually have. I am so hungry to succeed at everything I do. I never give up and always go down trying. The great real estate agents all have this attribute; hunger to grow, to chase that buyer or potential listing. The hungrier I am, the more amazing things follow.

What makes you laugh?
When buyers tell me they won’t be attending the auction, then they turn up and buy the home. My dad was a comedian in a past life. Before he became ill, he was known for his hilarious jokes and pranks. People to this day still come up and tell me stories from when they worked together in real estate 15, 20 or 30 years ago. He doesn’t make too many jokes these days, but he has become very cheeky and we have a lot of in-house jokes that give me stitches from laughing so hard.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received, and why?
‘That was the best auction we have ever seen’. It never gets old and pushes me to become even better at my craft. As an auctioneer it’s all about confidence, whether you have bids or not. I always make a promise to myself to stay enthusiastic no matter the circumstances. Getting recognition from the public shows I am doing all the right things, builds my confidence – not ego – and gives me extra bursts of energy to work harder.

What are some of your career highlights?
Being featured on the front page of the Sunday Domain, not once but twice in two years, was very satisfying. As a long-time agent said to me “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and never been featured on the front page; you’ve done it twice in two years!”

I’ve played lacrosse for Australia, Victoria and went and played in the College system in America also. These days I treat auctions like I used to prepare prior to playing a game. I listen to music and visualise the positive outcome and any situations that could occur. I get so pumped for an auction and I think it shows how serious and passionate I am about what I do.

Nothing is more satisfying than achieving a sensational result for a client. As a good family friend and vendor said to me earlier this year when I sold their home well above reserve, “You have literally changed our life.” I’ve never felt more privileged to do what I love than at that moment in time.

Is there anything you would do if you weren’t afraid to do it?
Surfing is my second love to real estate…every time I get in the water I’m afraid, afraid of what’s below, but the thrill of catching waves far outweighs the fear. I think that’s what life is all about; once you face that fear, you push yourself to new heights. I make sure I take this approach in all aspects of my life.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
If you’re serious about real estate, work in the same area and office for your whole career. So many people are always looking for the next best thing. Take a look in the mirror; you’re looking at it. If I was 18 again, I would travel for a year, then work my butt off and save, save, save. I embraced minimalism over the last two years and it has changed my life. How many pointless things do we buy that we never use or need? Just throwing money away. My office is spotless, I get in and everything is organised and I just work off my task list and phone list.

What’s next?
I have an amazing group of people in my life, both personally and professionally. I want to push all of them to achieve what they are capable of and more. Short term is about improving on my skill set and building my database. Long term I would love to be consistently making a hundred sales a year and mentoring my peers, which I see as so rewarding.

Show More

Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.