Australasia’s best agent speaks out

The inaugural List of Australia’s Top 100 Residential Real Estate Agents in 2018 has been released by SQM Research, with Malek Younan from Ray White, Gladstone Park in Victoria leading the list after being selected from 53,650 agents across Australia.  He is our guest this week.

Topic – View from the top

Mentor – Malek Younan

  • I tell it like it is
  • Be direct
  • Have a plan

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Kevin:   Well, the inaugural list of Australia’s top 100 residential real estate agents for 2018 has been released by SQM Research. The final ranking of 53,650 residential property real estate agents includes all agents who had their name published on a residential property sales advertisement during the year. The list excludes rental property managers and support staff.

Kevin:   The final ranking, and this is very important, was based on an even weighting of five different measurements of agent performance. Including agents listing market share, number of sales, sales conversion rates, total dollar value sold and days on market. The winner is my guest and I’m talking to Malek Younan from Ray White Gladstone Park in Victoria. Malek, thanks for your time.

Malek:   My pleasure. Kevin. Thank you for having me. Thank you.

Kevin:   We’ve got you in a nice relaxed environment there where, you’re in a cafe are you?

Malek:   Yeah, it’s a nice local place where I live close by Biaggio’s in Keilor Road in Niddrie. So whoever’s in Melbourne come and check it out. It’s a nice relaxed place. Nice wine by year as well.

Kevin:   Very, very good. I want to make a point if I could, and that is a point that Louis Christopher makes when he published the list of the top 100. I know that you’re a top agent. I think it’s even more important to acknowledge the fact that agents like you are more productive. In other words the measurements that Louis put in place really select agents who look after their sellers more importantly. They give their sellers what they need. So it’s not just a recognition of dollar value, although you do have a very high dollar value. Some of those are the key indicators-

Malek:   Absolutely.

Kevin:   … I wanted to get that out of the way first because it’s … there are many awards, but this I think is a very meaningful one, because it talks to what the industry is all about. Malek, having said that, can I just ask you now, what it feels like to be named the top real estate agent in the country?

Malek:   Yeah well, it’s an honour. I guess what I was told about this a week or two weeks ago when it was released, I was very surprised in terms of out of like you mentioned over 53,000 residential agents. I was very happy, very excited. I guess 16 odd plus years of the industry taking care of my clients, which are sellers has finally been recognised, and to be number one is actually, I’m very happy, very happy and humbled.

Kevin:   Yeah, and it’s interesting to hear you say that you were surprised too ’cause it doesn’t surprise me, because I think productive agents like you are just busy doing what you do so well, and that is service your clients well. I mean you are aware I know of your KPIs, but how that’s stacks up with all the other agents. So I’m not surprised to hear that you’re surprised, but I think it’s delightful that you are. Can I just ask you a little bit about Malek? Tell me about your background?

Malek:   Well, my background on real estate or in general? Overall or-

Kevin:   I don’t care just the whole lot, give me the Lot.

Malek:   Okay. Well, I’m a proud father of three. Obviously I’ve got a beautiful wife that supports me in this game because real estate is definitely not I guess … I cannot do what I do and perform to that level without a good support, which starts from my family. Which is my wife and three beautiful kids under the age of six that keep me busy. But in terms of real estate, I guess I started back at the ripe age of 20, 21 around that age.

Kevin:   You’re giving away too much mate.

Malek:   I’m I? Yeah, around 21 and started in property management for six months and then the director back then said to me that you’re ready for sales at 21 years old. Didn’t know much, but all I had is hunger and thirst for satisfying clients’ needs, and it started from there. Then it’s being my own business owner, which is great being the director of Ray White Gladstone Park as you mentioned, and it’s made me work really hard for my clients. Yeah.

Kevin:   Yeah, we’ll talk about your business, I think. Can you give me a bit of an idea … I will ask you about your area separately, but just tell me a little about your business. How big is your team? And interesting that you started in property management too. That transition from property management to sales, was that difficult for you?

Malek:   It wasn’t in a because my eyes was always on the prize which was sales. Like I said the director said to me, “You’re not ready for it. You’re a bit too young, and you’re going to be on probation as a rental assistant for two years.” And six months into that he goes, “You’ve proven me wrong, you’re going into sales,” after six months.

Malek:   So I always wanted … sales rental was not my thing, even though I actually performed well in rentals, but it was not my thing. I was looking for the bigger things out there I guess. Wanted to satisfy clients needs, wanted to get them from A to B and make a dream a reality to all my clientele. And that was my hunger, that was my core ambition to get into sales.

Kevin:   Okay, tell me about your business. How big is your sales team? What’s the structure? Share what you can in terms of if you’re going to rent roll and so on.

Malek:   Absolutely, okay, so I’ll give you a rundown. So I’ve been working in the industry 16 plus years now. I pretty much become a business owner only around seven, eight months ago. What I’m proud to say though is we’re a team of seven, which is fantastic for only being trading seven months. Team of seven and over 90, over 90 offices in Australia. We’ve already hit the top 15 in Victoria in a matter of seven odd months, and we’ve got one of the largest market shares in our core area.

Malek:   So to give you a bit of an insight, we’ve done myself and my business partner Phillip Mercieca, we’ve sort of hit the road running, and being in the area for 16 plus years we both know the area, we know the community. So yeah, seven main team, we’ve got two property managers which run our rental department, and we’ve got four of us at this stage in sales are looking to actually make it larger.

Kevin:   So did you buy an established business or did you start fresh?

Malek:   No, no fresh. We always believe in organic growth rather than buying into a business. We can back ourselves up myself and my partner Philip, and we truly believe that that’s the way, and it’s paid us off very well right now.

Kevin:   How’s your rent roll going ’cause I imagine you’ve got a few skills you’d bring to that area.

Malek:   Absolutely, in regards to rental, it’s great, it’s growing. We’re sort of basing on roughly 10 properties net per month at this stage, 10 to 12. And we’re looking now in 2019 to really pump that up to 15 net per month. So we’ve got big dreams and to make it really large very quickly.

Kevin:   So you got two property managers there running that. If my sums are correct you’d probably have a rent roll of around what 70, 80? Something like that?

Malek:   Very close but mind you we’ve only sort of done the rental apartment in the last eight weeks.

Kevin:   Oh, really? Wow, that’s fantastic.

Malek:   So to pay bills we need to be up and running with sales department, but rentals is our backbone. We’ve already really rented apartments for the last eight weeks, and we’re pretty much very close to what you’ve mentioned. So we’re really above our expectations

Kevin:   Well and truly mate. It’s interesting that that number too, once you get to my experiences, and correct me if you think I’m wrong, but once you get to around 70, 80, or even 100, it becomes difficult because you’ve got to make the decision about staffing levels. Do you build your staffing up to grow because you’re growing organically? You’re not going to buy a rent roll, I imagine?

Malek:   Absolutely, and you’re 100% right Kevin. We are looking, once we hit towards 90 or 100, I think our two man team right now is handling it comfortably. We believe in customer service. That’s our point of difference, and we definitely believe that when we get to 90, 100 to hopefully put someone else on because we want to make sure that the difference between us and every other agent out there is customer service.

Kevin:   Yeah, very clever. I think you’ve sometimes got to go back haven’t you to you know, in terms of profitability to actually go forward, which is probably what you’re going to be facing. So it’s good to have good-

Malek:   Absolutely.

Kevin:   … Yeah. Mate, tell me about your area? A little bit about where you’re functioning.

Malek:   We’re pretty much around five minutes from the Tullamarine airport for those that obviously are from interstate where it’s a suburb called Gladstone Park which borders Tullamarine there. And we do certain areas like Greenvale which are the larger properties, more or less along the mansion type, and we also got a place called Atwood.

Malek:   So we cover around a probably good six kilometre radius there where we are. It’s mum and dad’s, a normal average price range of $600,000. We’re not talking multimillion. So in other words, to get this award with and an average sell price of $600 median sell price, it is quite large from what I’ve been told.

Kevin:   Well, absolutely I’ve looked at the figures and I’m going to dig into them a little bit more to in this interview, which we’ll come to in just a moment. Before we do that, can I just ask you what a typical day looks like for you?

Malek:   Okay, beautiful. So I’m usually up at around 6:00 in the morning. A couple of hours with my children. I’m always playing around with them mucking around with because I get home late in the evenings, so usually when they’re all fast asleep. So I’ll try to spend that quality time with him in that morning time.

Malek:   Hit breakfast, have a quick espresso, drop the kids off at school, and I’m back to work into the office. Have a quick catch up with my sales team and my rental department. We have obviously, allocated times to make sure they’re all up and ready, ready to know what they’re doing for their daily tasks which they are very switched on for these days. That’s it.

Malek:   So I’m seeing clients, valuations, admin work and followups, emails. Making sure that everyone that has sent me an email or everyone left a message has got a call back from me within two hours. Valuation request, having a quick chat with my business partner, Phillip, making sure we’re all on board with all the modern and new technology. Any new training that we need to book our guys in. Chatting with my vendors, sitting down with them, talking to them on the phone. Making sure that they know every step of the way where their home is going, and what to expect before auction day.

Kevin:   Tomorrow with Malek, we’re gonna have a look at the first of the benchmarks that we use to measure the best agent in Australia. And that is Market Share Malek back again tomorrow morning.

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