Taking control

Models like One Agency allow agents to take more control.  How does it work?

Topic – Truly independent

Mentor – Paul Davies

  • New opportunities
  • Running a business is hard work
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Kevin:   One of the big revolutions I’ve noticed in the real estate industry is the role of the independent agent, how they’re becoming a lot more independent. One thing I will say is that real estate agents, really good real estate agents are good at running their own business, but they do need support. Hence, we see the emergence of groups like One Agency. Joining me to talk about that role, how that’s playing a part in developing the agent of the future, Paul Davies joins me from One Agency. Paul, thank you very much for your time. Looking forward to our conversation this week. Thank you.

Paul:   Pleasure, Kevin. Thanks for the invitation.

Kevin:   I’ve noticed that agents are taking more control of their own business model. Do you think this is breeding a new agent, a new style of agent?

Paul:   I think that agents see the new opportunities that are flooding the market. The landscape for opportunity has changed dramatically certainly from when I started in real estate 40 odd years ago. It’s vastly different. The new models are coming through servicing the interests and the needs of agents that are expanding their thinking and looking at the possibilities and the new way that they can conduct business.

Kevin:   One of the things that strikes me is that I guess a lot of agents will think, “Maybe if I go with a model like this I’m going to get more commission.” They’ve probably very quickly learned that it’s got a lot more to do with developing their own style, their own brand, having a lot more control of what they do and say, and how they appeal to the community. The benefit probably is additional cash flow. Would you agree with that, Paul?

Paul:   Yes. Agents really are in their own business, as I see it, anyway, whether they’re working for someone else at this time. Really, they have to generate the income to sustain their own business. Whether they’re doing it underneath someone else’s banner or under their own banner, it’s really the same thing. They have to get out there. They have to find listings. They have to make sales and generate income. For an agent to move from being a salaried employee or commission only agent to owning their own enterprise, they don’t really have to sell more houses. The income is there. It just has to be run in a different way. In my opinion, it’s never been easier for agents to take what used to be a massive step. Certainly, when I opened my first business, you had to go and find a shop front. There were givens that you had to do all that, and you had to have the money to do it all.

Paul:   Now you can virtually do it from anywhere. We have 60% of the members at one agency are what we call a mobile agent, and that is that they don’t have any shop front whatsoever. They can work from wherever they like, and the clients don’t mind because it’s not important any more whether the real estate has an office or where it is.

Kevin:   Have you witnessed any agents moving across, thinking, “One agency is going to be the answer for me. I won’t have to work as hard. Things will happen a lot quicker for me,” only to find out which is what you just said, that you’ve still got to make the sales to make your business.

Paul:   Yeah. Look, running a business, as most people know, is harder than working for someone else in many ways. However, it’s far more rewarding in my experience. That’s what our members, and we’ve got 600 agents across Australia and New Zealand now, that’s what they tell me. They’re happier running their own enterprise. They’re more motivated. The money is coming back to them and their families. Although it’s a massive leap of faith and quite difficult step to take, the decision to take the step, Kevin, is the hard part. Once the decision is made, it actually gets easier after that. There’s all manner of support out there. One Agency is just one of the solutions. It’s a good solution.

Paul:   We’re certainly not the only solution. I always encourage agents to have a good look around, do their due diligence, and decide what fits them because all agents are different, Kevin. Their focus, the size of the business they wish to create, whether they specialise in residential, commercial, whatever. There’s all different components to the tapestry of a business. That is different for every single agent. From our perspective, being flexible and not having a predetermined mould that agents should fit into, saying, “I’d like to sit down with an agent,” and say, “All right, now what do you specialise in? What would you like to create, and let’s see if we can help you do that?”

Kevin:   Yeah. That takes me back to my original question, and we’ll round it out for today with this. Is this breeding a new agent?

Paul:   It’s a new way of thinking. It’s the same agent doing the same things in a different way where they’re a bit more, I think you mentioned independent, and I agree with that. Agents can be independent. They don’t have to lean on employers, and brands, and whatever to do what they need to do. They do need the tools, and that’s why they should be talking to the likes of one agency where we can provide an easy path, turnkey approach, if you like, to achieving what they would dream to do for the future of their real estate.

Kevin:   Yeah, because none of this would be possible without technology, of course. That’s what I want to cover with you tomorrow, the role of technology for agents, buyers and sellers, and how that’s shaping how we work. My guest is Paul Davies from One Agency. Paul, we’ll talk to you again tomorrow morning. Thanks for your time.

Paul:   My pleasure, thank you.


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