How many years have you been in the industry?
Since 1996 so, 26 years. I’m now with Ray White Remuera.
What would you say are the core elements of your brand?
My wife Nila is a big part of our brand; ‘Love Your Area’. Nila, Trudy our marketing specialist, and I came up with ‘Love your Area’ sitting around our kitchen bench in 2016. As agents, we focus a lot on marketing properties as well as our personal brand, and that’s when we came up with ‘Love your area’. It relates to us loving our area but, also relates to anyone that could be our potential client. Better they do it with someone that loves their area. I feel we got a jump on that, our branding is so in your face, and we put it out there so much that no one else could take it. And If someone else does try we didn’t limit it to just Remuera, we wanted it to be as general as possible so it still makes sense if we’re selling outside the area.
Can you talk me through real estate farming?
As an agent, you can have two focuses in your career. You’re either geographic or demographic. You need to decide where you would like to be or, need to be in 10 – 20 years’ time. Do you picture yourself as an agent that is known for specialising in a geographical area? Or, as an agent that simply does a good job, lists, and sells properties in a wide area, e.g whole of Eastern Suburbs in Auckland (around 10 suburbs). Which way should you lean? My tips are better suited for someone that decides to focus on geographic and for someone that wants to dominate in a smaller area. I’ve been a trailblazer in that and I’ve got tips to fast-track that. In my early years, I jumped around from Herne Bay, The North Shore and now Remuera. I had expertise in these areas and they all started to work but I decided to focus solely on Remuera.
How do you practice Real Estate Farming? Can you give Examples?
Our ‘Love Your Area’ branding is everywhere. Steve Koerbers Quarterly Report which we’ve been distributing into the streets of Remuera since 2002. It used to be called ‘Who’s moving?’, and has evolved and improved over the years. It all started on the Southern Slopes of Remuera. We changed iin 2016 to focus on Remuera Grammer Zone (more streets, but with overlap). The biggest cost is the delivery and printing. Production costs $5k a quarter which is a $20k investment annually. To replicate it you have to do the research from at least 12 months back, look at the figures, break it down and really get to know the area. You should develop opinions about trends and publish them. You may have only been in the industry for a year, but you are a step ahead of the rest if you’ve done your research
Can any real Estate Agent practice farming?
Yes. Just choose an area, a little area, one street. Just keep the focus on that area while you’re still earning (from your current suburbs). Where most agents go wrong is, they plant the seeds and forget to water them.
What are your top real estate farming tips?
1. Decide whether to go geographical or not.
2. Pick an area between 500 – 1500 homes.
3. Get to know the area and its values better than anyone.
4. Door knock, phone call, and business card drop the entire farm every quarter.
5. Communicate all sales and listings in and around the area.
6. Rinse and repeat. Keep going.
What is something that sets your brand apart from other branches/agents?
Quality and consistency (of the report) are key. Accuracy, you cannot make a mistake. Hand-deliver, we look at the weather. We run a very well-oiled machine.
What has been your biggest career lesson?
Two parts to it. One, learning to listen. Two, learn how to ask the right questions that enable you to do a better job. The quality of the questions you ask determines the quality of your life.