REAL Real Estate Agents Interview series.
Women in Rural Real Estate – Are They Tougher Than City Agents?
Rural Real Estate.
How long have you been in Real estate?
I started in Real Estate in 2004.
How did you obtain a start in real estate?
I quit my job and I was seeking a new direction. I wanted to do something that I really enjoyed. I had been investing in Real Estate personally for a while and really enjoyed it. So one day I walked into our little rural real estate agency and simply asked if they had any work available. The answer was no, but they telephoned me later and offered me work. I began my career working only a day or two a week. I was responsible for filing, cleaning, making tea and coffees etc.
Why do you love real estate so much?
For the most part it is so satisfying to make people’s dreams come true. Because I live locally, I get to see the purchasers after they buy their home, become a part of our community. I just love seeing my customers enjoying their new life so much.
Sometimes we are helping people move onto the next chapter in their lives, whether that’s onto a bigger and better property or downsizing for example. I guess I just love helping people in general.
How do you juggle being a mum and running 2 real estate offices with staff.
It’s pretty tough at times but my daughter has always been on the journey with me. I actually found out I was pregnant with her the day I signed the paperwork to buy the business. She is at our local school these days and they are great. We also have a wonderful day care teacher who my daughter goes to a couple of afternoons a week and during school holidays. We’ve had lots of funny moments and catastrophes along the way, ie nappy malfunctions whilst out doing inspections, negotiating a $1.4 Million dollar deal whilst breast feeding etc.
I’m not a particularly social person by nature as I’ve always been really shy, so when I’m not at work I love being at home with my family. We work things out along the way. I also have an amazing right hand woman who manages my 2nd office and treats the business like her own. I also have a great team.
What is it like dealing in rural property? What are the dangers?
Rural is very diverse. We can sell land from 600 sqm to 600 acres just as an example. We have to have 4wd cars because we sell lifestyle properties as well as residential. It can take 1 hour to get to a property, then hours to show it and then an hour to return so it’s very time consuming,
The dangers are that we are often in remote areas with little or no phone reception. We have to drive 4wd and that in itself can be dangerous. Then there is mother nature to contend with ie creek crossings, mountain ranges, snakes, spiders, dogs, livestock etc.
How have rural agents got it better than city agents?
Well I haven’t sold in a city before but I love the diversity we have. Our properties range from waterfronts to mountain tops. It is just so beautiful to look at, some of the places I’ve been to and seen are just divine. We also don’t have any traffic jams to contend with. Our worst traffic moment may be a mob of cattle or sheep being herded along a country road to the next paddock or a slow moving tractor. I love the friendly community we work in and the country people.
How have city agents got it better than rural?
Quick sales. We find that banks, some valuers & solicitors get nervous or just don’t know what they’re doing around rural property. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell a valuer what a property is worth and a solicitor or conveyancer that rural property doesn’t have a 5 day cooling off period for example.
Do you find rural communities are more close-knit, how does that affect you getting business.
Yes definitely in our area the rural communities are great. If something goes wrong in the community, like a natural disaster, everyone pulls together without question to help each other. People love that when they visit our area that they find everyone to be so friendly towards them. They say that the towns have a wonderful friendly feel. On the other hand if you upset someone locally, they can try to turn their friends and family against you. In a small community they know they have the upper hand with this and can use it to your detriment.
How do you prospect in rural communities?
We do a wide range of prospecting, letterbox drops, sponsorship for the local events, schools, sports etc. We attend the major local events with our marquee and provide free face painting for the children. We have brochure stands in surrounding area hotspots. We also do a bit of cold calling and door knocking, but mostly it’s word of mouth referrals and signage that gets us new business.
Are there many women in rural real estate?
I would say not. We are the only team that I am aware of in our surrounding areas that is an all female team. There are a few female rural agents about but they are in mixed teams.
You are one of the most passionate real estate agents I’ve seen in their marketing. Where do you get your inspiration?
Gosh from absolutely everywhere! I am always on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration. I love to read marketing books, other people’s stories of their successes, failings and experiences. I attend a lot of training seminars, read magazines, watch dvds, listen to podcasts, have mentors such as yourself Lisa.
What is working the best in the way of your marketing for you now?
We are strong on social media and do a lot of that. We don’t have a massive following but they are interactive with us and people actually bring it up with me when we’re chatting that they found us on Facebook etc, or they love our photo’s. I sell the lifestyle on social media not just the house or property.
What do you do when agents in your area try and copy you?
Lol well I get frustrated but what can you do other than take it as a compliment. I just keep trying to come up with new ideas and implement them, keeping them chasing us.
I have other agents asking me for help with their marketing and I don’t mind that. I would much rather that they actually ask for help rather than blatantly copy us.
Can we talk about the agent claiming you had a fake testimonial?
Yes of course. We have a lot of raving fans and therefore some really great testimonials and reviews. One of these reviews I recently had printed onto a DL flyer and distributed throughout our area. Another agent in the local area contacted the Dept of Fair Trading with the accusation that I was creating the testimonials myself or another words “producing false and misleading material”. Again, although I think this was an incredibly low thing to do to another agent, I have taken it as a compliment and a confirmation that I am worrying my competitors. I was able to of course prove to Fair Trading that the testimonial was real and not created by myself. Lol. My clients involved have also advised that they are happy to do a video testimonial to prove they are real!
You were on selling houses Australia. Tell us all about that experience. How was that for your profile? It was full on lol. It was so great to meet the team, both the production team and the stars. Andrew Winter actually confided in me that he wasn’t looking forward to doing a rural town as they can sometimes be quite ghost town like, but he loved Stroud and said that it had an amazing vibrant undertone to it. The funniest part was that he comes from Stroud in England originally so it was all a little reminiscent for him. Once the house was made over we achieved the fastest sale in the history of the shows 9 season reign which was incredibly exciting for everyone involved. It was quite a stressful week, the constant worry of knowing I was going to be on TV, wanting to sell the home, the filming process and then having to sell other properties and run an office in between all of this. But truly it has been so good for our profile and every time the show repeats on Foxtel we have people come to Stroud or contact us about it. We’ve also got new listings from being on the show as well.
Denise Haynes – Credentials
Small Business Awards Finalist for the Midcoast Region
Stock & Station License
Denise has been featured in Elite Agent Magazine