Watch the interview with Ian Ross, a real estate agent from Danckert Real Estate (In Mount Martha and Martha Cove on the Peninsula, Victoria – Australia). Ian got his real estate licence with Entry Education. He did a workshop of the Diploma of Property – Agency Management.
Video interview transcript:
Jack: Hello. Welcome. First of all, do you want to introduce yourself?
Ian: Yep. Hi. My name’s Ian Ross. Work at the Danckert real estate. Down in Mount Martha and Martha Cove on the Peninsula. And I’ve been in the game for three and a half years.
Jack: Three and a half years? All right. So, veteran?
Ian: Veteran, veteran in age not in experience.
Jack: I don’t know about that. All right. So the first question to kick this off is how did you start working as a real estate agent?
Ian: So my whole career has been in the car trade. So working in dealerships, finance, sales, management, my last more recent gig was five years at Audi in Mornington, which is part of the Zagame Group. But previous to that with backstory, we bought a House of Sam Danckert, who I work for now about 16 years ago, so that’s how we initially met and then went on up to Audi. We sort of started touching base again just throughout because he had an Audi. So then I bought an investment property off him, I mean my wife bought one off him, and, we sort of then would catch up on a fortnightly basis for a coffee just to have a chat here and there. And then he decided to launch his own business. In Mount Martha and after a few failed starts with other staff and just said to me, Why wouldn’t I do it? I got to the point of a crossroads, I guess, at the ripe old age of 41. And I thought, Well, why not now or never? Let’s give it a crack. And he was pretty adamant that it would be successful. So three and a half years ago I took the plunge and haven’t looked back. So yeah.
Jack: Yeah, that’s awesome. So you went out from selling cars to selling an asset.
Jack: Correct. Yeah. All right. What’s the biggest achievement you’ve had during your career in real estate?
Ian: Um, I think starting from scratch, being a prestige dealership sort of helped with the target market that I was looking for, which was sort of prestige or higher end sort of properties. I had involvements with the marina down in Martha Cove and prior like through Audi and with the GM down here and with previous clients at Audi, that was sort of my foothold into real estate. My first few listings were Audi clients and another listing was from the marina manager, putting me on to another client. So that sort of gave me that. All I said in my head, it would take 12 months really to get a foothold and I think it just fast tracked that for me and once sort of started rolling obviously with listings and selling, it just keeps rolling. So I think going from changing a career at the age of 41 or 42, starting fresh was a bit of a gamble, especially with two kids. But I’m just taking that plunge, not looking backwards. The big thing, I think telling myself I can’t go back, I don’t want to go back was the big thing. Rather than saying, Well, I’ve always got the car trade to fall back on. I didn’t want to do that. So I always told everyone it’s sink or swim.
Jack: Sink or swim, you’re not wrong.
Jack: Awesome. All right. Tell us about an experience or something funny that happened to you while working as a real estate agent.
Ian: I think the one which probably wasn’t funny at the time was sending a text to the buyer rather than the vendor about the buyer feedback. Luckily, the buyer at the time were actually friends. Now, yeah, we had a laugh about it, but always check who you’re sending messages to. And luckily, they brought in the iPhone. You can delete, you can retrieve your text message within a few seconds, but a couple of years ago you couldn’t do that. Always check. And I’m not the only one that’s done it, but it can go pear shaped. But yeah. So luckily that’s the one that sticks out for me.
Jack: More importantly, did you close the deal?
Ian: Can’t remember, I think we did. Can’t really remember. It was pretty funny.
Jack: All right. What makes you a successful real estate agent? Tell us your secret.
Ian: It’s not a secret, I think. Like I said telling myself that there’s no going back. There is no plan B, allowing and giving myself knowing I wouldn’t be jumping in, making the money I want to make straight off. But I think not looking at the money side of it, looking more at the process of doing the A and Bs and the money will follow I think was the biggest thing. Whereas a lot of agents were just, you know, but the ones that I’ve seen around just lease anything, anywhere, whereas I just want to have that core market, side with them. The rest of us in the office, we have our core markets which are pretty much Mount Martha and I’ve got Martha Cove and sticking to that and not chasing sort of everything in anything, sticking to my core, not chasing the money, but giving the service and working for my vendors and my buyers, you know, doing the right thing, ticking all the boxes, everything has sort of put in place and follows. And it’s more so when I started 2019, you know, we went into that tough market middle of the year with the banking royal commission where we had a lean three or four months, then we had the bushfires afterwards, but the market sort of picked up in March. We went straight into COVID. So it’s been, you know, going into it was tough. Then obviously a year and a half ago, we had that massive COVID, you know, anyone could sell a house, which was and I remember saying to my colleagues, it’s obviously too good to be true. It’s, you know, it’ll stop and rightly so, it stops and that we’re back to being real estate agents and doing the right things and, you know, actually working for your commission. So, yeah, I think it’s just not chasing the money, just just sticking to your principles and your A B and Cs the rest will follow, especially in this tough market.
Jack: Awesome. Awesome. All right. Who is your biggest influencer in your real estate career?
Ian: I could always get a little bit of everything from, you know, I’ll watch a few. I’m not a subscriber. I’ll watch a bit of Tom Panos on Instagram here and there. You pick up some little things. Probably. Mainly, I’d have to say with the people I work with. Yeah. Like Sam and Alex in the office. Two great agents have been in a lot longer than me and two very different people, but I pick up a lot of things from both of them, just where they operate, the way they negotiate. So you always, you know, and obviously being in a contract for so long and negotiation is a big part of that job. You always pick up things you’re never too old to, to try something new, try a new approach. So really it hasn’t been that one person, but I think definitely Sam and Alex from our office. A big key to that, a big part of that sort of puzzle. Yeah, but using the car trade, I think negotiating and dealing with so many different types of clients and having different salespeople work for me. And even with having salespeople, you sort of pick up things that they’re doing, which I that’s pretty good. You know, it’s great that it’s in my spiel and how I do things. So I think just being open minded, I never found a huge value in going to seminars and we have a lot of that in the car trade. You could fly up to Sydney 07.30, 08.30 you’re in a room all day and training and inspirational stuff that never really did much for me because I’d rather be on the tools and watching other people, listening to other people. You just pick up, you pick up things and still do.
Jack: Why did you decide to do the full licence course?
Ian: I think in my career and for the next step, buying into the business was one of the motivations and also having the title of a licensed agent, of course they help in terms of dealing with clients, especially on the higher end of things, but just a progression in career and in speaking to a couple of people who have done it came across Entry Education, actually, I heard about Entry from three different sources and then just decided to obviously inquire with step one and myself and a fellow agent friend of mine. We just decided, let’s do it. And that’s how we came across. I guess you came along.
Jack: That’s how we met.
Ian: Yeah. So obviously our initial catch up was great because you just outlined everything. It wasn’t the easiest course to do. But I think the way it’s done, especially doing it, being able to do it online was a big plus for me. Not having to travel into Melbourne or sit somewhere for half a day so I could fit it into, you know, after hours more so once the kids are in bed. So it was, it was really well done, which is great. Finally, finally got it.
Jack: Yeah. That kind of leads into the next or the last two questions, which is why did you choose Entry Education as your course provider and how did you find the classroom workshops?
Ian: So obviously I found it through referrals, but also referrals from people who’d done it reviews entry, I think is the bigger thing. Being able to do the initial coursework through Zoom, which is great, and then going on from there and doing it in your own sort of timeframe, but also having the resources so you guys have a back up. It was really good. You know, there was always someone available to answer a question or have help out if I’m stuck somewhere so that was a big thing. And just I guess your motivational phone calls to tell me to hurry up that you know, that helps. You’ve got to have that push. Obviously you always put it on the back burner, but I think that helps as well just to get it done. I think we did it all before Christmas, a couple weeks before Christmas, which is good. So yeah, there you go.
Jack: I think it was a couple of days before Christmas.
Ian: But yeah, if I had not done it then it would have been late January, probably even now still doing it. So that was good. It was an easy process. Good sort of back up so that always helps, you know, not just emailed stuff and left to it to do it, but very different to when I did my agent rep’s online course, which was through REIV, you pretty much just stepped on your own to do it, sending the mail in the course work, get it mailed back with some Post-it notes. This is a very different process. Much easier.
Jack: All right. Awesome. Well, that kind of wraps everything up. Just do you have anything else you want to say to an agent getting into the industry or someone already in the industry. Just anything?
Ian: I think someone getting in just again, just have your, you know, work out in your head or on paper. Yeah, we did, you know, I did a 12 month, two year, five year sort of plan where I want to be. But the initial thing is, you know, what you see with agents on Instagram and all the videos, it’s bullshit. Excuse the French but I think, you know, with the expensive cars and the watches and the suits and all that stuff, a lot of it’s for show, I think. Just have your cool ground yourself. Have your cool marketing in mind. Have a plan, have a goal of where you want to be financially, but don’t chase for the money from day one. Just do the right things and it’ll get there. That’s my advice and that’s to a lot of existing agents right now are probably finding it pretty tough and thinking about career change. A lot of them go into the car trade, I think just ground yourself and take a step back and do the, what do they say, so cross the T’s, dot the I’s and you know.
Jack: I always say it the other way around. Cross the I’s, dot the T’s.
Ian: You do that Jack. I mean, but for most people, that would be a fail. But you know, with the good times come the bad times and the good times will come back. And you just keep looking forward and keep smiling.
Jack: Yeah. Awesome.
Ian: And when you’re crying, just do it in private.
Jack: Or smile while you cry.
Jack: All right. Oh, well, thank you so much for this. Is there anything else you got to say or that kind of covers everything.
Ian: That covers it all again, thanks for all your help really helped in terms of my next career move. And yeah, I guess I’d recommend it to anyone. Just jump on and just get it done. And that’s what I just ended up doing. Just get it done. All right.
Jack: Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much for your time. I’ll leave you back to it. I know you’re busy, so I’ll let you back to it. Thanks again.
Ian: Beautiful. Thanks, Mate.