How to Become a Buyer’s Agent

Are you looking to change your life and move in an exciting new direction? Tired of feeling like what you do is not making a difference and that you’re just another cog in the wheel? 

Whether you have a passion for property or are motivated to help others, becoming a buyer’s agent presents real opportunities for personal growth, fulfillment and success. 

Prior experience in the property industry is not required and your age, employment history, level of education are not barriers to success. Making the change into a career in property buying is entirely within your reach. 

Here’s how you can transition into a full time or part time career as a buyer’s agent. 

Start with learning 

The Buyer’s Agent Institute specialises in providing individuals like yourself with the skills and training needed to become a successful buyer’s agent. 

Through cutting edge systems, practical content and a powerful support network, students are given the tools needed to design their own path to success. 

The team at the Buyer’s Agent Institute will work closely with you to understand your goals and objectives and to help you shape the future that you want. 

All content is delivered online so whether you’re located in Australia or internationally, you can complete the course from anywhere. Even by the pool, if it takes your fancy. 

You may still be working or busy parenting children, so you can learn at your own pace to ensure that you have the time to focus on everything going on in your life that you need to. 

Ben Handler, the founder of the Buyer’s Agent Institute, transitioned himself into a career in property buying and successfully built a multi-million dollar buyer’s agent business employing over 30 staff. 

Everything he teaches is borne from his own experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry. 

If you want to build a high impact business that thrives, then this is the opportunity for you. 

Start with some free training and get in touch with the team to kickstart your career as a buyer’s agent. 

Get licensed 

Once you’ve completed training, you’ll need to register for and hold a license to legally operate as a buyer’s agent. 

In Australia, each state has its own laws and licensing requirements and you’ll need to hold a license for the state in which you plan to buy property in. 

There are generally two types of licenses available and the terminology for each will differ from state to state: 

Individual agent registration 

This registration is suitable for employees 

Full license registration 

This is suitable for agent principals and senior employees. 

Gain valuable experience 

While completing training is going to set the foundation for success for your career as a buyer’s agent, it’s your experience working out in the marketplace which is going to shape and solidify these learnings. 

As you start to build a successful buyer’s agent business, securing more and more clients, you’ll face real world challenges where you will need to apply your skills to achieve favourable outcomes. And with the right training, you will. 

As you buy more properties, you’ll be building more industry relationships and gaining valuable knowledge only attained by working out in the trenches. If you’re let down by a real estate agent who over-promised and under-delivered, you’ll be sure to think twice before working with them again. 

You can’t put a price on experience, but at the same time, you need to start somewhere, so don’t let this hold you back from getting started. 

Stay passionate and committed 

Just because you complete training and get licensed as a buyer’s agent, doesn’t guarantee you success. You’re going to need to be prepared to put in the work needed to get results. 

Having a hunger to learn and a drive to initiate change will be critical in helping you stand out amongst the crowd. 

This is your opportunity to live and breathe property and make the dreams of others a reality. 

Rest assured, the Buyer’s Agent Institute will work closely with you to understand what motivates you, whether it’s making money or helping others, to leverage this as a driving force for your success. 

Become a Buyer’s Agent 

What are you waiting for? Start your new career as a buyer’s agent today. Get in touch with the Buyer’s Agent Institute to find out more about initiating your new career in property.

Maintaining High Standards

Buyer's Agent Matt sharp

Matt Sharp has had a passion for property for as long as he can remember.

When he turned 18, he set about saving for his first property and in the process started to learn everything he could about what drives property prices.

It took him six years to buy that first property, but since that point has gone on to build a substantial property portfolio and in the process has helped many people get started on their own property journey.

“Property is my passion and is something that I just love. I just enjoy all aspects, whether it be the data research, inspecting the property, or seeing how I could potentially develop or add value and then sharing that with other people.”

After finding a level of success personally, Matt wanted to expand what he was doing and felt that going down the path of becoming a buyer’s agent and helping and educating others was the right fit for him.

“The biggest thing for me early on what that, for every one positive story around property investing I heard, there were ten horror stories.”

“Not many people were having good experiences investing in property and unfortunately a couple of years ago there weren’t too many people out there giving good property investment advice.”

Matt is located on the Central Coast, an area that is doing exceptionally well at the moment and somewhere that he personally feels is a great place to be investing. His personal investment philosophy is a highly risk-averse one.

“In terms of the properties that we buy, I don’t buy anything brand new. Everything is existing, in areas that offer very low risk, low stock, low vacancy rates.”

“I’m a very, very low-risk investor personally and probably even more of a low-risk investor professionally when I’m advising people because obviously, I want to make sure that I’m eliminating every single pitfall possible.”.

While Matt had great success as an investor, getting his business up and running took time and plenty of perseverance.

“I’ve been operating for about 18 months now and to start with because I was on the Central Coast, the service wasn’t well known, so initially I just spent a lot of time just spreading the message that there was a buyer’s agent here on the central coast and sharing the message of what it was that I offered.”

“But getting clients just started from my inner circle or my established network of friends and other professionals or referral partners that I already had existing relationships with and those who sort of trusted me enough to refer some people to me and then obviously had some really good outcomes for people.”

“Then it just sorts of snowballed and snowballed from there. Now I get my clients from multiple referrals mainly because I’ve been fortunate enough to have some good outcomes and then people obviously trust you and then it just builds from there.”

Matt went through the BAI program and he feels it really helped him get where he wanted to go.

“Initially I didn’t really know how to get from A to Z. That’s what the BAI course does – it gives you a framework on how to run a successful buyer’s agency.”

“That help for me was tremendous and it just gave me the blueprint to be able to build my business and then how to run my business as well. So it taught me a lot.”

“I was never in real estate sales or anything like that, never wanted to be, never will be. I didn’t have a real estate background as such but leveraging my own personal experience and knowledge as well as the information that Ben shares in the BAI course combined, that can be quite powerful.”

“If you have your right morals and ethics and if you know your stuff, it can be very powerful.”

Going forward, Matt is looking to continue to grow his business while maintaining high standards.

“As clichéd as it sounds, I really want the buyer’s agent profession to have high standards and for people to look at us and our profession with a viewpoint that we add tremendous value and service because we all know what a real estate agent is and how people perceive them.”

“I really want to make sure that people look at my business in a completely different light.”

Matt suggests if you think a buyers agent sounds like the career for you, give it a go.

“There’s been a lot of late nights, there’s been a lot of early mornings, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, but for me personally it was probably the best thing that I did.”

“If you have a fire in the belly or if you have an itch that you feel as though you should be doing this, I would say give it a go because that’s what I did.”

Why Choose Impact Over Income?

Buyer's Agent Rasti Vaishav on why choose impact over income

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents, to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back, and dive into the remarkable stories, and journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in Australia right now.

Our guest today is Vaibhav Rastogi his nickname is Rasti. He’s a very rare individual, his roots take him back where he was born to India. And he had a very strong passion for property, which led him into architecture. And then due to family circumstances to better support his family, he then moved into IT. And then during his time and tenure in IT, he then moved to Singapore and did his masters in computer science.

Ben Handler:

And then after that, he wanted to challenge himself further and had a desire, a pursuit to get into the investment banking world, to work for one of the big banks. And then during that, he then went and did his MBA and then went and did his CFA, and then landed a job in one of the big banks and was responsible for managing over $2 billion worth of funds. And he was specializing in the research department. And during all this time, within seven years, he built his own investment portfolio up to a value of circa $5 billion, a positively geared portfolio with a very healthy debt to equity ratio.

Ben Handler:

Rasti’s had a very strong passion for property, which has led him now to leave the banking sector after building such a successful portfolio and start his new buyer’s agent business called Get Rare. It’s a very bespoke buyer’s agent business based in Melbourne. And what Rasti is doing with this particular business is he’s bringing his analytical skills, his research skills to the table to really analyze data and information, to make very sophisticated decisions for his clients. I’m super excited to introduce Rasti. Welcome Rasti.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Thank you so much, Ben really appreciate that. Yes, I’ve done it all and I love it. I love it. And to me it’s all about purpose. We talk about property investing as just about properties, to me it’s much more than that. It’s about fulfilling your dreams. I’ve actually taken more of a consultation approach, understanding what people are after, like what are their desires, what are their wants? And then having an understanding of where they want to be and where they are today. And then bridging the gap through the investing in properties is just one way, which are filled. The whole scenario, whole working around coming from as you had mentioned, I’m coming from a very humble background from India, where I’ve realized that it’s all about education, understanding of how people are doing it and then just emulating them.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It’s a very easy formula, which I’ve actually done quite a few times now moving to IT industry, learning from the best, then moving into the financial sector again, going to do my MBA like went to AGSM, and even to US, one of the best schools over there Booth Business School. And now coming to you, Ben in all honesty, like you are one of the best or rather you are the best actually I should say. And to me it’s more about learning from the best in the breed. And thank you so much for all the support and the coaching.

Ben Handler:

You’ve got a very impressive background by the way. Your resume, I mean. I’m inspired by what… But anytime I see someone who’s put in effort and who’s learned something, whatever it is, I’m always inspired. And I admire that. And when you sent me your bio and I was looking forward to obviously meeting you today. Because I know you’ve come here from Melbourne, but I was reading it and I was thinking, wow, I mean, you’ve done a lot. And what really struck a chord with me was you started in architecture.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

And obviously that was your purpose. You were in the property arena there. Then you got distracted like I did as well, and like some other people do, which is not a bad thing. I don’t mean that in a bad way. And now you’re back in the property space, doing what you love, how does that feel?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It is just amazing, like I remember one of the speeches by Steve Jobs in one of the university, like on the graduation day and he was talking to the students and he said something which actually resonated very well with me is like whatever we do in our college days, or whatever we do in our career, they are just the stepping stones. It will take a while for us to figure out how those dots actually connect. When I was doing architecture, I was very passionate. I was actually doing some projects as well. I was actually [inaudible 00:04:55] in my university as well as I got scholarship, but it was just I guess the demand of the time then that I had to support my family. Back home or back in India. It’s like, you have to work very hard yards.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I’m happy to go hard yards. But then it takes a while for an architect to slog through to make a substantial living out of it. For me, it was more about the need of the time to support my family. And for that reason, I had that passion to learn and quickly deliver. And that’s the reason why I actually started in computer science. I actually learned programming on my own and I got a job while I was actually studying my architecture as well, so I had a job offer in my pocket as an IT consultant before I actually finished my architecture degree. It was not really a brainer for me to switch it very quickly from there. People were arguing like how come five years of degree, which is pretty good time for me to establish over there and let it just go. Looking back what I’ve actually learned in architecture is that we started the design.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

We started the concept. We don’t really just come up and start doing the fine details of where the wiring or where the toilet should look like. We actually start with a concept like, okay, this is the building. This is what we are thinking about. This is the form. This is the artistic part of it, and the function, and the engineering aspect of it. Like how it combines together to generate something tangible.

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Now, fast forward a couple of decades now. This is what I’m actually doing. Like irrespective of whether the property is related to the architecture, but I’m thinking about designing the life, designing the right way of approaching it. And then coming up with the conforming components, that how we should do one thing at a time.

Ben Handler:

I noticed the path of the architecture, and then now buyer’s agent. And obviously the pieces have come together, but I want to talk about designing the life because that’s what you just mentioned there.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

When you were in banking and IT, you’re working from obviously great companies. Did you see that as really designing a life compared to now running your own business?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yup.

Ben Handler:

What’s your definition now of designing your own life?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Before I answer that, if I talk about how do I see that happening in my IT job or in my finance job, it’s more about what is the goal that we’re trying to achieve? Like when we talk about the IT project, there are so many components as a project manager, that one has to look after stakeholders, budget, timeline, constraints, the challenges which keep coming and all of a sudden, all you have an eye on is, okay, this is what we really want to achieve. Now you just go work backwards that these are the conforming components, right? Now coming back to the life question, maybe if you allow me, I really want to relate a story.

Ben Handler:

Sure.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Because that has actually got me going, my mother has been a very hard working mother as a lady. She started a business just to support us to get into the right education system. And what I’ve learned from a story that she told early on in my childhood was that there was a baby elephant tied to a tree. The rope that actually tied it was very thin, but it was strong enough for the baby elephant to be tied to the tree, so the baby elephant tried to break it many times one week, two weeks, four weeks, and then he forgot about it. Fast forward a few years that same elephant is now an adult elephant still tied to the same thin tree via thin rope. The idea is that actually it’s not really a story of an elephant. The story of our common nine to five, like the thing that you’re t-shirt talks about.

Ben Handler:

[between the night 00:08:39].

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes. It’s us in general, because when we grew up, we had lots of passions and lots of thinking that we really want to do, what were our desires, but the challenges of the life got us… We always talk about time, money, and energy, it’s a fine balance of the three. In our life stages we have at most two out of three, when we are young, we have time, we have energy but no money, right. In our adulthood, we have lots of money, we have lots of energy, somehow no time. In our later stages of life, we have time and money, but no energy, right. If think through this, we are not really leading the life you want to, but rather just cycling through.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

What I’d really talk about is like, okay, what are your desires? Like if there’s no constraint of time and money, what will you do today? Will it be a job, nine to five job you are doing? I mean, there’s nothing wrong… People are passionate about jobs. I have been very passionate about when I was an architect, I was enjoying it. When I was in IT, I was enjoying that. I enjoyed it, but I’m not really forced to do that, or am actually choosing to do that.

Ben Handler:

It seems like a lot of the people who are in those nine to five, I’m sure some of them would love what they’re doing and add a lot of value, but it seems like they’re the elephant. That sometimes they’re not pursuing their true talents and skills, that they’re put on this planet really to do. And they’re just a slave to the job.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I would think so, but at the same time, the conversation that I used to have with these people, because they don’t really have a choice, they have to like the job they’re doing.

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I mean, the way I said either you love what you do, or rather I should say and do what you love.

Ben Handler:

Why did you decide? You were obviously very good at what you did. You’ve had very good roles. You got into your dream job in banking.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

And you obviously did a MBA and a CFA on your way there. You’re obviously very committed, but now you’ve pivoted.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

Why did you pivot?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It goes back to my story, personal story. When I saw my parents working very hard, they actually struggled to put food on the table for us. Like education was the key. For someone like my family from a middle class family education is the only way. It was down to the concept that how we can change it. And for me the motivation was to make money work harder for you, but then also the need for that kind of a community to do it, is at the ground level, the common man. When I was managing a portfolio of $2 billion, I was enjoying it, it was my dream role. I was loving it, it was my desired role. I did hard yards to get into that role, like MBA and CFA, amidst GFC, it was not easy to make a switch. I was probably one of the only ones among three cohorts to make it a switch in that time.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

But I did it, I was committed. I was enjoying it, but only I realized that I’m actually making rich person richer. It was not congruent to my value system. My value system was to help the common man live their life, step up, and do what they really want. I have to take a step back and I think it was also circumstantial that my property investing was very successful. I probably stuck the winning formula on how to find the properties. And also by the way, there was a lot of research behind it, like systematically, which came from my way of investing in finance portfolios, and also the knowledge of the architecture, like how the property attributes work and not. At the end of the day it’s not about property, it’s about the people. The winning formula that I have, I actually build that portfolio in seven years. I did hard yards, almost on every weekend I was visiting along with my young ones in the back of the car, visiting those properties, doing inspections with me.

Ben Handler:

Did you hire a buyer’s agent during that time?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Actually I did. I did one of them. The experience was probably a bit subpar and I certainly see a big, big need that’s why I can do a better job, let me put it this way.

Ben Handler:

Was that a tipping point? Was that a point of awareness where you thought maybe I should become a buyer’s agent?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Not really because my… Okay. I actually went to Tony Robbins show last year, Unleash your Power Within, UPW they call it. Amazing, amazing value. I would say everyone should go. A $1000, if you’re running short of it, I’m happy to donate from my side. It’s amazing code because I know you will support it further down, other people. It just wakes the power within us, unleashes it. And that made me realize that, okay, this was my awakening then at that point of time. Like, what is my purpose? Like if when I die, on my death bed, what people would be talking about? What would be my obituary looking like? And then I realized that yes, I’m making money for the high net worth individuals. Yes I might get a thing, that okay I was getting paid for that job, but working with moms and dads is an entirely different experience. The sense of fulfillment of finding them their dream home, because it’s just not about investment properties that I look at.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I’m also looking with the same rigor of systematic approach to buying a home. That’s pretty unique in the way I look at it, because my value proposition is I bring the same rigor of IT systems of managing portfolios. Like I was once part of a $7 billion Australian equity portfolio, which was based on systematic investing. We found the attributes, what are favorable attributes and what are not, and how the share price movement is based on that, actually. I use the same systematic approach, which I call it as a [factor rate model 00:14:39] . Everyone when they are looking for a home has different definition of the ideal home.

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Coming from the consultation background, it’s like, okay, what do you like? What are the aspects that you really want to desire in your property?

Ben Handler:

I feel like the architecture, you’re starting with this concept. And then you’re moving into the detail.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Exactly right.

Ben Handler:

I wanted to… There’s so much to talk about. And you’ve got such an incredible story. Now you really do. And I see your value… Talking about value proposition. I mean, it’s very compelling. It’s compelling for many levels. I mean, obviously from risk analysis, from what you’ve done yourself in seven years, building the portfolio you have. It’s impressive on many levels. And I don’t think you’re going to be short of any clients by the way. We can maybe talk about how the journey has been. I think more importantly from what I’m hearing today and what I’m experiencing with you right now is there’s so much purpose with what you’re doing. You came from humble beginnings, you got out of architecture to move careers in a different sector to better support your family, right? That’s powerful.

Ben Handler:

And then you went on this awesome adventure, achieved everything. And then you’ve decided to, as you said, take a step back. There was an awakening moment at UPW, and you’ve actually gone back now to serve. Like actually serve in a very purposeful way. I think that must feel amazing for you waking up every day now going, I’m actually helping people with this knowledge that I’ve cultivated, I’ve done myself, I’ve developed it in so many different areas, and I’m packaging it up now with my own mix.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

My own ingredients. And I’m going to help you get money working for you.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

That’s powerful.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It is certainly powerful. And Ben, I can’t thank you enough for me to get into this journey as well, get that network. But yes it’s very, very fulfilling, very fulfilling because when I buy a property as an investment property for the client, like property unseen for them. And they trust in me as an individual and also in our processes and in my success, which they can really see. They have all this… Because I’ve been hardworking, there’s no success without… Like no pain, no gain. Yes, on the top you can see that I have been successful in three different careers. There has been a lot of hard work, a lot of support, a lot of sacrifices made through the way. To me it’s the why, why as in the purpose. If you’re clear on your purpose, it’s not what you have covered so far it’s more about where you want to go.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

And looking at that flag and then how closely you are approaching or how quickly you want to approach. And I’ve been one of those impatient person, but at the same time being strategic, I’ve never rushed into things. I’d rather do the thing the right way and only the right way. What’s more fulfilling for me is to make people realize that they have a story behind themselves. Every individual is individual as in like they have their own personal story. And part of them really want to do a lot more. Just like relating back to the elephant, they really want to go and break the shackles, break the status quo and live the free world.

Ben Handler:

Let’s quickly talk about, Get Rare.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

It’s your new company, you’re the founder, you’re the director, you’re the buyer’s agent. I’m sure you’re in that startup you’re running, you’re the marketer, you’re the finance man, you’re the IT person, you’re doing everything, I’m sure.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

Like we all do when we start our businesses, which is exciting. But then we work out which hat are we going to now give up, give to someone else. But let’s talk about that because I’d be curious to know what is the ideal style of client that you’d love to work with?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

The way I look at it, as someone who is open to the ideas, like I’ve actually come across many people, but they have their own way of thinking and they get stuck.

Ben Handler:

They get quite fixated.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

They are very fixated. They’re not flexible at all. For my recent client, I saved him 80 grand. If I’m charging 15 grand is probably not really a brainer. Like I’m going to saving them money, saving them time, saving them the stress.

Ben Handler:

That’s a big one.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes. Yeah. I’m actually proud of what I actually found. But what I’m trying to say is that the message has to go across to quite a few people out there. For me, the ideal personality client would be someone who’s ready to hear the ideas, ready with the concept of not just financial leverage, but the knowledge leverage. They don’t have to make the mistake on their own. They don’t really have to get frustrated. They can outsource the whole process. And to me it’s an arm’s length that I would just go and find a property for them. My approach is very consultative. Like I would be as if holding their hands and talking through them like what they want or what they should be looking at. My purpose is to educate them, empower them. I’m not really saying buy your first property through me, and buy the second, and the third, and the fourth with me as well.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Of course, if I give them the lot of value in the first one, along with the knowledge and the confidence, I know they will come back to me. My business model is give them all that I can give in terms of knowledge skills, plus my time and more important than that the attention. Quite a few people like I’ve got few clients already that I’m working with. And they have got a lot in my pipeline. And the basis of which has been that I have been very generous with my time, sharing my knowledge, because my purpose is not to just acquire clients. My purpose is to help them. Because I had been on that side before I know the pain of not really finding the right platform to grow from.

Ben Handler:

I guess, in finishing up today, your name in Sanskrit is prosperity. That’s right. So I think for anyone who’s coming into your inner circle, into your, into your orbit and with what you’ve achieved yourself, just with own portfolio and just with your career and the commitment and the dedication and the focus that you’ve put in, everything that you’ve done, even the tennis right. Prosperity I feel is going to manifest. And where can people find you

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Show? So I’m very much on the social media. So I got a website dot com.edu. I got an Instagram handle. I’m very much on LinkedIn as well. So Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, but yeah, the website for the first way, the main contact point.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. As we finished up, when I saw your website and I saw your emails come through in the blogs. And this dude is, he’s savvy with IT, it looks slick, it looks good, so well done. I’ve really enjoyed our chat. I’m super pumped to see where you go. I think not just for you, but for your clients. I think it’s exciting to see where you go. I know that we will stay connected and I’m going to watch you and hopefully I’ll get you on again soon just to hear version two.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Sure.

Ben Handler:

But I appreciate your time. It’s been awesome. Hope you enjoyed the chat. That was super awesome. I made a mistake at the beginning. Rasti is actually based in Sydney. I’m sure he buys nationally, so you can give him a call, check out his website.

Ben Handler:

You’ll learn more about his investment strategy, his philosophy and what he does. He is Sydney based. His story’s incredible, right? Starting in architecture, moving into IT, then moving into financial services, where he specializes at a bank working in research, managing 2 billions worth of funds. You can understand and appreciate his level of data analysis and looking at information and making very smart decisions, right. And he’s also built as you’ve heard, he’s own very successful portfolio in only seven years. Speak to Rasti, his investment strategies, his dedication to his clients is really first class. Check him out, see you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

What are the Differences Between a Buyer’s Agent & a Real Estate Agent?

road and grass

It’s not unheard of for the average punter to say ‘but aren’t buyer’s agents and real estate agents essentially the same’. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While both professionals work within the property industry, it’s from opposite sides that they operate. 

If you’re looking to buy property, it’s imperative that you know who you should closely be working with to ensure you get the best outcome. 

Let’s start with an understanding of each role. 

What is a buyer’s agent? 

Buyer’s agents (sometimes referred to as buyer’s advocates) are licensed professionals that work on behalf of a client looking to buy property. A buyer’s agent can help with every step of the property buying process from searching for properties, evaluating properties and negotiating the final sale. 

A buyer’s agent will typically receive a commission from their client, the property buyer, on the purchase price of a property. 

If a buyer’s agent is only helping out with select parts of the property buying process, for example, attending an auction on behalf of their client, they may charge a one off fixed fee. 

Find out more on how much a buyer’s agent typically costs

What is a real estate agent? 

A real estate agent is also a licensed professional. However, unlike a buyer’s agent, they represent a property seller, arranging the transaction between the buyer and seller. This can include everything from listing the property to negotiating the final sale price. 

Real estate agents are usually compensated based on a commission and this is calculated on the purchase price of a property. Hence, it’s in their best interest to drive the highest price possible for a property seller. 

How they work together  

Buyer’s agents and real estate agents actually work very closely together to ensure they get the best results for their clients. It’s in the best interests of both parties to ensure that good relationships are maintained as both can be pivotal in the success of the other. A real estate agent can leverage the relationships of a buyer’s agent to seed out off market opportunities and minimise costly campaigns. A buyer’s agent will often look to local agents to match up the criteria of their clients to stock listed and potentially unlisted in the area. 

Ultimately, reputation is everything and the way you do business can make or break success. 

Both real estate agents and buyer’s agents can be a powerful source of referrals for new business. 

So who should I work with? 

If you’re looking to buy a new property, it’s strongly recommended to seek out the assistance of a buyer’s agents as they’ll be instrumental in helping you find what you’re looking for. 

Whether it’s a residential property, commercial premise or development opportunity, a buyers agent can save you time, money and stress. Find out more about the benefits of working with a buyer’s agent

If you’re selling a property, a real estate agent is likely to be your best point of call as they’ll have the knowledge and experience needed to get your property out into the market and secure you the best sale price. 

Where they overlap 

What some people might not yet realise is that buyer’s agents can offer many of the same services that a real estate agent offers when it comes to property management. 

A buyer’s agent can help with asset management, property management and the leasing of your property. Buyer’s agents can even work with tenants that are looking to find properties to rent. 

Finding a buyer’s agent 

Unsure whether a buyer’s agent can help you with your property needs? Use our Buyer’s Agent Directory to connect with an agent and find out. 

From Funds Manager to Property Expert

Over the span of his working life, Vaibhav Rastogi, also referred to as ‘Rasti’, has learnt how to manage money and investments in both property and financial markets.

With a degree in Architecture and an MBA in Finance, behind him, Vaibhav after working in IT embarked on a career in Funds Management, where he managed over $2 billion of client funds. However, he realised that his passion was best served in helping individuals achieve wealth, rather than those that already have money.

As a successful property investor himself, he felt that helping people achieve success in property by becoming a buyers agent was the right fit for him.

“Eventually, I realised that my value system is more congruent to helping people on the ground level as compared to multiplying money for those who already have it.”

“Property investing is one of the most common, most trusted way of building wealth as we have seen throughout humankind, but at the same time, not everyone makes property investment a success. Property investing is simple but successful property investing is not that simple.”

“That’s where I started using my architecture skills of evaluating a property and its design, investing as a vehicle and understanding it’s not just about capital growth and cash flow, but also about the risk that people tend to overlook in all the excitement.”

Vaibhav had built a personal property portfolio of 15 properties, and his goal is to help others achieve the same or better level of success.

“When I looked back, I realised that I started my property investing journey when I didn’t have much in my pocket, and now, I’m sitting on decent equity – this is exactly what I want to do for my prospective clients.”

“I had been unofficially helping my friends and family, but the whole reason that I wanted to start a business around it is so that I could reach out and help other people beyond my social circle.”

Given his success as an investor, Vaibhav already had a network of people around him that were interested in using his services as a buyer’s agent, which made the transition easier for him.

“Lots of people around me were actually waiting for me to start a business so they could approach me, so the pipeline was already there.”

“The business is going great so far. I run workshops on a monthly basis, where I outline my portfolio approach, referred to as Get Rare Model, and how I built my own portfolio without taking too much risk.”

“Calling myself a professional buyer’s agent has also given me a lot of leverage when I talk to the selling agents as well because they know that I’m actually representing not just only one client, but maybe a handful of clients in one go. Apparently helping me establish the relationship rather one considered as a transaction.”

Despite having a solid background as a successful property investor, Vaibhav decided to reach out to the BAI to gain a better understanding of running the business side of a buyer’s agency as well as to see how others built their businesses.

“Ben and his team at BAI do an amazing job as for me, coming from the corporate world where it was all about teamwork and working together, when I started on my own I realised that I’m all by myself.”

“BAI with their guidance, coaching and mentorship, has given us a network of other fellow buyer’s agents and it’s easy to visualise what a business can potentially look like in, twelve months or even five years.”

Vaibhav’s main focus is working with property investors and given his background and personal success, that was always going to be a good fit. One of the core components of Vaibhav’s methodology is centred around managing risk across an entire property portfolio. In much the same way a share investor looks to diversify, Vaibhav believes having a portfolio approach to both risk and growth is vital. Having worked in research advisory for Financial Planners, he appreciates how essential it is to get the solution client-centric and holistic.

For those people looking to start a career as a buyer’s agent, he feels that passion for property is vital.

“It is such a big responsibility and one has to take it very seriously because clients are giving you the responsibility of buying their property, which is one of the biggest investments they are ever going to make.”

“Buyers Agents also have to have a passion for the people because it’s just not about the properties, but also about the people.“

Lessons from a Billionaire

Buyer's Agent Daniel Trelease on lessons from a Billionaire

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents, to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back, and dive into the remarkable stories, and journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in Australia right now.

Ben Handler:

Our guest today is Daniel Trelease, he is the founder, and CEO of Trelease Associates, the headquarters is based in Sydney, in Double Bay. Daniel prides himself on two key things, number one, customer service, and number two, developing an extraordinary, and exceptional company culture.

Ben Handler:

Daniel’s career is quite remarkable, it’s also very unique where it started. He was headhunted by the former entertainment media billionaire mogul, Robert Stigwood. Robert Stigwood had a country estate in England, and Daniel managed this estate, and looked after, not just property, but art, but also diversified in understanding different business ventures.

Ben Handler:

Daniel was also engaged by high net worth individuals to buy property, and art across New York, and London. Daniel has been in Australia for less than a decade, and brings a very unique energy into his new business. So, I’m very excited to introduce Daniel Trelease today. Welcome Daniel.

Daniel Trelease:

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Ben Handler:

I’ve always been meaning to ask about this whole Robert Stigwood. He’s obviously a billionaire, he was from Australia, he moved to England. I believe he was the first billionaire in the world.

Daniel Trelease:

I don’t know if he was the first, he was certainly one of the first, and I believe he was one of the first, certainly in Australia. But, he was actually born in Adelaide as well, where I was born. And, that’s I believe certainly, after he passed I started thinking about why me, and I think it was, “I’m going to give this young kid from Adelaide a chance.” And, I’ll be forever grateful for that, because that was the start of my journey.

Ben Handler:

But, how did it all come together?

Daniel Trelease:

I was actually working in the executive club lounge at a hotel, the Hyatt Regency at the time, I think it’s the InterContinental now in Adelaide. And, he said to me, “You don’t seem nervous at all.” And, my boss was there holding the silver tray, shaking like this. And, I said, “I don’t know who you are.” And, he just sort of smiled, and said, “That’s great, no worries.”

Daniel Trelease:

And, I went on with my day, and the next time I had to serve him, eventually the president of his companies at the time said to me, “You’d be really good working with us.” And, it just went from there, then they took me to dinner, and discussed the opportunity. I went, and visited the estate, and Robert, and his team in the Isle of Wight at the time in England, and came back made decision, finished my degree, and went to work for them.

Ben Handler:

When I introduced, and said, “Managed the country estate state,” I mean, a lot of people listening to this won’t probably quite grasp what that really means. Do you mind maybe sharing around the size, the number of staff? I mean, you were managing something very large.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, I was effectively what they would call a majordomo, which was the head of the household. So, I would manage all of the staff from the nurses, the security, the chefs, the gardeners, then all of his executive team as well, and everyone in between. Hiring, firing, training, and being the conduit between Robert, and a staff member effectively.

Ben Handler:

How many staff members roughly?

Daniel Trelease:

Just on the estate at any given time between 30, and 40.

Ben Handler:

Wow, amazing. So, what did you learn? I mean, obviously that’s a very unique experience for someone to go through, and be part of that whole journey. What is it that you learned? What was the key thing?

Daniel Trelease:

I think that’s probably where I developed most of my people skills. I was exposed to people that I don’t ever read about, or seen on television. He’s obviously, he was the godfather to a number of the Royal Family’s children, that sort of thing he often visited.

Daniel Trelease:

He’s also the man who created Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Cream, Evita, merge companies, Brian Epstein, run the Beatles for a while, et cetera. And, I actually flew to Melbourne at one point to hire the new gentlemen to take over Saturday Night Fever in the West End, and being thrown in the deep end like that with people that I couldn’t even possibly fathom.

Daniel Trelease:

There was actually one point when I hung up the phone on John Travolta by accident. I was just transferring it to Robert’s quarters, and it just cut out, and I was like sugar. So, anyway I got in a lot of trouble for that. But, Look he called back, and he was fine. The lesson I did learn though, is that with that level of power, and wealth does not always come humility, and decency. And, I know that he had a reputation for being an extraordinarily hard person.

Daniel Trelease:

I mean, everyone knows it’s common knowledge he was hung off of his balcony by the Kray twins, which were mafia, because he was monopolizing the industry. And, I remember one point he called me, I was not in working hours, and I was asked to come up to the main house. I had a house on the estate, and I was asked to come up, and he asked me to come up, which was a 15 minute journey from my house to his, kind of thing. Out of hours, on my very few hours off, to pick a pen up next to his bed, and give it to him when there was 20 staff in the house. To show me that’s your place, don’t ever forget it, kind of thing.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I’ll never forget that moment ever, but I’ll also never forget the moments where he enjoyed glass of champagne, and telling me extraordinary stories, which have enriched my life forever. And, I tell them over, and over are.

Ben Handler:

Can you share any of them?

Daniel Trelease:

They’re probably, a lot of them are rather inappropriate, as you can imagine being a billionaire in the sixties, and seventies, that sort of thing, the sorts of things that went on, but they were very entertaining.

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about Trelease Associates, because what I love so much about the buyer’s agent sector is they’re so many up, and coming new businesses with people like you have extraordinary skill, and talent. That you’ve then transferred now into this space. And, what you’re doing with Trelease Associates is very unique. I’ve obviously been in the space a long time, and I don’t see really anyone out there in Australia doing what you’re doing. So, what’s the purpose behind what you’re doing? And, what are you looking to do?

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose, from my experience with people mostly, I wanted to create something which wasn’t mine, which wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about feeding me, it wasn’t about growing just me. It was about who can I bring into this company to grow with me for the entire journey. And, I’m not just talking about staff retention. I created Trelease Associates, because I’m the sole owner right now, but it’s created, so then there’s people like, and he most certainly will be Jeremy Bedwani, who I believe is just as important to the success of this company as myself.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I don’t believe it could be what it is even today, 14 months on without him as an example, and other heads of divisions too. So, Trelease Associates was created, so there’ll be associates. There will be obviously myself as the founder, but in time there will be stakeholders like Jeremy, and others in the future as well. So, they own a piece of this company, a significant piece, and it’s not bought, it’s gifted to them.

Daniel Trelease:

It’s about creating a culture where we’re all building a family, a business that can become nationwide, possibly larger, but that’s not the goal. Where we’re working towards a common goal, and every single day I can honestly tell you, we joke, we laugh, we have an amazing time. And, yes there’s difficult times too, and we expect that, and we learn from that, we pivot like we have during COVID.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and it’s apparent from the outside looking in around what you’re doing. It’s very different, and it seems, as I said earlier, very unique. Let’s talk about the confidentiality part.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

That’s something that no one’s doing. Most people in the buyer’s agent space, social media, advertising, it’s all about just bought. You’ve taken a very different approach, do you mind sharing why, and what you’re doing?

Daniel Trelease:

I believe that we’re in customer service, and customer service after spending well over a decade in London, New York, I even lived in Greece for six months. I just feel that it’s missing from the fabric of our society here in Australia. You go to a restaurant, that’s not service. It’s appalling in my eyes. I wanted to create something where the confidentiality piece, we didn’t leverage on our client, and what we bought for them to self promote. We were engaged by our client to source, and to secure a property for them, whether it be investment, whether it be primary residence.

Daniel Trelease:

Not then to plaster that over social media, or to leak it to the media, that sort of thing. It’s about discretion, it’s about a different level of service that Australians perhaps are not entirely used to. That would be expected in say London, and confidentiality is not necessary for all of our clients. Not at all. Most in fact, do not require it, but it is absolutely there for the clients who do.

Daniel Trelease:

It doesn’t just revolve around the confidentiality upon exchange. For example, where the client’s identity is held confidentially with a confidentiality deed signed by the sales agent, the sales agency principal, myself as the principal of Trelease Associates, the buyer’s agent that may have been acting for that buyer, our buyer, and the vendor. All signed, so it’s basically just an extra signature before they sign the contract.

Ben Handler:

Every transaction?

Daniel Trelease:

Not every transaction for the clients that require this. Every client can have it if they wish. Some clients don’t wish for it, they just don’t care, it’s not necessary. Absolutely fine. But, it’s more about what about their buying power? Because, their buying power is usually exposed to most sales agents, because I’ve been looking for one, two, three, six, 12 months before engaging buyer’s agent. Therefore, it’s about confidentiality around the client themselves during the process.

Daniel Trelease:

So, some of these clients, we had one recently that had full confidentiality. No one knows what we bought, no one knows how much we bought it for, and no one is allowed to disclose. That client was even searching at the time. So, that client’s buying power was also confidential. Therefore, because the agents understood where their budget may have been, they needed to know this, they were just working with client five at Trelease Associates.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it’s extraordinary. And, let’s talk about leadership obviously, and actually before we dive into leadership, I would think that when I opened up, I talked about one of your principles is customer service. It seems like it’s clear, it runs through the DNA of your entire company. Has that been inherited from Robert Stigwood?

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

Yeah.

Daniel Trelease:

Unequivocally. I mean, even from my hospitality days, I mean, I remember when my parents didn’t want me to go to acting school, and that sort of thing, which was my passion as a young man. They wanted me to finish my degree, and that sort of thing as I did. But, during that I was working from 16, 15, whatever it was onwards. And, I ended up in silver service in a five star hotel in Adelaide. Therefore, I was poached from Robert, and moved to England.

Daniel Trelease:

And, naturally when you’re serving people from the Royal Family, you’re serving Robert himself, it’s all silver service. And it is the hand behind the back. You’re pretty much leaving the room, walking backwards, that kind of thing. It was very intense. It’s a level of service that almost is nonexistent today, but I revere it.

Ben Handler:

Wow, so you, from being exposed to that, you’ve been able to now transfer just that high quality, because you’re right Australia, it’s poor service.

Daniel Trelease:

Very.

Ben Handler:

And, especially when you go to the States, and come back, you just notice that distinction. So, obviously working at the estate in the UK, you were managing, you were hiring, you were firing, you were strategizing, you were organizing, coordinating, you are a leader. I think we’re all leaders in our own right. Now, you’re running your new company. You’ve got people in various divisions in different States. Has your understanding of leadership changed at all?

Daniel Trelease:

Every day, every single day. Every day I’m learning, even Jeremy, and I learned from each other every day. And, we strategize together every day. But, even after Robert when I worked for TDA Interiors, for example, under Richard Taylor, the founder of TDA Interiors were still operational in South of England, and in central London too. And, watching those different leadership styles from Robert, which is an extraordinary style, I suppose, all the way through to Richard, which was very commercial.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I look at myself as a highly emotional being, hight EQ. Jeremy, high IQ, and very commercial. So, the ying and yang work exceptionally well. We couldn’t be more different in our leadership styles, and that’s probably why we work so well together to create a company that is, I certainly hope I’m right in saying this, not only humble, and not only caring, and compassionate, but we genuinely love, and care for the people inside those walls. And, we will protect them, and nurture them and help them grow, and that’s one of Jeremy’s primary role.

Daniel Trelease:

So, the leadership isn’t just for me, it is across the team. We’ve got Kim Ackerman who’s basically writing the Trelease Associates handbook, for example. On her own accord she came to us. I believe that leadership needs to go across the spectrum of the company, and not just dripped down from the top. I don’t believe in the hierarchy, and the older models. Could be wrong, but at the moment it seems to be doing very well. And, the company as a whole, and the staff are enjoying this leadership style.

Ben Handler:

I agree, the leadership always should really move from the bottom up. And, the fact you’ve got this lady in your office who’s put her hand up to say-

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

…I want to take lead with this, is a clear, I guess, indication, and reflection demonstration of what’s really going on in the company. Because, it seems not just customer service is something that runs throughout your entire company, it’s something that obviously you pride so much.

Ben Handler:

Because, I remember back at the Cohen Handler days, you were always having dinner at 10:00 at night at a restaurant with the 65 year old client. And, it seems like you were just forging these very close friendships. So, outside of a transaction your client relationships now becoming friendships, right?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look, there’s three, four clients that have had babies during, or after being a client of mine, and I’ve been in the hospital before they’ve even gotten home with their baby. And, I’ve got 60, 70, 80 plus year old clients who I still take to dinner, because they’re alone, and I truly enjoy their company. I’m an old soul, a lot will say I’m like an eight year old Jewish man, and that’s the joke in the office.

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose I do definitely connect to older people far more than younger. I love being around the youth, and the energy like Jack Henderson in our office, fantastic. He always prides himself, he was a minor, he didn’t finish school, and look at him now.

Ben Handler:

The Flamingo.

Daniel Trelease:

Yes, the Flamingo, right. And, then we’ve got lawyers, and we’ve got forensic accountants, and all sorts of people as well in the company. So, education as well I don’t believe is a factor. You cannot train passion, you cannot train hustle, you can only train skill. And, that’s the biggest lesson that we’ve learned over the last six to 12 months is that don’t just hire someone that’s been in real estate, and need to unravel bad habits, for example. Hire someone who has the passion, hire someone who has the hustle ingrained in them, that is innate in them. Then, and only then let’s train those people.

Ben Handler:

I love it. What do you love about real estate?

Daniel Trelease:

I have to say it’s not even the real estate. It’s the people, because every day I meet someone new, a different character, whether it be a flamingo or something else brought into our life to enrich our lives. And, we’ve got incredibly diverse team of people, and we’re hiring at the moment. So, there’s more people that are coming on board. Some of them are quite characters as well, but you know what, everyone who sits in front of us in the boardroom is different too.

Daniel Trelease:

Some are going to suit my demeanor, and my character. Some are going to suit Jack’s or Kim’s or Annabelle’s or whoever’s. And, that’s why also we need to figure out who aren’t we servicing, who aren’t we helping, and how can we help them. So, we’re looking at a commercial division that has never been done before. We have tried, it didn’t pan out the way Jeremy, and I had wanted it to, and that’s fine.

Daniel Trelease:

We live, and we learn, we pivot, and we evolve. And, now we’re looking at someone who, whether this person comes to fruition or not, this is someone who is at very high level, and was head of acquisitions for a very well known firm. And, we’re looking at bringing them on, so we can service the commercial clients, and buyers out there.

Daniel Trelease:

We’re looking at the property management division that we’re building very assertively, and right now we’re only six months away from launching Brisbane. Less than 12 months away from launching Mosman. And, it’s about not expanding too quickly, not trying to take over any kind of world domination, as they say, it’s about who can we service, and service well.

Daniel Trelease:

And, you know what? Sometimes we’ll fail, so we’ll pivot, we’ll try again, or we’ll move on, and we want to figure out what we’re great at. And, that’s been my biggest lesson, what I’m great at, and what I’m not so great at. Hence, why Jeremy is my ying to my yang, because I know I am not great at many of the skillsets that he is prolific in.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, you clearly compliment each other.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely, yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, you’ve got different skillsets, different personalities, and that’s what makes a partnership.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, that’s what grows the company, and that’s what balances off everyone.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Some people who are the more touchy-feely EQ, they’re going to come to you. And, the other ones who aren’t, they’re going to gravitate towards Jeremy, and it works.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

We could be here for hours. We need to do a round two, because we need to hear about some of the stories, if you’re open to sharing. I love your background, I think it’s… I get excited seeing people coming into this space with just, I guess, exposure to life.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Exposure to life, and your exposure is what very few people on this planet have exposure to. And, it’s incredible to see how you’ve brought this into your new business. And, it’s very, you can recognize it very quickly. Just drive past your office in Double Bay, or of anyone watching this now just check out Trelease Associates, right. You can feel it when you look at your brand, it’s something different. And, it’s definitely something that, from what I see, you’ve picked up from what you’ve cultivated previously just in what you’ve learned. For people watching, where can people find Trelease Associates?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look I mean, treleaseassociates.com.au would be the first protocol I think for anyone to have a feel for our company, and who we are, but I’m always an advocate for picking up the phone. Don’t need to email, pick up the phone, and call me. Call me direct, call Jeremy direct, have a conversation. And, if we have a great call get inside, and meet us.

Ben Handler:

Love it. Thank you, appreciate it. We’re going to do a round two. Just finishing up now. Okay, so I hope you enjoyed the discussion, especially around what Daniel learned in his previous career, because that’s very important in terms of how you transfer that into your obviously, new career if you’re looking to do something different.

Ben Handler:

For anyone who’s actually looking to potentially join a company, and become a buyer’s agent, check out Trelease Associates. As Daniel said give him a call, give Jeremy a call, go to their website, see their brand. Actually, look at a lot of the buyers agents that exist, and see if you notice anything different about how they present, what they do, their messaging. I believe you’ll see something quite distinct.

Ben Handler:

So, pick up the phone if you want to chat. And, if you’re someone who’s even looking to buy a property, and you’re looking for that exceptional customer experience, that journey, check out Trelease Associates as well. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents, to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back, and dive into the remarkable stories, and journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in Australia right now.

Ben Handler:

Our guest today is Daniel Trelease, he is the founder, and CEO of Trelease Associates, the headquarters is based in Sydney, in Double Bay. Daniel prides himself on two key things, number one, customer service, and number two, developing an extraordinary, and exceptional company culture.

Ben Handler:

Daniel’s career is quite remarkable, it’s also very unique where it started. He was headhunted by the former entertainment media billionaire mogul, Robert Stigwood. Robert Stigwood had a country estate in England, and Daniel managed this estate, and looked after, not just property, but art, but also diversified in understanding different business ventures.

Ben Handler:

Daniel was also engaged by high net worth individuals to buy property, and art across New York, and London. Daniel has been in Australia for less than a decade, and brings a very unique energy into his new business. So, I’m very excited to introduce Daniel Trelease today. Welcome Daniel.

Daniel Trelease:

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Ben Handler:

I’ve always been meaning to ask about this whole Robert Stigwood. He’s obviously a billionaire, he was from Australia, he moved to England. I believe he was the first billionaire in the world.

Daniel Trelease:

I don’t know if he was the first, he was certainly one of the first, and I believe he was one of the first, certainly in Australia. But, he was actually born in Adelaide as well, where I was born. And, that’s I believe certainly, after he passed I started thinking about why me, and I think it was, “I’m going to give this young kid from Adelaide a chance.” And, I’ll be forever grateful for that, because that was the start of my journey.

Ben Handler:

But, how did it all come together?

Daniel Trelease:

I was actually working in the executive club lounge at a hotel, the Hyatt Regency at the time, I think it’s the InterContinental now in Adelaide. And, he said to me, “You don’t seem nervous at all.” And, my boss was there holding the silver tray, shaking like this. And, I said, “I don’t know who you are.” And, he just sort of smiled, and said, “That’s great, no worries.”

Daniel Trelease:

And, I went on with my day, and the next time I had to serve him, eventually the president of his companies at the time said to me, “You’d be really good working with us.” And, it just went from there, then they took me to dinner, and discussed the opportunity. I went, and visited the estate, and Robert, and his team in the Isle of Wight at the time in England, and came back made decision, finished my degree, and went to work for them.

Ben Handler:

When I introduced, and said, “Managed the country estate state,” I mean, a lot of people listening to this won’t probably quite grasp what that really means. Do you mind maybe sharing around the size, the number of staff? I mean, you were managing something very large.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, I was effectively what they would call a majordomo, which was the head of the household. So, I would manage all of the staff from the nurses, the security, the chefs, the gardeners, then all of his executive team as well, and everyone in between. Hiring, firing, training, and being the conduit between Robert, and a staff member effectively.

Ben Handler:

How many staff members roughly?

Daniel Trelease:

Just on the estate at any given time between 30, and 40.

Ben Handler:

Wow, amazing. So, what did you learn? I mean, obviously that’s a very unique experience for someone to go through, and be part of that whole journey. What is it that you learned? What was the key thing?

Daniel Trelease:

I think that’s probably where I developed most of my people skills. I was exposed to people that I don’t ever read about, or seen on television. He’s obviously, he was the godfather to a number of the Royal Family’s children, that sort of thing he often visited.

Daniel Trelease:

He’s also the man who created Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Cream, Evita, merge companies, Brian Epstein, run the Beatles for a while, et cetera. And, I actually flew to Melbourne at one point to hire the new gentlemen to take over Saturday Night Fever in the West End, and being thrown in the deep end like that with people that I couldn’t even possibly fathom.

Daniel Trelease:

There was actually one point when I hung up the phone on John Travolta by accident. I was just transferring it to Robert’s quarters, and it just cut out, and I was like sugar. So, anyway I got in a lot of trouble for that. But, Look he called back, and he was fine. The lesson I did learn though, is that with that level of power, and wealth does not always come humility, and decency. And, I know that he had a reputation for being an extraordinarily hard person.

Daniel Trelease:

I mean, everyone knows it’s common knowledge he was hung off of his balcony by the Kray twins, which were mafia, because he was monopolizing the industry. And, I remember one point he called me, I was not in working hours, and I was asked to come up to the main house. I had a house on the estate, and I was asked to come up, and he asked me to come up, which was a 15 minute journey from my house to his, kind of thing. Out of hours, on my very few hours off, to pick a pen up next to his bed, and give it to him when there was 20 staff in the house. To show me that’s your place, don’t ever forget it, kind of thing.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I’ll never forget that moment ever, but I’ll also never forget the moments where he enjoyed glass of champagne, and telling me extraordinary stories, which have enriched my life forever. And, I tell them over, and over are.

Ben Handler:

Can you share any of them?

Daniel Trelease:

They’re probably, a lot of them are rather inappropriate, as you can imagine being a billionaire in the sixties, and seventies, that sort of thing, the sorts of things that went on, but they were very entertaining.

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about Trelease Associates, because what I love so much about the buyer’s agent sector is they’re so many up, and coming new businesses with people like you have extraordinary skill, and talent. That you’ve then transferred now into this space. And, what you’re doing with Trelease Associates is very unique. I’ve obviously been in the space a long time, and I don’t see really anyone out there in Australia doing what you’re doing. So, what’s the purpose behind what you’re doing? And, what are you looking to do?

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose, from my experience with people mostly, I wanted to create something which wasn’t mine, which wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about feeding me, it wasn’t about growing just me. It was about who can I bring into this company to grow with me for the entire journey. And, I’m not just talking about staff retention. I created Trelease Associates, because I’m the sole owner right now, but it’s created, so then there’s people like, and he most certainly will be Jeremy Bedwani, who I believe is just as important to the success of this company as myself.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I don’t believe it could be what it is even today, 14 months on without him as an example, and other heads of divisions too. So, Trelease Associates was created, so there’ll be associates. There will be obviously myself as the founder, but in time there will be stakeholders like Jeremy, and others in the future as well. So, they own a piece of this company, a significant piece, and it’s not bought, it’s gifted to them.

Daniel Trelease:

It’s about creating a culture where we’re all building a family, a business that can become nationwide, possibly larger, but that’s not the goal. Where we’re working towards a common goal, and every single day I can honestly tell you, we joke, we laugh, we have an amazing time. And, yes there’s difficult times too, and we expect that, and we learn from that, we pivot like we have during COVID.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and it’s apparent from the outside looking in around what you’re doing. It’s very different, and it seems, as I said earlier, very unique. Let’s talk about the confidentiality part.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

That’s something that no one’s doing. Most people in the buyer’s agent space, social media, advertising, it’s all about just bought. You’ve taken a very different approach, do you mind sharing why, and what you’re doing?

Daniel Trelease:

I believe that we’re in customer service, and customer service after spending well over a decade in London, New York, I even lived in Greece for six months. I just feel that it’s missing from the fabric of our society here in Australia. You go to a restaurant, that’s not service. It’s appalling in my eyes. I wanted to create something where the confidentiality piece, we didn’t leverage on our client, and what we bought for them to self promote. We were engaged by our client to source, and to secure a property for them, whether it be investment, whether it be primary residence.

Daniel Trelease:

Not then to plaster that over social media, or to leak it to the media, that sort of thing. It’s about discretion, it’s about a different level of service that Australians perhaps are not entirely used to. That would be expected in say London, and confidentiality is not necessary for all of our clients. Not at all. Most in fact, do not require it, but it is absolutely there for the clients who do.

Daniel Trelease:

It doesn’t just revolve around the confidentiality upon exchange. For example, where the client’s identity is held confidentially with a confidentiality deed signed by the sales agent, the sales agency principal, myself as the principal of Trelease Associates, the buyer’s agent that may have been acting for that buyer, our buyer, and the vendor. All signed, so it’s basically just an extra signature before they sign the contract.

Ben Handler:

Every transaction?

Daniel Trelease:

Not every transaction for the clients that require this. Every client can have it if they wish. Some clients don’t wish for it, they just don’t care, it’s not necessary. Absolutely fine. But, it’s more about what about their buying power? Because, their buying power is usually exposed to most sales agents, because I’ve been looking for one, two, three, six, 12 months before engaging buyer’s agent. Therefore, it’s about confidentiality around the client themselves during the process.

Daniel Trelease:

So, some of these clients, we had one recently that had full confidentiality. No one knows what we bought, no one knows how much we bought it for, and no one is allowed to disclose. That client was even searching at the time. So, that client’s buying power was also confidential. Therefore, because the agents understood where their budget may have been, they needed to know this, they were just working with client five at Trelease Associates.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it’s extraordinary. And, let’s talk about leadership obviously, and actually before we dive into leadership, I would think that when I opened up, I talked about one of your principles is customer service. It seems like it’s clear, it runs through the DNA of your entire company. Has that been inherited from Robert Stigwood?

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

Yeah.

Daniel Trelease:

Unequivocally. I mean, even from my hospitality days, I mean, I remember when my parents didn’t want me to go to acting school, and that sort of thing, which was my passion as a young man. They wanted me to finish my degree, and that sort of thing as I did. But, during that I was working from 16, 15, whatever it was onwards. And, I ended up in silver service in a five star hotel in Adelaide. Therefore, I was poached from Robert, and moved to England.

Daniel Trelease:

And, naturally when you’re serving people from the Royal Family, you’re serving Robert himself, it’s all silver service. And it is the hand behind the back. You’re pretty much leaving the room, walking backwards, that kind of thing. It was very intense. It’s a level of service that almost is nonexistent today, but I revere it.

Ben Handler:

Wow, so you, from being exposed to that, you’ve been able to now transfer just that high quality, because you’re right Australia, it’s poor service.

Daniel Trelease:

Very.

Ben Handler:

And, especially when you go to the States, and come back, you just notice that distinction. So, obviously working at the estate in the UK, you were managing, you were hiring, you were firing, you were strategizing, you were organizing, coordinating, you are a leader. I think we’re all leaders in our own right. Now, you’re running your new company. You’ve got people in various divisions in different States. Has your understanding of leadership changed at all?

Daniel Trelease:

Every day, every single day. Every day I’m learning, even Jeremy, and I learned from each other every day. And, we strategize together every day. But, even after Robert when I worked for TDA Interiors, for example, under Richard Taylor, the founder of TDA Interiors were still operational in South of England, and in central London too. And, watching those different leadership styles from Robert, which is an extraordinary style, I suppose, all the way through to Richard, which was very commercial.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I look at myself as a highly emotional being, hight EQ. Jeremy, high IQ, and very commercial. So, the ying and yang work exceptionally well. We couldn’t be more different in our leadership styles, and that’s probably why we work so well together to create a company that is, I certainly hope I’m right in saying this, not only humble, and not only caring, and compassionate, but we genuinely love, and care for the people inside those walls. And, we will protect them, and nurture them and help them grow, and that’s one of Jeremy’s primary role.

Daniel Trelease:

So, the leadership isn’t just for me, it is across the team. We’ve got Kim Ackerman who’s basically writing the Trelease Associates handbook, for example. On her own accord she came to us. I believe that leadership needs to go across the spectrum of the company, and not just dripped down from the top. I don’t believe in the hierarchy, and the older models. Could be wrong, but at the moment it seems to be doing very well. And, the company as a whole, and the staff are enjoying this leadership style.

Ben Handler:

I agree, the leadership always should really move from the bottom up. And, the fact you’ve got this lady in your office who’s put her hand up to say-

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

…I want to take lead with this, is a clear, I guess, indication, and reflection demonstration of what’s really going on in the company. Because, it seems not just customer service is something that runs throughout your entire company, it’s something that obviously you pride so much.

Ben Handler:

Because, I remember back at the Cohen Handler days, you were always having dinner at 10:00 at night at a restaurant with the 65 year old client. And, it seems like you were just forging these very close friendships. So, outside of a transaction your client relationships now becoming friendships, right?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look, there’s three, four clients that have had babies during, or after being a client of mine, and I’ve been in the hospital before they’ve even gotten home with their baby. And, I’ve got 60, 70, 80 plus year old clients who I still take to dinner, because they’re alone, and I truly enjoy their company. I’m an old soul, a lot will say I’m like an eight year old Jewish man, and that’s the joke in the office.

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose I do definitely connect to older people far more than younger. I love being around the youth, and the energy like Jack Henderson in our office, fantastic. He always prides himself, he was a minor, he didn’t finish school, and look at him now.

Ben Handler:

The Flamingo.

Daniel Trelease:

Yes, the Flamingo, right. And, then we’ve got lawyers, and we’ve got forensic accountants, and all sorts of people as well in the company. So, education as well I don’t believe is a factor. You cannot train passion, you cannot train hustle, you can only train skill. And, that’s the biggest lesson that we’ve learned over the last six to 12 months is that don’t just hire someone that’s been in real estate, and need to unravel bad habits, for example. Hire someone who has the passion, hire someone who has the hustle ingrained in them, that is innate in them. Then, and only then let’s train those people.

Ben Handler:

I love it. What do you love about real estate?

Daniel Trelease:

I have to say it’s not even the real estate. It’s the people, because every day I meet someone new, a different character, whether it be a flamingo or something else brought into our life to enrich our lives. And, we’ve got incredibly diverse team of people, and we’re hiring at the moment. So, there’s more people that are coming on board. Some of them are quite characters as well, but you know what, everyone who sits in front of us in the boardroom is different too.

Daniel Trelease:

Some are going to suit my demeanor, and my character. Some are going to suit Jack’s or Kim’s or Annabelle’s or whoever’s. And, that’s why also we need to figure out who aren’t we servicing, who aren’t we helping, and how can we help them. So, we’re looking at a commercial division that has never been done before. We have tried, it didn’t pan out the way Jeremy, and I had wanted it to, and that’s fine.

Daniel Trelease:

We live, and we learn, we pivot, and we evolve. And, now we’re looking at someone who, whether this person comes to fruition or not, this is someone who is at very high level, and was head of acquisitions for a very well known firm. And, we’re looking at bringing them on, so we can service the commercial clients, and buyers out there.

Daniel Trelease:

We’re looking at the property management division that we’re building very assertively, and right now we’re only six months away from launching Brisbane. Less than 12 months away from launching Mosman. And, it’s about not expanding too quickly, not trying to take over any kind of world domination, as they say, it’s about who can we service, and service well.

Daniel Trelease:

And, you know what? Sometimes we’ll fail, so we’ll pivot, we’ll try again, or we’ll move on, and we want to figure out what we’re great at. And, that’s been my biggest lesson, what I’m great at, and what I’m not so great at. Hence, why Jeremy is my ying to my yang, because I know I am not great at many of the skillsets that he is prolific in.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, you clearly compliment each other.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely, yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, you’ve got different skillsets, different personalities, and that’s what makes a partnership.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, that’s what grows the company, and that’s what balances off everyone.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Some people who are the more touchy-feely EQ, they’re going to come to you. And, the other ones who aren’t, they’re going to gravitate towards Jeremy, and it works.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

We could be here for hours. We need to do a round two, because we need to hear about some of the stories, if you’re open to sharing. I love your background, I think it’s… I get excited seeing people coming into this space with just, I guess, exposure to life.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Exposure to life, and your exposure is what very few people on this planet have exposure to. And, it’s incredible to see how you’ve brought this into your new business. And, it’s very, you can recognize it very quickly. Just drive past your office in Double Bay, or of anyone watching this now just check out Trelease Associates, right. You can feel it when you look at your brand, it’s something different. And, it’s definitely something that, from what I see, you’ve picked up from what you’ve cultivated previously just in what you’ve learned. For people watching, where can people find Trelease Associates?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look I mean, treleaseassociates.com.au would be the first protocol I think for anyone to have a feel for our company, and who we are, but I’m always an advocate for picking up the phone. Don’t need to email, pick up the phone, and call me. Call me direct, call Jeremy direct, have a conversation. And, if we have a great call get inside, and meet us.

Ben Handler:

Love it. Thank you, appreciate it. We’re going to do a round two. Just finishing up now. Okay, so I hope you enjoyed the discussion, especially around what Daniel learned in his previous career, because that’s very important in terms of how you transfer that into your obviously, new career if you’re looking to do something different.

Ben Handler:

For anyone who’s actually looking to potentially join a company, and become a buyer’s agent, check out Trelease Associates. As Daniel said give him a call, give Jeremy a call, go to their website, see their brand. Actually, look at a lot of the buyers agents that exist, and see if you notice anything different about how they present, what they do, their messaging. I believe you’ll see something quite distinct.

Ben Handler:

So, pick up the phone if you want to chat. And, if you’re someone who’s even looking to buy a property, and you’re looking for that exceptional customer experience, that journey, check out Trelease Associates as well. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Data-Driven Property Investment

Buyer's agent Kyrillos Mansour

Before becoming a full-time buyers agent, Kyrillos Mansour clearly had a passion for property.

While learning what fundamentals drove property price growth, he built up his own database of every suburb in Australia, with 100 data points per suburb. At the time, Kyrillos was working as an optometrist, but he quickly realised his passion lay elsewhere in property.

“I always had an interest in property and in business. While I was working as an optometrist, I was doing my own property investing and I was building up my own database of information and research regarding different suburbs in different states in Australia because at the time I didn’t really have enough money to invest in Sydney.”

“I thought, if I want to invest outside of Sydney, I need to learn about the other suburbs in different states.”

Kyrillos built a huge database and quickly built up an understanding of how to identify suburbs and areas that were set to grow in value rapidly.

“I started compiling my own data and that became a huge Excel spreadsheet of every single home in every state in Australia – about 60 to 100 data points per suburb and I just kept getting more interested, more fascinated.”

“I started seeing how property can make people money and how you can generate wealth and pretty much just fell in love with it from that point on.”

After successfully building his own property portfolio, he was quickly approached by friends and family to help them achieve success in the same fashion as him.

“After I had bought my first few investments myself, a few friends and family members asked me, “how did you know about that suburb? How did you know where to go and the strategies to use?” So I started sharing my spreadsheet and data, with them.”

“In the end, I was pretty much doing a buyer’s agent’s job for them and really enjoying it.”

After making the decision to move into helping others achieve success as a buyers agent, Kyrillos slowly started to build up his business.

“The business itself is only just over 12 months old, but I’ve been buying property for people for around three years.”

“The first 12 months is always difficult no matter what business it is. I think a buyer’s agent is even harder because it doesn’t really exist in Australia, it’s such a small industry.”

After a slow start, he focused on giving value and educating others on property and then the business started to grow.

“For the first four months there were no customers, then we got the first customer and it was quite a big achievement.”’

“It took a while to go from number one to customer two. It took a little bit of time from two to three. Once we got to about five done, it just started to roll like the compound interest rule – the same thing with people.”

“This month I think we’ve been working on seven clients in a month.”

“The first 12 months has been a huge learning curve in terms of how to get customers and I see other buyer’s agents who probably achieve customers quicker, but I think the way I approached it about free education, giving out, giving out, it’s bringing in quality leads as well and building a brand.”

With his background in data, Kyrillos helps all types of home buyers and investors, locate properties all across the country.

When Kyrillos was getting the business off the ground, he was able to reach out to the BAI, to help at times when it was difficult finding the right way to move forward with the business.

“My idea of the Buyer’s Agent Institute course when I first started was someone’s going to teach me how to buy property. Very quickly I realised that wasn’t it. It was more so how to run a buyer’s agency business.”

“When I was first starting and I was a bit struggling to get any sort of leads, I used to message Ben. I said, “Hey, Ben. I’m struggling a bit. What do you reckon?” He said, “Yeah, come in for a chat”.

“When we spoke about things he said, “How about you explore this option? How about you explore that? He wanted to see me succeed.”

Going forward, Kyrillos’ goal is to both educate and help people achieve success through his company First Brick Property.

For people looking to get into a career as a buyers agent, Kyrillos suggests you need to be passionate and be looking to do it for the right reason.

“You’ve got be passionate about it, you’ve got to really understand it.”

“Equip yourself with the fundamentals of property by listening to every podcast you can find, read every book you can find, learn about all the different strategies you can find because everyone in Australia’s a property expert so if you’re going to charge for it, you really need to know what you’re talking about.

How Much Does it Cost to Use a Buyer’s Agent?

hands on laptop keyboard

If you’re considering using a buyer’s agent for your next property purchase (and you should be, here’s why), it’s likely that you’re wondering how much it’s going to leave you out of pocket?

Well, how long is a piece of string? Multiple factors can determine how much you’ll end up spending on a buyer’s agent. 

Don’t let this deter you from making this life changing decision. Here’s what you need to know when weighing up costs. 

Fee structure

It’s most common for buyer’s agents to offer clients the following pricing models. 

Commission based 

For a buyer’s agent that is providing you with a full service offering, managing every step of your property buying journey, it’s likely they’ll charge you a percentage fee of the property’s sale price. This will vary from agent to agent, but can be up to 2.5%, plus GST. Remember, this commission may change depending on the type of property they’re buying and the level of service provided. 

Fixed fee 

A fixed fee model is when a buyer’s agent will give you a flat rate cost for a service. This is most commonly applied to select services, as opposed to their full service offering. For example, if you need a buyer’s agent to attend an auction on your behalf, they’ll likely charge you a flat fee for this. 

Retainer 

For both commission and fixed fee there is typically a retainer that is charged up front which can vary between $3K and $5K depending on the budget of the client. 

The remainder of the fee is then payable on exchange. For example, if the total fee is $15K, $3K is paid up front as a retainer and $12 is payable when you go unconditional and exchange contracts.

Why does it cost so much? 

What might seem like a large financial investment at first, is not really not the case. A buyer’s agent acts on your behalf to get you the best outcome. They’ll work tirelessly, taking on many of the jobs that would normally consume a large amount of your time. 

Not only can the time that a buyer’s agent saves you offset their cost, but they could secure you a great purchase price, saving you thousands and thousands of dollars. 

Everything is negotiable 

As a first step, be open in your discussion when selecting a buyer’s agent and have a clear budget in mind. Buyer’s agents can tailor their offering based on your requirements and may be able to accommodate accordingly. In addition, they may be able to offer you a discount as a first time customer. Don’t be afraid to be open in your communication. 

Services provided 

The services provided by a buyer’s agent are going to have a significant impact on how much it ends up costing you. If you’re looking for a high level of involvement that goes above and beyond the standard offering, then it’s likely this will be reflected in the commission rate you pay. 

If you’re really limited by budget, start by engaging a buyer’s agent to assist with the areas you need most help with. This is a great way to test the waters and soon enough you may find yourself wanting help with all areas of your property buying.  

Purchase requirements 

The costs you pay for a buyer’s agents can also be dependent on the complexity of your purchase requirements. Finding and negotiating a residential property can be very different from what’s involved with a development site. 

A buyer’s agent should be upfront with you and clearly outline their fees and how they differ based on the requirements being put forward. 

Saving money   

Buying property is a game and it’s often hard to know whether you’re getting the best deal or not. It’s a buyer’s agents job to act on your behalf to secure you the best possible outcome. 

If there’s a property that you’re interested in that is overvalued, they’ll be upfront and tell you this. If they’re going into an auction batting for you, feel secure knowing that you won’t be spending more than your agreed budget.

The money you invest in a buyer’s agent is money that you may get back through an excellent purchase price you may not have otherwise achieved. 

Tax incentives 

When buying an investment property, clients may be able to claim their buyer’s agent fee as part of the cost base, reducing their capital gains tax when it comes to sell. Speak to your tax advisor to find out what tax advantages are open to you. 

Become a buyer’s agent today 

If you’re buying a lot of property or just have a general interest in the market, you might like to consider becoming a buyer’s agent yourself. 

The Buyer’s Agent Institute offers affordable online training that will empower you to achieve more. Watch our free training to learn more. 

Finding an agent 

Ready to find yourself a buyer’s agent to start looking for your next dream property purchase. Use our agent directory to get started.

How to Choose a Buyer’s Agent?

Womam at a laptop searching for a buyer's agent

Choosing the right buyer’s agents to help with purchasing property may seem overwhelming, particularly when faced with so many great specialists out in the marketplace. However, armed with the right information, selecting a buyer’s agent need not be impossible. 

Here’s our handy tips on what to consider when choosing a buyer’s agent to represent your best interests.

Start with location 

If you already have a location in mind for where you’re looking to buy, make sure that the buyer’s agent that you’re working with is comfortable with coverage of this area. You might like to start by searching for buyer’s agents that are local to this area, as it’s likely they’ll already have established many relationships with key contacts. 

Keep in mind, however, that physical distance is not necessarily a barrier for selection as there are many buyer’s agents that successfully work remotely.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the buyer’s agent you’re working with has in-depth knowledge of the locations you’re looking to buy in and the relationships to go with that.

Start by using the Buyer’s Agent Institute Directory to search by location and looking at the listing pages of agents to see what locations they specialise in. Too easy! 

What type of property are you looking to buy? 

Not all property is the same. The way that you buy residential property can be very different to the way that you go about finding and negotiating commercial premises. Make sure that the buyer’s agent you choose to work with has experience and knowledge in buying the type of property you’re looking to acquire. That way you’re likely to get the best possible outcome. 

You can search by property type using the Buyer’s Agent Institute Directory to find agents that specialise in: 

  • Residential property 
    • Primary residence 
    • Investment property  
  • Development sites 
  • Commercial property
  • Industrial property 

Reputation means everything 

When weighing up options for a product or service, reviews and word of mouth can be critical for helping us to decide which direction to move in. 

Do research online 

When researching a buyer’s agent make sure to look at their online presence to see what past or existing clients have to say about their service. This can be crucial for identifying any potential red flags. 

Speak with past clients 

Ask to not only speak with clients that were a success, but to also to speak with a client that didn’t go to plan. There should always be a client experience that was not so smooth.

Speak with real estate agents

You can do your research on a buyer’s agent by asking real estate agents in the local area you are looking to buy. You can ask what their experience has been working with the buyer’s agent you may be considering. Getting feedback from real estate agents can give you a deeper level of insight of how a particular buyer’s agent operates.

Listen out for referrals 

Even better is if a family member, friend or work colleague is able to make a direct recommendation to you. At the end of the day, you want to feel secure that the buyer’s agent you choose is committed to a high level of service and to delivering client outcomes. They’ll also want to ensure that you pass on the recommendations at the end of your buying journey. 

The Buyer’s Agent Institute Directory has taken out some of the hard work by consolidating online reviews for each buyer’s agent on individual agent listing pages. 

Make sure the price is right 

Price can be a major factor when buying property. There’s no doubt that using a buyer’s agent has its benefits. Working to a budget means that it’s important to find a buyer’s agent that meets your financial requirements. It’s up to you to do your research and find an agent with a fee structure that you’re comfortable with. You may even be able to negotiate based on a number of factors including the services provided. Maybe you only need the buyer’s agent to assist with certain parts of the buying process, as opposed to a full service offering.

Be upfront with your buyer’s agent and it’s likely you’ll be able to reach a mutually beneficial outcome suited to your needs. 

Trust your gut  

Ultimately, you need to feel confident and you need to feel good about the buyer’s agent that you’re working with. Nothing beats picking up the phone or having a coffee face to face with a prospective agent to get a sense for how you communicate and interact with each other.

If you don’t get a good feeling in your interactions, move on. There’s plenty of buyer’s agents out there that would love the opportunity to provide you great service and secure your dream property. 

Finding a buyer’s agent 

Now that you know some criteria to consider when choosing a buyer’s agent, you can go about finding one. Use our Agent Directory to find the right buyer’s agent for you.

This Is How You Can Use Your Skills Wisely

Buyer's Agent Anthony Spagnolo on how you can use your skills wisely

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agents Institute show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities at the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyers AINS providing to people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable stories and journeys of buyers agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is Anthony Spagnolo. He runs Agenzia in Western Sydney and he has got a very, very in depth level I believe of diverse experience. He brings to the table, he’s a licensed real estate agent. He’s a qualified accountant. He’s a licensed builder. He is a property developer and he’s also stayed at university, a bachelor of commerce and accounting and he runs his buyer’s agent business to focus on higher yielding properties across Australia.

He primarily, at the moment, he’s focusing in Queensland and he’s also taken a focus, which we’ll talk about in this show, in an area in a disability area called NDS. That’s the acronym which we’ll dive into soon. I’m super excited to dive into this discussion with Anthony today. I’d like to introduce Anthony.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Thanks for having me. Thanks for the intro.

Ben Handler:

Did I get that intro? Okay. I would say there’s a lot of good skills you bring to the table. It’s obviously very diverse. Do a lot of declines. Have a talk about what you bring to the table. Uh, let’s turn the truth.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Uh, to tell you the truth, it’s throughout, it’s in trying to find my actual job title to this point. So I’ve, yeah, Buyer’s agent is just the part of what I do is essentially had an accounting business for 12 years, moved out of that space into property development and my love for real estate. It’s led me down this path into, uh, into becoming a buyer’s agent or property strategist as such.

Ben Handler:

So you didn’t strike me as the accountant.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Well, that’s why I’m of of diversified. Uh, it’s, it was good stepping stone. Um, gave me broad, a broader, uh, range of knowledge I guess, and uh, onto the nexts project, which is now my passion for property. So, um, we’re really trying to push this business to take it to the next level.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I, I mean, I really do believe you bring a lot to the table. I mean, having an accounting background, focusing in development and understanding building and obviously buying property yourself. I mean, it’s a lot you bring to the table and so it’s going to be exciting to see how you roll this into this new business of yours. You, we talked earlier and I know that you, you, you’ve put a focus into, obviously you focus on high yielding properties, but you’ve taken a, uh, a liking and a focus into what is called NDIS. Yes. Do you mind sharing like what is NDIS and NDIS stands for?

Anthony Spagnolo:

National Disability Insurance Scheme. And the part of the plans that we’re focusing on is called SDA, which is Specialized Disability Accommodation. It’s a fairly new scheme, early sort of been legislated in the last, uh, two years. Uh, most of the properties are only under construction at the moment. That’s new builds because it’s so complex and there’s a lot of compliance to be, uh, SDA approved so that the participants who are the people with disabilities or tech tenants can move into these properties cause they have to obviously be, uh, purposely built and signed off on. So they’re, um, regulated I guess. So. So essentially there’s 30,000 participants or people waiting to get a sufficient housing, uh, Australia wide. So yes, there’s a lot there. That’s the supply. The supply can’t meet the demand currently.

Ben Handler:

My next question is like, why did you take a liking and a focus into this?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Uh, it was through a chance, um, conversation or meeting with a colleague of mine who’s based in Brisbane. Uh, he was representing a company up there and I said, why didn’t you have a look at this is unbelievable returns, uh, often between 10 to 20% a year, net yields per annum. So I said, well, that got me sort of looking at it. Also, I have a cousin that has, uh, had cerebral palsy and can and have, it’s close to my heart. I guess that seeing what families go through behind the scenes as well as knowing some other, um, uh, participants and meeting a lot, uh, throughout our journey of doing research and reverse engineering the whole process. It’s just, uh, it’s taken us down the path that we, we feel, uh, an obligation to work, work out all the moving parts so that we can, um, yeah, help, help, uh, provide the specialized housing to these people.

Ben Handler:

I don’t know a lot about this space, but, well, from what I read in here, it seems complicated. And for someone like you who’s got a special cause, um, it’s, it’s, it’s close to your heart. You obviously know property very well. And so it seems like you’re going to be this perfect solution to come to the table to help make the experience a lot easier for people. Why do you think it’s been so difficult?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Well the, the, it’s not like just, uh, purchasing a standard property for, for an investor, then taking a tour and an agent to manage it and find tenants. Uh, it’s basically you gotta start from the ground up prior to finding the location, which means that you’ve got to deal with care providers. There’s 7,000, uh, accommodation care providers or thereabouts, Australia wide. So you can’t just build it in a certain location and hope that they will come. It’s a matter of going to these care providers or coordinators to work out which clients in which areas are requiring which level of housing. And then then we will sort of go through the, the criteria of what makes a property good. If it’s close to um, uh, transport station. Obviously a lot of the people that live in these houses are wheelchair bound, so it just needs to be, uh, in the right location so they can have a quality, like a good lifestyle, I guess. And, and convenience.

Ben Handler:

Where do you think the gap is? I mean in terms of like, do you think being that group like you are, who can say this is the right care provider, this is where we should buy. Like e.g., we should go to Queensland. This is the right product. Like do you think it’s, do you think there’s a gap or there’s a need to find someone like yourself to help package it all up?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Oh definitely. Cause if it’s a normal person just goes out to put a bought or build SDI house hoping that they’ll get high returns and haven’t done their due diligence in groundwork, the house can be empty log. There’s no point just building it for the sake of building it I guess. Uh, um, like I said by, by going through the process and reverse engineering it, we’ve gone all the way back to what the participants require with houses. So we’ve actually surveyed a lot of participants and just through our work with the care providers, with our builders that are preferred builders, we come up, we have come up with some really good designs that make the house has, is really functional for the needs of the participants. And then we also have those intimate relationships with the care providers on an ongoing basis to know where we should be sourcing. Then knowing that we’ll have investors come to us. And so we sort of reverse the process of working out what the requirements are of the people that are moving into the houses and where they’re located. And then we’ll match them with the investors and our developers and builders to like one stop solution.

Ben Handler:

And it’s a big, it’s a big space to be operating in and there’s massive obviously shortage of supply. High demand. Why would someone, okay, then the net yields, you said between 10 and 20%. It’s very high.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Yeah. In some cases it can vary from it depending on local does the land components, uh, the major variable factor. So the rates that the SDI pay, you only change by location. Very minimally. So it’s more so if you want to go close to a CBD, then the land component is going to be higher. Then you may be affected, however you might get a higher capital growth.

Ben Handler:
But the yields are very attractive?

Anthony Spagnolo:

That’s what they’re very attractive. But for me personally, like as, as I mentioned, it’s more of the feelgood factor of helping people get the right housing and it’s a social scheme. It’s the second biggest social scheme only behind Medicare.

Ben Handler:

It’s interesting because let’s just say I’m an I, I’m an investor. What do you feel like most investors would be looking at this? Obviously there’s, there’s very intent behind it. You’re, you know, it’s not just a standard purchase you’re providing and giving someone a place to be, but obviously the yields are attractive.  What else would be attractive for an investor is a capital growth. Like what…

Anthony Spagnolo:

If we can purchase in the right locations, which we like, we know where like even like you mentioned, we do a lot of work in Southeast Queensland. We know those suburbs like intimately and we know where we should be purchasing and we’ve got projections on growth and whatnot. So we’re able to definitely as well as getting the high, high, um, cashflow or, or yields, we’re able to get capital growth for our clients too. So that’s great. Yeah. Without some level of risks. Like, obviously the rewards high, but um, at present, yeah, the lending criteria is, uh, you need a little bit more deposit to get into one of these properties because, uh, they’re cause they’re fitted out to such a high standard. There’s a short sometimes in vows for the fit out costs. But that’s just a thought. I’ll put that out there.

Ben Handler:

What would you say the average average purchase prices waste from all we’ve been purchasing on behalf of our clients?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Look, we for say a four bedroom or, or could be a three bedroom with a Oh eight quarters, which is, uh, for an overnight carer, um, the standard builds around 500,000 or thereabouts. That’s, so that’s essentially a four bedroom SDA home. But as you go down, you can get three bedroom, two bedrooms, so you can, the price range would be, would probably start at five 50 to 600 K in Queensland to probably up to a million probably. But it’s high. I mean, I’ve seen some of the specs and what it looks like. It’s, it looks very good quality or very high quality or, or bath or bedrooms have large bathrooms. But for wheelchair access, uh, there’s a breakout area for when participants have their families over kitchen shared living. So they’re, they’re really well thought designs and they do provide a great level of comfort and livability for the participants.

Ben Handler:

What’s your view on, I mean at the moment with what’s going on with the, the economy at the moment? This pandemic tenant security is obviously an issue in just not just rezzy commercial everywhere. Have you seen a change in like investors who are looking at NDI indice because obviously there’s going to be no issue with tenant security. Have you seen there’s been more people who want to get in or…

Anthony Spagnolo:

there is a lot I think as, as the people who come more aware of the scheme and what indices like it’s quite new to a lot of people. So there has been just general, uh, increase as we’ve sort of, um, began over 12 months ago. We’ve seen a steady increase of, uh, interest. However, w a S like a selling point that, uh, identified as being during coronavirus that there is government guarantees and the governments is essentially the government’s the one that will be paying you the rent on behalf of the participants. So you have a 10 plus five plus five lease, um, with the SDA. So tenant security and risk of not receiving rent isn’t a problem. So if anything, um, we’ve come up with a solution to overcome any objections due to the current market crosses. It’s very attractive. How has been the experience?

Ben Handler:

I mean you obviously, I know you’ve gone through and done quite a lot of purchases already. You’re very busy. How, I mean obviously I just wanted to get a check in, like how’s the experience been from finding the property for the your client?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Yeah, it’s been, it’s been a challenge local, low. As I mentioned, we’ve sort of gone through Oh 10, 15 different, uh, builders that we’ve interviewed and vetted and, and also service providers who, so you’ve got the care providers are, they’re the ones who look after the whole India’s plan for the participants. However, then you’ve got the service providers who are the ones, they’re essentially like a lock, the agent of the property, but on a high level because there’s a lot more compliance and reporting that needs to be done to the, with them to the SDA to maintain the compliance of the property.

Um, as well. They need those relationships with, um, the care providers on an ongoing basis to make sure that, um, the tenants are happy looked after and if there is, uh, an event that a tenant may be relocating or moving out, that they’ve got someone else lined up to, to fill that spot. And we ha we don’t have a high occupy, uh, if I can see rights, uh, on these properties. So the, in most cases they’re fully occupied majority of the time due to the fact that there’s not sufficient housing around for the participants at this stage.

Ben Handler:

Do you see the business going really heavily all in, into the San Diego, in gen Z into the induce phase? We’re not pigeonholed to induce I guess, but it is a niche that we’ve really, uh, we’d like to call ourselves specialist in and we’ve been, like I said, we’ve done a fair few transactions in this space.

Anthony Spagnolo:

So we are, we are really in, uh, enjoying the challenge and enjoying being like, um, we want to be someone that people will come to to come up with the solution. And we’re, we’re at the point where we’re confident that we’ve got multiple solutions available or, yeah, it’s so needed. I mean, it just seems like a space that if you’re trying to go through it yourself 7,000 provide, like it just seems like it’d be a nightmare. Yeah, it is. That’s why you need the right service provider to have those relationships in specific areas. Obviously you can’t deal with all of them and they’re spread out across Australia. However, it’s, uh, it’s having those solid relationships that we can confidently put our investors into these properties knowing that they’ll be looked off, look, looked after and going forward, that the properties will perform for them. And we think that without designs with future proofing the properties, uh, for the investors, so when more more properties come on the market and uh, and they catch up with the demands that our properties are still going to be the best properties that people want to live in.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And it’s great that you, you’re reverse engineering the entire process. Is anyone else going about it that way?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Um, look we’ve met a lot of good people in this space and a lot of passionate people because everyone’s got a story. They know someone that’s affected or someone that needs the housing happy to help people. Even if they’re looking for housing and not an investor where we’ve got the right connections to point them in the right direction to be able to come up with whatever solution they may need. If it’s from a holistic approach of getting someone that specialized in actual the hope doing the whole plans, cause they can be quite complex. So we look, we’re happy to just help in any way we can. In this space. You’re primarily buying

Ben Handler:

Queensland. Do you see yourself going in any other state?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Obviously the land in Queensland has been cheaper than what new South Wales or Sydney has been. So that’s why the use can be higher. It’s just sort of where we started. However, we, we’ve got some partnerships now that in the next two, two months we should have some really good options available in Sydney or broader new South Wales, central coast, Hunter Valley. We’ve got, we’ve got things in the pipeline or other partnerships that we can sort of definitely facilitate for that.

Ben Handler:

Nice. And so how have you found on a different note like the buyer’s agent space, obviously you working in the accounting space for a long time, pretty different to the buyer’s agent space. Are you, are you enjoying the style of service model?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Oh yeah, very much so. I enjoyed it. Um, as uh, you mentioned I was doing a CA counting and then I went into property development. Uh, larger scale developments was sort of what my family business was. So that’s how I sort of got my builder’s license along the way. Cause I was project managing our jobs and said, well one of our come a build up. But that’s not the direction I sort of went. And, uh, what I was doing as an accountant and now as a licensed real estate agent is, uh, a little bit of a hype, uh, hybrid between sort of, like I said, it’s property stretched strategists and it’s not yet. It’s not just the South side of things. It’s all been able to have those partnerships in the background with brokers, solicitors, other accountants, um, and AIS, it’s just having multiple relationships and also a marketing team behind me, uh, and just working with clever people that can really, um, give a client a holistic view and a strategy to move forward as opposed to just purchasing a one property. We want to look further further than that and actually help them build a portfolio and wealth. So,

Ben Handler:

yeah, and that’s, that’s what I was saying at the beginning. I think what you bring to the table in terms of skill and knowledge is incredibly unique. And then focusing that into indice like w what’s the right product and what’s the right area to buy in. And so because you’ve got that building experience, you’ve got the development experience, you’ve got the accounting background. Like it’s a lot of value it brings to the client.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Yeah. Well when we build a property like it’s not just set and forget and move on like part of my services locked off for the client that throughout the project I will essentially be project managing from a building level. Even though there’s a, we’ve got our preferred builders and it’s, we know that it’s in trusted hands. A client wants to know throughout a 20 week build cycle. I guess a client still wants updates. They want to know where it’s at and, and we’ll be even on site having a look with the builder and just making sure, keeping track of it. I can show everything’s on track I guess.

Ben Handler:

I think it’s awesome. What you’re doing I think is incredibly unique. There’s, I think it’s, I, it’s obviously a very big space I think to play in and there doesn’t there done from what I’ve seen that doesn’t seem like there’s that holistic, uh, group out there that can provide, has got that hybrid model to really service the client. I’m so mad I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do in this space. It’s exciting. Where can, as we wrap up, where can people find you.

Anthony Spagnolo:

On my website, Agenzia.com.au or Anthony Spagnolo. Uh, that would be, I’m happy to talk to anyone anytime with numbers on there. Give me a call, drop me an email and just happy to help in any way possible.

Ben Handler:

I love it. My well done. I’m pumped to see what you’re going to do in the future in this space. I really am. So thanks for joining. I appreciate it. For sure. Cheers. Okay, so check out Anthony at Agenzia.com.au. If you want to learn more about this NDIS space, it’s a very unique space and Anthony has got all the skills and putting a lot of the time the energy has put in the effort to build relationships so people can really understand this space and not many people in my opinion, really intricately do. So reach out to Anthony if you have any questions, check him out. He’s really passionate about serving this space and so I’m really excited to see where it goes cause there’s such a lack of supply and I think a lack of a consolidated skillset to support this industry. So check them out. See you next week.

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