From Construction to Buyer’s Advocate

by Ben Handler

October 8, 2020

Melinda Jennison has a long history as a successful property investor and developer so moving into a career as a buyers agent was always going to be a natural fit for her.

She purchased her first home at 18  and after marrying a builder quickly began to ramp up her portfolio of investment properties and got heavily involved in construction and property development throughout Brisbane.

After running their own construction business, Melinda and her husband decided they wanted to move their careers in a different direction and started to look at ways they could create their own unique buyer’s agent service

“We felt that we wanted to have a change in direction and we were at a point in life where we financially could afford to do what we wanted to do, as opposed to working the grind and doing something that we didn’t love.”

“I actually started to work with another buyer’s agency company initially and I decided that it was something that I was really passionate about. I was helping property investors by identifying high performing investment grade locations and purchasing development sites for high net worth individuals, then managing the process of developing those properties to build equity quickly.”

“After working with another company, I decided that the best way forward was to start under our own brand. At that time I reached out to Ben and found the Buyer’s Agent Institute and that was really the starting point for the business that we created.”

Given her knowledge and experience in the Brisbane market, Melinda is focused in that geographical location only but helps a range of clients.

“We don’t buy outside of the area that we know so intricately, but we help not only buyers that want to buy a home, an investment property, or a development site, but we also help people who want to buy and renovate, buy, knockdown and rebuild, or buy and develop. We find both investors and homebuyers are interested in these types of opportunities.”

“So we’re not only buyer’s agents, but we can also look after the project management process for our Clients by overseeing any improvements through construction, renovation or redevelopment.”

Even though she had plenty of industry knowledge, it’s been hard work getting the business established in the early years.

“Since August 2018 when we officially launched, there’s been a lot of very long hours, a lot of very hard work, a lot of sleepless nights, but more importantly a lot of reward in the ability to help others and understanding that our skill set is quite unique.”

“Those that do engage our services to get such value out of the process. And I think when you can see the results that people can achieve as a result of engaging our professional team, then that’s really rewarding from the perspective of a business owner.”

“We’ve built the business now to a team of five. We’ve employed two other full-time buyer’s agents as well as Scott and myself and we’ve also got an executive assistant who works in the administration side of the business.”

Despite having a business background in construction, given the differences between the two industries, Melinda reached out to the BAI to help her get started the right way.

“We’d run our own business in construction previously, but we’d never run a business in the buyer’s advocacy space. It’s a very different business model.”

“Construction has very high-value contracts and a low volume of clients whereas in a Buyers Agency business you need to rely on consistency of clients and building that client pipeline.”

“When I was working for another buyer’s agent, the client pipeline was already there and I was just servicing the clients that had come through their marketing channels. I enrolled in the Buyer’s Agent Institute to help me understand how to build the business for a buyer’s advocacy service because that part was foreign to me.”

In the next decade, Melinda is looking to continue to establish herself as an expert in Brisbane.

“We want to remain boutique and we want to remain as Brisbane property specialists. Ultimately, we just want to be providing premium service within Brisbane.”

“So, people will come to us if they not only want a standard buyer’s advocacy service, but they also want the added ability to create extra equity through renovation or redevelopment, and we can do that for investors or homebuyers.”

For those looking to go down the path of becoming a buyers agent, Melinda feels that you will be in for a rewarding journey.

“If you’re passionate about property, prepared for a journey of hard work and commitment than I encourage you to give it a go. Once you see the fruits of your efforts, then it’s a very rewarding career. I now wake up every day and I’m excited to get out of bed because I know that I love what I do. I never had that in past careers, so it is something new to me since moving into this industry.”

“I think if you’ve got the passion and the drive, and you’re determined to make it work, then with the right training and the right industry experience behind you, it can be a very rewarding career.”

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