From Vendors Advocate to Buyers Advocate

by Ben Handler

September 19, 2023

After coming to Australia from Russia, Marina Shatalova got started in real estate working as a vendors advocate but quickly realised that many buyers often had poor experiences dealing with sales agents. It made her think that buyers aren’t being represented well enough in property transactions and she wanted to see if she could help.

With a background in sales, Marina was excellent at negotiation and doing deals and felt that her skills would be the perfect fit for buyers.

“All those people I had been helping to sell said to me, ‘OK, now I need to buy, what do I do’,” Marina says.

Marina established her business Marble St. and started helping residential buyers in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria as well as owner occupiers and investors who wanted to find high-quality properties across the country.

Marina says that while she was able to get off the ground quickly, the process was incredibly challenging.

“I’d say it’s been smooth in terms of getting results, but it’s been very emotionally challenging she says.

She says when you’re trying to win clients early on it can be daunting and it’s easy to want to give up. However, she believes that her skills and perseverance were the things that helped her move forward and continue to grow.

According to Marina, in the early days, she was door-knocking in the Dandenong Ranges and that was a difficult way to get into real estate. Then when COVID happened, the property landscape changed dramatically and she was quickly fielding numerous calls each week from buyers looking to purchase properties site unseen.

“I started getting crazy results,” she says.

“My purchase time was five to 20 days and people would be coming to me after 18 months of searching and just having no luck at all.

“And then after seven days that they would purchase and they started talking and plus the amounts of money I could save them, on each property, on each transaction.

“I think the most I saved a buyer was more than $300,000 and the smallest amount I saved was $45,000.”

Marina worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and says it was an integral part of getting her business off the ground.

“I’m just endlessly grateful to Ben,” she says.

“He’s always just so supportive especially when you’re getting established.”

She says the entire course gave her the right foundations to get the business started and she worked through the entire course in just five days as she was so eager to learn and get started.

Marina says that going forward she is looking at ways to continue to grow her business and might take on some more team members to support her growing workload.

She also wants to help educate people on the role of buyer advocates, particularly in areas where they are less common.

For those looking to get into the industry, Marina suggests you need to be committed to seeing out the process.

“Persistence and determination I think are really important because sometimes you feel that nothing is happening and it’s all too hard,” she explains.

“But if you don’t quit you will get clients and get results.

“So don’t quit, be determined and persistent.”


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