How To Leverage Your Skill Into A New Career

by Ben Handler

July 21, 2020

Leverage Your Skill Into A New Career

Matt Sharp:

Yeah. Well, I mean I guess real estate and property, I’ve always had a massive interest in. You know, like even since I started working from a young age, I was always interested in buying property and wanting to buy my own property and then continue to invest from there. But I guess for me it was a matter of whether or not I could do it or not and whether or not work was going to allow me to be flexible to put some energy into this and then obviously service my clients how they need to be serviced.

Ben Handler:

Welcome back to the buyer’s agent Institute show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value of the buyers agents are providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable stories of buyers agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors. Right now. Our guest today is Matt Sharp. Matt’s got a really interesting background and is currently running his part-time buyer’s agent called Sharp property buyers. Matt, his career actually started when he was looking to go down a route of playing professional rugby league. He then ended up playing semiprofessional rugby league and started working corporate simultaneously because he wanted to put his time into the workforce.

Ben Handler:

Over time. Matt has decided to take a different path now and he’s running his part-time buyer’s agent business, which is going really well. Of course there are some challenges. He’s also an investor himself. He owns his own primary residence, so he really understands real estate and he also in his spare time coaches junior rugby league athletes. So he’s got a lot to offer. He’s obviously got a lot of experience. So today I’d like to introduce Matt. Welcome Matt. Hello Ben. Thanks for having me, mate. You’re so welcome. So I remember that when we first spoke a while ago, you were looking to go down the path of, you know, becoming a buyer’s agent, but you were concerned around the time that you could invest into it because you are working corporate full time. All, I’m assuming that if you weren’t able to service your clients and your buyer’s agent business, you wouldn’t run the business?

Matt Sharp:

No, absolutely not. I’m, I’m quite fortunate. I’ve been in this corporate role now for close to 10 years and it allows me some flexibility there to, you know, provide my clients a hundred percent attention for when they need it, but also allows me to hold that corporate position as well.

Ben Handler:

How does this compare? So previously you’re playing SIM professional rugby league, working corporate, now you’re running your own buyer’s agent business, working corporate. What do you prefer?

Matt Sharp:

Uh, probably the buyer’s agent staff to be honest by, I mean, rugby league taught me so much, you know, it taught me commitment, self-discipline, strong work ethic and I think all of that stuff is transferable into a business. So doing something that I’m passionate about with property and obviously helping people or find it is challenging, but I find it really enjoyable. Yeah. Great. How long have you been passionate about real estate? Probably eight to 10 years. And first property. When was that your family home or was that investment now as a family home or there was the owner occupied home on the central coast, so where we still live now

Ben Handler:

and investing. Are you, have you been traditionally investing in new South Wales or have you been investing

Matt Sharp:

interstate? Are both. Both. So we’ve invested in our local area on the central coast as well as interstate, so yeah, and continuing to invest as well. I’m always looking for, for different deals and different opportunities to invest in different areas for myself as well as clients now, which is

Ben Handler:

I love it. And talking about clients, we had a chat yesterday, brief chat, and you mentioned that you just signed up a client.

Matt Sharp:

Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. It went really well. There are young couples, similar age to myself, similar lifestyle, you know, they’re just looking for an investment. They had absolutely no idea where to start. They had absolutely no idea where to begin. I didn’t even know anything about a broker or what yield was or what capital growth was or anything, but they just knew that it was a smart option to do something. Now while they’re young and while they have the opportunity to, so yeah, I’m looking forward to helping them. It’s going to be really good.

Ben Handler:

I love it. And so in the short time you’ve been doing this, what are you finding are, or what have you found are the common problems as to what people are facing as to why they may need a buyer’s agent? Well, I mean for me,

Matt Sharp:

people just don’t understand the process. You know, they don’t understand the opportunities out there that you can get if you invest and invest well. They also don’t understand the process when they’re looking to buy property themselves. And also there’s too much onus on the selling agent. You know, like a lot of people are going around and thinking, Oh, but this sales agent told me that this was worth this or this, I can get this. They don’t understand that seller is obviously working for the vendor. So where I live on the central coast, the buyer’s agent things still very, very new. And I guess one of the challenges for me has been trying to get my service out there and get people to understand that this service is out there and it’s available and we’re basically there to help you know as much as we can.

Ben Handler:

Well I think it’s a really exciting opportunity for the central coast. Like obviously there’s challenges in the sense there’s not much awareness so people are like, why would I pay you? But I remember I was facing that 10 years ago when I was starting in my area where we were servicing, but then the grand or opportunity is first in and you take market share

Matt Sharp:

100%. That’s exactly, exactly. And it has been tough luck. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s been really easy cause there’s been some people that have shut the door and said, now I don’t know what you’re talking about. Or um, you know, some potential clients have been like, Oh I don’t, you know, like I don’t think that’s right. But on the flip side, you know, some local business and business partners or referral partners have been really, really encouraging saying this is really good. There’s something in this. Um, this is great as well as obviously I’ve been lucky enough to sign a few clients along the way, which gives me confidence and gives me reassurance that this service is the app. Like people need this service and there’s an opportunity here for me to make, you know, to make a proper gal over it.

Matt Sharp:

And people must inspired by the fact that you bought investment properties, you know, new South Wales, I need to state you own your own place and you’ve obviously got a lot of experience. You’ve been in the trenches buying property. And I think also around the fact that you are coaching in a professional field, a sports people that’s very transferable to be coaching and mentoring people who are looking to buy property. Yeah, for sure. I mean all of those skills that you get throughout, you know, whether it’s learning with property, like self-educating through podcast books, webinars, seminars, or whatever, you carry all those skills over to yourself, education, which can then help other people when you’re identifying good properties. But then the coaching side of stuff and the rugby league side of stuff that’s transferrable because you’re dealing with different characters, different personalities, different needs from different players or clients. So it all in a weird way, all into more into what’s the word, into wines into intertwined to twice [inaudible] clothes. So, yeah, it does. I mean, it all comes together and I guess it, it, it helps me in, has created me to be able to do what I want to do, you know?

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I love it. And you’ve had some good sign ups and some good traction. Uh, th there are challenges, which I guess we’ll discuss soon because it’s never Rosie starting any business. I mean, the roller coaster, um, what maybe they stop, like what have been some challenges?

Matt Sharp:

Yeah. So I touched on it before. Some of the challenges have been where people just think, Oh no, that’s not right. Like I’m not going to pay you to do that. Or referral partners, potential referral partners, whether it be brokers, financial advisors, accountants already have relationships with selling agents where they’re like, Nana, Nana, we’re already, we’re already covered here. And it’s like, well, you’re not really, but okay, I understand that. Um, also the challenges have obviously been, you know, time for me, like I’m trying to allocate time to obviously my corporate job as well, allocate time to my buyer’s agent role as well. But I mean, it’s all part of it, you know, like I’m really, really enjoying it. I’m enjoying the learning. I’m enjoying growing as a person. It’s, it’s been really, really fulfilling for myself.

Ben Handler:

I love the name Shah Sharp property buyers. It’s, it’s a, I mean, obviously your surname Sharp and so, um, as any potential clients they’re needing to you.

Matt Sharp:

Yeah, almost all of them. And referral partners. I mean, the not the name surprisingly is B to B here. Initially I didn’t really think anything of it. And then I’m like, Oh yeah, of course, you know. But I mean it’s good and you know, feel proud I guess to have the name out there and it and it puts a little bit of ownership or on or accountability on myself. You know, I wouldn’t put my name towards something that I didn’t wholeheartedly believe in.

Ben Handler:

When you were playing a rugby league, did a lot of your colleagues, obviously you’ve been buying property for awhile. When I say it’s not colleagues, you I guess people in your team or mates in the area, like do they own property in that game? In that area?

Matt Sharp:

A few do, but surprisingly a lot don’t. Especially like it’s quite concerning how many rugby league players, guys that have played at high level there myself actually haven’t set themselves up for retirement and for future. And that’s something that I’m working on at the moment. So I’m, hopefully I can help some more people a bit like in that space. But we’ll see how things progress here. Nice. And in terms of your clients you’ve been working with today with the new business, have they been investors or NRR? So both. So two investors. So I’ve had a couple of investors both want to invest into state because that’s where their budget allows them to and that’s where the best opportunities are at the moment. Um, and another one was they are relocating from Sydney up to the central coast. So since starting my buyer’s agent business and speaking to a lot of sales agents and referral partners, it’s come quite aware.

Matt Sharp:

I’m now quite aware that there’s probably around 60% of people buying property on the central coast are relocating from Sydney. So there’s a lot of people traveling up from Sydney to the central coast gallons through their open homes. You know, spending their whole Saturday up on the coast. Just taking a lot of time. Like the, the couple that I recently just helps, um, purchase they’d spent over six months going through opens, you know, spending all day Saturday, not understanding the different dynamics and the different suburbs in the area. So you know, I’ve had, I’ve had a quiet little mix there, which, which has been great for me and I really enjoyed helping the people that relate that were relocating up onto the central coast. I felt like I could really help them and just cut through a lot of, you know, a lot of the crap in terms of what the good suburbs were, what the bad suburbs were, you know, what was good for what reason, what was bad for what reason and where you want to be and where you don’t want to be.

Matt Sharp:

Yeah, I love it. I mean 60% I didn’t know. That’s huge. Absolutely huge, huge opportunity. So you gotta, I mean I know you will, but crack into that because as you said that that client experience you just mentioned, I’m sure it was so good because they’ve got no idea what they’re doing and there’s so much extra value you can add there. Right? Absolutely. And as you know, the relationships that you have with local agencies, you know, it’s critical. And we were getting, I was getting offered off market opportunities, pre-market opportunities. I did a whole bunch of openings, like private inspections as opposed to the open inspections, which just gives these guys so much better chance, you know, to secure something quickly. And, and also it gives them an opportunity to have a look at absolutely everything that’s available as opposed to just coming up on a Saturday and just walking through the opens basically aimlessly.

Matt Sharp:

Yeah. And I mean that’s part of the value of a editor off markets, the pre markets, private inspections. I mean the relation to the agents. I mean that’s why I guess people, part of the reasons people are engaging us, right? Yeah. 100%. That’s how we can really add some value there for owner occupiers without a doubt. I mean anniversaries too. Yeah. And intentions for running your business full time. I mean, is that something that’s on the agenda? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s, that’s the ultimate goal for me, uh, with my personal situation and how things are at, at the moment. I thought that I would take on a bit of a transition stage, which I’m quite happy to do at this time. Um, and I’m just going to just put a lot of my energy and focus into obviously my business as much as I can and see where things are at early next year.

Matt Sharp:

I guess your colleagues in your corporate environment, do they know what you’re doing? They want use the service. Prior to me having the buyer’s agent tag, I guess everyone knew that I was always a real estate nut cause I always have been, you know, I’ve always been like keeping up to date with different markets everywhere, all over Australia or you know, I’ve always just even gone to opens on my own just for a bit of a look and whatever else. So it’s nothing new to me for people, friends, colleagues, relatives to call me and say, Mike, what do you think about this? Can you have a look at this for me? Can you do whatever? But now I just have the tag. I guess it’s even, yeah, it’s even worse or better depending on where you look at it. So when they call you now and like Sharpie, we’ve, we need your help with something you just like made.

Matt Sharp:

I charge now. Alright, let me start this stopwatch. A lot of it. Well, it’s true that you’re monetizing now you obviously you’re very successful at buying property. Obviously as you said, you were real estate, not, but now you’re, you’re monetizing that passion and you’ve turned it into a career, which is what I wanted to do. That’s why I’m here. You know? That’s why I reached out to you, you know, six months ago because I just wanted to have a better worth work life balance. I wanted to do more stuff that I enjoy it and I just thought, you know, why not just give it a crack? I had like a fire in my belly that I literally just couldn’t shake for if I’m being honest. Probably close to two years, you know? It was just, it’s just a little bit of a fear factor there and the fact that I am in a corporate role in what I would call and what most people would call a secure job.

Matt Sharp:

It just wasn’t, I just don’t think it was enough for me. I needed, I needed more and I still feel like I need more, which is good. Let’s talk about that fear because I mean I think everyone’s got fear right? And it what stops a lot of us. I think especially my experience in the business world, it, it can really be limiting in terms of what you can actually really do. And you said, you know, for two years you were, I’m sure, should I just putting one step forward, one step back and what allowed you to break through that? Like, well what was, I guess, was there an activation point that allowed you to, well I think it was, I as you know, like, so we were recently, my wife and I were recently in Europe for a month for our honeymoon and um, I’d just spent a month, or sorry, I just spent a week on the MLC coast and I was reading and I was just thinking, you know, I love going on holidays cause it always gives you such different perspective.

Matt Sharp:

It gets you out of your rat race and you can just gives you a chance to sort of just take a deep, deep breath and sort of understand what’s important and you know, like it’s a good chance to reset, recharge and decide what do I want to do now? You know, what’s our next goal, whether it be buying another property, go on another holiday, have a kid get married, whatever. And anyway, we just spent an unbelievable week in the Amalfi coast and I just read a property investing book, which, you know, I do regularly anyway. And um, I was on a flight going from Rome to Riga to visit some of my wife’s relatives and I listen to a podcast, the property investor, the smart property investment show, which I still listen to now and listen to regularly. And obviously you are on there and you’re talking about the BIA course, which I’d been very aware of it and sort of watch from the sidelines for probably close to 12 months.

Matt Sharp:

And it is something that I considered, but I was always a little bit hesitant and I don’t know, something happened on that flight or during that podcast where I’m just like, that’s it. Like I can’t, I’m doing it, I’m doing this no matter what. So as you know, I ended up sending you an email while I was on the plane reaching out to you to say, mate, I want to do this, you know, something happened in that podcast and let’s get it done. And obviously I’ve been lucky enough to, you know, to know you more and more and obviously I’ve leveraged on you Oh Lord and appreciate all of your help and obviously all of your time. So it’s been, that was probably the moment mate, somewhere between sitting in the Melfi coast and somewhere between Latvia, Riga.

Ben Handler:

But I love that email. And I remember Chris in our team who you, who you spoke to. Um, I remember when he spoke to me, he called me up and you guys, Benny I this bloke, he’s one of us because he’s one of us, like just in the sense of just, you know, you just, you really want it to make shit happen. You really want to give it a go. And um, yeah, I just think, I think for both of us we could tell you you’d made that decision just to

Matt Sharp:

make it happen. Yeah. I’m very much like that anyway. Like once I commit to signing, I’m just like right here, I’m all in here, whether it be fitness or you know, a job or this or whatever. I’m just like, let’s go for it and see what happens. But um, I’ve been lucky as well. You know, I’ve, I’ve been lucky that I’ve had the support of my wife where she’s just like, obviously you need to go and do this, otherwise you’re going to send me mad for the next probably forever. So go out and do it. And I’ve also been really, really fortunate. Like, obviously I’ve had yourself and I’ve had some really good like business mentors as well. Um, that have really helped me to even just get me to where I am now, which has only been sort of, you know, like a three to six month journey. You know, I’m really excited to see what it’s going to look like in, you know, three to six years.

Ben Handler:

No doubt you’re going to crush your, your wife. Just when you mentioned your wife support you, I mean that, that’s great because a lot of people that I speak to or have spoken to over the years or who are coming into this as a potential career option, usually one of the partners is a blockage, right or wrong. I just think the fact that there isn’t alignment makes it very difficult to the fact that you’ve got

Matt Sharp:

and your wife to support you. It’s, it’s a big factor. Yeah, it really is mate. And I think just going back to that fear factor, I think like explaining to your partner that this is what you want to do and the risks associated with starting a new business and how that’s going to affect them. It could be something that holds people back. So I’m very, very lucky to have a very supportive wife and although there aren’t huge overheads, but you know, like there’s a lot of, you know, there are expenses there with weather, you know, with websites and study on business subscriptions, um, courses. So it’s not like all, yeah, I’m just going to go and you know, start something with, with $2 in my pocket there, there is a, there is an investment there into the business, especially if you want to be a legitimate business, which, you know, I do.

Matt Sharp:

So we’ve invested a fair bit of money into, you know, websites and all of our subscriptions and everything that I feel you need to be the best buyer’s agent that you know that you can possibly be. Yeah. You’ve got to invest. I mean you’ve got to invest in yourself and the business to make it work 100%. And I’ve always been big on that anyway. You know, like I’ve always, um, always paid to go to seminars for property investing, uh, offer property seminars, voice paid to do different online courses, you know, prior to doing the BI BI course. So yeah, you do man, you’ve got to invest in yourself and I think that’s probably the best investment you’ll ever make. And in terms of the role, like the buyer’s agent, Ron, are you doing it part time? You’ve had some obviously great wins. What do you love the most about it?

Matt Sharp:

I mean, it’s probably the obvious one that everyone talks about. You know, it’s obviously helping people and I really enjoy like when the penny drops for someone where they’re just like, Oh really? I can own that house and it only costs me this much per week with this potential growth. Or is it, you know, can I really do this or that? It’s just, I really just love educating them and just taken along for the journey. And plus I honestly feel like buying the properties is like me buying them as well. I was looking for a client, like the ones that relocated from Sydney and they are in the high end and obviously I don’t get exposed to too many high end properties. So you know, I really enjoyed that, you know, just at least seeing, seeing the new places and understanding different markets as well. It’s really good.

Matt Sharp:

Do you think you’ll focus or take more of a focus into the owner OC space, central coast or, I’m not sure to be honest mate. I would, I feel like I have a lot to add there. Like a lot of value to add there, especially people relocating. Um, but I’m an investor at heart and I love investing. I love the numbers. I love doing the macro research. I love doing the micro research. I love understanding different economic drivers, understanding different demographics in areas and why I think they can go well and why I think they might not go so well. So I feel like I have some strengths in both, to be honest. Eventually I’d probably like to stick with the investment side of things, but I guess we’ll just see where the business takes me at the moment. I’ll just take on anyone that I feel as though I can help and then go from there.

Matt Sharp:

Yeah. And it’s important that just recapping what you just said, anyone you can help, it’s, and you know, as, as how I, um, go about educating things is you never want to take on a client that you cannot meet their objectives, right. You always want to make sure you can execute on that. Absolutely. HeartMate without a doubt. And you never want to get over your head, you know, because like I mentioned earlier, like your name’s everything and my name’s obviously on the, you know, it’s on the, on the business, so I don’t want to do the wrong thing by anyone. I’m very conscious of that. And I’ve actually reached out to a couple of more experienced buyer’s agents that are doing really, really well. People that I look up to and really respect. And I’ve actually reached out to them and said, look, if I have someone that sort of comes to me that I feel as though it might be a little bit out of my depth, are you comfortable with maybe we work together or maybe I’ll just pass them on to you.

Matt Sharp:

And you know, most of the guys around, uh, are quite, you know, they, they were great. They said, yeah, no worries. We’re happy to help you along and take you along for the ride and or even we can serve some if you can’t do it. So yeah, I love it. And lastly, I’m finishing question putting on the spot here. If you were to pick a month, next, next year, 2020, when do you think you, you’ll be at a corporate and running Sharp property buys full time. I’m going to say one month. I’m going to say June. I’ll say June I reckon. [inaudible] I’m quite confident. I’m quite determined to get there. Like I said, just, just the situation I’m in now, I just thought, look, let’s just see how this goes. And from one of my other mentors, they sort of said as much as my first meeting with him, I walked in there and said, right, I’m just wrapping up my resignation now.

Matt Sharp:

I’m ready to leave. And he was like, alright, let’s just calm down a little bit. Let’s just save, let’s just see if we can do both or maybe even potentially move into a part time role at work and just see how this is going to go. Because again, he was from the central coast as well, although he was familiar with what a buyer’s agent does. He had no, he’d never had any personal experience with one, so he was like, let’s see how this goes. But I stay in regular contact with him and he, he’s been super supportive and he just says made I think. I think you’re on to something and I think you’re going to do really well. And where can people find you? They can find [email protected] that I use. Also Instagram. I just use my own Instagram account, which is Matt Sharp and I don’t really do too much on Facebook, but yeah, Facebook even as well. Matt Sharp on Facebook. Love the night. Thanks. Enjoy chatting with you. Thanks so much man. Thanks for having me, Dan.

Ben Handler:

So check out Matt at his website. It’s the best company name I’ve heard. Sharp property buyers, of course he’s surname is Sharpen for those of you who are looking to invest in property, it could be at a national level. Matt’s got a lot of experience investing in property and national level. Obviously build a very successful portfolio. And also if you are considering or you know anyone who’s considering buying property in the central coast, that’s where he lives. And so he’s on the ground there, so I’d highly recommend you reach out to him for that. Hope you enjoyed it. See you next week.

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