You Paint Your Picture

by Ben Handler

October 27, 2020

Buyer's Agent Kitty Parker on painting your own picture

Ben Handler:

Welcome 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 that 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 and journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate. Right now.

Our guest today is Kitty Parker from Kitty Mile. She is not your average buyer’s agent. She has a very broad range of skill and talent. She’s been involved in start-up businesses, one of the most recent ones where she grew a multi-national corporate start-up. She also has tertiary qualifications that is quite diverse, ranging from policy ranging from strategic management and psychology. She is a single mother and she brings a certain level of freshness, I believe, to the buyer’s agent space. She’s not just here to serve clients and buy property. She’s here. I feel to bring innovation into this sector. I’m really excited to introduce Kitty and dive into today. Welcome, Kitty.

Kitty Miles:

Thank you so much. I was so nice. I thought you said lovely to meet you. Thank you for having me here today.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I really appreciate it. And I remember I saw you online last year, end of last year and I thought this lady is going to crush it. She’s bringing new energy into these games.

Kitty Miles:

Thank you. I do my best. Yes.

Ben Handler:

Kitty Miles. So, it’s Kitty Parker. Kitty is for Katherine for short?

Kitty Miles:

No, my first name is Kristine-Elizabeth, hyphenated, which is ridiculous. And I have a middle name as well. So I’ve been called Kitty for ages because Kristine-Elizabeth is way too long.

Ben Handler:

The name of the business. What’s the Miles?

Kitty Miles:

Miles is my youngest son, so he’s 20. And there was a bit of a story behind miles, but um, yeah, naming the company after my son is really that mother and son connection, which I guess flows through with being a single mum, et cetera. And it’s uh, I guess providing a bit of a stance there out there as this is mom and son corporation.

Ben Handler:

You seem like you’ve entered this space with what? I can see a different purpose. And I say that because I appreciate that you’ve got different skills, you’ve got different talents and you’re now, from what I’m seeing, integrating it now into the buyer’s agent arena. What did you find and what did you see when you entered this space even before you started? What did you see?

Kitty Miles:

I guess as a starting point, being a single mom living in Sydney, in the rental market, you really get a feel for how unaffordable housing is. So that was the catalyst for me, maneuvering from my university qualifications and going down that path and thinking I really need to come up with a game plan here to set up the future financial security for my family. That allowed me to diverge into business. It was a real, um, survival instinct. And so I took that plunge into business, realized I had a passion for that. I had a skill at that, let’s just say, nailed that. So that gave me, um, the ability to begin, like to dive into having a investment property portfolio. So it gave me the funds to buy property while I was buying property. However, I engaged buyers, agents myself cause I was very time poor as a business woman.

And while their service was good, there were a few shortcomings. Let’s just say the buyer’s agents that I dealt with, there were some shortcomings. So at the wrapping this all up in the summary version is it all culminated in me selling my last business and going, you know what? I understand property now I know what people want from customer service. Having dealt with buyer’s agents myself and realizing, gee, I wish I’d done this or that. So now I try and give to my clients what I wanted given to myself. I also learned along the way obviously stumbling through buying property for myself and utilizing buyer’s agents. I came to understand the property market more and more. Having a background in data and statistics, I realized that, you know, crunching numbers and the property marker was like, I’m an untapped passion. So that was great and it all just culminated into me realizing this is a really natural progression for me. It really allows me to bring all my skills together and deliver for people in a way that I guess my psychology degree is about serving people. So this is like another version of that.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and I respect that. I had seen that you’ve just got such a diverse level I think of skill and talent and the way that you integrate it into this particular service. It fits really well. Like the psychology we’re dealing with people. It’s communication. You’ve got a lot of experience with data and obviously business skills, which helps you I guess build the foundations of this new business. So this new business, it’s based head office in Sydney. Your you’re serving clients on a national level, correct?

Kitty Miles:

That’s correct. I’m based in Sydney but I service not just Sydney and the New South Wales state. I’m actually licensed in multiple States, so I purchase for people across multiple States of Australia. So this means it’s more often the case that people that are wanting to purchase investment properties interstate say they may already have a Sydney based investment property and they’re wanting to diversify their portfolio. Having someone they can meet in Sydney and chat to and having someone that understands the interstate markets individually. I find clients that they seem that they see that is very helpful. So yes, I serve as Sydney, New South Wales and interstate.

Ben Handler:

It’s awesome. Your business. Um, we had an earlier conversation. You started in end of 2018 and it’s grown very quickly. I mean, I’m not surprised. Did you, entering into this space, obviously it’s very niche. Did you expect it to move so quick? Like did you have expectations or..

Kitty Miles:

I certainly didn’t have expectations. Snowballing skyrocket as much as it has done. I’m very thankful and feel very blessed that it has done so exceptionally well when I’ve reviewed that and gone, gee, I’ve done so well in such a short period of time. I guess for me, honestly that boils down to, I think it’s the level of personalized customer service and customer care that I deliver. Um, and as I say, I learned that myself based on what I had hoped to receive from buyer’s agents. So I think that’s very much the catalyst as to why my business has done well. It’s what I do and the extent that I go to for my clients. I think it also is in the, in a humble way, my data analysis capabilities and I’m that I’m very passionate about statistics and data. Um, so my ability to interpret property market data is in the nicest way, I guess advanced. So I think the combination of being able to forecast well, uh, accurately appraise properties as well as just deliver a really down to earth caring customer experience. I think I was together have been the kind of secret ingredient in the source, so to speak.

Ben Handler:

Client experience. So you clearly delivering which should be the normal, like a first class style of experience. It seems like you’re connecting with them and you’re, you’re taking it to a new level, which I think, I mean you’ve got an American accent, so you’re Australian, right? You lived in the US I mean with my minimal experience in the US I always feel like they understand service more than Australia. So it seems like in Australia when you offer good services like Oh, but it should be part of the norm. Like what is it with your clients? Is it just your, you’re communicating daily? Like what is it you feel like that you’re doing, which is really I guess enhancing that overall experience.

Kitty Miles:

I think you’re very correct in pointing out that I would say I have a very American customer service style that it’s from the point of initially, um, chatting with a potential client, right through to the little detail, the attention to detail in answering all their questions are pre-empting their questions. Really trying to know when to assist a client at making an efficient decision and when to pull back and actually knowing someone needs a little bit more support or a little bit more time to think about things. And I think I’m very honest. So if I feel someone maybe taking longer to make a decision or, or making a decision based on emotion when it, when it should probably be more financially based, I’ll really politely call them on it and I’ll say, Hey, let’s just open up this conversation. And, and let’s discuss this or this or this.

And sometimes clients, I find they’re just so appreciative that you’re really actively listening and working with them. It’s not a cookie cutter model that you’re really looking at that person as an individual and looking at their brief, looking at their needs and also looking at their psychological reasons behind buying property. There have been so many clients, not so many, but I should say a handful of clients that I’ve halfway through went hang on a minute, time out. Do you really even want to buy a property? And they’ve gone what? And I’m like, why do you want to buy a property? And they’ve gone, well we should. That’s what we do. We’re married, we should. And I’m like, hang on a minute. And we’ve discussed it and they’ve actually walked away and gone. That is so refreshing. Yeah, we don’t want to buy a property. We want to rent. And I think that’s the difference that you really need to know your client and really work with their best interests at heart.

Ben Handler:

I love that. I haven’t heard that one before. And you, you don’t strike me as the salesy type more the consultative as you said, the listening, you got two ears and you, you’re there, you’re operating with integrity. And I think that’s quite rare in Australia for real estate and unfortunately there’s parts of the real estate arena which has a bad reputation. Um, and obviously your clients admire that and it’s, it’s obviously a Testament to the way your business has grown because you’ve grown a multiple six figure business in a very short period of time. I’m curious to know what do you see, just with your, with your lens at the moment, what are the opportunities in the buyer’s agent space that you’re seeing?

Kitty Miles:

There are huge opportunities in the buyer’s agent space. I feel one of my, one of my mission statements, so my business is I really want to change the way in which people buy property. And I think there is great potential in the buyer’s agent space and I think it is a really fantastic arena for people that come from other careers, either corporate careers or just other careers and that they can bring that knowledge and that information. And, and the gifts from, from many years in another career into this space. And I really think that that counts for a lot in this arena because you’re not just dealing with property, you’re dealing with people, you’re dealing with their wants, their needs, their desires, and having someone with a well rounded background, I just feel it fits in with that equation so well gone are the days where you need to have 30 years experience in the real estate industry to understand real estate. I feel that you can bring a really fresh and innovative energy approach and skills to this space. Having come from a different career, not saying experience is nothing, but I just think we can actually look at it differently and enhance on the buyer’s agent space that we have now.

Ben  Handler:

Music to my ears and I, and I think the innovation and the change that this space is gonna have over the next number of years moving forward is going to be from people like yourself who’ve worked in different sectors, have a different brain, have a different approach, different freshness. They’re going to help change this industry. It’s not going to be the people who just know how to buy property. That’s not, that’s not difficult. The difficult part I think is the business aspect and we’re gonna need more people who’ve done different things in different areas of business to come into this space and serve at a different level.

Kitty Miles:

I agree. I absolutely agree.

Ben Handler:

Talk to me around where is the next move for kitty miles? Like are you planning on just staying where you are at the moment? Are you looking to expand? Like what’s on the agenda for you…

 

Kitty Miles:

At the moment, I’m looking to scale my business. It’s done very well in a short space of time. I would love to scale my business to provide further reach for the service, assist more people because as one person I can assist this many people, but what I’m really hoping to achieve is that synergy between scaling and also keeping the boutique nature of my business. I don’t want to become factory line. I don’t want to become cookie cutter and I don’t want to sell out by scaling too quickly, too fast, to too much, and actually lose the touch that I feel. I bring my business that has made my business so successful. But my plan is to scale. Um, I’m also writing a book at the moment, uh, on property because I really, I’m a little bit over the myth that millennials can’t get into the property market. Um, I assist a lot of millennials, not just to get into the property market, but to actually believe they can even get into the property market because media seems to tell them that they’re going to have to give up their Avro smash if they have any hope of getting into property.

And I’m like, no, you can keep your avo smashed and we can get you into property as well. So I decided, you know, I want to open up this space. I want to write a book to help the particular demographics that I feel real estate just, you know, brushes onto the carpet. People like millennials, people like single moms, people like the LGBTQ community. They’re the buyers in the space at the moment. I’m not your typical mom and dad buyers. There’s so many more people buying property and I really want to do something to help these people get into the market, feel confident in the market and know what they’re doing. So ultimately it boils down to I really want to help create in property wealth, creation for all rather, than it just be kind of a minority that do well through greed per se. I want everyone to be able to own property.

Ben Handler:

I love how there’s, there is a focus on the millennials because there is, I think there’s limitation for millennials who are growing up who were looking at the paper, who were thinking, I can’t get into this market because the media is creating a narrative, creating a lot of fear and it’s amazing that you’ve got clients in that space or you’re servicing because they really do need help. A lot of them have never bought property before and there’s so much fear within them that there’s probably a high probability they’re going to make the wrong decision anyway.

Ben Handler:

Thank you. Yes, but spot on. Couldn’t agree more. I think that you know, there are so many millennials now that have the income to get into the property arena, but they just don’t have the confidence. What? I don’t know where to start and when you have the media constantly saying you can’t do it, you’ve missed the boat. It’s not actually building the confidence in them to feel that, Hey, I can do something and if I can have a conversation with someone and they get sparked off and go, really, I can get into property. To me, you know, more people need to know. It’s more millennials need to know this. The number of people that I’ve just started their journey and the number of millennials, I’ve started their journey into the property market and this is helping set them up for life and especially where we are at the moment.

Um in the property market with the whole covert 19 I’ve been really going, come on, the market’s a buyer’s market, let’s roll up our sleeves. I’m really get you into the market. There are so many different methods to get. The property market doesn’t just have to be by your home in Sydney. There are so many untapped methods that a lot of these millennials aren’t aware of. So my book I guess is to help them, you know, feel more confident and also give us some tips of where to look and, and how to, you know, jump in.

Ben Handler:

That’s exciting. When’s that coming out?

Kitty Miles:

November this year. So I’m finishing writing away, but yeah, it should be a pre-Christmas release. So a good one for the Christmas.

Ben Handler:

Okay, nice. Well, I want to talk about females and specifically regarding the buyer’s agent space. I’m a firm believer just with my experience in this sector that I feel like the Buyer’s Agents space is more, I actually think it’s more tailored towards females. The real estate side on the sell-side. Never been a real estate agent, but I feel like that’s a very alpha male. Um, I think it’d be quite tough for women is my ex, just from my perspective. But I genuinely believe that it’s more, I think it’s more tailored to females is my honest opinion. So I love seeing people like you coming into this space, creating waves with passion, with vision, with purpose, with intent. I love it. So what’s been your experience jumping into this niche as a female, as an entrepreneur and then dealing with real estate agents running around? What have you noticed? I’m just curious.

Kitty Miles:

I do feel that generally speaking, the real estate industry is a very alpha male industry. Um, kudos to all the women in this industry that have battled, you know, to, um, find fighting for themselves. So yes, I agree with that. Uh, it has had its tough moments. It’s, um, but I’m on a mission. Um, I’m pretty unstoppable, so they can give me all they want and I’m not going to stop. Um, but I also second to that, I absolutely agree that I think the buyer’s agents space is so about understanding clients needs in more than just what property they want. It’s understanding their fears, understanding their motivations, having empathy for their particular situations and being, having uh, emotional and social intelligence, being able to read the cues from people. And I don’t want to gender stereotype, but I’m going to, I do feel naturally often women and more adept at the emotional aspect.

And I feel that in a buyer’s agent space that that fit is just so good. That’s not to say that men can’t bring something fantastic should the table. I feel the men that do really well in the buyer’s agent space are really in tune with skills such as empathy and have a high level of emotional intelligence. And I feel they bring that and that’s of great virtue as well. But generally speaking, I feel more women definitely should get into this space. It’s a great career for single moms. It’s a great career for moms that may have had a corporate role, but have taken time off to have children or that, and they want to get back to work. But once something that will fit with their lifestyles. There are so many reasons why this space just fits well for, for women that want a balanced life.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I couldn’t agree more about it. Talking about the empathy and the, the EQ and I so agree with that. Like when we sit in front of clients as buyer’s agents, it’s, you’ve got to connect and really understand the the person and I think if you’re there if you’re just there for the sale and you’re there just to, um, you’re there at a surface level, you’re not going to cut through. And I feel like this is a particular role where you really need to understand human beings and like you said, if you feel like the client is not ready to buy, even after you’ve engaged with them, you have that level of intelligence and EQ and everything just actually call it out. And it’s interesting to see where this space is going to go with the buyer’s agent space. I do hope more women into this space.

Kitty Miles:

I do as well. Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

I want to just revert back a bit in terms of bringing in the business experience into this. I’m a, I mean I’m a, I started in the buyer’s agent space where you one would say, if you looked at my scorecard, you’d be like, man, this dude hasn’t, he may, he may not get, he may not get through this. I didn’t have sales experience. I hadn’t run a business and I hadn’t worked in a traditional real estate company. Okay. And so one might look at me and think, well, how’s this guy gonna succeed? He hadn’t worked out. He hasn’t worked as a buyer’s agent. He’s never worked in sales. You’ve never run a business. And what I’ve learned along my journey is that being a buyer’s agent, not just about buying property, it’s not just about buying property. You need to understand human beings. You need to have systems and processes. You need to learn how to work with clients by how to deliver that incredible experience where they refer to you. Um, how to scale if you want to scale there. There are so many elements to it. And I feel like from what I see and what I hear and just what that there’s not a whole, I think a greater appreciation for that in our sector. I just want to get your view.

Kitty Miles:

Yep. Spot on. Absolutely agree. Ben. I feel like we’re on the same page. I absolutely agree. When you really think about it, someone buying a property, whether it’s their first home, whether it’s an investment property, whether it’s their 10th property, they’re putting into that property purchase a huge amount of funds and when you put, when you actually connect the people with that, with the person, with that process and you think they’ve worked hard to make this money, they’ve sacrificed to do this. When you really think of what the lead up is to someone coming to you, looking to buy a property, there are so many emotions wrapped up and there are so many stories wrapped up behind all that. It’s not just about a property. As I say, it’s the fears, the motivations, the history that the experiences behind that and that you so need to build trust with your client.

And it’s not just the trust that you can buy them a property. It’s not that it’s the trust that you have their best interests at heart. It’s the trust that you can call them out if you, if you feel you need to, that you have that trust where the person will listen to your expertise and that you can go, I don’t think this is a winner. I don’t think we shouldn’t, you know, buy this. And it’s very much, it’s trusting to me it really boils down to trust and it’s relationship building and we can even take the property, you know, out of the equation it boils down to it’s a big-ticket purchase. Probably the most money people will spend in their life and they want to know that they can trust you. And I think that that’s the key to differentiating an average buyer’s agent, an average person in the real estate space and someone that is really good at what they do. It’s less about the experience, less about, you know, time in the industry. You know, you’re the, you’re the marker of that and it’s what you bring to that relationship.

Ben Handler:

We’ll probably have to do another session cause there’s so much to talk about before we wrap up. Where can people, where’s the best place for people to find you?

Kitty Miles:

People can find me either on LinkedIn, Kitty Parker, uh, my website, kittyandmiles.com.au. I also have Instagram, Kitty & Miles, uh, Facebook, Kitty & Miles, any of the above. But in all of these, uh, social media outlets, you’ll really get a feel for what I’m about. Cause it’s not just about the buyer’s agent and property stuff. I really give a lot of tips, advice, and very much me. I share a lot of me there.

Ben Handler:

Good on you. I mean, I’m inspired to see your journey. I always get inspired seeing single mothers get out there and kick ass. I love it. I love the energy you’re bringing to this sector and I’m going to be watching you.

Kitty Miles:

Thank, Ben. Thank you for having me today.

Ben Handler:

Appreciate, appreciate it. Okay. That was an awesome, awesome discussion. I’m, I’m super excited to see the future of our Kitty and Miles is going to do. I really feel like you should and really should be watching Kitty Parker and her business, because I do think she’s a definite standout in this space with what she brings to the table, I feel is very, very unique. So if you’re out there and you’re looking to buy property on a national level, you’re looking for a data nerd. You’re looking for incredible customer experience. Reach out to Kitty. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

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