For this week’s LADIES WE LOVE post I caught up with one of the most driven, motivated and hard-working businesswoman I know. At just 26-years of age, Alycia Baines has forged a lucrative career in the always tough and often male-dominated industry of Real Estate to become one of the top agents in her region. And she has no intention of stopping there!
Read on to find out what it takes to be successful in Real Estate plus Alycia’s thoughts on the importance of goal-setting in staying focused, as well as rewarding your own hard work.
How did you get into Real Estate? Is it something you always wanted to do?
Real Estate was not a career I just fell into. From the age of 16, I knew I wanted to be a Real Estate Agent. As a kid, my parents would frequent house inspections and it’s their love for property that has obviously passed onto me. After finishing high school I worked full time as a receptionist whilst I did my Agent’s Representative course at night. The day after receiving my certificate of completion I went to over 50 different agencies from Geelong to Altona and handed in my resume. I was lucky enough to receive 3 different job offers within the week and started with Sweeney Estate Agents Altona & Point Cook on the 1st of July 2008 (yes, I do remember the exact date!)
You’ve accomplished a fair bit professionally in your 26-years… How long did it take you to move from reception to consultant? What was the key thing in getting you there?
After starting as a receptionist it took me about 3 years until I was comfortable being a Sales Consultant on my own. I think a key thing in getting me there was that I had a hunger to become knowledgeable in all areas of Real Estate. I took on tasks that were not part of my job description purely because I wanted to know more. I had also worked as a Personal Assistant to 3 different directors in that time and with some very successful agents. I like to think that I learnt something different from every colleague which has made me the agent I am today.
Real Estate sales can be pretty hard yakka… Did you find it hard to establish yourself in such a competitive market? Did being female affect this?
Real Estate is a very difficult career path. It requires a lot of drive, persistence and hours! Buying and selling can become very stressful & highly emotional and it’s my job to make any transaction as easy as possible for my clients. A lot of my work now comes from repeat clients and referrals which is the biggest compliment I could receive. If you offer a superior service then it makes it a lot easier to establish yourself. There are some fantastic male agents in the market but I do think that females are generally better communicators and are more compassionate which can assist in providing this service.
Can you give us an average week in your life?
An average week in my life is very busy. From Monday to Friday my day consists of morning meetings, phone calls to prospective Vendors & Purchasers, house inspections, attending photos, general administration duties, prospecting, appraisals and much more. Most of my appraisals are after 5:30pm when I can meet with clients in their home so this will often mean that I do not finish work until 7:30pm (and often later). Saturday is our big day of Open For Inspections.
You’re also an auctioneer… Tell us about how that came about? How do you feel before/during an auction? Do you enjoy them?
I became an accredited Auctioneer in 2013. It had always been a career goal of mine and it was another skill I wanted to be able to offer my clients. I was the only female in my class of 14 and made it to the final 4 in the Barry Plant Novice Auctioneer competition which was a big personal accomplishment. There is always a nervous excitement before Auction day to see where the final bid will finish and hopefully who the lucky new purchaser will be. It’s very important to have fun with your Auction and I think my style is quite relaxed.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your career?
The most rewarding thing about my career is that I get to meet so many people and be involved in such an important decision in their lives whether that be buying or selling.
What advice do you give to other young women wanting to break into Real Estate Sales?
My best advice to anyone wanting to get into Real Estate is to make sure you have a passion for it. Being that it is commission-based, you only get out of it what you are willing to put in.
What advice do you give to people who wish to sell their home? What are your 5 top tips for selling?
- Ensure a high level of presentation as first impressions are very important.
- Be realistic with price. Houses sell quickly and for the most money when they are priced correctly in the beginning.
- Market the property correctly. Lack of marketing can reduce your buyer pool and affect your price.
- Get clued into your competition. Attend some open houses in your area and do a real estate reality check: the buyers that see your home will see those homes too.
- Select an agent you can trust and have the confidence will get you the best result.
Do you struggle having to work every weekend?
I actually don’t know any different. The weekends are the most exciting part of my week where I meet the majority of my potential buyers & sellers .
What’s your work philosophy / mantra / motivation?
I love the quote “If you love what you do, you will never work a day of your life”. I feel very fortunate to be one of those people that enjoys going to work. I also have a lot of positive affirmations on my desk and photos of the people and places I love to motivate me.
How do you set your goals?
I set an overall goal of how much commission I want to achieve over the year which I break down into how many listings and sales I need. To achieve my targets I have a working year plan that outlines all my prospecting for the year (including things like letterbox drops, newsletters, door knocks and other fun things like holiday colouring competitions). I monitor them month to month to see if I am on track to reach my targets. I think an important part of goal setting is to have a reward for yourself to motivate you to achieve them. In 2014 I set myself a goal to earn a certain amount of commission and my reward was a trip to Italy. I achieved my goal and am now looking forward to Italy in May of this year.
Do you get much ‘me’ time? What things to do you like to do?
Real Estate can be a hard career to have ‘me’ time as we need to always be available to clients. Whenever I get a chance I simply like to unwind by watching a movie or going out to breakfast with my favourite people.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Up until the age of 16 (and work experience) I actually wanted to be a lawyer.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I plan on completing my full Real estate license this year which gives me the option to become a Director of my own agency in the future. In 10 years time I see myself running my own agency and continuing in the career I love so much.
For all your Real Estate needs in Geelong, you can get in touch with Alycia at firstname.lastname@example.org.