Supporting one of the best agents in the country.
After a career in law, Sian Neall tried her hand in real estate. Within three months of taking a sales administration role, she decided it wasn’t for her. Sian went off to get her qualifications in conveyancing which she practiced for four years before being approached by Belle Property Wollongong Principal, Jeremy Hodder to join his team. She’s been with him ever since and helped him grow into the number one principal within Belle Property for number of sales.
It’s little wonder Sian was named the PA/Team Leader of the Year at the 2017 Belle of the Ball. She packs more into her six-day working week than most do in a month as assistant to Jeremy, who sold more than 100 properties last financial year, and has his sights set on 150 this year.
“The only thing I don’t do for Jeremy is build his marketing. I manage everything else from getting a new listing ready for market, to the campaign reports, and exchange through to settlement so Jeremy can focus on what he does best,” Sian explains.
Multiply that process by 100 transactions a year and you’ve got an idea of Sian’s workload. On top of that, she also leads the other two members of Jeremy’s team, Clive and Joanne, to ensure their days are running smoothly too. So, how does she manage it all and still make it home to be mum to her two kids? Well, according to Sian it’s a simple formula of structure, routine and efficiency.
“I’m very conscious of deadlines and I am driven by routine. Although things will inevitably come up each day I make a point of prioritising my work every morning. I assess each email and prioritise each task. It means I can be flexible as things pop up and always come back to my daily priorities without losing focus.”
As is the case in every team, communication is critical and Sian says being able to talk openly is the key to their highly productive operation.
“As a team we share a few core values: honesty, trust and loyalty. We aren’t just a tight-knit team, we work in a small space too and with all of us as busy as we are, it can get intense. Being able to communicate openly is something we all value.
“We meet as a team once a week, and I meet with Jeremy every morning to get up to speed with what he – and the team - needs. Jeremy is on the road most of the time so we are all part of a group chat to ensure we are in constant communication with each other. Any member of our team can be reached at any time.”
At the end of the day, Sian says working within a high-volume team comes down to how willing you are to learn.
“In order to be successful, you need to be open to change. Real estate today is run so differently to how it was just five years ago and it will continue to change. I still learn something new every single day. A strong support unit will adapt to help their agent do what they do best – list and sell.”
Sian’s advice to fellow support staff is simple: bring energy and be up for a challenge.
“The key to being successful in support roles in real estate is the level of energy you bring to work every day. Agents are energetic, driven people and their support teams need to mirror that. Being positive is also crucial – you have to work with the people around you and enjoy working with them. I still enjoy coming into work every day and that makes it easier to manage extremely high volumes. I couldn’t have increased my productivity otherwise.”