CA­REER BY DE­SIGN

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - Dee Man­gion

FOR­MER HORTICULTURALIST and in­te­rior de­signer Dee Man­gion turned to real es­tate in 2009. Af­ter ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge of es­tab­lish­ing a new RE/MAX of­fice in Mackay, she’s found the free­dom to per­son­alise her ap­proach to clients – and her cre­ative skills are prov­ing very use­ful when it comes to pre­par­ing homes for sale.

Dee, tell us about yourself and your po­si­tion at RE/MAX. My prin­ci­pal, Hay­ley El­liott, shared her vi­sion of open­ing a RE/MAX of­fice in Mackay and asked me if I was in­ter­ested in be­ing part of a new team es­tab­lish­ing the brand. I saw it as an ex­cit­ing new chal­lenge and a big leap for­ward, and I couldn’t be happier.

Most of my work­ing life I have been self-em­ployed. I es­tab­lished my own home and gar­den decor bou­tique and de­signed all my mar­ket­ing, in­clud­ing de­sign­ing prod­ucts. My hor­ti­cul­tural back­ground al­lowed me to cre­ate plant col­lec­tions; this made it easy for clients to get the right look in their gar­den. I now can share this knowl­edge with clients in help­ing them pre­pare their homes for sale.

My sales po­si­tion with RE/ MAX al­lows me free­dom to use my cre­ativ­ity and per­son­alise my service to clients, plus I have the sup­port and re­sources of a global brand. How did you get your start in real es­tate? I al­ways had an in­ter­est in prop­erty, in­clud­ing in­vest­ment prop­erty. I was con­stantly told by fam­ily and friends, ‘You should go into real es­tate’.

In 2009 I moved from Cen­tral Victoria to Mackay, Qld, and took on part-time work in cafes and a restau­rant while study­ing to get my real es­tate regis­tra­tion. As soon as my regis­tra­tion ar­rived I was ap­proached by a prin­ci­pal who had a small, suc­cess­ful of­fice. She had been told of my sales back­ground and home decor bou­tique, so I ba­si­cally hit the ground run­ning. Af­ter al­most a year in an of­fice en­vi­ron­ment, I de­cided to get my full li­cence and spent five years as an in­de­pen­dent. I en­joyed de­vel­op­ing my per­sonal brand and con­stantly ed­u­cated my­self by at­tend­ing sem­i­nars, mostly by Glenn Twid­dle.

For per­sonal rea­sons I de­cided to go back to an of­fice en­vi­ron­ment, and even­tu­ally took up Hay­ley’s of­fer to work with RE/MAX Re­sults.

“DON’T MEA­SURE YOUR OWN ABIL­ITY OR RE­SULTS BY SOME­ONE ELSE’S; STAY FO­CUSED ON YOU AND LET YOURSELF BE YOUR ONLY COM­PETI­TOR.”

How has your pas­sion for in­te­ri­ors, ar­chi­tec­ture and land­scape de­sign helped you stand out from the crowd? Clients seem to recog­nise that I’m pas­sion­ate about what I do from the mo­ment I be­gin to dis­cuss pre­par­ing their home for sale. I feel it gives them con­fi­dence to know I have hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in guid­ing them to achieve a pre­mium re­sult; I’m not just a sales­per­son!

How do you over­come ob­sta­cles to pro­vid­ing a per­son­alised and em­pow­ered sales ex­pe­ri­ence? I be­lieve in em­pow­er­ing my clients while still re­main­ing in con­trol. Hon­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key, ed­u­cat­ing the seller about the sales process and pos­si­ble out­comes. Pos­i­tive en­ergy is also im­por­tant; sell­ers of­ten say, ‘We like your ap­proach; it’s so dif­fer­ent to other agents we’ve spo­ken to.’

What was the most mem­o­rable prop­erty you ever listed or sold?

In my sec­ond year of real es­tate. I was ap­pointed a list­ing that just needed the 22a to be signed. The seller agreed to meet me in town on a set time and day.

Overnight I de­vel­oped ker­ati­tis, an ag­gres­sive in­flam­ma­tion to the cornea. The next morn­ing, in the eye spe­cial­ist clinic, I was told, ‘We need to rush you to Bris­bane on the next flight as you may lose your eye’. Wait­ing in Emer­gency, my seller called ask­ing where I was. He of­fered to come into Emer­gency and I replied, ‘You’ll catch me here if you’re quick!’

I was in hospi­tal for six weeks and told that I’d even­tu­ally need a graft. I wasn’t al­lowed to drive for six months, but a friend helped out.

The happy end­ing is that I listed the buyer’s prop­erty, in spite of them say­ing it wasn’t ready to sell, then sold it the first week with mul­ti­ple of­fers. And, best of all, I didn’t need a graft as my eye healed holis­ti­cally by it­self!

“I BE­LIEVE IN EM­POW­ER­ING MY CLIENTS WHILE STILL RE­MAIN­ING IN CON­TROL.”

Do you have a men­tor or some­one who in­spires you? When start­ing a busi­ness back in 2005 I was truly in­spired by Anita Rod­dick, founder of The Body Shop. I’m al­ways in­spired by the un­der­dog’s suc­cess story. In real es­tate, if I had only one to choose, Mat Stein­wede is top of my list. I love his sto­ries of his early days.

What’s the best ad­vice you have been given? Treat your clients how you would like to be treated and never sound des­per­ate for a list­ing. Don’t mea­sure your own abil­ity or re­sults by some­one else’s; stay fo­cused on you and let yourself be your only com­peti­tor. What other goals would you like to achieve in the fu­ture? I still would like to work to­wards build­ing my own EBU. I en­joy en­cour­ag­ing and lead­ing oth­ers, shar­ing knowl­edge and skills. I’m a Leo; I be­lieve my own team within a brand will make my work more en­joy­able and take my busi­ness to a higher level with bet­ter life bal­ance.

Speak­ing of that, how do you achieve work/life bal­ance and well­ness in the in­dus­try? Hav­ing a strong, cre­ative per­son­al­ity pro­file, stay­ing fo­cused and hav­ing sys­tems are not my best friends! A pos­i­tive mind­set is the first thing I work on each morn­ing; some days it’s easy, some days it’s tough. I like to use the say­ing, ‘Get up, dress up, show up, never give up’.

I con­tinue to educate my­self about foods that fuel the body and sharpen brain ac­tiv­ity, and im­ple­ment daily holis­tic ri­tu­als us­ing es­sen­tial oils, med­i­ta­tion, ex­er­cise and laugh­ter. Then to recharge I travel, gen­er­ally a yearly trip overseas and a cou­ple of short trips lo­cally or in­ter­state.

What ad­vice would you give some­one start­ing out in real es­tate? Never com­pare yourself to oth­ers, es­pe­cially if they have been in the in­dus­try a long time. Fo­cus on yourself, mea­sure your re­sults; you are your tough­est com­peti­tor, so be yourself. Don’t let knock-backs get you down. •

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