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What I've learned: Georgia Cleary real estate

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Georgia Cleary shares with us what she has learned from more than 24 years in the real estate business.

I started in real estate in 1989. I was straight out of school and studying an Economics degree at Sydney University. I worked at the front desk at real estate and my main job was to help the agents and worked up the ranks.

Georgia Cleary in the kitchen of a house with flowers and utensils
We realise the impact of people’s colour palette can affect the mood and feel of a room, so we repaint rooms to appeal to masses. Don’t underestimate the visual impact of a photo.

- GEORGIA CLEARY, GEORGIA CLEARY ESTATE AGENTS

 

Humble beginnings 

I started my own real estate agency, Georgia Cleary Estate Agents, when I was 27 years old. I was very fortunate to have worked in the McGrath Real Estate family in the first 10 years of my career. Back then, it was a small firm with six to eight agents there. Every partner there has since become very successful and has formed their own business. 

Seeing this inspired me to start my own business as I knew I also had the backing of loyal clients who told me, ‘you should do this’. I craved the independence and perfection and I was very set in my ideas about how I wanted things done and how I wanted myself to be profiled.

Over the years, I’ve learned it’s important to be straight forward and honest with people in your dealings with them as a real estate agent.

The simplest ideas are the best

I looked at property listings on websites and saw that the properties that were empty had no personality, so my team and I trialled putting furniture in and we noticed we got more inspection attendees and higher sale numbers with properties.

We realise the impact of people’s colour palette can affect the mood and feel of a room, so we repaint rooms to appeal to masses. Don’t underestimate the visual impact of a photo.

I started offering a (real estate) styling service 15 years ago, back then we were only one of two companies offering the service. It’s a separate cost to marketing of house, the styling tips are part of selling fee and the hiring of furniture and other décor is a separate charge. When I first introduced the idea to real estate everyone thought it was a great idea, the photos showed it was more appealing.

Details make the difference

After that we saw the numbers to inspections and sale or auction prices dramatically increase. Initially sellers were hesitant to spend the extra money on styling their homes (whether empty or occupied), but the results of a sale show it’s worth it. What we do is give home sellers ideas. We have a good knowledge on what works on the internet and how to promote a listing to maximise the amount of people visiting that one listing. It’s not all about looking good for an open house, we provide a public relations service.

Even when you have a block of apartments there will always be a display. A lot of agents can offer the service, but it’s having the experience to change a colour of wall, or pull down a curtain and know it will work. Sometimes when we’re styling in winter, we’ll hire a heater to make the house feel homely and warm. We might hire a fridge to hide pipework to improve visual aspect. We’ve even baked bread, made coffee and burned candles to add to the aroma aspect as well. And by seeing people’s reactions we know these details make a massive difference.

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