By Dea Lalovic
  • Tough market, tougher brand

    Tough market, tougher brand

June

While some agents are throwing in the towel, Peard agents like Todd Utley are dominating the market. 

If you’re a real estate agent in the current market you'll know it’s been tough in recent months. Market conditions are weak, competition is fierce and sellers’ expectations remain high. 

We talk to Peard Group's top selling Sales Associate, Todd Utley, who says hard work, support and a powerful brand are what’s making all the difference.

PL: How did your career with Peard Real Estate begin?

TU: In 2004 I had dinner with Peter Peard and his collleague Lawrie Lawrence, and we discussed the prospect of me joining the company and what the Peard brand could offer my career.  I had thought about going to Peard earlier in my career, in 2000, but thought at that time that I wasn’t good enough, so to be invited in was a real privilege.  The perception was always that Peard had the most established and successful reps so it was always where I wanted to end up.  It has been the best career decision I have made.

PL: What were you doing before real estate?

TU: After school ended I did a Diploma in Accounting, but couldn’t get a job in that field, so I decided to go to the Gold Coast to surf and I did some labouring and landscaping work.  I eventually came back home to Perth and started my own landscaping business.  The father of a good friend of mine ran a real estate office and offered me a job as a rep.  He was the best trainer and kindest person I could have hoped for in such a tough industry and has remained an inspiration in my life since I first started real estate at the age of 24. 

PL: How have you found the property market in the last 12 months?

TU: Challenging, like everyone else.  I’m ensuring that I spend more time at my appraisals explaining the market conditions and getting the price right so that sellers know what to expect. Being honest and upfront has always been the key to being successful.

PL: You’ve risen to the top of the ranks at Peard Real Estate in the past 12 months - what's your secret?

TU: I have worked hard to make sure that I create situations that are going to be win/win – a win for the seller and a win for me.  That way you maintain trust, even in a difficult market, which creates a lot of referral business.  Having my wife Danielle more involved in the business has also helped take some of the pressure off as she is very level headed, has an in-depth understanding of the economics of the housing market and is a great negotiator. 

PL: What would you say to agents who are new to the industry?

TU: Prepare to kiss your weekends goodbye and be prepared to eat, sleep and poop real estate 24/7 for the rest of your career if you want to make it.  It’s hard work, but the rewards are great and once you get rolling, it’s the best job in the world.

PL: How does your office/Peard support your real estate career?

TU: We’ve had some exceptional Licensees in the Peard Joondalup office over the years I’ve been there and they have been incredibly supportive of me during some difficult times.  My office assisted me greatly when my business was growing and facilitated the way for an assistant to come on board and take over some of the administration work which is incredibly time consuming. 

PL: Does the Peard brand play a role in your success? 

TU: The Peard brand is a powerful tool, from the huge blue signs that every client loves, to the extensive marketing and track record of the company.  Having the brand supporting my efforts to secure business is a huge plus and provides me with an edge.  When I’m sitting with a client and I can show them our award-winning PRIMOLife magazine, talk about how many offices we have in WA and the cross-selling potential of those, our interactive property galleries, our e-focus newsletter plus the fact that we have Peard Finance and Evolution Settlements to assist both buyers and sellers, it’s a little difficult to argue that Peard are not the biggest and the best.  When the market is tough and sellers are aware that you need to go the extra mile to get a sale, having that backing is extremely valuable.  I don’t have to spend my time making excuses for what the company lacks – I simply have to sell myself as the second part of the equation.

PL: What has been your most valuable lesson learnt in real estate?

TU: Never, ever ASSUME.  People are unpredictable and often not always what they appear to be from the outset.  Also, never take anything for granted.

PL: What’s next for Todd Utley?

TU: To sell another 1,000 homes!  I’ve sold 1,000 homes in 18 years and I plan to
sell another 1,000. I’m also about to build my dream home near the beach and I want to be the very best father and husband that I can be.  There’s so many other things to tick off my bucket list but they’re my top three.  

The right brand can make all the difference. Take the next step in your real estate career and join Perth’s leading real estate agency. Call Melissa Farrell, Director of Business Resource on 0404 084 244.

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