Director of Platinum Real Estate
Emma Blake is Director of Platinum Real Estate and has worked in the industry for more than 10 years in both the United Kingdom and Australia. She has also been ranked as one of the top Property Managers in the country, priding herself on having a comprehensive understanding of the property market and its trends as well as an in-depth knowledge of the Residential Tenancy Act.
Emma is a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Accredited Auctioneer and enjoys taking time out of her busy schedule each week to train, enhance her own skills and mentor her team.
She is an active member of her local community, supporting initiatives like “Fitted for Work” as well as a number of fundraisers and charities.
I started my career in real estate after obtaining my Certificate of Registration at age 19. I was quickly employed as a Personal Assistant to a successful Sales Agent where I honed my skills in Sales.
I then moved into marketing management within this same office to learn new skills and face new challenges. After three years in this role I decided I would like to challenge myself in property management and moved to a boutique agency as a Property Officer.
Due to my prior knowledge and skills as a Sales Assistant, my business development skills became a useful tool in property management and I soon excelled as a Business Development Manager in the Property Management Department, as well as maintaining a portfolio of 150 properties.
While working for a national franchise, I met my now husband, and we decided to upskill and acquire our licenses and auctioneer accreditation and start our own business. Naturally, there were many courses, training programs and seminars I attended all throughout my career. Continual training is an integral part of what we do.
I have found it very useful to have skills in all facets of real estate; being able to understand all sides and processes has helped build my career to where it is today. I would suggest that you work in a few different roles before deciding on what you think suits you best, as you may be surprised how much you enjoy something you didn’t even think of earlier. A traineeship will often allow you to do this within the same corporation, and often principals of agencies will encourage this to enhance the skills you have learnt during your course.
Never stop learning! Even after all my years of experience, I still enrol in courses (some not even real estate specific) to upskill even more.
No successful agent will tell you it’s easy. Those who want to succeed must work for it. The difference between the best and the mediocre can be as simple as doing that one extra thing that others won’t do.
This business can be tough, and owning your own small business requires hard work, but the rewards can also be great. Watching your team succeed in their personal and professional goals, creating your own brand from scratch and watching the business grow and develop the way you envisaged is simply a dream come true.
For us, being nominated twice as being in the Top 5 Best New Offices in the entire country at the REB awards in 2014 and again in 2015 was a really nice pat on the back for the entire team, as it demonstrated that what we were doing was being noticed not just at the local level, but at a national level too, which we were really pleased with after only being in business for a couple of years.
There are more than three things you need to succeed in this industry and more than three things we look for. Picking people is hard; sometimes the ones that interview the best and tell you everything you want to hear don’t work out. By the same token, some of the ones that might not interview well end up being the best asset to our company. It’s a fine line.
What we look for in an employee is someone that is motivated, hardworking and understands this is a career choice, not just a job. They must have a true passion for what we do and be prepared to go “above and beyond” as well as believe in a supremely high level of customer service.
Additionally, they should genuinely care about what they do and people they encounter and as well as be proactive, honest and at all times professional and courteous. It’s a big list, but the best agents have all of those and much more.
As a business owner, my challenges are different now to what they used to be. As a Property Manager, some of my challenges were (and still are) when you’re the middleman between tenants and landlords. Sometimes they just can’t see eye to eye and that’s the nature of the beast. A lot of Property Managers find this hard to handle, but the good ones learn how to be proactive, how to negotiate and how to look at what the desired outcome is and then be able to get both parties to that outcome. It is rewarding when it all goes to plan, but frustrating when it doesn’t! I think one of the most important things, though, is to know what you’re talking about. This sounds easy, but I have watched plenty of Property Managers try to “wing it”. People can often see through this, especially if you’re dealing with someone who knows their stuff.
If you don’t know the answer, be honest and just say you will look into it and come back to them. This is always better than guessing or lying, as you will eventually be found out and that is a LOT worse.
We are excited about adding new members to our team and developing new projects for the future. We have a goal for more of our staff to achieve their Real Estate Licenses and Auctioneers accreditation. We have just employed a really good trainer who the team responds well to, so we will continue to hone our skills and add value to our skillset. Each year we do our goals, and if we can achieve them, there are some great things ahead. My husband recently negotiated $150 million worth of property to a developer in an area that is set to have substantial growth and we are currently working on deals worth tens of millions of dollars all over Sydney. There are so many opportunities in all facets of property these days, so we are expanding into areas that we had never even considered before. Our goal is to keep doing what we do and continue to offer our clients personal service and achieve premium results. But we have upped the ante in the types of deals we have started doing. It’s exciting!
Being a new mum has added its challenges to also being a successful business owner; however, I am looking forward to juggling my many hats and reaching new goals with our team and balancing this with family life.
People say you can’t have it all, but the person who said that wasn’t a Property Manager! I love our industry; it is such an amazing career and we feel privileged to do what we do. If you are looking to get into real estate, then do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it because you think you will make heaps of money. Do it because you are passionate about it and because that is what you want to do. It takes hard work and dedication, and if you do it right, then money becomes a by-product of what we do, but that shouldn’t be your motivation. Just be all you can be and you will love it. Good luck to all of you!