James Tostevin | Marshall White | Open Colleges
James Tostevin

Director of Marshall White

James Tostevin

"No one can prosper without training, guidance, advice and answers to the million small questions that inevitably will emerge throughout your career but especially early on."

James Tostevin has over 30 years experience in the real estate industry and is currently one of Australia’s highest ranked Real Estate Agents.

As Director of Marshall White in Melbourne, James’s exceptional passion and performance in sales is only matched by his skill and commitment to training and mentoring other Real Estate Consultants within the Marshall White group.

When not listing and selling real estate, James enjoys spending time with his wife Simone and six children.

1 What did you study and how has your career path evolved over time?

My father suggested getting into real estate. I initially worked with two of his friends, which was both good and bad because one was a tyrant; however, I learnt some very valuable lessons at an early age. It was realistically a job for the first eight to ten years, but then it became a career beyond that and I’m very relieved I chose such a brilliant business to get into.

2 How has your career path evolved over time?

Initially, I moved companies far too often because I was always looking for the next challenge and I was very easily sold to; in fact I was extremely gullible as a young man. I had what was then regarded as the traditional three years in property management, before moving into sales where the vast majority of the next 17 years was spent as a Salesperson, the last 11 years as a Director.

I’ve always strived to learn something positive from the people I’ve worked with and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some outstanding operators in my career. While most were willing to share, I still needed to show initiative and action the recommendations and ideas provided to get my business from one level to the next on a continual basis.

3 What is the secret to becoming one of Australia's most successful award-winning Estate Agents?

One of the things that’s underestimated about being successful in this industry is the consistency of prospecting/nurture calls, a certain number of appraisals weekly, attending training and courses/seminars and being willing to always learn and feeling I can improve further no matter what success I’ve had.

The prospecting calls I’ve made in my career and the time management skills around those calls I make have had an enormous impact on my success in the industry. My naturally competitive instinct, a fierce desire to win and extremely high energy levels have also been absolutely vital.

4 What are your top three tips for someone looking to get started in the real estate/ property services industry?

1. From day one in your career, have a mentor who can be a sounding board and can provide guidance and advice with every aspect of your real estate career. 
2. Be prepared to make more phone calls than you ever imagined when you first got into real estate. If an agent is not making at least 100 calls weekly (I make 200 calls weekly), then they are not serious about their career.
3. Learn the importance of excellent time management skills as soon as possible, as this will always have a profound impact on the momentum you generate and the success you enjoy in the industry.

5 What does your role as a Real Estate Agent involve?

My personal focus at Marshall White is to generate listing opportunities, manage and sell those properties, conduct auctions and provide training and mentoring to a considerable number of people within the Marshall White group. One thing I enjoy immensely is fast tracking the careers of young and/or inexperienced people so they can achieve success in their chosen career and financial benefits they didn’t imagine were possible.

6 Anything else you would like to add?

The key thing when you get into real estate is to be patient, understand and appreciate that it can take three to five years before you make substantial inroads in your given area and the company you have chosen to work with. It’s absolutely vital that the company you work with offers continual sales training and you’re not left to your find your way in this industry. No one can prosper without training, guidance, advice and answers to the million small questions that inevitably will emerge throughout your career, but especially early on.

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