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Achieving real estate excellence: Warburton Estate Agents on the keys to success

Established in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales in 1976, Warburton Estate Agents has grown to become one of the largest and most successful real estate agencies in the region. Boasting a leading market share in Muswellbrook and Scone, Warburton’s has the largest team of sales agents specialising in residential, rural, and commercial property in the area. Warburton’s achievements and professionalism has been recognised through several award wins, including the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Award for the Best Medium Real Estate Agency in Australia in 2020, and the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Award for Excellence as the Best Medium Real Estate Agency in 2021, 2017 and 2016.

Sandy Warburton is the Principal and Licensee in Charge at Warburton Estate Agents and is recognised as one of the Upper Hunter’s top sales agents. He is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, Licensed Stock Station Agent, an Accredited Auctioneer, and is currently Deputy President of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW). Being an admirable and inspirational leader in the real estate industry, Securexchange had the opportunity to speak to Sandy about the keys to building a successful real estate agency, his advice for aspiring agents, and property market predictions for the remainder of the year.

1. What are your top three tips for real estate agencies and professionals on building a strong team culture and successful business?

My top three tips of advice are:

  • Foster open and honest communication and transparency. 
  • Create a workplace where employees feel valued and safe.
  • Develop a set of shared core values amongst the team. For example, our team participate in workshops to establish these core values, so they have a level of ownership of them and will keep each other accountable.

2.What do you think makes a successful team and what qualities are most important for real estate agents?

A successful team is grown from a culture of communication, fairness, and honesty. While skills can be developed, attitude and personality are inherent. The most important qualities of a successful real estate agent are a positive attitude, discipline, and a strong teamwork ethic. Accordingly, we now recruit team members on this basis and train for skill.

3. What sets Warburton Estate Agents apart and what are you most proud of?

Warburton Estate Agents stands out due to our team culture and unwavering commitment to open and honest communication. Our success goes beyond selling properties and it’s about the strong relationships we build within our team and with our clients. I emphasize team culture, communication, and honesty but it’s because these elements are fundamental to our agency and achievements.

4. How do you prioritise client satisfaction and what measures do you take to ensure you build and maintain strong relationships in a competitive market?

We have an order of importance when it comes to any interaction with clients, which our team are coached on. At Warburton’s, the client is first, brand second, and yourself third.
The frequency of communication builds trust and our team are encouraged to have regular communication with our clients. Additionally, speed of response has become increasingly important, so we have standards around return calls, email replies, and we use technology to provide instant replies to website enquiries to support a positive client experience. 

 5. What strategies do you recommend for agents to network and establish relationships in a more regional environment?

Face to face communication and networking is the strongest way of building and establishing relationships in a regional environment. Attending and supporting community events and functions is of particular importance, as the community appreciate and recognise the involvement and support. When it comes to connecting online, we have found that social media networking through Instagram and Facebook has greater local regional success. 

6. How would you describe the current property market in the Hunter?

Buyer activity is not quite as strong as it was 18 months ago but volume of stock available has depleted, so the effects of supply and demand are keeping the market buoyant with prices still increasing. Median priced properties are still attracting multiple offers and this competition is pushing prices upward.

What trends are you seeing in the market in your area?

Outer metropolitan Sydney is still supplying a lot of migration to our region, particularly to modern median priced homes. First home buyers are very active at present and rental returns are still attractive to investors, albeit with interest rates higher than two years ago. 

8. What are your projections for the future of the property market this year?

The housing crisis and immigration numbers into Australia suggest that the property market will remain strong. Continued work from home popularity will see regional property strengthen particularly regions like the Upper Hunter that are within three hours from Sydney. All the above and the lack of residential development over the past decade will see continued strong growth for our region over the next few years.

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