What’s the biggest challenge to working in real estate? Q&A with Michael Gibson of Kay & Burton

Do you have a philosophy you try to live by? 

Personally, and one I try to convey to my kids, is the pursuit of health and happiness. From a work perspective, I say to my staff that if you’re on time in our business then you’re ten minutes late. I think people get it. I think what you’ve got to understand is that you’re dealing with, in the main, the greatest asset that people are going to own and you have to treat it accordingly. It’s hard to find the right word but I guess you just can’t compromise. You can’t compromise in terms of what standards are being expected of you and what clients are asking you to do. Another philosophy I would mention would be to definitely not take on too much as an agent and as an agency. Individually, don’t take on ten or fifteen properties at the one time if that is going to affect the value you can provide. You just can’t do justice to the vendor.

Do you think vendors have different expectations of agents today than in previous years? 

Yeah, I would say in terms of tech how it is used and its potential in the industry you have to have it at your disposal either as an individual or as a team and you need to be able to provide that expertise to your clients.

How do you think Kay & Burton is different from other agencies? 

I guess our business model is that we are vendor’s agents, so service to the vendor is paramount. As a result, we don’t take on too much and what goes with that is great service.

Following the property market’s peak in recent years and subsequent cooling, are you currently seeing an increase in buyer interest in your areas?

In terms of Toorak and South Yarra there are always homes that are so incredible that you don’t have to worry too much about market conditions. It’s clear that when you get a property such as one we have recently listed on the market, 9 Yar Orrong Road in Toorak, interest levels are solid regardless of the economic climate. With that home, we have a fabulously designed house that has been in the one family for nearly a quarter of a century, which is a testament to the quality of the property, and it’s a generational home. So, we expect to find a buyer that will own it for another 25 years.

In terms of the market, yes it’s clear that the bottom has come and gone and I think there is a nice base in the market again. The Royal Commission into financial services was definitely the biggest issue in recent times for many home buyers, and walking into the bank and borrowing money has become more difficult for some. So changes like those that APRA recently made to loosen home lending rules, and anything like that which can help buyers is welcomed and certainly on the minds of buyers at the moment. One thing I would say is that it wouldn’t surprise me to see an increase in international investment and activity in the near future from markets in Asia, especially from places like Hong Kong.

Keen to check out 9 Yar Orrong Road in Toorak? We can’t blame you. There are inspections for this luxurious 6-bedroom home scheduled across August. 

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