Real estate agents are turning off customers by driving a Maserati, Porsche, Ferrari or Bentley, according to Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty managing director Michael Pallier.
“It’s not a good look to turn up in a car that’s too flashy or even an overly expensive watch,” said Mr Pallier, who will be telling agents exactly that at the AREC conference on the Gold Coast on June 2-3.
Ironically, Mr Pallier spent the first 14 years of his working life selling Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes Benz cars and was consistently the top salesperson for each of these luxury brands in Australia.
He’s been in the real estate game for 22 years and sold 1000 houses in Sydney’s east.
Since the start of 2013, he has personally sold 36 homes priced at more than $10m each and 48 homes in excess of $9m each.
His brief for AREC — what’s described as “the world’s greatest real estate event” — is to reveal his secrets to being one of Australia’s best real estate agents.
And he says being too “ostentatious” isn’t one of them — unlike many of the agents he sees in his Double Bay neighbourhood, he and his team drive “fairly normal” cars.
After selling a $33m Rose Bay house, the buyer once apologised to him for dirtying the carpet in Mr Pallier’s Holden.
He’s since upgraded to a black Lexus and doesn’t even wear a watch, instead relying on his phone.
The only issue he faces with his Lexus is that people think he’s an Uber driver. “The famous chef Luke Mangan came out of Catalina [restaurant in Rose Bay] once and said politely, ‘Driver, can you take me home’.”
The ever-helpful Mr Pallier simply obliged.
He lives and works by some basic principles: “Just think about providing the very best service for your clients — it’s not about the agent,” he said.
“What I think has happened is that the agent thinks they’re something special and everyone else thinks they’re ridiculous.”
He says some eastern suburbs agents have got it wrong: “The harder they try, the more doubt they imply.”
Mr Pallier advises: “Don’t turn up in anything too ostentatious — just something reliable and neat and tidy.
“Maseratis, Bentleys, Ferraris … come on, get real!
“Be just a real person that people can identify with, and be good at your job — it’s about service.
“I saw one agent in his Porsche admiring himself in the rear vision mirror at the traffic lights the other day and I thought ‘What is this guy doing?’
“I think you should look at the agents on ‘Million-Dollar Listing’ and do the complete opposite.”
Mr Pallier, who counts his country upbringing in Wollongong “a blessing”, said his father was a plumber and his mother hadn’t worked since his parents got married 57 years ago.
“They’ve lived in the same house for 57 years, which is very bad for the real estate industry,” he said.
“They don’t even have a mobile.”
But he thanks them for encouraging a strong work ethic and a desire to help people.
He recites the words of the late American author, salesman and motivational speaker, Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Mr Pallier believes real estate agents would be better off investing in property than their expensive cars. “How can you advise people what to buy and sell if you’ve not invested in it yourself?” he asks.
AREC 2019 will be held Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sunday 1st June & Monday 2nd June 2019. For further information or registrations for AREC 2019 please visit www.arecconference.com or call 1800 335 336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org