In his late 20s, Matt found himself at a crossroads in his life. He had grown up working on his family farm, gaining his strong work ethic from his father, and had also wet his beak in sales, when he moved into machinery importation and sales. In Matt’s own words, “If you’ve ever had to sell anything to anyone, the most suspicious people you’ll meet are farmers, so that’s a bit of a challenge”.
Fast forward to now, and Matt is the Director and Property Consultant at Stuart Weston Real Estate. While working on the farm is now a distant memory, Matt has carried his work ethic with him throughout his career, crediting it with leading him to where he is today.
Moving from his family farm to the city was a big step for Matt. Through a family friend, Matt found his way to Stuart, of Stuart Weston Real Estate. He started out as a Buyer Manager and endeavoured to learn as much as he could in his new industry.
After roughly six to eight months, Matt thought he was ready to branch out and become a fully-fledged sales rep. Starting out with very little knowledge of what to do, he went back to what he had been taught by his father, “if you work hard, it works”.
Starting out with no training and no one to model himself on, Matt found himself working minimum 80-hour weeks in the first two to three years. Starting each day with 5am letter drops, then straight to the office to start his minimum of 100 phone calls before lunch, followed by being back out on the streets door knocking. Matt had no systems in place and was working himself ragged.
As the years went by, his GCI steadily grew until Matt hit a ceiling. He wasn’t advancing and was quickly running out of energy.
In 2017 after acquiring a small share of Stuart Weston, Matt realised things needed to change. As the old saying goes, ‘the height of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results’.
Matt knew he could sell, but at what cost? He wasn’t enjoying the process, he wasn’t getting any time off and this began to plague him. It was at this time Matt started looking for something a bit sustainable.
This was also the year that Matt first attended Home Grown Heroes, an annual event held by Ryan featuring motivational insights from some of the leading agents within the industry. After attending Home Grown Heroes and being introduced to Ryan, Matt and Ryan began working closely together.
This led to a huge year of change for Matt and his business. One of the first things Ryan identified was that Matt needed to take on a buyer manager in order to grow his business. After taking on a buyer manager and growing his EBU, Matt was able to handle more volume while at the same time having more time off.
This enabled him to go into negotiation with Stuart and buy out the remaining shareholding.
Through Ryan’s mentorship, Matt gained a clear understanding of how a multi-layered prospecting system would work for him. The ‘12 Point Marketing Plan’, which sits on the wall in his office, is a large factor of Matt’s attraction-based business. Whether he is having a good week, a bad week, a fun time or not so fun, that marketing and prospecting plan continues to happen.
At the end of his first year working with Ryan, Matt was able to write $720,000. A huge change for him. For the first time in his real estate career, Matt had a coach that held him accountable and a system that was working.
Moving into 2018, Matt set the attainable goal of $1million. At the end of the financial year, even though he fell just short of this goal, Matt now has regular time off, has purchased his dream home, and has gone on multiple holidays travelling the world. The power of the system Matt now has in place means it doesn’t rely entirely on him. He managed to be the highest writer in the state in January of 2018 while Matt was away on holiday.
In Matt’s own words:
When people ask me about real estate, how it works and why I do it, I always remind myself, there are very few jobs you can do where your results are only limited by how much work you put in. Think of engineers, you go to university to get an engineering degree. If you want to be a lawyer, you get a law degree. So many jobs we do or might do, you have to put in so many hard-yards first, and whilst no-one’s ever limited, you are through the hierarchy of the kinds of jobs by how much you can make and how far you can go. Whereas in real estate you can start as a buyer manager and end up owning the business if you want to, you can even go further than that if you want to. That is what really attracted me to it. I figured, I know how to work hard, and hard work is what it takes.
After 7 years, the sky is now the limit for Matt.
Matts key takeaways from his first few years in the real estate business are:
- You have to work hard
- Implement Systems and Structures
- Challenge yourself
- It’s never too late to change your direction
- It doesn’t matter where you start
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help