How to survive the property market downturn: Top agent David Walker tells AREC 2019 why it is time to say no to d***heads

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AREC 2019 Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, June 02, 2019. Picture: SOPHIE FOSTER

ONE of Australia’s top real estate agents has told the property sector to embrace the changes currently affecting the national market, or get left behind.

Ray White top selling agent David Walker, director of Ray White Wahroonga/Turramurra, has so far weathered the property downturn in Sydney, telling the AREC 2019 Conference that stock levels in his Upper North Shore region had been down 30 to 40 per cent.

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AREC 2019 — Agent speakers — David Walker (Ray White). Pic: Supplied/McGrath.

“It would be easy to get down but over the past 12 months, we have looked at where we can grow, run more efficiently and become a business of attraction,” he said.

And that, he said, was key to surviving a downturn, and growing as a business into the future.

Sydney and Melbourne have been hardest hit by the property downturn after years of eye-watering prices, but Brisbane, which has been steady, has not been immune, with much smaller falls across the region.

So how do you survive the hard times?

Mr Walker said the key is to remember that “no matter how bad it gets, it is not permanent”.

He told the crowd that standing out meant making a listings presentation count — and grab the attention of vendors.

“It is the rock concert for musicians, game day for athletes,” he said.

“That’s the time to showcase your point of difference and pull away from your competitors.”

And that includes being honest about your weaknesses.

David Walker speaking at AREC 2019

He advised those in the industry to focus on culture — “positivity, trust and no d***heads”.

“You spend more time at work than you do with your own family so you don’t want to take oxygen thieves in to your business,” he said.

He said that three things for a top agent to remember was to “know your market, your product and your pitch”, and remember “sh*tty things happen.”

“Change is coming to our industry and it is coming fast,” he said. “Change and growth is difficult but there is nothing harder in life than being stuck in a place you don’t want to be.”

* The 22nd Australian Real Estate Conference (AREC) is being held on the Gold Coast today and tomorrow.

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