“The industry in our area is a very male dominated field, it has been a challenge since day one”
Principal Lois Buckett Real Estate
With over 24 years in real estate, Lois has built a successful business in a man’s world. Lois spoke to EAC Industry Reporter, Lisa B to share her experiences and insights into the making of a leading (female) agent.
How long have you been in real estate and how did you start?
I have been in real estate for 24 years in Lennox Head. I moved to Lennox Head with my young family and started as a receptionist for a long term family owned business, called Pidcocks Real Estate.
I worked as a receptionist, then property manager, holiday manager and then I went into sales. After separating from my husband in early 2000, I needed to support myself and my kids so thought I would start my own business – it suited me and the children who were still in primary school in Lennox Head.
How do you think real estate has changed in the last 10 years?
Real estate has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Technology, the internet and how we communicate with vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants. Email and texting are the main ways we communicate with clients.
Buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords check us out – they do their homework long before they make a call.
We build relationships on email and over the phone often well before we meet in person.
Reputation is everything in real estate and trusted relationships take time to develop.
What would you say to agents that are scared about the proposed changes in NSW real estate?
Change happens every day – often we are not aware of how quickly change is happening until it slaps you in the face. The real estate industry is and has been going through a big shake up with more to come. Compared to other industries for example like what Uber has done to the taxi industry, we are only at the beginning of dramatic change.
If you are thinking of going into real estate you need to keep abreast of these changes and constantly undergo training to be up to date with industry regulations.
How do you handle rejection in real estate?
Water off a duck’s back. Don’t take it personally. If you take things personally or focus on how much money you can make then you won’t last long.
Clients do not like commission breath.
What advice would you give someone new to real estate?
If you are thinking of going into real estate you need to keep abreast of rules and regulations which change regularly. Constantly undergo training and be up to date with industry regulations – this is essential.
Have enough capital to back yourself until you build up a secure client base.
You’ve been a member of EAC for sometime and you’re now on the board. What does EAC do for you and why would you recommend EAC to other real estate agents that are non members?
I have been a member of EAC since first starting my business over 15 years ago. They were recommended to me by a number of other members from the Ballina area. Namely Peter Savage who is now retired. The forms we use for agency agreements have been well used over the years by my agency.
EAC keep up to date with the changes which is reflected in the agreements and stationary they provide to members. You can trust they have the most up to date information required, which has let me focus on running the business.
EAC also has a comprehensive mapping and land date information which is well used by not only real estate businesses but property valuers.
EAC are constantly working on improving this system with more changes and updates coming.
I am the first female to be on the board in the last 18 years. I love contributing to the discussions and being part of the changes which I feel help all real estate professionals. This at the same time gives women in real estate a voice.
EAC like any business is going through changes and it is refreshing to be part of a business that wants to do well in the marketplace. Ideas are discussed openly at board meetings and decisions made to benefit our members and help them grow their businesses.
We all need to be moving with the times and changes in the marketplace. I feel EAC is well placed to offer a range of services from software, stationary, advice, training, websites. They are at the forefront of using video which in turn has made it easy for agents to use.
Another day in paradise, right out front of the office
How big is your farm area?
We cover an extensive area across Ballina Shire, Byron Bay Shire and Lismore Shire. The bulk of our base is in Lennox Head, Ballina and Bangalow, however, we also cover the Hinterland and large rural properties.
For what is a relatively small area how have you been so successful.
COMMITMENT, HARD WORK AND HONESTY have been the constants in building up the business. Ensuring we are adequately staffed and that we work as a team under the same banner is imperative.
I am also involved in sponsoring the local school and surf club. I make sure I enjoy and support my community. Building relationships within these parameters by contributing both financially and giving of my time to create a “presence” is crucial.
I consider myself a good listener and relate to people on all levels. It’s a “people” business and I like people.
What do you love about real estate?
Everything!! The interaction with clients, not being tied to a desk, inspecting amazing properties and always learning something new every day. It’s an active job both mentally and physically.
What challenges have you found as a female in real estate. Especially as the Licensee.
The industry in our area is a very male dominated field, it has been a challenge since day one. However, we are now making inroads from the female perspective. It’s a known fact that females make up to 80% of the final decision in real estate sales so it stands to reason that a woman can relate to both the male and the female. We’re savvy, smart, good at follow-up, maintaining relationships and listening.
How do you switch off from work and create a life balance?
I’m an ocean swimmer, I like swimming holidays. It’s good for the mind body and soul. Early morning beach walks with the dogs and travelling to interesting places – no matter how busy life is.
I enjoy cooking, gardening and relax over a glass of wine and have a good laugh with friends.
The TV rarely gets a look in at my house.
If you could go back in time… what advice would you give your younger self when you first started in real estate.
If I could start again, I would listen more to my gut feelings on all decisions both with employing people and personal relationships. You realise when you get a bit older there is a lot more to cram into this life and get on with it and have some fun along the way. We are incredibly lucky to live in this country. There is opportunity everywhere. Believe in yourself and seize it.
Keeping to a similar theme, how do you see the future of real estate and what advice would you give to yourself and others for how to manage the future.
Be ready and open for change.
The real estate market runs in cycles.
Never count your chickens before they hatch.
Always plan yearly and monthly but be flexible in your decisions.
We thank Lois for taking the time to share her thoughts with our Industry Reporter, Lisa B.
The EAC Team