Top 5 with Sam Guo and Julia Kuo #AREC16

I’m live-blogging #AREC16 from the Gold Coast. Here are my top learnings from Sam Guo and Julia Kuo: Authenticity.

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Our first ‘twin presenters’ of the conference, Sam and Julia are also ‘locals’ to AREC being based down here on the Gold Coast. And they’re taking questions from AREC founder John McGrath.

  1. Clear Team Roles: Sam does the negotiating, Julia does the marketing, they BOTH go to Listing presentations and key meetings. I’ve seen real estate sales teams where nobody wants to be responsible for specific tasks – or worse, two or more of the team want to be responsible, so they all get involved.Responsibility is like playing doubles tennis – if you both reach for the ball, it doesn’t work. If neither of you make the shot, it doesn’t work. It only works when you’re both super clear on who is covering exactly which areas of the court.
  2. Always be monitoring your market! Julia buys the paper every week, sure – but she also drives around to see who is renovating, who is moving, who is dying (that last one was a joke, kind of). And then have the conversations – be in discussion with sellers BEFORE they’re ready to sell.
  3. These guys are attraction agents, but even they lose Listings from time to time. How do they deal with that? Sam takes it out at the gym four times per week – which also manages his energy. He quotes Serena Williams – the sign of the champion is how they bounce back from falling down.
  4. Formulas and Business Models – I thought this was going to be my kind of question!, but it’s more around Auctions and Newspaper Advertising as a model. Julia says the key to Sales is catching people in motion, and Auctions help put and keep sellers and buyers in motion. I’m happy to express my bias here – I’m a big believer in Auctions, and while I don’t like to sell my property investments the one time I did, I had no hesitation selling by Auction. (I’d love to see more Tenders, but the buyers aren’t ready for that so alas for now it rarely works.)
    Newspapers, however, I’m less convinced. Sam is correct that not every buyer will see the ads on (etc), but I think a wider net approach only applies to properties where the buyer is less committed to a specific suburb or area. For example, a $2 million house will attract specific buyers regardless of suburb, while a $300,000 house will not. I really like how Sam and Julia pivoted their answer into a discussion about the importance of real estate agents as marketing agents, who need to create the best marketing plan for each property each time. And that may or may not include newspaper advertising.
  5. How is dealing with Asian buyers different to dealing with ‘Australia’ buyers (yes, the two categories overlap). Julia reinforces a point Vivien Yap made – we’re lucky that we’re Chinese! Which really means that they naturally understand some of the cultural nuances – needing to feel they’ve got a deal / ‘won’ something extra from you; being very cautious and requiring watertight guidance; wanting an agent who brings the right, high energy levels because your energy reflects the feel of the house. Sam and Julia advertise in Chinese media – both print and social.
    Ultimately, Trust is key when dealing with Chinese / Asian buyers … just as it is with every client, although how you win that trust may differ a little. Asked about the tips they would give to new agents – apart from Speak Chinese!, it comes down to attitude: Be Authentic.

Our next speaker is Jared Cooksley – live blogged here.

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Fancy a coffee?

Jacob Aldridge is a co-founder and business coach at Real Estate Grow.

If you’re a real estate Principal looking for fresh ways to help you work on your business, let’s chat. Contact me on either 0427 151 181 or

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Julia Kuo and Sam Guo
Julia Kuo and Sam Guo

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