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Seeing the long game with Todd Lucas

With Todd Lucas Fletchers Real Estate, Ringwood

A surgeon learns how to be a surgeon over a period of many years, working alongside someone far more skilled and wise than them. The same is true in real estate. Working alongside a master agent for a number of years can empower a less experienced agent to have a long and successful career.

At 21 years of age, Todd Lucas got serious and realised that if he was going to be a success in the industry, he needed to work alongside one of the best. So he did just that. He talked himself into a job as a leverage agent for one of Melbourne’s most outstanding agents. In 2015, the years, time and effort he put into his apprenticeship paid off when the sales consultant and auctioneer with Fletchers won REIV Outstanding Young Agent of the Year.

Todd’s transition to exceptional solo agent started about six years ago. Working in a small office in the Manningham area, in Melbourne’s northeastern suburbs, Todd simply wasn’t cutting through. He realised there was an art to selling property and he needed to learn from a master practitioner. He says, “I started to study the marketplace that I worked in and Traci Stella was one that stood out. I started to follow her listings and follow the marketplace that she was in.”

Everywhere he went, in a highly competitive market with lots of real estate legends, Todd heard the name Traci Stella. He says, “When I was doing open for inspections or when I had an appraisal, I'd seem to always hear, ‘Traci Stella'd been in’ or ‘Traci Stella's been here’ or ‘We're going to go with Traci Stella’. I thought, jeez, that competitor's obviously doing something right.” He knew she was the one he could learn from.

Made the call and advocated for himself

Hearing that she was looking for a personal assistant, Todd called Traci and created his first sale – convincing her to take him on. He recalls, “I called her and said, ‘I'm Todd Lucas. I work at another agency close by to you. I hear you're looking for another assistant coming up in the next couple of months’.” He added, "’Can I just come in and have a chat to you? Just give me a go’. Traci did and we had a good chat in the office and thankfully she offered me the job and we went from there. I served nearly a fouryear apprenticeship with Traci Stella as her assistant and buyer's agent.”

In that time, Todd learned to anticipate what Traci needed that day, week and for the month and gave Traci the assurance that she could trust him completely.

He recalls, “Traci said, ‘I want to trust you. I just want to know that you're doing the job. You let me know when you need me’. We effectively would try to transform two agents into one. We both wanted to be agents under the one banner, the Traci Stella banner. That's where we got to.”

As part of her team, Todd prioritised and diarised calls, allowing Traci to focus on the ones that needed her attention to make sales in the next few weeks and to follow up clients further down the pipeline. After a year of working with Traci, he realised he wanted to be a solo agent but that he needed to build his profile so had to master buyer management, hot buyers, call backs and be a stand out at opens before going it alone. He knew he had to give really great buyer service because, as he says, “Eventually your buyers are going to become sellers.”

Working the buyers

While still working with Traci, Todd listened to his clients and his open for inspection questions got better and his call backs got better which built his profile.

"Eventually your buyers are going to become sellers."

He says, “I started getting more information from people coming through. It wasn't just, ‘Are you interested in the property, yes or no?’ It was, ‘Where are you coming from today? How long have you been looking for? What are you looking for specifically?’ Getting more information and then asking the questions, ‘If you purchased this property, what would you do with yours?’ You just start to get more and more information.”

Todd and Traci then focused on their hot buyers list and found out what they were looking for and categorised them. Todd says, “I wanted to make sure that I knew about every single property that came on in that marketplace and I wanted to be ringing my potential owner-sellers and telling them about it. Even if it was listed with the other agent, I wanted to make sure that I got in first and if I didn't get in first, at least they knew that I was on to it and it gave me a reason to ring them back the next week. I still do this today.”

He adds, “It gave me a good profile to then ring other buyers or other people in the area and be like, ‘Oh, you've got that one around the corner. It's not listed with us, but a couple of my buyers have been through it’."

After two years of focusing on buyersellers and being a standout in the open and the call backs, Todd found he had a hot buyer list of over 50 very quickly. He recalls, “People were calling me for appraisals and people were ringing in and saying, ‘Todd, can you come out and appraise our home?’ I was taking Traci, but I already had that bit of profile.” Gradually Traci trusted him so they would list the property and Todd would do some of the vendor management whilst under the traineeship.

The apprentice was almost ready to go out on his own. Trusting in time and appreciating the wisdom and science in selling has paid off for Todd – big time. 

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