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Change for the better with Alan Bowler

With Alan Bowler, Partner / Selling Specialist, McGrath Central Coast

Alan Bowler started his real estate career at the age of 17. That was about 34 years ago and during that time he has achieved a significant number of runs on the board. The son of renowned Central Coast real estate agent, Kathy Bowler, Alan ran Kathy Bowler Real Estate for many years before transitioning the agency to operate under the McGrath banner in Gosford as a joint branch in 2007. Eventually, Alan made the decision to return to his roots and passion – sales, not unlike McGrath Central Coast co-director, Mat Steinwede. Alan doesn't manage or lead a business; that's not his strength. His strength and passion lie in selling real estate.

Alan says, “It was a decision that was made jointly between myself and Jaimie (Woodcock). At the time, I was managing the Gosford team and Jaimie was managing the Terrigal team. It was just the two businesses at the time, and it was a case of two heads leading the businesses where it really wasn't necessary. Mat (Steinwede) came to me and suggested that Jaimie lead both offices while I concentrate on selling. I have to admit it was a relief as managing the business wasn't my forte and Jaimie is a brilliant leader. It’s important to utilise skills where they achieve the best outcomes for the business as a whole. So that’s what we did."

What's special about McGrath Central Coast?

McGrath Central Coast want their agents to be at the top of their game and to ensure the McGrath brand and experience is accessible to all. Having worked for so many years at Kathy Bowler real estate, Alan has had the benefit of being able to look at McGrath from the perspective of an outsider within the industry. He assumed before he started with McGrath that the brand only handled high-end property sales. His perception shifted however, once he started with the group.

Alan says, “From the outside looking in, I'd always thought McGrath was focused on the sale of high-end real estate. But I quickly learned that McGrath stands for the quality presentation of a piece of real estate. There is a big difference. It’s about how the property is seen in the newspaper; how it is presented. That was a light bulb moment for me. And it’s the same for some people, who initially think their property isn’t worthy of being sold under the McGrath banner. When they discover that nothing could be further from the truth and their modest three bedroom, one bathroom brick and tile home is the perfect fit for the brand, they are delighted. At McGrath the focus is on ensuring every property is represented to the highest possible level in the media. After all, doesn't every property deserve that chance of a great price?"

Securing the best price

McGrath Central Coast objective is to achieve the best possible price for the owner, and that begins with property presentation. It distinguishes their properties from the rest and entices buyers to form an emotional connection to a property. Without that emotional connection, it’s far more difficult to extract a premium price.

Alan says, “Once you position a property with the right presentation it stands that property in good stead to achieve the best price from the marketplace. At the end of the day, only one person can buy a property and our objective is for every potential buyer that is interested in buying a property within our client’s price expectation to bid on that property or put in a decent offer."

An Attraction Business

Not only does McGrath Central Coast consist of a group of sales professionals who are known as ‘attraction agents’, but you could say the brand itself is also an ‘attraction business’. Their powerful database of local and Sydney buyers was another key reason why Alan first made the switch to McGrath.

Alan says, “I tell my story to any potential vendor I'm speaking with. I explain the database to them and why it was one of the keys to making my decision to join McGrath and how the database makes McGrath Central Coast an attraction business, meaning its easy for local and Sydney buyers to find properties listed with us. Naturally that’s going to benefit them if they choose to list with us."

Building your profile in a new service area

Alan has recently been assigned to increase the brand’s market share in the Point Frederick and East Gosford areas. When asked how he will approach getting known in that area and what his advice would be to new agents breaking into a new service area, Alan says, "I’m lucky here because with 34 years experience on the Coast I have a history here and I know a few people. If I were a new agent however, I would tell myself that getting known requires a significant investment of time and money. It's not about throwing letterbox drops out there and hoping things will magically transpire. Letterbox drops are simply one piece of the big puzzle.

It’s about getting off your backside and putting a concerted and consistent effort into making phone calls, door knocking your core area and nurturing potential leads. Then as you start to get some listings and runs on the board, you door knock with those updates. These are all seeds that need to be watered over a long period of time. The fundamental component of any successful agent is following up, having conversations with clients about where they're going in the future, diarising when you're going to be contacting them again, and drip feeding information to them, so that when they eventually make a decision, they will think to themselves, ‘That Alan Bowler has been in touch with me on a regular basis and offered us useful information. I'll give him a call’. As agents, we should aim to be on the shopping list of all property owners in our core area."

Walk before you run

With Alan’s vast experience in real estate he has witnessed many agents come and go. One of the reasons for this is that they have been expected to fill a role that was beyond their experience levels and meet certain targets too quickly.

Alan says, “Agents need to acquire a certain level of knowledge and experience before they can go out there and sell real estate. A client recently questioned me on my commission fee and I responded by asking, 'If you knew you were listing with the number one agent in the office, would you be willing to pay more for that agent than if you were listing with the lowest ranked agent in the office?’ The question for a new agent is how do you think you can expect to win more listings and sell more properties than agents who have 15, 20 or even 30 years experience out in the field? My advice to any new agent coming in to the business would be to start off in a team. Learn all you can about listing and selling real estate from the associate you’ve been assigned to. Accompanying him or her to presentations will enable you to acquire knowledge without being under pressure to perform at the highest level as a solo agent. We all have to learn to walk before we can run."

It's a good time to be working on the central coast

Alan says, “We've gone from a sleepy town to being well on our way to becoming an attraction location. Things are slowly changing for the better with some well-known developers coming to the area to change the face of Gosford and other parts of the Central Coast. We should be very proud of our new look and excited for what’s yet to come. Change is inevitable and this is a change for the better. It’s very, very exciting, and I honestly believe there’s never been a better time to work in real estate on the Central Coast."


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