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Diane Grant, When Two is Better Than One

There’s an old saying that behind every good man is a good woman. The same could be said of real estate agents: that behind every good real estate agent is an outstanding administrator. And no one knows this more than Diane Grant.

Diane is one half of the amazingly successful, Team Grant at Ray White Lower North Shore office in Sydney. Her husband, Danny Grant handles auctions and sales while she handles administration and marketing. Diane is so good at what she does, she was recently awarded, the Ray White Administrator of the Year award.

Diane said, “The administrator is the second most important role in there - although, if you talk to the administrator it’s the most important role. They’re the person who actually helps the agent function to get things done. I can turn marketing around in half an hour and get a proof out to the vendor quickly. We can list something on a Monday morning and get photos done on the Tuesday and open on the Saturday.”

Administrators, Diane believes, have to be as smart as the agent and be able to put out fires when necessary. They have to have a mature outlook so they can speak to clients, see themselves as integral to the sale, assist the negotiation process along by providing the right information at the right time and also be able to do things well that the agent can’t do.

Importantly, Diane thinks the best administrators are those with a background in real estate. ‘The real estate side is the hardest thing to teach,” she explained. Diane started her career in real estate as an agent, but gradually transitioned from a full blown lister to marketing administration and running the prospecting program.

As she explained, “It was hard (transitioning) and it took a two year process to let go. And by letting go, I was letting go of the role. I was letting go of the guilt of not doing the role but, at the same time looking at the practicalities. Danny and I would go to a listing together, we’d go to an appraisal together, we’d do everything together which meant, by the time we were going back to the office, I had less and less time to do everything.

“My background is administration, so I was a lot stronger in that role compared to Danny and Danny’s background was more negotiations so we had those two bases covered.”

While many may think working with their spouse would be a death knell to their relationship, Diane has found that it has only served to strengthen her marriage.

She said, “Danny and I have never had a problem with working together because we think along the same lines and if we’re coming from the same page then there’s never a problem. We discuss everything of what we want to do so it’s just not one person driving everything - it’s the two of us having a chat about it.”

Danny and Diane recently added twins to the mix. Diane now works three days a week and she and Danny see their jobs as a family business. Working together has allowed them to combine work and family. She said, “It gives us the flexibility. I think if I was in a normal nine to five job, it just wouldn’t be as enjoyable. We can do things together.”

Before she went on maternity leave, Diane compiled a 350 point check list for her replacement. As she explained, “It was quite a weird experience actually because I had so much stuff in my head that I needed to download to somebody new. And you just can’t bombard them with stuff; they’re never going to remember everything. So, creating the manual checklist meant that every single thing that I did became the checklist of over 350 points.”

According to Diane, good administrators are involved in every aspect of the sales process, keeping the wheels oiled so that the sales process is seamless. The key areas of her involvement include:

Prospecting

Before she had children, Diane would do cold lead, prospecting calls. While that doesn’t happen as often now due to time constraints, she still prepares new street prospecting letters, deal cards, database marketing plus artwork, copy and printing. She said, “Danny will handle the hotter listings or the people that he’s been dealing with one-on-one. My prospecting role is perhaps everybody else in the database.”

Prelisting

Diane explained, “I’ll create the prelisting kit and if time permits for myself I’ll go out and deliver that for him. I will also do marketing because Danny likes to be fully equipped with a blank Agency Agreement because you never know when you’ll need one and some marketing so he can show a sample.”

Listing

Once a listing has been secured, Diane looks after the detail. She said, “I take the Agency Agreement and check over everything to make sure it meets compliance. I check the Appraisal form and confer with the vendor in terms of marketing bookings, open house times and auction details.”

Marketing

One of Diane’s pivotal roles is in the marketing. She creates marketing proofs and will do everything for a property up until the first open house. She attends every open house with Danny as it gives her the opportunity to meet buyers.

Auctions, sales and exchanges

Diane deals with solicitors and handles the exchange and contracts. Her newborn twins are already exchange and auction veterans! As Diane said, “That’s what happens when you don’t have anybody to look after them at that time and all of our clients are fine with that. We’re a family area and they just sit within the pram or our clients just give them a cuddle, so it’s nice.”

Settlement

At the time of settlement, Diane said, “I generally deal with valuation reports. If there’s a building report that might need to be done, Danny and I liaise with that. If we’ve got a valuer going in on a day that I’m not there, well then I can’t go to that, so Danny will do that so we share those tasks and roles together.

“Generally for pre-settlement inspections, I will arrange all of that and do them myself and hand over keys for settlements but again, if it’s on a day that I can’t be there, I can’t physically do it so Danny will take that over but I prearrange it and we just dovetail everything together.”

Once settlement is competed and the keys have been handed over, it all starts again. Diane updates the details on the database and fulfils compliance and then the same process begins.

There is no doubt that real estate is a team sport. A great salesperson needs a great administrator working behind the scenes, making the calls, and facilitating the sale. Diane Grant is living proof of what can happen when two forces combine into one.

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Diane and Danny Grant