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Kris Casey, in a league of her own

Kris Casey knows a thing or two about people. More than most, she knows what makes people tick and what they need from a real estate agent. It is this knowledge that has made Kris from Harris Real Estate in South Australia one of the top real estate agents in Australia and recently earned her the accolade of the number one salesperson for South Australia.

In the real estate game for thirteen years, Kris had an incredible year with 91 sales and 51 auctions, With properties ranging from $200,000 to over the $1,000,000 mark, Kris’s average sale price was around $670,000 and she generated over $1,000,000 in fees. Impressive!

When 70 per cent of business is repeat and referrals, that comes from doing the right thing every time.

With 70 per cent of her business generated through repeat business and referrals, Kris puts her success down to her ability to build relationships. She says, “I’ve never stopped having an interest in someone once the business is done. I think a lot of people get to the sale point and then that’s the end of their relationship with someone, whereas I think my relationship changes then. I’m not the person they need in their life to be ringing them each day, but I’ve earned the trust, I’ve earned a position in their life; it then becomes a different thing.”

Kris believes that staying in touch with her clients creates good friendships and good relationships with people that last a lifetime. These people will be the ones who come back as clients and refer future clients as well. She says, “It’s important that your referrers are looked after; that you treat them with respect and with an importance and an integrity that earns you the right to do that business.”

Kris loves what she does and has no ambitions to own an agency. She says, “I don’t want to control a company, I want to contribute to a company. I want to be able to list and sell, and work with clients, and when you’re wearing the hat of an owner you have to do so many more things that take you away from that business. I don’t want to make decisions about what our logo’s going to look like or order a photocopying machine or a coffee machine or a cleaner. I think that I’m hard enough at work as it is so I wouldn’t want to do that role, ever.”

I’ve never stopped having an interest in someone once the business is done.

So what are the secrets to Kriss astounding success?

Carries more than 20 vendors at a time

Kris works with a team of four other agents. She says, “I feel a bit lost if we’re less than 20 listings. We’ve had times when we’re in the 30’s. We make sure that we run through checks of what’s happening every week with every property. Nearly all my listings are actually active listings; I really want to have someone who wants to sell.”

Matches buyers

Buyer matching gives everyone the best exposure and the best opportunity to maximise their price. Kris says, “It also creates the most competitive opportunity for buyers to feel like there are other people on properties and they’re not the only one. I think that’s a more efficient way of running your business. It pushes people to their best. Competition is the best thing to get price up and if someone doesn’t actually feel it, they don’t believe it.”

Has a great team, works the database and keeps the personal touch

Kris says, “You can only keep so many names and so many people and so many properties in your head, and then you build chaos because you can’t remember the details. I’ve never been a numbers person. I work in a team and there are over 2,000 contacts on our database.”

She continues, “When 70 per cent of business is repeat and referrals, that comes from doing the right thing every time. It has taken 13 years to get to that stage and now my business is actually growing bigger than beyond me. When you have 91 sales - that’s 91 vendors and 91 purchasers. We have to maintain our level of contact and service and ongoing care. We use the database and make notes on each client so when it comes to writing the anniversary cards, or when I’m writing out their Christmas cards, I actually can remember all those people. I’ll know what their story is, and I will do a handwritten anniversary card or a handwritten Christmas card and it will always have some reference to their life, such as they finished the extension, so now they have lots more time on their hands. Whatever the issue was that my clients were escaping is the stuff that stays with me. Those are the things that make people feel like they’re remembered and that they had an impact on me.”

Tailors contact to the needs of the client

Kris and her team have grouped their clients and the contact those people receive from Kris is determined by the nature of the relationship she has with each client. Kris wants the contact she has with her clients to be of value for the client. Kris explains, ”You build a different relationship with each person. So if you bought a property from me or you’ve sold a property through me, you’ll get a call the day after. I call it the morning-after call to see that you are feeling good about your decision and the outcome. And that’s a really nice call to actually make, and we have a joke about being the morning-after and it always feels good to make that call.”

For people who are identified as gold and silver contacts, Kris says, “They’ll get a Christmas card, they’ll get an anniversary card, they’ll get an invitation to a movie night. We have some charity things that we get involved in during the year, so they might get contacted about that as well.”

What Kris knows about people has enabled her to become one of the most successful real estate agents in Australia. Daniel Goldman wrote that ‘Emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job’. Sounds like he was talking about Kris Casey!

 

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Kris Casey