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The Passionate public life of real estate with Glen Coutinho

With Glen Coutinho, RT Edgar, Boroondara

One of Australia’s top agents, Glen Coutinho from RT Edgar, Boroondara, has been a household name for decades. He has been a selling agent for a number of series of The Block and recently sold a property in Kew for the third time in 30 years. That’s staying power!

 

It's a public life, real estate. If you're looking for some private life, you're in the wrong business.

 

A major force in the leafy Hawthorn and Kew areas of Melbourne, Glen has won numerous awards and is widely recognised as one of the leading staff trainers in Australia and New Zealand. He has been successful because he knows that real estate is all about people and creating lasting relationships. He says, “I've worked really hard over 33 years now and actually haven't done anything different for nearly 33 years. I have always been a people lover and I've really focused on people."

Always thinking 15 years ahead, Glen wants relationships that last for decades. His signature is memorable gestures that make lasting impressions. On the day he married his wife, he sent her a magnificent bouquet of flowers every half hour. She was suitably impressed – and so were the congregation. If he meets a young man who loves football, he’ll send him a football jersey. That child will never forget that gesture and may become a future client. If Glen is rapt with the service at a café, he’ll send a thank you card to the waiter. The waiter will never forget that someone took the time to notice good service. He recently met a man on a flight to Los Angeles, struck up a conversation, sent a card and ended up with a referral to sell property in the United States.

He says, “You've got to be passionate. I think it's not really about just getting income. That's the business, right? But I think that it's the ability to make a connection and a lifelong friend in a few minutes that I can keep in touch with forever, and that's what I like to do. I'm a people collector. I'm not a hearse collector. I like to collect people in my database.”

Glen is genuinely nice to everyone, and interested. He is authentic and thanks everyone and follows up. He says, “The last bloke to cut my hair, not that I have any hair lately, but the last bloke to cut my hair, I went into my database, got his kids a present of a Sandlot football jumper. Every person that you meet is a customer. Every person from the taxi driver to the bloke at the milk bar. I couldn't walk in there and walk away and not send them or give them a card. I am kind of addicted to giving people cards."

Deeply committed to family, Glen employs his switched on daughter and her friends to send out the cards. He explains, “If I met you today, I would photograph your card. I would send it to the girls with a couple of things like, you know, loves this football side, is 40.” They grab that information, Google, and then send out a card. It’s a strategy that clearly works because all of his business comes from word of mouth. He constantly collects data through the connections he makes with people. He’ll remember the names of clients’ children and then send the children a gift through the mail. With 33,000 contacts, every client in his database is in his phone right now.

Glen believes, real estate is the easiest business in the world but it requires great discipline. When you are starting out, he says, if you get into the office at 9am – it’s two hours too late. He explains, “In my early twenties, I had the pleasure of working with John J. Foster. We were probably at the desk at 7 am and now at 50, we're still at the desk by 8 o'clock - at the latest 8 o'clock.” Also, when he started he understood the importance of collecting data. He says, “I would have knocked out a hundred calls a day, collecting data, name, address, phone number."

With the help of his media savvy sons, Glen’s also very conscious of the benefit of using social channels. He says, “I specifically have seven different social media sites: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, A Shack which is critical, Pinterest, YouTube - and I post once or twice a day on every one and it's always one real estate, one family, because people don't want to deal with just the slick real estate agent. I always post a successful sale on Saturday and I'll post one of the kids doing something or my wife and I at the dinner."

Glen has passed his skills down to the next generation. He was recently at dinner with his sons in the United States. He says, “They went and thanked the waiter. They wrote them a thank you card. They shook hands with the waiter and the next thing the waiter is trying to introduce them to Samuel L. Jackson. You know, little things like that connect because you never know who the waiter knows, and so they treat the waiter as good as I would treat, you know, Hollywood's best rock star."

As one of the world’s most popular sales trainers in the world, Zig Ziglar says, ‘There’s no traffic jams on the extra mile’. Going the extra mile, and genuinely loving engaging with people has paid off for Glen Coutinho.

 

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