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The Power of White Line Fever

With Natalie Downton, Downton Porperty

Since striking out on her own just over 18 months ago, Natalie Downton of Downton Property in Hobart has been scoring massive wins. Records have been coming thick and fast. Natalie says, “We had 12 listings in one month - that's been the record so far. We've sold 10 properties in a month and we recently sold 7 properties in one week." Natalie’s achievements have not gone unnoticed; in a stunning achievement, the Real Estate Institute recently awarded her the title of Residential Salesperson of the Year – for the whole of Australia. It’s the first time an agent from Tasmania has won the award. The former state representative netballer is completely driven and committed to making her business an ongoing success. So how did she accomplish so much in such a short time?

Drew on wisdom

From the outset, Natalie was determined to succeed and sought advice from her principals, Barry Monk and Rick Abbott from Raine and Horne Hobart where she started her career. She says, “Everyone was valued in that company and that's the biggest thing I've taken into my business. You have to value your staff and you have to have respect of your staff. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses that we all help each other with and I think that's what I learned most."

She adds, 'Barry and Rick were so good to me that I could call them and say, ‘Look what do I need to do now?’. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be who I am today. They have done everything for me. Barry was the first person to always say to me, ‘Nat, when you have your own business one day don't be a principal that sits in the back room and becomes a manager. Always be a selling principal because that's what you're good at."

Built a good team around her

Natalie also surrounded herself with a team of equally passionate people with complementary skills to her own. Her outstanding personal assistant, Mikayla Hall, who has now become a sales consultant, kept on top of administrative issues. Jacinta Ray came in to manage the top end of the market. Natalie says, “Jacinta is very different to me. She has that top end covered for me and she does it so well. She goes over and beyond for our clients. Mikayla made a comment to me one day - ‘Jacinta just keeps coming back and hounding me about getting this right and getting that right’. From that moment on I said, ‘She's perfect’. For someone who cares about a vendor and how their property looks in the real estate - that's exactly what you want for your company."

Natalie also has Russell Yaxley who has come on as a leverage agent and Bianca Hollingsworth as a property manager. She says “She's got white line fever on the netball court just like I do and I thought, ‘You're going to be perfect’."

Makes the most of Facebook

Natalie uses Facebook like a website portal to feature properties, photos, videos and her business. She says, "Facebook was a quick, easy fix for me to be able to upload our listings straightaway. Facebook effectively became our website until our website was up and running.” She has found it is an excellent vehicle to engage her audience.

Creates points of difference with marketing strategies

Hobart is a unique place and Natalie uses a series of connective marketing strategies to convey the bond between her team members and their commitment to Hobart. She posts team based car karaoke videos on Downton Property’s Facebook page, and uses a series of strategically placed billboards with robot marketing hooks to drive custom to the business. A team-based billboard placed in a very prominent spot just before you hit the city gets lot of traction in the market. The slogan is ‘Helping you through your property journey’ with a robot marketing hook that says, ‘For information in the Hobart marketplace please text PROPERTY to this number’.

Natalie says, “We're starting to get some inbound enquiry on that. There are not many people that do billboards in Hobart. To be honest it's more of a mainland based or interstate-based method of prospecting but when you're the only one doing it, it really stands out a lot. I've actually got three billboards up at the moment. I've got the team based one, I've got a billboard about me with a dog on the billboard promoting my number one award and I've also got our billboard up for a boxer that we sponsor, Luke Jackson about his fight. We've got three billboards in the space of a kilometre and I think that it's starting to get through to people that we're serious about property."

Sponsoring local boxer, Luke Jackson, is an innovative and community driven marketing strategy. Natalie says, “It is different. It's not a sport that I'm actively involved in. I always had a rule for myself that I would never sponsor anybody or anything that I'm not actively involved in because I believe it's a waste of money. But I started going to his gym, I enjoyed it, it was fun. The reason we sponsor him is because he aligns so well with the values of my business and those values are: he's had a hard life, a really hard life but he doesn’t dwell on it. He has made the most out of every opportunity he's been given. He got himself to the Commonwealth Games. He was the captain of the Olympic boxing team at London 2012. He's a home grown boy right in the middle of my patch. He lives in my area. He owns a gym in my area. I now go to his gym too."

With Hobart house prices experiencing the largest growth of any capital city in Australia in the first quarter of this year, it’s clear that Natalie Downton and her team have played a major part.


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