A group of young and dynamic Barry Plant agents are among Victoria’s top 50 high achievers in real estate.
Nine Barry Plant agents made the list based on The Sunday Herald Sun research of residential sales in 2021 by agents aged under 35 years.
Scott George, of Barry Plant Manningham, came in at No. 7 with more than $120 million of sales from 98 listings at an average price of $1.224 million.
Scott George had ambitions of becoming a real estate agent since he was a young boy.
“From the age of 12, I told people I wanted to be an agent and my journey began when I replaced a school friend as an assistant at a real estate agency,” he said.
“It was hard work and I became a director, and after being approached, I joined Barry Plant Manningham in September 2019.”
He felt a larger, established network like Barry Plant would offer him more opportunities to develop his skills and make more sales.
“Barry Plant is an organisation that people trust and want to sell with because it is reputable and the agents have great internal support,” he said.
“I grew up in Templestowe and I have been selling a lot more houses, mostly in Manningham.”
The focus is always on the client and ensuring the whole experience is satisfactory for all concerned, Mr George said.
“It is important to be open and transparent and ensure that the entire process is under control, calm and relaxed, and is easy for the client,” he added.
The year 2021 was so far his best in the industry, despite the impact of Covid-19 interruptions.
“The market did very well and I got a lot of business from repeats and referrals,” he added.
Several agents on the list were in their early or mid-20s, including Liza Hickey who has been in the industry for six years, the last two with Barry Plant.
“The hard work has paid off, and we have good colleagues and great mentors in the directors,” the 26-year-old said.
“With admin and marketing support in the office, it gives me time to be in the field.”
Her real estate interest started early, inspired by her mother who worked as an agent and her father who dabbled in property development.
Ms Hickey said reviews of her work were central to her success and her focus was ensuring the client’s experience was a positive one.
“I am also very active with my listings through different channels including community boards, letterbox drops and our database,” she said.
“The Barry Plant brand is quite dominant and well regarded, with a good reputation in our area in the south-east.”
The three-office network is the market leader in Drouin and Officer, and it is growing its share in Berwick, according to Ms Hickey.
In 2021, Ms Hickey said she continued to list strongly even during lockdowns.
“Many vendors wanted to sell and we were extremely busy, and sales took off after each lockdown,” she said.
She cited 5 Ample Avenue, Officer, as her best sale that year which was done “completely virtually”.
“We couldn’t go out to the property during the lockdown, so we worked with the seller who took the photos that we edited to present the home,” Ms Hickey said.
“We held Zoom opens with buyers, with the seller filming the home and us narrating, and we managed to get multiple buyers and a good interactive experience.”
The house changed hands for $583,000 to a buyer who couldn’t inspect it, and the price was a good result for the happy seller.
Ms Hickey’s long-term career goal is to “excel and grow my team, and also increase my listings and sales in both quantity and quality”.
The youngest agent from Barry Plant to make the list is 24-year-old Kieran Knight, whose first job in real estate came through knocking on the doors of agencies.
“After school, I deferred university and went to learn a trade, and then decided I wanted to be in real estate,” the Strath Creek-born agent said.
“I always had a bit of interest in Property and started as a cadet to [agency director] Simon Best and worked my way up.”
In his second year, he attained his full Real Estate licence, and last year completed a course on becoming an auctioneer.
Hard work and dedication helped him achieve success in 2021 after five years in real estate, and he estimated he sold 125 properties with $67 million of sales in the last financial year.
Mr Knight was also a finalist in several categories in the Barry Plant Awards for Excellence last year.
“Being in the country and from the area, we are a bit different … this is a relationship business, we have to be authentic and genuine,” he said.
He cited a recent sale for a seller who had purchased a property from him in 2019 for $511,000.
“I recently sold the property for them for $735,000,” he said.
Mr Knight’s most memorable sale in 2021 was 330 Sugarloaf Creek Road, Broadford, where he helped a family sell their rammed earth house for an impressive $1.945 million.
“The Mitchell Shire team and the Barry Plant network offer important support,” Mr Knight said.
“And even the CEO and other leaders meet with the agents at events, including through the Pinnacle Club for top-selling agents.”
Other Barry Plant agents who made this prestigious list were three agents from the Manningham network – Michael Steenhuis, Todd Lucas and James Goulopoulos - as well as Jesse Forbes from Barry Plant Bendigo, Matthew Hunt from Barry Plant Highton and Javid Zada from the Narre Warren office.