Nine years into an outstanding real estate career that began when she was 21, Jess Smith has invaluable advice for young people: Don’t wait until you are 40 to become a leading figure in this business. If you’re about to leave school, you can learn on the job and flourish up the front of the residential property market in Canberra.
“For a long time, real estate was something that you couldn’t be seen to be doing until you were 40 or 50, owned a house and had all the connections, and knew everybody,” says Jess, a successful sales agent at McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin.
Already Jess has recruited and trained colleagues. In her team today are client service manager Jessica Doolan and junior associate Sam Taylor. She recruited Jessica (JD) when she was 19. Sam began as a 17-year-old still completing year 12 at high school.
“I feel fortunate to have two individuals who love coming to work and create a world-class experience for a client,” she says. “That is a selfless act to do, and something I could not be prouder of, especially from younger individuals.”
Jess is also proud of her training and mentoring of Kris Hellier. “Kris worked with me for three years. I was fortunate to be able to help him learn and train him up. He is out on his own now listing and selling and is absolutely killing it, which is awesome,” Jess says. She would happily adopt some of the things Kris is doing these days.
Jess clearly remembers the excitement she felt joining the real estate industry, having left a higher paying job with a telco.
“I was super excited on my first day. I loved it from day one.”
She says she had an excellent mentor, before joining McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin in 2014 where she continued learning and growing thanks to the training and guidance of co-principals Craig Chapman and Justin Taylor.
She says the enthusiasm and passion which go hand-in-hand with success cannot be learned from university. Age is not a barrier to an amazing career, what is critically important is being surrounded by the right people.
Jess came to the industry with a strong foundation in fundamentals for a people-centred career. “I just loved the idea of helping people every day. I have always been a people person. My dad (Wayne) is a builder, I have always loved property, and have been around homes most of my life as he was building them,” she says.
“I discovered early on I wanted a job where I could talk to people all day and help people. Real estate seemed a good fit.
“Dad also had a scuba dive shop down the coast while I was growing up, my step-dad and mum owned a butcher shop. From age 12 or 13 I started to realise the importance of customer service. Growing up in a small town (Batemans Bay), customer service is at the heart of everything you do and you need to do the right thing by people.
“I feel fortunate to have taken that attitude to my business here in Canberra. If you do the right thing by people over a long period of time, good things happen,” she says.
Jess rises each day believing she has the coolest job on the planet. “We do it six days a week and they are big hours – 9 to 10 hours a day,” she says.
“People ask me all the time, ‘How do you work the hours you do?’ I don’t feel like it’s work. We get to sit in people’s lounge rooms and talk to them about the biggest decisions in their life and help them through things, it is wonderful,” she says.
For more information or to get in touch with Jess, click here.