Helen & Nick

Introduction

Shane:
And Helen and Nick, how are you?

Nick:
Good, thanks.

Helen:
Great, thanks.

What Situation Did You Find Yourselves In Before Our First Session Together?

Shane:

That’s good. Thanks for agreeing to jump on and have a quick chat with me today. As I mentioned, I just came to get a better background view, from your point of view, on working with us as buyer’s agents, primarily so we can share that and hopefully help more people in this space. Would you mind kicking off just with maybe a little bit of background on sort of what your situation was before we met? That would be awesome.

Helen:
Yes. We were fairly new to the Brisbane market. We’d been here about a year and we’d been renting since we arrived and moved from New Zealand. So we had some ideas of areas that we liked. We knew where our daughter was at school, but how to source a property, how the process of buying a house works in Brisbane was all new to us. And we were at a bit of a loss, to begin with us, as to how to start the whole process.

Nick:
Everything [crosstalk 00:01:04].

Shane:
And how it all works.

Nick:
[inaudible 00:01:04] spending our weekends traipsing around open homes either. So we were sort of looking for a system from that point of view as well.

Shane:
Had you been looking for very long when we first caught up?

Helen:
No, we’d only started thinking about looking.

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
And in talking to friends, they asked if we would consider a buyer’s agent and suddenly that felt like a way to accelerate the whole process and save us a lot of stress.

What were the other reasons and considerations why you thought a Buyer’s Agent might be suitable for you?

Shane:
Was that one of the key reasons? I mean, what were the other reasons why you thought a buyer’s agent might be suitable for you guys?

Helen:
Yeah, I think it was sourcing properties when we might spend a long time doing that, somebody who knew the area, the ability to potentially source properties off market …

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
So having a greater pool to choose from, being able to help us navigate through the process, thereby saving us all that time and the stress. And we hate the negotiation process when buying a house.

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
I get very emotional and being able to have somebody guide us through that and run the negotiations for us had a huge amount of appeal both emotionally and financially.

Shane:
Yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s good to hear. Yeah. We were able to separate, sort of be the middleman for you, right?

Nick:
Yeah, absolutely. And save a great deal of anguish on both sides for us, so …

Helen:
Yeah. And we’re still together, so that was always a [inaudible 00:02:35].

Shane:
Could be our new tagline, we keep marriages together. I love it. So it was sort of access to more properties, but also sort of take some of the stress out. I mean, where, just a bit of background, where were you living before where, you know, I know, obviously I know these answers, but just to share with the areas you were looking in and what type of property.

Nick:
So we were living in a rental property in Newmarket and we got, was where we sort of chose to live when we arrived in Brisbane, based on where our daughter was going to school. So we sort of chose our daughter’s school first and then found a rental property in a good location that meant that she could walk.

So, yeah, that was kind of … We wanted to be in a, sort of a similar situation when we looked to buy, and so that was one of the sort of the advantages of using a buyer’s agent, was sort of being able to say to someone, “Look, what’s available in the area of a similar nature that’s going to give us the same proximity and ease of living that we had where we were?”

Helen:
Yeah. So we had a criteria of wanting our daughter to be no further than one bus ride from her school. And again, with still being sort of newish to Brisbane, we didn’t exactly know where that meant we should cast our net. You could find places that were a shorter distance from where we were living, but more complicated in terms of getting to school. So having somebody to take all that legwork out of it for us and be able to go, “Here are a list that tick that box.” was great.

Shane:
Oh, that’s good. I was so glad to be able to help. And what, I guess, what other considerations were important for you when we met and we spoke about how the service works and you kind of had a view then of what we do as buyer’s agents, what were your main thoughts and considerations from then?

Helen:
Ah, look, I still remember asking you about the fees and sort of doing a quick mental calculation and going …

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
“Right, that’s a reasonable sum of money.”

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
So I also remember the conversation we then had with you about, “Okay, so we’re looking for you to save your fee and then some in the negotiation.” And I think we both feel very comfortable that you did that. So in weighing up all those other things that we talked about, you know, convenience, lack of stress, time-saving, you know, greater range of properties, we also looked at the dollar value and felt very happy that commercially it stacked up too.

Nick:
Yeah, [inaudible 00:05:10] the, you know, the sort of case studies, if you like, that you were able to relate to us as well, about different properties that you’ve helped people buy. That gave us some comfort and certainty that, actually, if we go to engage you to help us with our purchase of the property, that you would be able to do that. And certainly, you set an expectation of being able to do that and certainly lived up to it from our point of view.

Helen:
And I think, yeah, it’s a very personal journey …

Nick:
Yeah.

Helen:
Buying a house. Bottom line, you go on it with somebody that you trust, and we felt straight off that you were very straight with us. We really respected the guidance and advice you gave us. And we really valued when we were going through the process the way you’d say, “Right, I’ve been thinking about this. There’s a couple of ways we could play it. Here’s what I’d recommend.” And they were both strategies that we wouldn’t necessarily have thought of, and wouldn’t necessarily have had, well, always the courage to follow had it been us …

Nick:
Yeah.

Helen:
But again, being that one step removed and working with somebody that we felt really understood us on a whole lot of levels gave us the real comfort doing that. And yeah, we always felt that that paid off.

Shane:
That’s awesome. And did, I actually haven’t asked you this before, but did you consider other buyer’s agencies prior or …

Nick:
No, we …

Shane:
How did that go?

Nick:
I mean, we came across you and your business through what turns out to be mutual friends, but …

Shane:
Yeah.

Nick:
But it was based on the recommendation. We like sort of using, you know, using other people’s recommendations of either they’ve had experienced or they know of someone that does a job and does it well. And obviously, again, our lack of local knowledge when it comes to the fact that we moved from New Zealand means that we were sort of relying on other people to sort of help give us some guidance about that. So, yeah, we hadn’t looked at any other buyer’s agents and we hadn’t actually heard of them before. It’s not something that existed in Wellington …

Shane:
Yeah.

Nick:
Or that we were aware of existing in Wellington when we left. But certainly after we spoke with you, we were really, the first time, we were really happy with what you’d told us and felt really comfortable with you, and so we didn’t feel like we needed to go and shop around and sort of get additional quotes or talk to other people and see what they might be able to offer and that was different. We were just really happy with the …

Helen:
Yeah.

Nick:
Based on that first discussion that we had.

What Would You Say To Someone Considering A Buyers Agent?

Shane:
Yeah. That’s awesome. Thank you. That’s good, good feedback. And so what about others? I mean, as you mentioned there, it’s a fairly new kind of service, right? And we find that, yeah, lots of people are kind of not aware of it until, like yourselves, maybe their friends mentioned it, or anyway, somehow they’ve become aware of the service and it’s all quite new. What would you say to someone considering utilizing this kind of service, but was maybe on the fence?

Nick:
Well, we wouldn’t have any hesitation recommending that they used it. And certainly, when other, when friends of ours at the moment who are looking at houses, we’ve said to them, you know, “Have you suggested doing this?” And we were at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago actually and, again, sort of said we’d used this buyer’s agent, “Have you guys considered that sort of thing?” Because there was a young couple and they were spending their weekends going around all sorts of different properties and they were sort of finding it hard to narrow down what it is that they want. We’re saying, you know, “This is someone that, you know, this is what they do for a living and, yeah, it costs you upfront, but actually, it could say you the fee off the purchase potentially, so it’s worth considering.”

Shane:
Yeah.

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
Yeah. It’s pretty hot out there in the market right now as well. So I think even since we’ve purchased, and how long has it been since you’ve moved in? It’s probably a month or …

Nick:
Just over a month.

Helen:
Yes. Six weeks.

Shane:
Yeah, I thought, yeah, just over a month. I mean, even since then, it’s heated up a lot more. So I think a lot more people hopefully reach out and that we can help.

Nick:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:09:47].

Shane:
Are you enjoying the new home? That’s the main thing.

Nick:
Yeah, we love it.

Helen:
Oh, we love it.

Nick:
Yeah.

Helen:
Absolutely love it.

Shane:
Yeah. Yeah.

Helen:
And we found with our last house purchase in New Zealand, I think we might’ve said to you, the process was stressful and there was some conflict and tension, and it actually took the gloss off moving into that house.

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
This has been a really happy, positive experience, and it’s just heightened all of those feelings that you want to have when you buy a new home and it’s, yeah, just …

Shane:
Oh, that’s awesome.

Helen:
Constant smiles on our faces.

Shane:
And Katie? Is she enjoying it as well?

Helen:
Oh, yes.

Nick:
Yes, she loves it. Yeah.

Helen:
Well, you’re seen her room, Shane, how could she not?

Shane:
Yeah, she’s got her own area like she’s …

Nick:
Yeah.

Helen:
She’s got her own wing.

Shane:
Her own wing, that’s right. It’s huge.

Nick:
And I think sort of, further to what Helen was saying, after we completed the purchase of the house that we had in New Zealand, but because of it being sort of there was some unpleasantry, I guess, going through that process, every time we found something that didn’t work, or that [inaudible 00:10:56] or whatever, [inaudible 00:10:57] or whatever, it was kind of like, “Oh, you mean another thing?” And it just sort of added to sort of the feeling of just, yeah, not being that chuffed with the final, the end of the transaction.

Shane:
Yeah.

Nick:
And in contrast, we’ve moved into this house and there’s been a few bits and pieces that we’ve had to clean up as maintenance, and actually it’s just, it’s not as big a deal. It was a really nice, easy purchase. And we actually enjoyed meeting the previous owner and having a chat with her and her, she took us around the property. And because of all of that, it just took away any sort of opportunity for any ill feeling between us and her, but also I think the fact that the transaction and you having more of the context that made it easier for us to …

Helen:
[crosstalk 00:11:57]. Yeah.

Nick:
To follow through. So when we needed a lawyer, you had a lawyer, and when we needed a building report done, you had a builders that could come and do that, and all those sorts of things. And it just, it really did just take all of the potential pressures away from us, and we could rely on you to do that. You were here for all of those inspections and meetings.

Shane:
Yeah.

Nick:
And it meant that we could just sort of fully place our trust in you. We could carry on working
and do what we needed to do, and just rely on you to handle the house for us.

Helen:
Yeah. Because as you know, at the time that we were buying and the offer was sort of going through to become unconditional, Nick was in the process of interviewing and changing jobs, I was in the middle of end of financial year. So it was quite a busy time.

Shane:
You both had a lot going on.

Helen:
Yeah.

Shane:
Yeah. Super busy.

Helen:
And we just outsourced all of that, you know, legwork and stress and yeah, it was, I don’t think we could have done it otherwise.

Nick:
Well, not coming out [inaudible 00:12:58].

Shane:
At least you’re still together, as you said.

Helen:
Exactly.

Shane:
And tell me, have you enjoyed the Local Larder yet?

Helen:
We haven’t been up to the Local Larder yet.

Nick:
Oh, no.

Helen:
We’ve been down to the local bakery a lot, but …

Shane:
The bakery? Banneton? Yeah.

Helen:
There was a … Yeah. But the Larder was shut until I think it was about the middle of January. So they’ve only been back on deck for a couple of weeks.

Shane:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s fair enough.

Nick:
And we’ve made use of The Gap Tavern as well, so, you know …

Shane:
Yeah. You’re well located there …

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
You’re close to a lot of great things, so it’s good.

Helen:
Yeah.

Shane:
What about the pool?

Nick:
Yeah, we’re loving the pool.

Helen:
Oh, yeah. Loving the pool.

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
Yeah.

Nick:
Yeah. It’s definitely been nice, it’s … On some of these warmer days, we’ve been doing some bits and pieces around the house and doing some painting and bits and pieces, so it’s been really nice on those really hot days just to go out to the pool and have a bit of a soak just to unwind before we come back in. So it’s been really good.

Shane:
Love it.

Helen:
Yeah.

Shane:
That’s very cool.

Helen:
Yeah. All of the things that we saw in the property when you sent through that first list, and we still laugh a bit about the fact that we ruled out a house in the same street at number one on your list, because we thought it was too far away and then came across this one and went, “Yeah. That’s the one for us.” It’s like hang on, it’s on the same street, but being able to get all of the info on them, see all of the pictures and really get that feel, and it was good being able to go and have a look at another couple of properties from the shortlist that you drew up for us, and that we were able to narrow it down, because we do feel that we’ve made quite a considered choice in terms of the property that we’ve got. You know, even though what we ended up putting an offer in within sort of 10 days of the first list of properties coming through, I think …

Nick:
Yeah.

Helen:
But we feel that we, yeah, did that on a good base of information.

Shane:
Yeah. We try and get as much over to you for that context, so that … And I think that’s what happened in this case. Glad that we could get you a quite an extensive list, and you guys were great in getting around to all those properties and letting us know your thoughts. And then we obviously made some times to inspect a few of them, and, yeah, I’m glad it helped with the decision making.

Nick:
Yeah, definitely.

Helen:
Yeah. No, very much.

Nick:
And I guess the other thing, there’s another point to note is that this property was actually on the market, it wasn’t an off-market property, and you had sort of said to us, you know, the majority of properties that you actually aim to source are off market. But having said that, I don’t think that we would have been able to achieve the price that you achieved for us if we hadn’t run with you. I don’t. I think if we were making an offer to the agent …
:
Yeah.

Nick:
Based on the asking price, we would have been paying the asking price and probably more.

Shane:
Yeah. Yeah.

Nick:
So …

Shane:
Do you think you would have looked at the property still? Or would you may have ruled it out? I’m not sure.

Nick:
Well, we probably wouldn’t have looked in this area, because we would’ve just sort of ruled it out as being too far away.

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
Yeah. And I think we quite possibly would have ruled it out as being, “Oh, look, that’s at the top end of budget, so it’s going to go for more than budget, therefore let’s not.” Whereas, actually, obviously, it came in under, but I think, yeah, I think we could well have ruled it out.

Shane:
Yeah. So, I mean, that’s a good comment that you make, because sometimes people’s comment is, “Oh, well, if it’s on market, what value do you add as a buyer’s agent?”

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
Some people consider that, but obviously you’ve just mentioned a few things already.

Nick:
Yeah. And I mean, definitely there was, you know, the value you added was to be able to achieve a sale price that was something that we wouldn’t have been, you know, we wouldn’t sort of been ballsy enough to go in at the level that you did.

Helen:
Yeah.

Nick:
And we wouldn’t have achieved the price that we did. So, that’s the thing …

Helen:
Yeah.

Nick:
That’s the takeaway for us, I guess.

Helen:
But again, you brought so much knowledge in terms of even knowing the agents that were selling. So at all of the properties that we looked at, you either, you know, you had a bit of a sense of how the other agents would work, which meant you knew how to adapt your strategy and our approach to what was going to be more successful, or that’s certainly how it felt to me. Whereas we’d have been going in cold with none of that knowledge of how to reach people, and probably showing far too many of the cards in our hand.

Shane:
That’s fair enough too. That’s fair enough. Anything else you would like to mention or any other comments? I mean, that’s been great.

Helen:
Oh, look, I think we just enjoyed working with you. We felt really included. It wasn’t a, “Right, I’m the expert, so here’s what we’re going to do.” We felt like it was a real partnership. Little things like, you know, really liked that you kept in contact after settlement day. We got messages from you over Christmas and New Year, and it did feel like there’d been a relationship formed, not just a …

Shane:
Yeah.

Helen:
A transaction, and that just all added to the good feeling of the experience, but we certainly wouldn’t have had any of that positive sentiment had we not felt that, ultimately, it was also, as I say, a good commercial transaction, so, yeah, it just ticked so many boxes.

Nick:
Yeah, definitely.

Shane:
Nick, did you enjoy the brownies?

Nick:
The brownies, yeah. Yeah. They’re yummy.

Shane:
That’s good. Kirsty told me you were a bit of a great brownie chef as well, so …

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
I thought a fitting gift for you would be …

Helen:
Yeah.

Shane:
Those brownies as well. And I’m not sure, you maybe make better brownies, but hopefully they were-

Helen:
Oh no, those are definitely a posh, posh brownie.

Shane:
That’s awesome.

Helen:
Yeah.

Shane:
Guys, that’s about it for me. I just want to thank you so much again for working with me. I also really enjoyed it and hope to keep chatting for years to come still, and hope you really keep enjoying the house there …

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
And I appreciate you, again, taking the time to catch up today.

Helen:
Oh, look, any time, but I think we would definitely use you again in the future. I mean, we don’t anticipate buying and selling again in a hurry, but, yeah, we would definitely look to do it that way again and, yeah, would love to continue to be references for you at any time.

Shane:
So good. Thank you, guys.

Nick:
Hopefully one day some, you know, one of the recommendations that we keep making for people will come off and they’ll actually come to you, so …

Shane:
I’m sure they will.

Nick:
Yeah.

Shane:
Awesome. Thank you very much.

Nick:
All right.

Helen:
Any time. Thanks, Shane.
Yeah, thanks, Shane.[inaudible 00:19:50]. Bye-bye.

Nick:
Bye-bye.

Helen:
Bye.

Nick:
Bye.

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