Proudly known as the “prospecting machine”- a title so affectionately given by Tom Panos, Tom Hector is arguably one of the most recognisable agents in the country. Not just for his Clark rubber shoes, but his ability to follow up and follow through like no other which has recently earnt him no 1 spot at Harris Real Estate, something he has strived for from day one.
NK: Initially, what was it about real estate that got your attention?
TH: Real estate has always been a passion of mine as my mum and I would go and look at houses when I was growing up and I particularly loved the diversity of the homes in Adelaide. Then when in year 12 at school the Auction Idol competition was running I jumped on board and won which opened up lots of doors for opportunities within the industry where I began to do some work experience. Naturally, I also loved the idea of an uncapped income which meant the more you work, the greater the reward.
NK: You’re known for being a relentless prospector (hung up on, doors slammed in your face, sworn at) – surely you don’t feel like doing it every day, what is it that gets you back on the phone day after day?
TH: Great question, real estate in particular see’s a lot of people exit the industry after only a short period of time because the rejection is too frequent and lack of steady income can be very frustrating. The day I got into the industry, I have wanted to be number 1 and have focused on that goal day after day. It is in my DNA and I am very competitive and admittedly, hate losing so I made sure I always looked at the bigger picture when prospecting because I was determined to make sure no one would do it more than me and the more I did it the results will follow.
NK: The business of selling houses can be emotionally draining, do you ever find it hard to separate yourself emotionally from the transaction and not take your clients issues personally?
TH: Absolutely at times, I have had many instances where my clients try and get me involved but you have to be very strong & firm and remember you are employed as their agent and not their friend, you are there to give recommendations from a real estate perspective, not on a personal level.
NK: What do you find most challenging on a day to day basis?
TH: Effectively managing my team whilst trying to prospect, list and sell. It takes a lot of effort and awareness as they do look up to me and I must ensure I am always setting a good example so if I happen to take my foot off the accelerator when it comes to prospecting or customer service, it doesn’t look great.
NK: How do you think the industry has changed since you started in 2009?
TH: Agents honestly, have got so much better over the years – there is a greater emphasis on training nowadays and easier access too. The internet also has a much bigger role to play when it comes to selecting an agent. A vendor can now do a complete digital interview of you, including your personal social media, sold properties & any media coverage prior to meeting you compared to back in 2009.
NK: What is it that gets Tom Hector out of bed every morning and hustling?
TH: Maintaining number 1 is my priority, although I have made it now – it’s a matter of sustaining this and continuing to grow over a long period of time. I also like to be honest within myself that I am working to my potential each and every day.
NK: 7 years later, you now have the title of no. 1 at Harris Real Estate – what’s next for you & your team?
TH: I would love to start selling higher priced property and break into the top end market in the future along with continually growing my team through coaching and training.
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