Tales of a Real Estate Veteran (with Chris McGregor)

The boys are joined by John's Dad, Chris McGregor, Legend amongst the ranks of real estate here in Hobart, Tasmania- his list of accolades are too long to write here, so we will let John read them out in the show... Listen in as Chris recounts just a few of his interactions in the Tasmanian Real Estate Market.
The boys are joined by John's Dad, Chris McGregor, Legend amongst the ranks of real estate here in Hobart, Tasmania- his list of accolades are too long to write here, so we will let John read them out in the show... Listen in as Chris recounts just a few of his interactions in the Tasmanian Real Estate Market.

Transcript of Tales of a Real Estate Veteran
(with Chris McGregor)

Episode: | E79
Show Title: | Tales of a Real Estate Veteran
Cast: | Aaron Horne, Patrick Berry & John McGregor
Guest: | Chris McGregor
Show Length: | 31 minutes 49 seconds

Chris: I got the opportunity to get into real estate, I didn't--I didn't get through the first interview, a school teacher beat me, [Aaron: okay] and after the school teacher was in that position for three weeks, but there's not enough money in this, they got out and they rang me back up because again, subject to have a second chance, and i said: "give me a chance, I'll prove I can do it" and [um] I broke the office record for the first month.

[intro music]  
Going once... going twice... SOLD!
You're listening to The Property Pod!

Aaron:   All right, guys! Welcome back to The Property Pod, your weekly engagement into real estate here in the Hobart marketplace. I'm your host, Aaron Horne, and I'm joined, as always, by real estate agents Patrick Berry and John McGregor.

Patrick: Hey, how's it going? 

John: Hey, gentlemen and Happy Birthday for yesterday of the day this recording, Mr. Horne!

Aaron: Much appreciated! Yeah, I had a... had a wonderful day yesterday--spoiled by my loved ones especially Sarah and Jack, yeah, made me feel very special, so... 

John: Did you say, you went on a bike ride? That was quite--

Aaron: We did...we did. It was quite challenging, I [um] before Sarah's birthday, I got her a bike and it was just kind of a marketplace, we'll just get a bike, we'll see if we--if Jack likes it personally and then we'll go from there [um] but then, for my birthday, she got me a bike seat... for Jack to sit on, because we couldn't use them, because we were like "oh we need to get a babysitter; that's way too much organization, we'll just jump straight into [um] like, getting a babysitter". He loved it--he had the best time, so yeah, he raced along the [uh] the bike track to smiling and giggling and we got to Valhalla Ice Cream and treated ourselves there.

John: Right, all the way to Valhalla, in the back of a mighty steed, is it…

Aaron: I said something like that, [John laughs] we're writing about the Valhalla.

Patrick: We [um] used to have one of those bike trailers, and I remember once I was tying queen up the hill near the cenotaph there, and the bike track like came unclipped from the back of it, and then I rolled down the hill of the highway there, all the cars [laughter]

Aaron: Oh wow, yeah. Okay, no, we saw a bike trying--[Patrick: to see it's good, yeah so it's connected to the bike all the time (laughter)] it's very good

Aaron: Yeah, nice. So we had a wonderful day there, we went to the Tassie, and after that, and had some dinner with the family so yeah, I got very very spoiled on my birthday so shout out, for I appreciate the the love from everybody [somebody: that's awesome] before, well speaking of love, that's actually a really good segue, yeah [um] I would love for you to introduce today's guest because [uh] I think you'd be probably the most equipped at [uh] at the show, John, to introduce today's guest on The Property Pod.

John: Yeah, what's funny with this bike seat, I remember one of my earliest happiest memories was on the back of the bike seat actually, as a kid, so it's very very relevant, but I suppose there was... when I was thinking it through [um] it was actually worth mapping out [um] sort of the--I suppose, who this person is you could say [Aaron: yep!] just to give context of why it's relevant to The Property Pod, specifically, [um] so it's something we put together a long time ago, so I'm going to read it, but I'll do my best to-- [Aaron: yeah, go for it] but yeah, so it just says: so, when it comes to the concept of giving back, there aren't too many agents around Australia that have dedicated their career to not only being a competent operator, but have taken the time to do more than just build a successful business. For over 35 years, he has shared his knowledge to mentor countless new agents and volunteered his time to numerous boards and charity organizations in order to lift the credibility of the industry and its positive involvement with the community. He joined the real estate industry in 1986 and as a salesperson, he was the number one salesperson in the state for multiple years. In 1994, he became the Managing Director of first national real estate--admit the name--of which he and his wife ran for 26 years. While being part of the first national real estate network, he served on the National Board of Directors for four years as well as being the Tasmanian president. He is the longest-serving member of the board--on the board of the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT). The REIT, starting in 1989, and was elected State President from 1998 to 2000. He also served on the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) board from 2004 to 2010 as the Deputy President of the REIA in 2009 to 2010. [um] To this day, he remains an REIT trainer, helping teach the new members coming into the industry. He was also a past National Australian President for FIABCI which is the French acronym for the international real estate federation based in Paris. He is a fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, fellow of the Australian Institute of [uh] sorry, fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute and CPM, fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has been a member of the National Association of Realtors of Global Business and Alliances Group - USA and an honorary member of the SBAOR Global Real Estate Committee - California, USA. He served as an REIA National Awards Judge for Excellence since 2006, and is also a FIABCI pre-de Excellence International Awards judge from 2012. In 2009, he was the recipient of the prestigious John Gregg trophy for services to the real estate industry and at the September 2013, REIT awards night, held in West Point, he was awarded the life membership of the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) which is the highest honor that the REIT can bestow. Welcome to my father, Chris McGregor!

Chris: Thank you, John. 

Patrick: Welcome, Chris!

Aaron: Wowsers trousers! What an intro! I don't know if we've ever had anything like that on the show, but [uh] yeah, welcome to the show, Chris and um yeah…

Patrick: Thanks for coming. Unfortunately, we've run out of time forward to actually [laughter] interviewing you, because John's intro was so long, but it was good [laughter]

Aaron: Yeah, what an interesting, kind of, just running through that like I thought I knew a fair crack of it, but all this kind of France and Paris, and all this extra stuff, how did you get involved in? well actually, before we even jump into that, how did you get involved in into real estate? where does--where's this kind of like, did you say 1986 yeah, [John: yeah, we were born] 

Aaron: Yeah, so what were you doing before then and then what happened to--?

Chris: I was the Assistant Manager at the Mount Nelson Motor Inn prior to that, and before that, I was working. I did my [um] training management at West Point [um] I was there for about five or six years, and one of those sort of particular jobs once you get in sometimes in management roles, you get a set salary and no matter what you do, to try and make some extra income, it's very hard to do and in those days, you always have people ramming way down your throat and all that sort of stuff, it just wasn't for me and [um] I used to see some of the real estate guys from the early days from the Phil of Phil... [um] can't think of the guy's name from, in town,
you know those guys were always seem to look like they're doing okay and I realize that real estate's one of those jobs that [um] that gives you an opportunity to earn what you can [um] in your, but--in the comfort zone environment that you've got a team of management that looks after you. A lot of people would love to get into business themselves, but are too frightened to [um] take the next step of what the risks it takes to have your own business where real estate's got one of those opportunities where you can-- you can you get out of what you put into it, but you've got the environment of support through an office [uh] life particularly like 4one4 Real Estate [Aaron: yeah, definitely] offers their sales people, so it's a good stepping stone to--if you ever want to tread water even further, but most people, sort of, don't... 

Aaron: Yeah. No, it sounded really interesting as you were saying that I was thinking, like, it's one of those industries where you get out what you put in, like if you want to be a really really hard operator and get out there and get it, you can, yeah, jump up some rungs and get yourself ahead rather than kind of, yeah, you're kind of plateauing in your-- in your other position, sort of thing, and thinking like "geez, I'm working my butt off and that bloke over there--sitting there, doing nothing and he's earning the exact same crust as me," so [John: Yeah, absolutely] it's interesting what [um] it sounded like from there, you then jumped up in the rank so you obviously had [um] quite a bit of motivation to move. I think what, 86, you started then by, did you say 94, you're running your own shop? 

John: Yeah, well I guess I'm having, was it three boys at that point, dad's going to put some motivation for you to make some money [laughs]

Chris: Well, that was--that was the case, too, then I got the opportunity to get into real estate. I didn't get through the first interview. A school teacher beat me, okay [um] and after the school teacher was in that position for three weeks, but there's not enough money in this. They got out and they rang me back up… against the job to have a second chance and I said "give me a chance, I'll prove I can do it" and [um] I broke the office record for the first month for the office where I worked, I sold [um] eight, so I had eight sales my first month of real estate 

Aaron: Straight out of the gate, you had eight sales…

Chris: two weeks nothing, I started to panic [Aaron: yep] and then bang bang bang bang, which is great. Then I was disappointed with my six sales the next month, but [laughter]

Patrick: You set the bar too high

Chris: And then I started to [um] I wanted to really... wanted to learn in those days most homes were sitting around fifty thousand dollars... forty five [thousand dollars]... [Aaron: yep] forty thousand dollars... so a little different to today and the commission... the full commission to the business was sixteen hundred and sixty dollars and you got either twenty percent of that or forty percent, so you know, it was... it was hard work [Aaron: yep] and [um] we had a growing family and [um] uh, so you had to really get out there and do your things, so I didn't know any better, and then I sort of made the gold one. I was so keen to get--make these sales and one of the salespeople come up to me and said that [um] you need to be learning how to fill out contracts and all that sort of stuff, yet I said "but I need to make sales to make the living" and he said "well, you'll never make--you'll never be any better than me". So I made it my goal to beat the bottom sales person in the office and realized later that wasn't a very good goal and so then I sort of went through the steps of looking at the team in the office and watching what they did and I learned very quickly that [um] you can learn from the poor people, but just don't do what they're doing.

Aaron: yeah,  almost take some of their [uh] bad examples and just be like "all I have to do is-- 
[Patrick: --exactly not that"] yeah yeah exactly work my way up from there and... 

Chris: ...which was my goal and then [um] by the end of... the end of the 12 months, I end up betting the top salesperson which was really good to mine and then of course, in those days with the multi-list system in Tasmania…

Aaron: So could you... could you explain that just for any listeners out there that kind of that "doesn't make too much sense to me". I'm sure the other agents would understand, but…

Chris: ...multi list, what I thought was a very good system. It was operated through the real estate in Tasmania and you could have a sales person that would [um] list the property, but normally, in those days, you don't take a listing for 30 days, so the multi-list was another opportunity to stand your control over the listing, but at the same time, it opened it up to the rest of the real estate agents in Hobart or in Tasmania and what it meant was you'd sign up the agency to the real estate institute--that former consideration institute. They would process it and then that copy of that listing would go to every agency [um] outside of that. [Aaron: okay, yep] and so then, you still had control of the listing, but it was open to all the other agents to [uh] to show the property and sell it.

Aaron: Is this kind of like--have you guys talked before about [um] the bus that would travel around and you go to different listings? is this…

Chris: This... this was happened every Thursday from for the northern suburbs and Robert's Real Estate which Patrick Berry's grandfather used to run there and [um] he was used to coming to those tours as well, yeah he's an absolute gentleman and [um] it was a good... it was a good fun morning from 9:30 every Thursday to go other people's listings and…

Aaron: I can just imagine that... that's the bus ride it was like kind of leaving high school [Patrick laughs] and getting on the bus "yeah, I'm on the back seat" and "oh no, don't go and getting Chris's buddies [laughter]--he's the best seller at their one" and [ah] actually like the sounds of that. [laughter]

Chris: yeah, and what's also the... city had the bus, but we had [um] we brought our own cars and 'cause it was always my goal to have the best-looking car, because people say how things are going you'd always say "unbelievable".

Aaron: I have noticed that the [um] the drink bottle on the desk here has Porsche written up [laughter] down the side of it and I know that just recently, you had a Porsche club show was... was getting the flashy car was that one of the first [um] treats of being a successful real estate agent?

Chris: [um] I've always liked to collect nice cars for a very long time. It's been one of my hobbies, but [um] getting... I got into the Porsche about seven years ago and I've got to say it's my fault…

Aaron: Oh so that's only reason. I thought that you were a long-term Porsche man

Chris: [uh] now, I had Mercedes before that [Aaron: ah nice, yes, very nice] and Volvo's don't...don't... [laughter]

Aaron: Oh! so yeah... yeah...

[Patrick: at the Volvo] [Aaron: leveled your way up across the board] [Chris: Volkswagen's good cars] the moving tank 

Aaron: ah, very good.

John: What was that? Was it some interesting stuff that used to happen on those bus tours? I remember there was a lesson you at, like a training with like, how to lose...how to--how to lose a listing? and it's just a... was it a guy, god of her?

Chris: oh about the situation where [um] I won't... I won't tell you who the company was because it's still... still about [um] but [um] because you [stutters] you, the listing agent, would [uh] open the property to all the rest of the [uh] agents to show them what they're going to do and he was knock is knocking on the door and the owner's cat started to curl around his leg and he just looked at me and said "don't you just hate cats?" and he's flung his leg up, man I'm watching his cat flying through the air and as the door opened the vandals inside, I saw this happened. Well, he lost the listing over there [Aaron: I can imagine, so yeah...] so, i took a note to myself: "don't hurt people's cats" [laughter]

Patrick: It doesn't help when you've got 10 other agents there lined up right behind him {laughter]

Chris: and one of the other ones was [um] I remember doing a negotiation out at new Norfolk and not before that, I used to show this property that seven year...seven-year-old little girl used to always follow me around the house pointing to the kitchen, the bathroom, and all that sort of stuff and sort of, you know,  yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, thank you very much. Get out of the other way. But [um] on the night of [um] trying to put it together, mum was on one side of the table, dad was on the other side of the table, and a little... little seven-year-old girl sitting in front of me and I said, "we've had the property on the mark for three months", "we've had 15 inspections", and all that sort of stuff, and this is the first offer we've got that it's worth really considering and it's 55 000 dollars and this little girl looked at her mum, looked at her dad, and looked to me, and she said: "we'll take it" [laughter] and they basically said, "why not? here's you're 20 bucks kid" yeah, so then, I made it myself to make---be nice to little kids [laughter]

Aaron: I love it; it's such an interesting... because it's such [um] a personable [um] profession where you're meeting so many different types of people across the [uh] just the gamut of personalities like you're either meeting a cat lover or someone with kids or you're meeting Joe Blow who's like literally done nothing to his house and knows it's worth more than any other bloke on the street even though all the grass has overgrown and I guess it's one of those things where I know you've worked as a trainer across the rit. How do you give advice on those interpersonal relationships of kind of passing on, like don't treat people bad and...?
Chris: Well, you don't have to live with these people for very long [um] so you always got to make sure that, and it's hard to do, because in real estate is to, you know, be a good listener [um] because you've got the [um] where we're always very one... very want to give our information, our advice, and and a lot of us--lot of real estate people do have a bit of an ego. A lot of them need it really to they've got to be able to, you know, push their own barrow, but [um] at the same time, you've got to give them because sometimes, you can go to somebody that [um] they spoke all day--all the whole, through the whole entire presentation. You've hardly said anything, you walk out, and I said, "geez that was a nice--he was a nice person" because they were given the freedom to just [talk] talk and all that sort of, get off the show [Aaron: yep] where we can sometimes. I've been in presentation where you see some of the [um] the sales people really. They just can't get them to shut up and sometimes, [stutters] they just keep going. When it's the time for them to stop and the person is about to say "here's the listing" and they're ready already, they're still going and haven't heard... they're not listening to--not only are they listening to what they're saying ,they're not listening to what they're actually what... what they're wanting. [Aaron: definitely] An example would be [um] sometimes, we'll say to people, you know, we really do need you to probably put a lick of paint on this particular and do that it'd really help. I wouldn't want to do that and what they're actually probably saying to you is they don't have the money to do it. They're too embarrassed, so you've got to be able to listen to those little tiny things that I think is fair

Aaron: Yeah, for sure and so I guess is that something that you think you picked up, maybe working in [um] hospitality and kind of at rest point and stuff before that is being attentive to people's needs and then transferring it across.

Chris: I think... I think the hospitality industry teaches you service; it teaches you "how to", because customers always write and all those sort of things [Aaron: yep] and the other skills in real estate because [um] those sort of skills you learn by experience. I've made a lot of mistakes, I mean, I bought a brand new car, had it in someone's brand new driveway, and he kept saying "is it leaking oil?" "is it leaking--" and I'm going "no, this is a brand new car; it's great". What he was telling me was "get your car out of my driveway" [Aaron: yep] and I wasn't listening to those signals. [Aaron: yeah, for sure] You learn all those sort of things. It's like when your partner's driving along she said, "we'll talk a cup of coffee" and then you say, "no" and you just keep driving and all of a sudden, she's not talking to you far far [laughter] you realized what she was saying was "I want a coffee" [laughter] [Patrick: yeah, that's fair]. You gotta what... [stutters] you do you come and Patrick and John would be about to agree to this that [um] you... sometimes, you become quite like a psychiatrist to a lot of people and the sounding board for their problems. All sorts of things that they... you're there for them.

John: Well, hearing those little comments a few times even just that car one, that was something you taught me earlier [um] because oh the vendor will just say to me, "oh she just parked in the driveway" even if like you're just a long walk right up this bush road was like, you still park at the street because you just do not know who you're going to block off and it could just be waiting for, you know, another part of the family who's been waiting to get into their spot that you just got into and they're like [um] so you know you've got to win both, you know, both parties and that sense of one's just like, "no, I hate that guy" why he won't say why, but it's because you're parked in his space. He's like, instantly... instantly dislikes you.

Aaron: Yeah, even... even going in and taking photos like if it's an old house, a new house, any house... I'll get there with me and Sebastian and we'll both take our shoes off and you'll get every time or majority of the time, but I've, "no, I don't worry about taking your shoes off" it's like, "oh no, force of habit". It's just kind of-- [Patrick: --can't help it, though] yeah, and it's kind of it's... it's a polite thing to do unless I've got smelly socks on which... [Patrick: oh, holes] does happen [yeah] yeah, I have my days. [laughter] But thank you, Sarah, for the new socks yesterday. [laughter] I've got about two weeks of [John: solid socks] solid socks. I think just from there, we might just ask jump to John, go to another McGregor and just say what was it like growing up with [um] with dad as a real estate agent? Was it something that you saw and thought "oh, that's something I definitely want to kind of jump into?" I know we've kind of touched on it previously, [John: yeah] but [um] yeah, your path into... into working with your dad and then now alongside and yeah, can you give us kind of what it's like to work along with the accolades that we we went across was quite amazing to kind of follow in... in those footsteps and... 

John: Yeah, definitely yeah, but it's sort of difficult to remember with the, you know, you never saw me yeah, that's probably the best way, well, because I mean, he's right, but you think about how how hard you used to have to work well, I always did and it wasn't always a [um] and it was... it wasn't a desire to sacrifice, you know, a lot of time to support the family [Aaron: yep] [um] and we're... we're then at [um] you know, for us, I suppose, then we could look back and be eternally grateful for the hard work that that it did for us and when I... when I got into it, though is not so much, I suppose you know, looking [um] as a desire to be a real estate agent so much, it's actually also something that I've really enjoyed as I've matured surprisingly enough [um] because I've been able to recognize the [um] what the... the business can offer and like dad described as well where [um] as a salesperson, you do... you are, you know, you... your business within a business, so you know, Pat has to take all the burden, the responsibility, you know, these days like they did all those time ago where [um] of over, you know, overarching the responsibility for everyone and we get to just focus on our little little niche [Patrick: yeah, for sure] and with that comes the capacity to earn a good income and also have the freedom to control your time which now I'm starting to understand is, you know, more valuable than the money you know as well [um] and when it came to one of the things I really appreciated, I suppose, in my career specifically, is because [um] dad was always involved with all the [um] the management of the industry like dad influences it. I had a very different perspective that probably most other agents don't get which is not only if, you know, you've got your little... your own little niche where you think you know everything, but then [um] looking outside of okay, from the board... from the board levels like okay, there's legislation that, you know, that has to be influenced that, you know, will make our job easier and, you know, who helps [um] you know, service the industry and service the public. [Aaron: yeah, for sure] and I always had a really unique perspective that I had [um] a global view, I suppose, you could say rather than just a day-to-day one [Aaron: yeah] it was very interesting when I'd have a conversation with, you know, agents 20 years my senior who have very little understanding of what they're actually talking about so they could and to give an example that might be complaining like, "I can't believe I put this into the contract, how stupid is that?" it's like, well, where are you [um] you know, volunteering your time to help influence, maybe in the direction you want rather than just whinging about it [yeah, for sure] [um] so that's probably been one of the best things for me, is to have a real [um] like a top-down perspective or a much wider view than your own selfish perspective and I think that's where dad's influence of his volunteering time on the boards etc. over above as a salesperson, businessman, etc. really helped me and my perspective and my maturity, probably not only in business, but as a person as well as like, "there's more to this story than you think"

Chris: yeah yeah, well actually that's a really good kind of [um] pivot point for [um] getting into how you've gone from just an operator making you know, six sales or what was it six thousand, right?

John: so, what was... what was your best month?  

Chris: My best month at McQueen was 23 sales and 15 listings in the one month

Aaron: yeah yeah, that's pretty much wow! [laughter]

Aaron: Yeah, I'd kind of I was going to pivot into how did you get into all the volunteering and how do you even do that? How do you even manage that many listings and and then still find listings across... that's more than one a day?

Chris: You need [um] if you're just doing the same thing all the time, it does make jack a dull boy. You've got to have other little interests on the side, but also, too, I learned very quickly [um] in the early days. These institutes and things rotary all those sort of things are there [um] that do a lot of good and these businesses wouldn't survive without those industries looking after you, like, sometimes we'll have [um] when... when the... when the contract--new contract--was coming out, [um] a lot of the... a lot of the politicians and things like that were having [um] ideas of making 15 days cooling off periods and all those sort of things, and that's where the industry fought very hard to stop that sort of thing happening, because we realized when we're out in the field, those sort of things just wouldn't work and... but if we... we didn't have the board or so and the institute fighting for those sort of things, we'd have a very different environment to work in and it just makes it better... better for our [uh] our industry, better for the public and our clients as well, [um] but all sort of volunteering too, Patrick's father, [um] Paul, i mean he's the president of rotary and all those sort of. They do just amazing work for with and without all that sort of volunteering selfless sort of work, I mean, what sort of where would we be, so it's very important

Aaron: I guess, again, [um] part of being an agent is [um] being a member of the community and actually [um] [Patrick: giving back] giving back and kind of having that presence in the community to be like, "I'm not here just because I want to drive my flash car. I'm here to kind of better... better the community"

Patrick: I think, the really... I think the really good agents are great at, excuse me, [um] connecting with the community and they want to build the community because they believe in it. [Aaron: yep] It's not just a job to most agents. We work the areas we choose because we enjoy working within them and we enjoy the people that live within them. So, some people say we join these clubs and community groups and that because we want to get work and sure, it's a byproduct of that, but the main reason is we enjoy the community we live in 

Aaron: yeah definitely

John: And I think, people, you can just see through the difference between someone who's there just to like get something from me, versus someone who's there because they want to be there for nothing else but like, "this is what I want to contribute to" [Patrick: yeah, definitely] because I mean, that was it we said you're on the board since 1989. So…

Chris: We've been on the average we bought since 89, yes... 

John: Yeah, I mean, because that was one thing that's you know, interest when we talked about stories was [um] a lot of some really hard decisions that you've had to be a part of even with first national and the REIT etc., how have you actually managed to be able to [um] you know, keep that space in your mind to do sales business? and with the board like, what have you been able to manage that well?  

Chris: One of the things to... to have a good board, you've got to have good directors, [um] it's like having a good team all that sort of stuff and you've got to have good leadership. [um] One of the things I learned with... I'm with the company directors, [um] and one of the big roles with the board is 50 percent of your time is to make sure you've got the right CEO. If you've got the wrong CEO, [um] things can go pear-shaped pretty quickly. You don't want the dog wagging the tire or what the whale wagon the dog and things like that, so yeah, once you've got that nutted down and it's critical that you get good members that are on the board that want to be there for their members, not for their own personal gain, [um] because a lot... a lot of times you'll have a problem with someone so that's not going to work and we don't like that item in our area, but yes, but is... is it good for our industry, like for example, some would turn around and say [um] that the cooling... like cooling off period was one of the things I was... I didn't like the idea and we managed with hard work to get a choice where you could take the box off using it or not having it on there or not where other people didn't have, when people sometimes coming with the decisions they don't actually play the game of chess in their head to find out this is what the results going to be down the track if we go with that decision, because they wanted to introduce cooling off periods in auctions as well and again, that... that wouldn't work. And the reason why they've got auctions are so big in Victoria is because they had the cooling off period for years and years, yeah and the auction period got rid of that. So once the hammer went down, the house was sold. [Aaron: yep] [um] a lot of people make decisions on their... on a property and then they sell theirs, and then they bought, just say if they bought the auction on unconditional, then for three days later, you got someone pulled out on the property, so that auction system finished that.
John: Well, and that, I suppose, that's where [um] you know, I suppose with the public as well, there is such flexibility in the Tasmanian contract, because the law society and the REIT
have always ensured that [um] they led you know we had control in the sense that it was to allow flexibility, like you said, is that we know on the field, the consumers are protected but it still allows for a lot of negotiation. 

Chris: I think Tasmania got one of the best systems for... for purchasing property in Australia it's... it's a very good. It's... it's what we've... what we've worked for very hard. With the law society is very workable.

John: Well, one of the things that, I suppose, you could say I learned from dad, too, is how to keep a deal together because that was [um] you mean, well you remember when you got into [um] first national real estate, McGregor, which you bought you went to partnership with Don Neil in 1994? One of the things I remember you said very quickly: you had to earn the respect of the staff because, like, "who's this whippersnapper?" [um] but you started to put, you know, get deals together that people couldn't.

Chris: I had one where... and that was true that everybody's looking at you because when you go into a new business, you can't go telling everybody you're going to a new business beforehand. You just couldn't get a rock up at the time and [um] they had these two units out of Goodwood owned by the next hotelier and they were ten thousand dollars apart and they just-- what the one wouldn't come down, and the other one wouldn't come up. [John: don't hate those people?] [laughter] just this and [um] they said they just can't do it. "Just give me the contract" [um] and I
rang the owners and I used... they said, "don't bother coming, I'm not taking any... I'm not taking any less" and I said, "I'm not... I'm not there, for that I just want. I'm the new... the new director and I'd like to come and say hello and introduce myself to my clients" [Aaron: fair enough] Got that. Got him... Got him down five grand, rang the buyer, and he said "no, not interested." I said "I'm just the new director. Want to come, say hello, have a coffee?" and after... after sitting down with him, got him up to five minutes, got walked back to my office, got the deal together. And the owner--the vendor said to me [um] he said, "thanks for doing that because I would have come up [uh] would have come down, but your salesperson was too gutless to come and see me" [Aaron: wow] and I learned something from that day you know, you've got a... again, people. What people say to you all the time are not... not necessarily what they're thinking [um] because they're using it to bluff. That's what negotiation's about, isn't it? [Aaron: definitely] you know, the first person speaks losers and [um] and that was gonna look back into the...
into the office and they can see that I could negotiate [Aaron: you could do] yeah, it was... it was good speak…

Aaron: Speaking of being able to negotiate, I think, one of the first... I'm not a real estate agent, so i didn't--don't have to learn any of the tricks of the trade, but one of the first [uh] tricks I learned from you was the old pen in the top pocket trick, I think. [laughter]

Aaron: We probably gonna have to wrap up pretty soon, but I just wondered if you could run over the pen? We don't want to give away trade secrets, [laughter] but I think within two weeks of being here, I'd learned about the pen in the top... top pocket.

Chris: It's been a little bit different in this particular mark, but often, [um] and Patrick and John will know that when the people want to make an offer, they come in pretty... like they come in here, he's pretty silly and pretty hard sometimes [Aaron: yep] and because you've got your pen out, of course, with you... with the agreement in front of you to start [uh] [Aaron: filling out form] --filling out form and you might have a property that's in the market for four hundred thousand dollars, and they turn around so we want to make offer... we want to offer 350 [thousand dollars]. So | just get my penalties, I put them back in my pocket and that's what are you doing, I said, "I thought you said you wanted to buy it" they said, "we do". Well I'll pull my pen out and let's start from scratch. [laughter] Let's get them back to... get them back on track.

John: It's so interesting because it's powerful, because even in that moment, like that story with this vendor is it, [um] you know, with the influence that an agent can have, we're actually just bringing people the opportunity that they want to make, but sometimes, they just need that encouragement and sometimes, it can be a fun little, you know, pen back of the pocket or like your vendor said, you know, i just wanted someone that with a, you know, some just could, you know, just say, "hey, you got to do this" like, all right, don't just need someone that he could respect, you know…

Aaron: All right, stuck in my head straight away, I said, "yeah, Chris has come in and he's talked about this top pocket" "what's this top pocket thing?" [laughter] and then when he explained it to me, I was like, "that's real good, yeah, that's real good" 

Chris: Our role at the end of the day is to keep the vendor and purchaser apart so we can... we can get them together…

Patrick: "get them together" i like that.

Aaron: Yeah, that's actually a really good kind of button to [uh] to finish the show on.

John: Yeah, exactly. Go, we haven't scrapped the service, but thanks, dad] 

Aaron: No, yeah look. I think this is one where we could do a three-part series and continue to... we could do the the beginning, the middle, and I don't think the end's anywhere soon. I think you've got plenty of years ahead of you in [uh]

Chris: yeah, now I'm enjoying it here

Aaron: Excellent! Glad to hear. [um] I think, unless you guys have got anything else to cover off on…

Patrick: Well, yeah good. I've been quiet all day, [laughs] so I just keep on that

Aaron: It's nice when Pat's in the corner and there's plenty of conversation going on we've had a good episode so [um] thank you so much for coming in. Thank you for [uh] for having, John, and letting us get to know him as a [um] as a young whippersnapper and yea,h the future is bright for the McGregor clan.

Chris: Absolutely! Thanks for having me on.

Aaron: Not a problem. Thank you! Thanks, guys. Bye! 

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