Our Twelfth Month - Aug 2019

I've decided I will share a handful of touch points for the first year in summary - the things that stand out to me most with a brief thought of mine attached to each point.







Matthew De Maid

Our Twelfth Month - Aug 2019

I've decided I will share a handful of touch points for the first year in summary - the things that stand out to me most with a brief thought of mine attached to each point.

I've been thinking about this blog a fair bit over the last month or so because I wanted to make the final one for the first year a little different. My thoughts over the last month revolved around how much to share, how much not to share and also how to share it in a way that didn't end up a huge mess of writing that no one would enjoy reading.

I've decided I will share a handful of touch points for the first year in summary - the things that stand out to me most with a brief thought of mine attached to each point.

The Day of the Announcement:
I remember announcing our plans to the 'world' in tears of happiness and six minutes later the first phone call being one from a client telling me they'd decided to give their listing to someone else. We kept the listing, it became our first unconditional sale - $825,000.

First Month Listings:
In the first four weeks we uploaded 20 listings to the new brand, 11 new and 9 listings that needed to be re-branded and re-signed for legality reasons. It was chaos, we were writing advertising text and uploading new listings at 11.30pm just because we'd promised our clients it'd be done 'that day'.

Finding 'The Shop':
We'd driven past our now office and seen the sign 'For Lease' and then the next time we went past... sign gone. Two weeks later the sign was back - we signed a six year lease the very next day (without a single property sale settlement to our name yet haha). It was the perfect space for us, so we backed ourselves and hoped for the best.

Office Renovations:
This will stress Tom Haydock from Lavish Constructions reading this now; but we agreed to our office renovations knowing full well that we didn't have the whole sum of cash to do it right at that very moment - we needed to get it started at that moment though so it was done in time for our child to be born, when we needed hired help in the office to back us up because Rhi had been my helper up until this point. We'd hoped that the progress payments for Tom fell in line with settlements coming in... and they did. We would have got the money from somewhere if we needed it, but where's the fun in that? Haha.

Support People:
Before we even opened the doors we'd hired a support person who we were excited to have join us, but then a spanner was thrown in the works and the timing didn’t work out for them (we've since sold for them and we still very much love them). We have also had two other support staff come & go which lead to the wonderful Allie; Allie has confirmed my thoughts that there is nothing more beneficial to a business than having great people.

It's tricky not to go on a bit of a rant on this one, but I'll keep it brief & polite. The level of competition you'll feel when starting a business as competitive as real estate - must never be underestimated, everything you've felt when working for someone else; kicks up a notch when it's brand new. Just because you believe in it and want good things from it, doesn't mean that everyone will support you with it by default. I've learnt that staying in your own lane, focus, self belief & lots of hours can get you through pretty much anything a competitor can sling in your direction.

Like Attracts Like:
In stark contrast to the above, starting a new business for a reason you believe in will see some people support you in ways you never imagined or expected. Chances are if you think something, others think it too - the real challenge comes in communicating 'that something' so people know you actually believe it.

The creative process, in an often 'not so creative' industry will ultimately lead to people borrowing your work when it starts to get noticed; super frustrating - it's a real lesson in self control every time... I have been known to speak my mind on the subject from time to time. I'm learning to keep my creative process in check so we're always doing it for the right reasons and doing it consistently. People say that imitation is flattering, I think it was a non-creative that made that saying up.

I used to think I knew what tired was. Then we started this business four months before our child was born; and I know that people talk about deadline motivating you - but I'd never had a deadline quite as inflexible as this one. In our first four months... we started a business and a whole brand design from scratch (still haven't paid anyone for creative work), sold 18 properties, signed a lease, renovated an office and hired three people. I literally had no idea what had happened or the magnitude of what we'd achieved until I locked the office door the day before Orlo was born, it was a moment that I'll never forget. I'd literally taken zero time to reflect before that moment, remembering the feelings I felt still blow my mind to this day.

A good thing but also a dangerous thing. For me, the challenge was - how do you achieve all these things you really wanted and then not get complacent once you have. I've since hired outside help, in a coach to help me with what comes next as I really had no idea beyond the initial setup and sprint on what comes next. Happy to say we're all over it now though.

Dad Life:
How great is it?! Those who know me know that I obsess over the details and while this is a strength it can also become really exhausting - being a Dad has taught me that while the details matter, other things matter more. Learning I was becoming a Dad and the decisions that followed it has been the best thing that's ever happened to me (equal to meeting his mumma).

Start Up to Started Up:
The business went through a time that felt really odd to me; a time that it went from feeling like the start up - people were watching it and not knowing what was going to happen with it, to trusting it and believing in it. Of course some people believed in it sooner; but I'm talking the generalists or the conservative ones (of which Toowoomba has a few and that's part of the reason we love Toowoomba so much).

So, where to from here? Mainly I plan to keep smiling and doing everything with that very simple intention. Obviously growth is important to me but not as important as being able to come to work each day feeling good about what we're doing and the people around me. Hiring more people is definitely on the cards, as is some more definite plans about marketing the brand better. I feel that the last twelve months has been all super organic growth which is sensational - but I believe there's got to be a broader audience that'll be interested in what we're doing too. We pinned down our three key defining beliefs to be Authentic, Organised & Detailed - so everything we do and everyone we hire will continue reflect those three key beliefs.

If you've made it this far in the blog, congratulations & thank you. In the first year we finished off with 38 unconditional sales which was a little shy of our target of 40; but we're still thrilled with 38.

- Matt