Fate has played a big role in Tina Lee’s career as a real estate agent.
With a background in insurance and sales, Tina left her home of Hong Kong in the mid-nineties and relocated to Sydney to raise her family. Once her youngest reached high school, she came across an advertisement while browsing the local newspaper.
The ad invited readers to find out more about the real estate industry. With strong sales and management experience, Tina had nothing to lose. “I was ready to go back to work and I liked the idea of selling something tangible,” she says.
“One Agency was exactly what I was after.”
Not long after, Tina secured her first job in real estate. A few years later, another advertisement caught her eye, this time suggesting she go solo as a One Agency licensee. Again, the timing was perfect. “I loved the property industry but I didn’t like the idea of working for other people,” explains Tina. “My son suggested I give it a go as One Agency was exactly what I was after.”
Ten years later, Tina is the longest serving One Agency licensee, and one of its biggest success stories.
Serving the community
While her business base is in Chatswood, One Agency Tina Lee represents clients in sales and property management across Sydney’s Lower North Shore and beyond.
“Eighty per cent of my business comes from referrals and repeat clients,” says Tina. “Often, tenants move on to become landlords themselves, then they invite me to be property manager.”
Tina is also active with the Chinese-speaking market. “My Chinese-language clients are relieved to have an agent they can communicate with. They tell me they are unsure of how to understand the body language of other local agents and they don’t always feel as though communication is thorough. I’m in a position where I know what they are looking for and can cater to what they want.”
All in the family
One Agency has allowed Tina to set up her business, her way. “I like to provide high-quality service but I didn’t want to be part of a franchise agency. I also didn’t want to have lots of staff or an office.”
Now Tina works from home, travelling to meet her clients instead of having them coming to her. “It’s a positive thing because they see this as getting personal service. What’s more, I’m not always carrying a stack of paperwork back and forth. Now my children are grown, I can work from my home office any time I like.”
Tina has also moved from raising her family to working alongside it. Husband Ennio and son Gabriel are now part of her business. “We are a family team and I don’t have to worry about people ‘defecting’! I am training my son so in the future he can take on the business.”
Having family support means Tina can trust her staff and offer a premium experience to her clients. “We always have at least two people at open homes, one to do the greeting and take names, and the rest of the team to take care of buyers’ enquiries or questions. This lets us give better personal service.”
Tina’s sales process is very thorough. “Some agents just attend an open then let the younger team members do the hard work. I rely on my husband and son for support but I still take charge. I’m very client-focused and do all the negotiation and communicating.”
Quality service, Tina’s way
Being an independent operator gives Tina the flexibility to cater to her clients the way she sees fit. By only taking on a select number of homes to sell at a time, she can go the extra mile.
Notes Tina, “I recently had a buyer ask to see a home on a Sunday. Most agents wouldn’t respond to this type of request because there’s no certainty it would result in a sale but I was able to arrange an inspection. Lucky I did, because the buyer put in an offer. I might not have achieved the sale had I not been flexible with timing.”
As a One Agency licensee, Tina has been able to find the ideal work/life balance. “I am approaching retirement. I don’t want to be stressed or overwhelmed but I still enjoy working and building good client relationships.”
“Paul and Annie from One Agency are very supportive. They know my motivation and they don’t mind me working at my own pace. I have been with One Agency for a long time because the business model suits me and they are happy for me to do things my way.”
"It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep that counts."
‒ Paul Davies, Founder and CEO
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