Dubbed by us, the Queen of Byron Bay for Real Estate — Su Reynolds from First National Byron Bay made the leap into the Real Estate industry straight from school.
Thirty years later, Su is one of Australia’s top performing Agents with multi-state and national awards in her class. These include 2021 Rate my Agent awards and Agent of the Year for Byron Bay.
Known for her sensitivity and drive, Su works incredibly hard, fielding as many as 100 to 150 calls daily.
Su says, “I start at home at 5:00 am and I send my team the to-do email list for the day. I then answer any emails and look at any proposals that I need to add my personal touch too. This is all complete by the time I walk into my very productive time of day. I don’t touch administration work and I block out time for prospecting and returning calls. My absolute focus is being as productive with every single minute that I can be.”
A radical change for Byron in the past year
“When COVID-19 hit, we had no idea what we were in for. A few weeks into lockdown, we realised that things were changing. We made a decision — having been through the GFC — we were going to make it work no matter what,” Su says.
“Then all of a sudden, the world changed. A lot of people have wanted to live here for many years, and what stopped them is our average salary is less than $60,000 a year. In lockdown though, with a remote workforce, people could bring their city incomes and live where they wanted! So now the market has never been under supplied as much as it is now, and it’s the highest demand I’ve ever seen.”
There are a number of reasons why moving to Byron is so desirable.
“It’s appealing because of the natural beauty of the place, but also, it’s still a small country town. It supports quality food, quality entertainment and quality shopping because of the level of tourism.,” Su says.
“We have lots of the metropolitan aspects, mixed with the upside of living in a small country town. The ethos of living in Byron Bay is healthy living, environmentalism and keeping it real.”
With so much drive to move to Byron Bay in the past year, there has been a radical increase in price.
“A property that would have been $900,000 three years ago, would now sell for $1.6m. Rentals through COVID-19 initially dropped to 40%, however due to the surge of population, within weeks, they increased 40%,” Su says.
“It was a bit sad to watch, actually. A lot of the long-term locals were priced out of the market and were evicted from their homes, meaning they had to take their kids out of schools.”
This then created another problem which had been brewing for years. The area was beginning to price out the very people that made the community so great.
“As Agents, we’ve got to be really careful about our message we’re sending to the community. It’s not about celebrating the success and how far over the reserve price we’re achieving,” Su says.
“Instead, we need to show sensitivity. There are buyers turning up to open homes in tears because they keep missing out. As Agents, we need to be aware of the message we are portraying – and be conscious of the whole community, not just the success of it.”
The demand has become so great, it’s impacting buyers and sellers. “We’ve got a bank of sellers who we’ve got contracts ready for, have photos complete, web links approved, and we’re ready to launch the minute they find a property to buy,” Su says.
“They’re averaging sales for two weeks at the moment, so we have to be prepared with our “ready now” sellers, who will sell when they’re ready to buy. Our team carries 20 to 25 listings, and we’ve got three at the moment.”
In 2020, Su closed 78 deals and created $1.94 million in fees. For the year 2021, Su is on track for $2.5 million in fees with everything that is exchanged to date.
Despite this, Su doesn’t like to dwell on the numbers. Company-wise, Su and the team are very clear on being part of the community.
“We’ve always had the ethos that ‘we don’t brag’. Whatever we do behind the scenes, we do because that’s what we want to do. Not because that’s how we want to look. It’s always about looking in any form of media that we do; “what’s in it for the consumer?”, Su says.
The office is now selling on average two properties a month at the moment, and video has been very important to the business.
“Video has been one of the most important aspects of the confidence of buyers buying. We had one customer who was in hotel quarantine and bought a country property ‘site unseen’ from a video alone and a FaceTime walkthrough,” Su says.
All because she was worried that if she waited until she got out of quarantine, she’d miss it!
How Su works
Su Reynolds has built a name for herself, working hard for a long period of time as a solo Agent. In this time, she was typically carrying 25 listings and writing $700,000 – $800,000 in fees.
However a few years ago, Su decided to change her attitude.
“I got really angry. I looked around me at people who were Agents and competitors who were doing better than I was, and I knew I could do it better than them. I knew I cared more, and I knew that I had the skills to gain better results. So I made the decision that I wanted to give more time back to my family, and to do that, I needed to make every single minute count,” Su says.
Because of this, her internal dialogue changed. Therefore, the way in which she presented at listing presentations changed as well.
“I knew that I had the answers that were going to help vendors achieve a better result than anybody else. I knew I’d care for them well, and I just brought my best game to the table,” Su says.
She valued her own message, her experience, her own self — and spoke from the heart.
Su also reorientated herself in relation to clients, by sharing with them the exact knowledge of what they needed to do to get their best results.
“I made a decision of working my work hours in 15-minute increments. There’s no downtime between appointments – every minute counts to getting things I need done,” Su says.
“I think one of the hardest things in this career is harnessing the freedom that we’re given. It’s the decision of what you do with those hours that I think makes the biggest difference. There’s certain clients that I said I couldn’t help anymore, because I knew every time the phone rang with their number, the way it made me feel, made me a different person than when I walked in the door at home, and I wasn’t going to do that anymore.”
By changing her business model, Su had the ability to take on two leverage Agents.
“I’m really lucky to have Luke and Kate. I’ve also recently had a trainee salesperson, Katie, who is just about to fly the nest.”
“Luke has worked with me for nearly seven years and for want of a better description, he is my buyer’s Agent. He follows up the buyers, and deals with anything to do with that. I’m very much involved in the negotiation end of things though, and it’s my job to bring in the listings and nurture the vendors.”
“Then we have our little ninja, Kate, who does absolutely everything to keep us as productive as we possibly can. She’s incredibly efficient, and always thinks for us — which is wonderful. It took me a long time to find the right people, because the culture I’m replicating in my business was so important.”
Su says, “I wasn’t going to spend 20 years building the business that I have and have someone come into my team and affect that negatively. I’ve been very blessed for the people I’ve found.”
Su still believes it is a privilege to be trusted with a home to sell. She says, “I ask everyone to think of how many of their very closest friends they get to walk through their ensuites, and their main bedrooms, and their entire house. It is a privilege and that needs to be respected. I learned that when I was 18 in a property with other competitive Agents, and they were making fun of someone’s underwear drawer in their main bedroom. I made a decision at the age of 18 then, that I was going to do things very differently to that.”
Su Reynolds – making every moment count.