5 Years in Real Estate: Hayman Partners’ Wisdom and Advice

Posted in Insights, Our achievements August 1st 2023

This month marks a huge milestone: five years of Hayman Partners, and five years of offering market-leading property services in Canberra.

You can learn plenty in five years, so to mark the occasion, we thought we’d reflect and gather some wisdom. And who better to get it from than some of our fearless leaders? 

So, what have our partners learned over the past five years in the Canberra real estate industry? And what words of advice do they have for the rest of the Hayman Partners team? We sat down with our principal, Brett Hayman, and partners Shane Killalea, Sue Killalea, and Anthony McCormack to find out.

Looking back at the past five years, what are some of your biggest learnings and takeaways from your role and the industry as a whole?

Brett: One thing we’ve always known but has been brought to the surface is how critical our people are to our business success. The insights we’ve gained on how external circumstances can impact staff stability within our industry have been big. I think there’s been significant fallout since COVID, and the pressure is real for all Canberra real estate agencies.

The second would be that recruiting the right people to ensure a happy culture is more important than having the biggest office in Canberra and stroking our personal egos as business owners.

Next, and an important one, is having a clear, detailed, defined business vision. Being a small business, you can roll with the punches a little bit more, but having a dedicated business plan is crucial for the team so they know where we are going and that we are stable and determined.

This leads to the need to remain positive as a leader; it’s key to being a positive leader. Even when the chips are down, make sure you stay positive because the team always needs someone to lean on.

And last but not least, is always being accessible to your team. We don’t have individual offices; we all sit in an open-plan environment, and this then enables us to support each other when needed. Nothing makes me happier than when a team member hangs up after a difficult conversation, and the team cheers them on for a job well done. 

Sue: I’ve learned that no two situations are the same. Real estate sales and property management is not a cookie-cutter industry.

I’ve learned to check, check and triple-check, especially with regard to trust accounts.  

I’ve learned to read a ledger backwards, forwards, inside out and in the dark.  

I’ve learned never to assume – ask questions, find out the facts.

And I’ve definitely learned that someone’s hot water system will always burst on a Friday afternoon!

Anthony: Be consistent and try to block out distractions.

Have goals, and also realise that the support network that you have around you is really crucial to how you’ll perform in real estate.

Reflecting on the journey of Hayman Partners, what are you excited about for the future?

Sue: I’m excited about the next generation coming through our business, their successes, and the many character-building transactions they will broker.

I’m excited about new technology entering the real estate arena and witnessing how it will positively impact the client experience.

I’m excited about growing our client base and spreading the Hayman Partners magic.

And I’m excited about growing our relationship with Pegasus and the plans for building on this in years to come.

Anthony: I think having a younger team embracing learning and technology, and having them continue to build real relationships, rather than artificial relationships through what’s going on with technology, is very exciting.

Real estate’s very much a people game, and it’s great to see our younger team members really getting involved in that and really nurturing those relationships. This is so important in the overall picture of real estate.

Brett: I’m excited about offering opportunities to bring the best out of people, watching our team develop their professional skills and being proud of their personal achievements in the industry. I just love watching people grow and hit their goals.

I’m also excited about fostering a collaborative culture and encouraging people to share ideas. Sometimes people have some of the best ideas but just sit on them and don’t share them.

And I love seeing our clients reach their own goals by buying, selling and leasing their properties, especially when they hit a record price after they’ve built their home. It’s just lovely to see the grins! It might not even be a record price. It might just be someone buying their first apartment, but it’s just lovely to see.

I’m really excited about sharing more so than ever before, the great community-based work and initiatives we do within the local community.

What are you most thankful for in relation to the growth and success of Hayman Partners?

Anthony: It’s really about the people you work with and the culture that’s created that makes work a great place to come to. Everyone’s happy to help and support each other.

The other thing that’s really satisfying is being able to help our diverse clients. From couples to families, you come across so many different situations where people want to sell and lease out their properties. It’s super satisfying to be able to do that as a job.

For me, it doesn’t really feel like work, so I’m thankful that job satisfaction in real estate is really high.

Brett: There are a lot of things I’m really thankful for. Canberrans are taking an interest in our brand and our service as a local real estate agency. Our team; we’ve weathered some troubled times throughout our five years. I’m also very thankful for our business partners who have stuck side by side – even Marty, who’s worked directly with me for 16 and a half years – he’s obviously put up with me for longer than anybody else. I’m also thankful for having the capacity to change direction very quickly because we are such a small team.

And finally, my wife, for having the patience to put up with me and understand my excitement, enthusiasm and whingeing when I get home when something’s gone wrong in the office that day; if only we could bottle her fortitude and share it.

Sue: First and foremost are the great people our business has attracted and have joined our team by hopping on the Hayman bus with us. Lots of friends have been made, and fun times have made me look back, smile and laugh.

I’m really thankful that our growth and success have given us the ability to give back. Over the years, we have supported many groups and organisations, big and small. Our association with Pegasus is something I’m very thankful for.

I’m thankful for our clients, some amazingly interesting people with fascinating stories. You just never know who you’re going to meet in this job! I’m thankful that we’re able to work from anywhere, and the world is our office. And I’m very thankful that through the growth and success of Hayman Partners, we have created many property partners for life.

What advice would you give someone starting their journey with Hayman Partners today?

Shane: For a young salesperson starting your journey at Hayman Partners, treat it as a career, not just a hobby or a job. It’s very much like being a carpenter, a plumber or a mechanic. It’s at least a four-to-five-year apprenticeship and a great industry to get into. There’s no cap on your income potential. So, for the young people getting into the business, learn, be diligent, and it’s one of the best careers you could ever enjoy!

Sue: Ask questions, be a sponge, and soak up the experience around you. Oh, and clean your Tupperware out of the fridge on Friday!

Anthony: I think where you can get tripped up is when you get very distracted by little things that are on the side. Take a holistic approach, so essentially, you’ve got to look after yourself, your family and then work.