Podcast Episode Transcription: Season 2, Episode 6

Welcome to the CGA Career Podcast. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing director and auctioneer of Marshall White, Kaine Lanyon, who specializes in selling residential property in the Port Phillip and Bayside area of Melbourne. Kaine completed his studies at Caulfield Grammar in 1993.

Today, I’ve asked him to join me on the podcast to give us an understanding of what it takes to be successful working in real estate and some of the other different career paths that someone could pursue if they were interested in a career in property.

Leah: Welcome, Kaine. Thank you for joining me on the podcast.

Kaine: Leah, good afternoon. Thank you very much for having me. Look forward to this. This is a bit unusual for me, so I hope I can share some wisdom that might help others.

Leah: Well, you might be a pro after this, Kaine, so we’ll see what happens.

Kaine: Very good. Very good.

Leah: So, Kaine, can you start off by just explaining your connection to Caulfield Grammar and your career journey after leaving school?

Kaine: Yes, absolutely. So I was a boarder at Caulfield Grammar between 1990 and 1993. I grew up in Hamilton in Western Victoria and spent my last four years of senior school in Melbourne as a boarder, which I absolutely loved. Every week and every day of that created lifelong memories and lifelong friends. So that was that part of it.

And then I left school and wasn’t exactly sure at that stage what I wanted to do, so I went overseas and did a gap year with a reciprocal school that was connected to Caulfield, Loreto, in Scotland. Did that for eight or nine months. Then I came back and got into the property course at RMIT. Coming from a stock and station and real estate background in Hamilton, Victoria, I was definitely oriented that way, but I wasn’t necessarily convinced what it was I wanted to do in those fields. The auctioneer part of things ticked a few boxes.

I wasn’t too interested in sheep and cattle, much to my father’s dismay. And then I got into property at RMIT and started doing that course. Sadly, my parents passed away in the same year. The moment that my father passed away, who was a very good auctioneer, as was his father, my grandfather, there was a burning desire to be an auctioneer, almost instantly. I pretty well quit university because I wasn’t taking that too seriously.

I rang a connection, who was also a former Premier, Jeff Kennett, and basically said, “Can I have a job?” And that’s 25 or 26 years ago.

Leah: I love the alumni connection there, and that’s what this is all about, really, is encouraging people to use those connections. So, Kaine, if someone was considering a career in property, what would be the different areas they could look into if they weren’t exactly sure what they wanted to do?

Kaine: Sure. Let’s work through them. You’ve got what I do, which is residential agency sales. I specialise in selling homes in my little marketplace. If you didn’t want to be in sales, you could be in residential property management, handling people’s investment assets.

You could also be in commercial agency, commercial property management, or get into valuations. You come out after getting your ticket as a valuer, and again, whether that’s residential or commercial, there are opportunities. There’s a development arm as well.

Leah: If someone was unsure whether they wanted to do residential or commercial, what would be some considerations they need to take into account?

Kaine: The main one is the days. In residential, we work Monday through Saturday, with Saturday being the main day, our game day. Property management might allow for a five-day work week. Commercial, however, operates Monday to Friday during business hours. That’s a major point. Some residential agencies also operate on Sundays, so that’s something to consider.

Leah: And I’m sure you never take a call on a Sunday, Kaine.

Kaine: You don’t have much choice, Leah. In sales, when it’s on, it’s on. Other than going on holiday, you are very much your own business within a business. It can be the highest-paid hard work or the lowest-paid lazy work. If you don’t put in, you won’t get much out of it.

Leah: I remember hiking up a mountain in Halls Gap with you, and you were on your phone from the bottom to the top.

Kaine: Sadly, that can be the case. When something is bubbling, you have to deal with it. It’s not all the time, but when it is, that’s how you make your income.

Leah: Does that also involve evening work, meeting clients at their homes or over Zoom?

Kaine: Yes, typically meetings happen after work hours, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. COVID changed this a bit with Zoom calls. Now, with more people working from home, some meetings happen during business hours.

Leah: Would you say real estate is a lifestyle choice?

Kaine: Very much so. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable job if you like people and different locations. Every day is different, with different suburbs, cafes, homes, and people.

Leah: For someone starting off in real estate, how would they spend their week?

Kaine: They would shadow senior agents at open homes, listen to their phone calls, and build a contact list. They need to meet buyers first and build relationships over time.

Leah: What would be the main reasons someone might leave real estate early on?

Kaine: They might not want to do the hard work or have the wrong perception of the job. They see the shiny cars and suits but not the hard work behind the scenes. It’s a slow burn for most.

Leah: What qualifications do they need now?

Kaine: At a minimum, an agent’s representative qualification. Further studies can lead to becoming a licensed real estate agent.

Leah: What are the pros and cons of the industry?

Kaine: Pros are the variation of your day and meeting diverse people. Cons are the hours and the emotional roller coaster of sales.

Leah: If someone is considering a career in real estate, what’s one piece of advice you would give them?

Kaine: Align yourself with a prominent, successful company with excellent training resources. Learn from senior agents and build a strong foundation in your first couple of years.

Leah: Great advice, Kaine. Thank you for your time. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m sure everyone else has as well.

Kaine: Terrific. I hope that was helpful. Thanks for having me, and good luck with the next one.

Leah: Thanks, Kaine.

Leah: Thanks for tuning in to today’s episode. Make sure to follow us on socials and update your details to hear all the latest community news and events. Because wherever life takes you, you are never far away.