Estate Agent – Barry Thakrar of Venture Residential

How did it start?

Why did you choose estate agency as career?
I chose to get into the field because my brother was an estate agent and he was very successful and happy in the industry. It was also a great way of helping people  and their dream home or investment. You get to meet so many different types of people all the time.

How long have you been an Estate Agent?
1.5 years, but I have been in property in different realms for over 10 years.

Have you always had an interest in property?
Yes, the industry is always changing and I love that about it. The Luton market has changed so much, it is getting more and more desirable to live in Luton and we are enjoy the regentrification of the whole market and area.

Tell us about your career

What do you like about being an Estate Agent?
Every day is different. The people you meet, the buzz of the office atmosphere and the culture of Venture is where they support your success and want you to do well and give you the tools to this.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Selling a 1.2 million pound complex, it was amazing. Joining BNI which I really enjoy as I get to help other businesses as well as people. Also helping a family that thought they could not afford a 3 bed home for their expanding family get into the place through financial advice and finding the right home for them. It was lovely seeing them move in and happy, I even helped with a few boxes and they have become friends.

As a senior member of the team are you involved in more strategic areas of the business too?
I am involved in how we network and grow the business, which is something I enjoy. The slow burners we call it, which we know will solidify our position as the best agent in Luton. We know that if we keep doing the right thing over and over again, our reputation will grow to the level that our quality shows.

Do people make assumptions about your industry?

Sometime Estate Agents are tarnished with being wide boys, even conmen, have you experienced this and if so how do you or Venture Residential overcome this?
We don’t employ people like this. We employ organized, professional people and pay them accordingly. The public don’t want the hard sales approach, people are more educated than ever and know when people are lying to them or being too pushy. At Venture we offer an honest, straight forward and no nonsense approach, where things are black and white and we want to support a sale going through step by step. We are different because our TEAM is different, just drop into the office and see.

How does the industry work?

Typically estate agents work long hours, I am assuming you have days off to compensate?
Yes – work and life balance is essential. We don’t work Sundays as a rule. We do have to work on Saturdays as it is our busy time, but that is when you make the big commissions so that is not a problem. There are down times, but this is a high paced, fun environment where you don’t mind working hard. It is competitive but you must be competitive to get the best out of yourself, which is the best part of it.

Do you find estate agency a rewarding career?
Very much. Both personally and financially. It’s not only through pay, you get advice and support on your own home that saves you 1000’s of pounds. There is nothing more rewarding throughout helping a family move into a dream home and you were a part of that. You know they have found their nest and it is a great feeling.

How has estate agency evolved since the internet and more recently how do you utilise social media?
We use Facebook a lot. Rightmove and Zoopla are a massive selling tool, but Facebook is great for us. We do clever things like have monthly competitions that people share across social media and we have had so much success from this. Also, we post our properties on Facebook 24 hours before Rightmove and Zoopla so people like our page and we have a greater following.

What qualifications or experience do you need?

Did you study to become an Estate Agent?
No – there is lots of on job training. Having good grades and being sharp always helps, but the most important thing is to be willing to listen to advice because in the long run, it will make you better at your job and as a person.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering estate agency as a career?
Do it… You will not look back. You have to get over the 3 -4 month hump but when you do, the fruits of your labour are worth it. It is a steep learning curve, but one that is fantastic to be at the top of. Once you start seeing how well you are doing, you will be buzzing everyday.

What does it take to be successful as an Estate Agent?
Organisation, giving to gain, listening skills, smart work ethics (don’t waste your time) and most of all, an open minded learning attitude. There is something everyday to listen out for and learn from. If you want to expand your knowledge everyday, then estate agency is for you. Like anything in life, you get from it what you put into it. If you want to be a millionaire in this business, you can be, it just takes what you’re willing to put into it.

Is estate agency something you can get into after already carving out a career can you give us an example of someone who has done that in your organisation?
I owned my own business overseas and when coming back to England saw this as the perfect opportunity to use my vast knowledge of sales and networking to my advantage. It is an excellent transition for a sales person, but if you are an organised person that is motivated to make money and grow within a organisation, then this is the business for you.

Taking things forward…

Why do you think Venture residential differs from your competition?
We sell to London buyers. We register them like no other agent does because we solely work for the Vendor on getting them the best price for their property. 68% of the time, London buyers are the best buyers. We are not motivated by building chains or selling products people don’t need. We want to do the best for the Vendor, get them the best price and most importantly help them move. We also have a clear idea of who the person is coming through the door on a viewing before they come through, as we give them a mini-interview to make sure they are qualified to buy a house before they even view it, thus not wasting anybody’s time.

What are the plans for the business in the next 12- 18 months?
We WILL have another location and we PLAN to be the number one agent in Luton and the surrounding areas. We also want to expand the opportunity for people to join our team and make money and be successful. We also want to take our team away on a mini holiday as a thank you for their efforts in the next 18 months when we get to a certain level of profit which is close.

How do you see your career evolving?
I want to expand the amount of people that know about our brand across Luton and help make us the number 1 agent in Luton. The rewards from this will speak for itself. I want to personally grow my network of people and be the go-to-guy when it comes to anything and everything property.

Barry Thakrar 

Venture Residential
Office: 01582 249155
Mobile: 07784 347 600