Meet Mikki Wells, property wizard, author, editor, counsellor, and buyer’s agent.
REIWA sat down with Mikki to talk about why every buyer should consider having a buyer’s agent to represent them, to help achieve their property goals.
How did you get involved in real estate?
A combination of luck, timing and inevitability. My work history includes media and marketing, advertising, publishing, journalism, and creative writing.
I was looking for a change in direction. I have boundless enthusiasm for property and I particularly like the concept of ‘match-making’ a person with their ideal home or investment. That’s what drew me to real estate.
My academic background is in psychology, and without a doubt that foundation helps me in this job at least as much as the work experience I’ve had.
Ultimately, real estate is more about people than property. You can’t work successfully in the industry if you don’t have the ability to authentically connect and communicate with a hugely diverse range of human beings.
Why a buyer’s agent and not a selling agent?
I felt there was an imbalance in the market. The whole transaction seemed to focus almost exclusively on getting the best deal for the seller. But without the buyer of course, there is no transaction.
Buying a property is notoriously one of life’s most stressful experiences, and the most life changing. I feel passionately that every buyer really needs and deserves someone on their side who is going to give them consistent, impartial advice, and conduct all the meticulous research they likely don’t have the energy (or possibly the insight) to do.
And what a time I chose to become a buyer’s agent. I made the decision in July 2020, just after the first wave of COVID hit. Who could have predicted the impact the pandemic would have had on the property market? I approached an established Perth buyer’s agent who I had been following on Facebook, with a carefully crafted email requesting she consider taking me on as an ‘apprentice’.
To my amazement, she said yes. I completed my real estate registration and by December 2020 I had secured a home for my first client. I was hooked. A year later, I was lucky enough to get a position at Property Wizards.
What is the role of a Buyer’s Agent and how can they make the purchasing process easier?
It’s about focusing on the all-important day-to-day detail for our clients, while never losing sight of the bigger picture. This is how we do it:
- We listen to the buyer. It’s about properly, incisively understanding exactly what each buyer wants, what they hope to achieve, their priorities and preferences, their personal dislikes and deal-breakers, their financial goals (both short-term and long-term), and their unique individual quirks. We don’t do a “one size fits all” service.
- Research is at the heart of everything we do.
- We manage buyer expectations throughout the process. Sometimes it feels like you’re shattering someone’s dream, but it’s a matter of rebuilding their dream within the constraints of their budget, and reality.
- We advocate exclusively for the buyer from the very start right through to settlement.
- We have formidable (some might say borderline obsessive) market insights and go to great lengths to give our clients the competitive edge – while ensuring they never over-pay.
- Our buyers also benefit enormously from the strong and mutually respectful professional relationships we have with many selling agents all over Perth.
- Property-buying is fraught with stress and risk. While we can’t claim to completely eliminate stress and risk (an impossible task!), we certainly aim to minimise it.
What do you love most about your job?
It boils down to “the art of the deal”. No two days are the same. It’s never boring. Frustrating, infuriating, exhausting at times – definitely. But never, ever boring.
I’m a natural-born bargain hunter and although arguably there’s no such thing as a ‘bargain’ in the current market, it is still possible to source and secure good value. And that’s what buyer’s agents are all about.
My favourite aspects of the job are:
- Finding a property that so closely matches a client’s requirements (and within their budget). That gives me a literal frisson of excitement.
- Getting that all-important “offer accepted” phone call from an agent.
- Telling a client “your offer has been accepted”, particularly when it’s a home to live in, because I know it signifies the next important chapter in their lives.
- Settlement day. Occasionally I am granted the honour and privilege of accompanying a client when they collect their keys, and it honestly overwhelms me with the warm and fuzzies.
- Banter with colleagues. Not just my team but with selling agents, with whom we establish and nurture tight-knit professional relationships of trust and collaboration.
- What is the most challenging part of your job?
- Doom-and-gloom news headlines. Running out of coffee. The line “oh sorry, that one just sold sight unseen $50,000 above the price guide to an interstate investor” when I call an agent moments after they list a property. Sunday morning home opens.
- And most of all, rejected offers. I’m very much of the mindset “if it’s meant to be, it will be”, but we put a lot of work into each offer. It’s important to learn valuable lessons from every setback and disappointment, but it’s not always easy to be pragmatic about it.
What is your advice for buyers when it comes to choosing a buyer’s agent?
Be guided by a buyer’s agent’s experience, awards/accolades, testimonials and qualifications, but choose one who puts you at ease right from the first contact and who you instinctively feel an affinity with. One who answers your questions but who also asks you plenty of questions and attentively listens to your responses, and is intuitive, insightful and receptive.
What is your advice to those thinking about a career in real estate?
It’s not just a career. It’s not something you can enter into half-heartedly. You have to give it your all. You have to be a bit crazy in love with it (and that love is not often reciprocated, but the rewards can be enormous).
And don’t even think about it if you don’t like driving!
If you’d like to learn more about property investment or premium home buying in Perth or clarify your buying strategy and goals, feel free to call us on (08) 9381-7450 or fill in this no-obligation Getting Started form to get the ball rolling. If you’d like to learn more about property investment strategies, or you’d like to clarify your own strategy and goals, why not request our 4 Strategies Download to get the ball rolling. __________________________________________________________________________ Established in 2004, Property Wizards works with local, interstate and overseas home and investment buyers seeking to buy property in the greater Perth metropolitan area. Property Wizards takes away the stress of buying property and saves you time and money. Regardless of market conditions, our research, knowledge, and access to silent sales means we find and negotiate properties with potential to outperform the market in capital growth and rental returns. Importantly, we provide home buyers and property investors with the same level of representation that property sellers have benefited from for years.