Welcome to the latest edition of the OzHomeNews Agent of the Week!
This week the spotlight is on Benjamin Goodwin of McGrath Estate Agents, who is one of Sydney’s leading agents and a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie… who admits swimming has never been one of his strong points!
We caught up with the Sydney-born agent and spoke about all things real estate, dogs and everything in between.
From selling threads to selling houses
After landing a job as a car salesman upon finishing college, Benjamin went on to selling luxury suits. It was then that he was encouraged to pursue a role as a real estate agent and the rest, as they say, is history.
“All my clients were real estate agents and they kept saying to me that I was wasted in threads and so I finally took the plunge when I was 20 and got my real estate certificate,” Benjamin says.
“I started at Century 21 in the Sutherland Shire while I was a part-time carer for my grandmother who lives there and looking back at it now, was one of the happiest times of my
“It was so beautiful there and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to make a really cool network over in the South of Sydney.”
Unlike many agents, Benjamin’s passion for his job isn’t brought out in the properties he showcases necessarily, but more so the people and the stories behind the homes, with a particularly poignant recent memory a perfect example of why he loves his job.
“If I’m being completely honest, I never got into real estate because I have a love for property, I have a love for people,” he explains.
“My approach is that my clients have 100% commitment from myself and my team the moment they engage our services.
“One of the best experiences that I have ever had was recently when I sold an investment property for a woman who had just given birth and soon after was diagnosed with cancer.
“She was selling her home so she could put the proceeds towards a trust for her baby that she may very well never have had the opportunity to raise – it was absolutely heart-breaking.
“The evening of exchange I sat down with her whole family and she put on this amazing dinner to say thank you.
“I was sitting there thinking that my clients that are going through some of the toughest times are the most beautifully humble people that I have ever meet… it’s quite profound to see that.
“I appreciate the fact that people have built their amazing homes and often use these residences as a means of showcasing self-expression, but… I want to hear about their story and how they got to where they are because my drive is so heavily focused on why they need to sell.
“That’s what I love about it. Everybody is different and you never get the exact same situation twice.”
As he’s rubbed shoulders with some of the who’s who of Sydney, you could be forgiven for thinking that Benjamin’s inspiration would come from a familiar household name and not an ex-NASA professor.
“There’s one person that I look up to in particular but I don’t think many people will have heard about him,” Benjamin says.
“Professor Grant Thompson was one of the first Australian men to help put a man on the moon in the late ’60s.
“Since then, he’s created a capsule that can transport critically injured infants and he has saved the lives of thousands of babies, potentially the next Prime Minister of Australia.
“He is just the most humble and gracious person who has changed the course of history with his medical breakthroughs and he doesn’t even like people fussing over him.
“The reason I look up to him is because he is holistically real. I try to completely replicate his approach within my business – to be real, holistic and open, which is why I believe my clients stick with me.
“If you don’t keep a really clear line of communication open at all times with your client, it’s not going to work. I say to my clients, ‘you own me for the duration of your homes marketing campaign; if there’s something you want done, there is no length I wouldn’t go to ensure that it is.”
The fear chip
It’s fair to say that Benjamin’s line of communication with his clients is open all the time…
“The market at the moment is profound,” Benjamin says.
“It’s remarkable how much value people see within a property nowadays, especially with COVID adding so much external pressure to the importance of what a home now represents, it’s not just a home, it has become people’s home office, entertaining spaces, their entire worlds practically.
“In March I sold my first and biggest property with McGrath Double Bay for $5,675,000.
“I recall it clear as day! I sold it on the same day that the government announced that real estate in NSW was going to be temporarily shut down with the cessation of any foreseeable open homes or on-site auctions.
“After seeing what had just transpired on the news, I knew that I had to have it sold right then and there.
“I got in the car that same night and I drove to one of my contract holder’s homes in Castlecrag. I got there at 10 pm, knocked on his door, and he was still up, bewildered as to why I was on his door step, I continued to tell him that he was about to be the lucky owner of a new house in Paddington.
“We opened up a bottle of Penfolds, shared the bottle around the dining table with his wife and two elder children and I sold him the house on the spot for $5.675 million on a gentleman’s handshake. On his word, my office was couriered a signed 66W at 8 am the next morning, making the deal unconditionally binding – it was a great experience.
“I can guarantee that when I’m telling my kids about this story, it will be the deal of my career, because it took some serious courage!
“You have to get rid of the fear chip. Many of us have this fear chip within and the minute you can crack somebody and have them to remove it, they’ll become a million-dollar agent.
When he’s not up on his vendor’s roof scrubbing the tiles or busy landscaping their gardens, like he was with the recent sale of 52 Lang Road, what does Benjamin get up to?
“I live in Potts Point so I’m blessed in being able to wake up to some pretty great views from my apartment, it’s a stunning spot to live,” he says.
“I’m really big into adrenaline hobbies, so anything that gets the heart racing in my chest. I love rock climbing, abseiling, white water rafting, go-karting, skydiving, anything to do with nature, just anything that doesn’t involve me in the water… I can’t swim all that well, so the beach isn’t for me. I’m probably the only Australian that can’t swim more than 50 metres!
“I also love getting out with my dog at any chance I get. He’s a little Pomeranian called Maverick, he’s the funniest dog, and always manages to get a laugh out of me.
Are you a high-performing agent who’s killing it at the moment? Or perhaps you know someone who deserves a bit of credit for their hard work? If so, then get in touch with us on Instagram @OzHomeNews.