Introducing this week’s Agent of the Week, Evan Williams, who, after swapping opera for real estate, has propelled himself to becoming one of Sydney’s leading agents and the current record holder of Australia’s highest auction price.
We got to find out about Evan’s story and what he gets up to when he’s not selling houses, or lighthouses for that matter!
Putting on the Big Boy Pants
Upon becoming one of the best agents in the country, Evan, 36, had to make a huge decision early on in his life, and it’s fair to say it was quite the career change, but one that has worked wonders for the Sydney born agent.
“I started out in real estate 15 years ago, at the tender age of 20,” said Evan.
“At the time I was studying to become an opera singer. I was in my third and final year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
“My now wife, back then girlfriend, fell pregnant, so I realised that I probably have to go out and get a real job and not sing for my supper!” laughed Evan.
But after switching the opera house for the auction room, Evan realised that there were many transferrable skills between the two professions.
“The similarities between opera singing and real estate are that both are performances,” said Evan.
“When you go into a listing pitch you have to be confident, you have to understand pitch, the tonality with your voice, body language – it’s all a performance.
“I knew I had to really make a name for myself by putting in the hard yakka and put on a great performance no matter what I did.”
Networking Brings Results
Throughout his career, Evan has placed significant importance on the building and nurturing of relationships, something that certainly paid dividends when starting out in leasing back in 2005 and also when he joined Ray White eight years ago.
“I knew that going into real estate would be a hard slog and that it wouldn’t happen quickly but I knew it would be fruitful,” said Evan.
“In 2005 I met the owner of an art-deco block of flats called Eynesbury, fast forward 12 years and he gave me the asset to sell under the hammer.”
The property sold for $33.25 million which, to this day, is the highest residential price ever achieved in an Australian auction room – an accomplishment that Evan is rightly honoured of.
“It was a phenomenal achievement and I’m very proud of it because it goes to show that no matter what relationships you make in real estate, there is always a new opportunity with every single person you meet,” he said.
Evan has spent his entire selling career with Ray White since joining in 2012, when he met another successful agent Gavin Rubinstein and the pair formed a bond which became a business partnership in recent years.
When I joined Ray White, I met Gavin Rubinstein who had just taken out the number one agent award. We developed a very strong friendship at the time which carried onto us working together.
Evan joined The Rubinstein Group (TRG) when it was formed last July, and alongside a team of ten top agents, has seen the group go from strength to strength.
“The group has taken off big time,” he said.
“Hats off to the White family and in particular, Brian White, the grandson of Ray White, who has allowed us to have our office in the beautiful tree lined streets of Woollahra.
“We are progressive and forward-thinking team just beginning to get things started.”
After record breaking results, month after month, TRG has staked its claim as one of Sydney’s market leaders, so what’s the recipe for success?
“We have phenomenal deep-seated relationships with people.
“If you focus on nurturing relationships versus the next quick sale, you will have a very fruitful career,” said Evan.
“We have one of the largest, if not, the largest presence on social media. We have nearly 50,000 followers between us, that is a really big reach and social media is so important.
“We think it is going to remain strong for us in 2021 and we can’t see any signs of things slowing down,” he said.
Talking of slowing down, what does the man, who last year sold $21 million worth of property in 21 days, get up to when he’s not working hard?
“I’m a rugby coach down at the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club!”
“The great thing about my job is that I have been able to coach every one of my three boys as they have been growing up.
“I don’t think I’d be able to do that in any other profession but real state has given me the flexibility to be there for my kids and I haven’t missed a minute with them,” said Evan.
“We love the NRL and we are massive Roosters fans!”
By nature, real estate can be such a fast paced and hectic environment, so when asked to reflect on his past experiences and what advice he would give to his younger self, this is what Evan had to say.
“I would make sure I treated my time as valuably as possible,” he said.
“I didn’t go to bars and nightclubs and all that when I was 20 as we had a baby to support.”
And an influential mentor early on in Evan’s career also had a powerful message, that certainly rings true during the current global situation.
“My first boss down in Double Bay, his name was Bill Hall, everybody knew him.
“I remember him saying: ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do’.
“It’s a very, very simple saying, but one that I have most certainly said to myself over and over again when I think I am having a bad day.”