Ray White Upper North Shore’s leading sales agent Jessica Cao has a history of excellence. Her most recent record-breaking sale set a new street price benchmark in East Killara, the latest in a string of accolades. The only surprise is that she wasn’t OzHome News’ Agent of the Week sooner!
Tell me about your story and how you started out in real estate?
I always liked property, just looking at pretty houses, and I like talking to people, so I thought I might give it a go.
I moved to Australia in 2010 and researched and realised I needed to do the course, then I doorknocked local agencies where I lived and got a job with a local agency and that’s how I started.
It was a lot of hard work. People ask me now what it’s like in real estate and I say there’s a lot behind the scenes you don’t see. Talk to any successful agent and they work such long hours, and that’s the only way to do it.
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
I didn’t really think too much about it! I was born in China and grew up there, but I went where life takes me.
Any mentors or inspirational figures along the way?
The first job I got was at Richardson & Wrench Lindfield, and I learnt a lot from the principal there, Richard Patterson, he has been in the industry for 35 years and the way he conducts business, the way he negotiates and his ethics, I learnt a lot from him.
I also listen to industry podcasters like Tom Panos and Adrian Bo; they have a lot of interviews with successful agents and I love listening to those, they teach a lot about what it takes to become successful.
Any large sales or big moments in your career that stand out?
The recent sale of 15 Woodlands Road, was big, it was the first home in East Lindfield under 1,000sqm to break the $5 million mark.
It was so fun to run the campaign, the house was amazing, and presented beautifully. There was a lot of buyer energy, and the auction even had TV crews there.
What do you get up to in your downtime?
I don’t have downtime! I have three kids so on my Sundays I don’t work, it’s my family time. I take the kids to sports and we do family things.
I like doing letterbox drops myself, that’s how I get exercise. I guess my downtime is when I go to sleep.
What’s the most interesting/notable/funny thing you’ve come across in your time working in real estate?
I have interesting things every day! The reason I like real estate is because we meet different people every day, and no two days or two people are the same. Sometimes it’s very stressful but it’s not boring at all.
A few weeks ago it was pouring rain and we had open houses; I didn’t want to ruin my shoes on the way in so I wore my son’s Nikes and all my colleagues thought I was hilarious.
What’s your favourite thing about working in this industry?
I enjoy talking to people, helping their problems. I feel like I’m helping the buyer to find their home, helping the sellers to move on and it’s all really big life changing moments.
I feel really satisfied especially when I find the perfect buyer for a house – and every house has a perfect buyer waiting for it – when you find that match it’s really satisfying.
And your least favourite?
I’m okay – when you like something, everything’s bearable. Even skipping a meal or two doesn’t really matter to me.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting out?
Talk to more people. It’s a people business and you can’t do anything if you hide behind paperwork. If you want to be a good agent talk to people and thats where you’ll find your strengths.
Where would you like to think you’ll be in 10 years’ time?
Still doing what I do now, I wouldn’t mind doing this for the next ten, 20 years. I like talking to people, selling real estate, I’m happy where I am.
Are you a high performing agent who is 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.