Tasmanian real estate agent Kim Morgan can only be described as skilful, accomplished, and loquacious. The director of Tasmanian agency Peterswald for Property has worked in the industry for 23 years, and when he’s not selling property you can find him with his family, or out on the water!
Tell me about your story and how you started out in real estate?
I had been in private enterprise for a number of years, in tourism, and felt like a change. I was soon to be married and saw an opportunity in property so thought I’d try it, and lo and behold, here we are 23 years later.
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
I didn’t really have a clear vision of what I wanted as a child. I probably would have liked to do something with boats, but I’m colour blind so I was never going to be a mariner! My parents were quite entrepreneurial so I was probably destined to get into private enterprise; my first job out of university was selling vacuum cleaners of all things, so I knew I had a talent.
Any mentors or inspirational figures along the way?
I work a lot with a gentleman called Dr Fred Grosse, and he’s been a wonderful mentor. My father has taught me many things, what to do and what not to do, and until a few years ago I had a business partner called Brian Watchorn, I work with him for 15 years until he retired and he was a wonderful mentor. Of course, everyone I work with, they inspire in their own way.
Any large sales or big moments in your career that stand out?
For the last two years running, I’ve achieved record residential sale prices in Hobart and that’s been good, I’ve been very fortunate to represent those transactions.
In 2000 I transacted the first residential sales price of over $1.5 million in Hobart and that was a memorable moment. Prior to that, the highest sale price was I believe, $1.2 million, and a few months later I achieved $1.65 million, which made the front page of the paper.
What do you get up to in your downtime?
I have four children ranging from 10 to nearly 20, so spend a lot of time with them. I row; I’m on the water two to four times a week, and we have a boat which we love.
I love bushwalking, in fact, next week my wife and I are doing the overland track, and over the summer my son and I walked into Port Davey. You won’t find me indoors very often when I’m not working, and Tasmania’s wonderful for that, best wilderness in the world.
What’s the most interesting/notable/funny thing you’ve come across in your time working in real estate?
There’s always something happening in this industry; I’ve conducted auctions and open homes at properties where the tenants are all still in bed which is quite bizarre.
I’ve had auctions where the successful purchasers have arrived five minutes before the auction would be called and buy the property without seeing it. When you’re working with individuals there’s always variety, and I’ve been doing it for too long for just one thing to come to mind!
What’s your favourite thing about working in this industry?
Agents don’t typically do a lot of the contract drafting, but here in Tasmania we do draft the contracts and I find that really interesting, the almost paralegal aspect of what we do. I studied a little law at university which has given me a background into how to make words achieve what you want them to. Purchases or vendors often require particular conditions be drafted into a contract and having the knowledge to know how to do that is really interesting.
I like the marketing side too, the inventiveness of what we do around creating the profile for each property. As individual as people are, quite often their homes are too, and as marketers our role is to find someone who will love the property as much as the client does.
I like the technology; our company has been at the cutting edge in terms of introducing new tech to Hobart. We were the first to put QR codes on properties, the first to use drone video and 3D walkthroughs, we’ve endeavoured to lead in that sphere and I get a kick out of it.
I also like the flexibility. I can structure my time to some extent, and as a parent with young children that’s appreciated.
And your least favourite?
It’s a role with extreme highs, but also extreme lows. We get exposed to human nature in ways that perhaps other people don’t, and I find aspects of human nature disappointing from time to time. We see greed manifest itself and it can be disheartening. There’s a propensity sometimes for normal, rational people to imagine, as soon as they get involved with a property transaction, they can start acting in a certain way and that’s frustrating.
In my case I tend to deal with couples and families, who go about their lives as friendly, warm people, looking to transact with similarly generous, conventional people, and on some occasions it gets blurred and they can lose sight of the simple humanity of each other.
That said, I wouldn’t still be doing it after 23 years if that was a dominant aspect; most of the time people are wonderful.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting out?
Listen, learn, and be patient.
The fact is for most agents, they know more than enough to be successful. You come out of the course and you’ve got enough knowledge to make a living, yet most people find it too hard or difficult to do the basic things they know they’re meant to be doing. A colleague said 18, 19 years ago that if you build a good foundation and keep building on it you’ll be fine, and that’s true. You have to do the hard yards, the door knocking, letterboxing, phone calling, all that stuff to make a career of it, and now I have a wonderful client base.
So speaking to myself; listen and learn, and do the stuff you know you’re meant to do. It might seem hard or unglamorous but it’s what gets you started.
Where would you like to think you’ll be in 10 years’ time?
I will still be involved in property, but I won’t be doing what I do now every day. I’ll be working fewer hours and spending more time with my family, on the water – maybe even in Europe!
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