Agent of the Week: Richard Sholl

Welcome to the latest edition of our Agent of the Week series. This week’s agent under the spotlight is Richard Sholl, of Vanguarde Estate Agents, who has transacted over $100 million worth of real estate in the last 18 months alone.

Welcome to the latest edition of our Agent of the Week series. This week’s agent under the spotlight is Richard Sholl, of Vanguarde Estate Agents, who has transacted over $100 million worth of real estate in the last 18 months alone.

So, what makes the Sydney born agent tick, and how did he get started in the industry?

Swapping the Orchestra for Real Estate

After carving out a career as a talented classical musician, it is fair to say Richard’s route into real estate was somewhat unorthodox.

Following on from a successful five-year stint at one of Australia’s most prestigious orchestras, Richard decided to make a bold career change – much to the surprise of his colleagues at the time.

“I was tenured in an orchestra in Macau at the age of 23 and then picked up a position at Orchestra Victoria,” says Richard.

“I was hard working as a kid and my parents instilled that in me, that you have to be the best at what you do and to always strive for excellence.”

I had been practising since a young age and really committed – when my friends were out having fun on the weekends, I was performing.

“So, after being in Melbourne for five years and playing in front of sold-out crowds, at the tip of the spear from a performing perspective, I told people I was going to resign at 28, and they were shocked.”

After picking up his real estate registration when buying a house in Melbourne, Richard was given the opportunity to try his hand in the industry.

“I got my real estate license because I just wanted to get a bit more accustomed with the process of purchasing a house,” says Richard.

“Consequently, I was introduced to an agent in Sydney looking for a partner.”

“I’d always loved real estate, the people, the data and I found it fascinating, so I left the orchestra with a years’ absence, so if it was a train crash I could always come back, so perhaps it wasn’t as brave a move as it sounds!”

Richard was tenured at an orchestra in Macau before joining Orchestra Victoria

Role Models

Fast forward six years and Richard hasn’t looked back!

On the back of being headhunted for positions at Colliers and Knight Frank, he has recently joined up with Tim Breckell and Travis Reeve at Vanguard Estate Agents and feels very much at home.

“In the orchestra, my favourite part of the job was working with my colleagues daily, and without sounding too cliché, that is why I love real estate too, I love the people side of it all and understanding all the different mechanisms involved in a deal,” says Richard.

Richard has made a name for himself as a Sydney CBD specialist and the 35-year old agent said that various individuals have played their part in his successful real estate career to date.

“I worked with Deborah Cullen at Knight Frank and she has been my mentor during virtually my entire real estate career,” Richard says.

“She is a superb person and has a great way of understanding architecture and I really enjoyed working with her, our brains complimented each other and we were just a natural fit.”

Richard also picked up certain skills during his time in the orchestra that have stuck with him throughout his career and his personal life.

The music game taught me that you can meet someone and disagree with their principles for 98% of the time, but there might be 2% of gold in there that you need to go sifting for to find.

“I worked with a lot of conductors that just flew in and flew out, and often didn’t even know their names and they didn’t know mine, but they took me to a place artistically that I hadn’t been to before.

“Now, working with Travis and Tim, they are both market leaders by a large stretch and that is what drew me to them.

“When they offered me to come and join them, I knew that there is no better place in the business to learn how to hone the city craft.”

Big Deals Are Like Bombs

Since finding his feet in the industry, Richard has gone on to negotiate deals as high as $40 million, so what’s his secret recipe?

“Those deals in the 20 or 30-million-dollar range are like dismantling a bomb,” explains Richard.

“You have to work out how to make sure that your buyer is confident and your vendor equally so.

“I’m a big believer in data, I think it is the critical point in making assets, especially in the city, make sense.

“Data is one thing, but understanding it and being able to deliver it to people who aren’t data driven is a real skill.

“My advice would be to stick to your guns and invest in long-standing relationships, they are what are going to make or break you in this game, so play the long game.

“If you do the right thing by people, even if you get burnt here or there, it is worth sticking to who you are because that will reward you in the long term.”

Karma’s a B****

Following on from years spent as a musician, it is no wonder that Richard feels like he is back at work when he picks up an instrument, so what does he like to get up to in his spare time?

“I love music in general but often when I am listening or playing music now it feels like I’m back at work, so I have kind of parked it!

“I have two kids, a six-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son and they have a powerful and mischievous mix of my wife and myself.

“There is an element of karma there as I was a relatively mischievous kid and I think I am getting that back from my children!

“They have my wife’s brains and my mischief so it’s a pretty dangerous mix!

Richard now lives on the Upper North Shore and the Sydney Swans fan is appreciative that he has the chance to spend his down time with close friends and family.

“I’m very lucky to have the life that I do,” he says.

“Having wonderful dinners with family and friends is where it is for me.”

“I like playing football with my mates and just enjoying a good life, because the reality is that real estate is a taxing industry but a wonderful way to make a living.

“I grew up on the North Shore and I’ve bounced around a few places since.

“It’s a beautiful place to live, with lots of greenery and it’s very safe.

“It is quite the juxtaposition from the city which is more concrete and glass but it is an easy place to relax up there.”

Richard’s two children walking the walk

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.

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