Local Leaders

McGrath’s dynamic duo talk work-life balance and working in real estate

Wendy Johnson15 April 2019

Natalie Kokic Schmidt and Jason Anasson form a dynamite team at McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin. Photos: Supplied.

Life is good for Jason Anasson and Natalie Kokic Schmidt. They’ve been together for 14 years (since high school), love living in Canberra, adore their two Staffies and share professional lives in the competitive and fast-moving world of real estate.

Jason and Natalie both work for McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin here in the capital and are 100 per cent committed to delivering premium outcomes for clients.

But what’s it like to share professional and personal lives? Is it good for business?

Without skipping a beat, this dynamic duo say it works well for them, but there are rules in place.

“You have to be very good at not bringing work home and not bringing home to work,” says Natalie. “If you intertwine your different roles, you may have difficulty.”

Jason agrees, saying it’s essential to understand that business and home lives must be separate, including when it comes to giving each other feedback. “We can’t take it personally when one of us is giving the other constructive feedback at work,” says Jason. “We just can’t. It’s a different environment.”

It was a natural progression that led Jason and Natalie to work at McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin. Natalie had been working in the industry for many years, at a boutique real estate agency in Canberra. Jason was a painter by trade.

Looking for a change but loving the industry, Natalie discovered McGrath and was attracted to the quality of their marketing, approach and culture. She was impressed by the number of women working across the McGrath family. She then met one of the directors, Justin Taylor, at a function and was inspired to make the move.

Loving Canberra: Jason and Natalie with their two Staffies, Manny and Cleo.

Natalie’s passion for real estate has always been palpable and when she decided to switch companies, Jason seized the opportunity to enter the industry and form a team with Natalie.

The two work together on established clients. Beyond that, Natalie tends to focus more on the vendor side of the real estate equation and Jason on buyers and new developments.

Every day is a new day for Natalie and Jason who never waiver in the quality of their operations and services, especially important, they say, in a crowded and competitive market.

“The state of the industry means we have to keep relevant,” says Jason. “The best way for us to differentiate ourselves is to rely on word-of-mouth and repeat referrals. To achieve this, we provide world-class experience with vendors and buyers. Everything we do is professional.”

Natalie says one challenge is dealing with ongoing media reports on the real estate market. “We get that there are trends and ups and downs in the market, but you can’t issue one blanket statement about the entire market,” says Natalie. “Jason and I believe it’s how we deal with individual properties that makes the difference. Even in major downturns, people need to sell and buy. What’s key is how we, as real estate agents, deal with that.”

Fees are another challenge, but Jason says real estate is like any industry. “You don’t always get the best service for the lowest price,” he says. “When people are selling their most valuable asset, they need to think about this.”

When choosing a real estate agency or agent, the Natalie-Jason duo recommend conducting hard research. “Look at an agency’s culture,” says Natalie, “Look at their listings—what they have for sale and what they’ve sold. Look at the quality and innovation of their marketing and how they conduct open homes. Look at Google reviews and RateMyAgent reviews.”

Real estate is a busy profession and there’s never a dull moment for Natalie and Jason. There are many sunshine moments, like the days when the couple gets to inform a client that they’ve sold a property, which means they can transition to the next stage of their life.

“I love the fact that we’re not always in the office all day,” says Natalie. “It’s great to meet buyers, bank valuers, potential sellers and other stakeholders. And it’s always nice to catch up with clients over coffee. We get to know many of our clients really well.”

Jason says the reality of the real estate industry is that you can’t ‘win them all’: “We face obstacles and, sure, some deals fall through, but we never let the emotions get the better of us. At the end of the day, every day is a good day.”

You can contact Natalie on 0428 082 885 or [email protected]

Jason can be reached on 0423 821 138 or [email protected]

Original Article published by Wendy Johnson on The RiotACT.

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