Better Business: Locations Estate Agent celebrates milestone
SEVEN years ago Alicia Williams was convinced a career in real estate was not for her.
Today her business Locations estate agents has celebrated its fifth year of operations.
"I've always had a bit of a passion for property," she said.
"But my background was in finance and accounting and I wasn't looking at getting into real estate.
"My uncle suggested I should try it, but I had a lot of prejudices and misconceptions around what a real estate agent was."
Ms Williams changed her mind after her aunt gave her some valuable advice.
"My aunt told me that real estate has nothing to do with property," she said.
"It's all about people, it really is a people business.
"The best real estate agents I know, truly know how to talk to people.
"They listen and have a solutions based focus."
Initially starting at RE/MAX, Ms Williams said getting into the groove of being in real estate was difficult at first.
"I'd never been in the public eye before," she said.
"But like any change the first year is your apprenticeship, the second year you've got more of a feel for it and by the third year you're really accelerating, working with your core strengths to shape your future direction."
Which is exactly what she did five years ago when she opened Locations.
"It's been an interesting ride since then," Ms Williams said.
"There have been times that have been very challenging.
"But there's a beautiful thing in the naivete of a new business.
"You have energy, you're fearless and you just go for it, brick by brick, laying the foundation for a solid future.
"We always knew if we could make it work in the last five years at the end of the boom, we could make it work any-time.
"The lessons we learned during that time have been exceptional, like being across every dollar, running a lean business, knowing when to ask for help and surrounding yourself with a really good group of people."
Again, people were the key to the businesses success.
"You need to surround yourself with people who can be honest with you, who will give advice about business and life, even though you might not want to hear the answer."
From a team of three five years ago, Locations has a team of 18 people today.
"I want to provide a foundation for our people to build their own brand and accelerate any part of their career of personal life," she said.
"To be their best self and have some fun too."
Ms Williams is also determined to change people's perceptions about the industry.
"Our core values are transparency, integrity, community, respect and results," she said.
"We're people who like to achieve good outcomes not only for our customers but for the community as well.
"Because it's really all about people."