Scott Durrant is not your typical broker. As a real estate agent, he started Successful Ways in 2003 to educate first home buyers on the purchase process.
Nowadays, while the business comprises a one-stop-shop with brokers, buyer’s agents, solicitors, property management and financial planners, education is still the main focus for Durrant.
Expanding his business
Durrant became accredited as a broker in 2004 in order to expand the sort of service he could offer his clients.
“I was running educational courses before becoming a broker and then it only made sense that after they completed my course, students had a choice to come and discuss their goals and finance options,” he explains.
He experienced a lightbulb moment while working in his first office in Ultimo; an underground room in an old Meriton building. A colourful mix of professionals rented the offices around him, and he started to think how good it would be if he could refer clients to solicitors and financial planners within the same building.
After moving to a bigger and better space, he brought a lawyer on board, before gradually expanding to include a financial advisor and a buyer’s agent as well as support staff.
A competitive edge
When he started out as a broker about 16 years ago, Durrant had quite a unique selling point. As a licensed real estate agent, he could help his clients with the property purchase as well as their financing needs.
“When I first started meeting with clients, my point of difference was that I would negotiate their property for free on their behalf if they agreed to have me look after their home loan,” he says.
“Today, clients come to me wanting advice and opinions on strategy around buying property (both homes and investments) and I combine all of this with structuring their home and investment loans the correct way.”
With his experience in real estate, as well as a background in financial planning, Durrant says he can offer “next level advice” about property strategy that lenders and most other brokers can’t.
Education is the cornerstone of his career
After so many years on the job, educating property buyers is still the main focus for Durrant. He runs regular sessions for both first home buyers and property investors in a class-like environment with about 25 participants.
He now faces the challenge of offering the same type of service in a socially distanced environment; explaining that video conferencing technology doesn’t allow him to strike the same rapport with the audience.
“A big part of the course is the interaction with people who attend, and the way I can answer their questions on the spot,” he says.
He compares it with seeing a band play live online instead of in person.
“The reason that the courses work well live is because they’re fun and entertaining and they’re interactive.”
At the end of the session, a participant may come up to discuss their options and this can often lead to further business. He says video conferencing wouldn’t be as conducive to this type of scenario.
“It’s something I need to work on for the future,” he says.