Intro:  Welcome to Your Strata Property. The podcast for property owners looking for reliable, accurate, and bite-sized information from an experienced and authoritative source. To access previous episodes and useful strata tips, go to www.yourstrataproperty.com.au.

Amanda Farmer: Hello and welcome. I’m Amanda Farmer and this is Your Strata Property. Paton Jamieson is the Principal of Paton Jamieson Prestige Property. Paton’s agency specialises in sales, leasing and marketing of real estate in Sydney and the East Coast of Australia.

Paton has over 2 decades of experience and was previously the National Sales and Marketing Manager for McDonald Industries one of Australia’s most successful redevelopment companies of apartment buildings. Paton prides himself on honesty, integrity and he has a unique ability to make everyone feel special, comfortable and informed throughout the sales process whether you’re a vendor or a first time buyer or an experienced investor. Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome Paton Jamieson. Welcome, Paton.

Paton Jamieson: Thank you, Amanda and thank you for having me on Your Strata Property. It’s actually quite exciting.

Amanda Farmer: Thank you. Oh, I’m excited that you’re excited.

Paton Jamieson: Thank you.

Amanda Farmer: Thank you so much for taking the time out to come on. We were just having a little bit of chat off the air and I said to you I think you might be the first real estate agent that I know of that has been on the show. And I thought it was a great opportunity for you to have a chat with us to our listeners about the point of sale, why it’s so important to understand the sales process and getting your strata unit ready for sale.

Paton Jamieson: You know I’ve got decades of experience in doing just that.

Amanda Farmer: So you are the man for the job?

Paton Jamieson: I’m going to help your listeners in this one for sure.

Amanda Farmer: Excellent. So I’ll start by asking you, Paton why is it so critical for owners of strata units, apartments to put some thought into preparing their property for sale?

Paton Jamieson: I think the first thing that comes to mind without a doubt would be to achieve the ultimate result in the price.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: That will be the first thing. Secondly, I think people do forget- They are trying to get the ultimate result in price but also a quick result. There’s nothing worse than having a property sitting on a market for months trying to get that price.

So when we get into this discussion about preparing the property, getting that quick result comes back to preparing the property well. I think also first impressions on a property are very important. If you don’t get what I call in the business driver appeal or curve side appeal right from the very beginning you lose the buyer. So you really need to make sure that the property presents as best it possibly can when that person comes to see it.

So, I’m a big believer in igniting the senses with buyers. For example, if I’m selling these 2 apartments in one building and they are both exactly the same layout and floor plan. The one that’s going to stand out there’s the one with a point of difference and that’s what I’m talking about igniting senses. That’s like sound so something ambient playing in the ground.

Amanda Farmer: Oh, I love that.

Paton Jamieson: Yes and the big kill which I love. I mean in the old cliché is like put bread in the oven or something.

Amanda Farmer: Yes, have something baking.

Paton Jamieson: Those days are over; these days I‘m a big believer in essential oils; burning essential oils or candles.

Amanda Farmer: Right.

Paton Jamieson: Yes, there’s just making that point of difference is what I’m really keen about doing when you’re selling a property.

Amanda Farmer: I really like that. You have me hooked. It’s not something that I would have immediately thought of burning essential oils but you’ve reminded me when I go to my beautician.

Paton Jamieson: Yes.

Amanda Farmer: She always has something burning and I walk in the door and I got oh, I am relaxed, I am in heaven. This is where I want to be. I want to come here every week and I suppose there are oils for when you’re having a massage and there’re for oils when you’re trying to sell a property.

Paton Jamieson: When you think about it when you go to your favourite hotels around the world.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: I mean there are particular scents like I can think of- In Miami there is a beautiful hotel over there called the Delano hotel.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: There’s a distinct smell and beautiful coming through the air-conditioning. It’s wonderful. So I bring that philosophy back to when I sell a property.

Amanda Farmer: Yes, awesome. Okay. So aside from music and essential oils what do you recommend owners when it comes to preparing particularly their apartments for sale?

Paton Jamieson: Really important question now. I guess the first thing that comes to mind straight away would be de-clutter.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Too often people have got so much stuff on their homes and it’s overwhelming; so people are got to be careful that they don’t have too much furniture, too many photo albums lying around the place or frames should I say.

So there is no point having 20 pictures on a mantel piece. Limit it. It’s okay to have some personal stuff around like something beside the bed but make sure that someone really lives there. But de-cluttering, de-personalizing a little bit is important. People also overlook things like their balconies. They’ve got dead plants out there which God only knows it’s still there.

Amanda Farmer: It’s amazing what you can’t see when you see it every day. You know what I mean? You can’t have that objective point of view to see the dead plant.

Paton Jamieson: That’s right. Yes, that’s it. And they are trying to revive the thing. So God love them but when the buyers are coming in you want to make it fresh, alive and inviting.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: So if there’s a dead plant, replace it.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Also, clean everything. With the apartment or home wherever they are I’m sure your listeners live in a very clean environment. With that a side, get in there and clean the side of the oven or all the nitty gritty little places. So really over clean the place because people do open and shut doors, go inside cupboards all that sort of stuff. So that’s also important. Also, making sure everything works.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Some people leave the door handle which sort of works going to the spare bedrooms or whatever it may be. It’s time to fix it. When you go in sale you want to make sure everything basically works well.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: That doesn’t cost a lot of money to do these things.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Also, I guess things like fresh flowers are amazing.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: throughout the house particularly in the living room. So if you want make that point of difference when the person walks the door they get excited.

Amanda Farmer: Yes. Now I’m sure I have listeners listening in thinking, ‘Paton my apartment is beautiful. I keep it immaculately. I also have my flowers, I have my balcony tidy, no dead plants’.

Paton Jamieson: Yes.

Amanda Farmer: ‘But the rest of the building is a shocker. The common areas are awful’.

Paton Jamieson: It’s a shame.

Amanda Farmer: ‘You know, the foyer door that doesn’t work’ is there anything that they could be doing about those areas?

Paton Jamieson: Now, that is the problem and I get it.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: The thing I guess you have to do is one of 2 things: speak to your strata manager and ask them to address the issues.

Amanda Farmer: [responded in agreement]

Paton Jamieson: Really the executive committee and the likes should be assisting in getting those things fixed. The carpets need to be regularly cleaned or the cleaner needs a kick. The strata manager should be all over that.

Alternatively, sometimes if it was me and I wasn’t giving results that made the strata itself was a little bit relaxed and you don’t want to spend money for whatever reason.

Amanda Farmer: [responded in agreement]

 

Paton Jamieson: I’d get in there and do it myself.

Amanda Farmer: Yes, I know you would.

Paton Jamieson: If there’s a broken window down stairs and you are coming through and there’s a crack in it for the sake of a couple of hundreds of dollars I would say the strata manager at my expense would you mind.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: So take things on hand by yourself and you know put a vacuum over the floor before all people arrive.

Amanda Farmer: Yes and I guess it comes down to as well the whole idea of preparing for your sale; preparing before you list a property. I know it’s something I’ve done in the past that I have had sort of this plan and not everybody might be as organised as this. Just say look I want to sell in 6 months’ time so I know the issues in the building that I need to be resolve now. So that my property would have the best chance of a great sale and to start talking to the strata committee, the strata manager about okay, we need a paint job, the balcony rails need to be done, we need to have a by-law in place that prevents smoke drift on to the common property because I don’t want people walking in the foyers and smelling cigarette smoke that’s the worst. So you can start dealing with those things a few months in advance or as far as advance as you can organise yourself.

Paton Jamieson: Yes. It’s totally advantageous for all the other owners at the end of day I think.

Amanda Farmer: Yes, absolutely.

Paton Jamieson: It’s not just for you in selling your apartment. If you get the best result for your apartment, it’s going to help everybody else and I think you touched on a very important thing and that being where if you want a repaint and things like that. If the property starts getting neglected it’s just compounds.

Amanda Farmer: [responded in agreement]

Paton Jamieson: So importantly I feel that you keep on top of those issues so that it doesn’t get to the situation where people just don’t care.

Amanda Farmer: Yes. So in your long experience, Paton have you got any stories about owners who are doing a great job preparing their apartments for sale?

Paton Jamieson: I’ve got some examples where we’ve had in the past where there has been a difference.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: of results. Now, we sold once for a developer who had properties both in Sydney and in Melbourne.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: and back then we used to get the displays ourselves and assemble all that up. I’m getting there with the fresh flowers, get essentials burning, myself personally and we had sold the building out in like 2 weekends.

Amanda Farmer: Wow.

Paton Jamieson: And the owner would turn around and say what we are doing wrong in Melbourne because on the market for quite some time. So off we go on a plane, flew down in Melbourne, got there and I could tell you why they were not selling.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: It was terribly presented. When we were talking about it earlier; the drive up appeal- it wasn’t there. So, what we did is we got in there, cleaned it all up, took the property off the market for a couple of weeks just to give it a little bit of a breather and then freshened that all up. Came in there, got essential oils burning, got the furniture all set property. It looked inviting and guess what: it sold.

Amanda Farmer: Awesome.

Paton Jamieson: It’s a really good example, but that was many years ago. But there’s countless examples of that I can read it all back to you but that was just one that stands out in mind.

Amanda Farmer: And do you see this as your role as a real estate agent or do you feel you’re going above and beyond or do you ever recommend owners get other experts in to help them. Is this what real estate agents should be doing, should owners expect their agents to do this?

Paton Jamieson: I think the owners probably would like guidance.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: But I don’t think a lot of agents take this on board. I feel I personally do because I know that I end up in ultimate result which is supposedly be doing at the end of the day for your vendor. I guess a lot of agents sort of potentially may rely on external companies to come in and style the properties. A lot of agents don’t even see it themselves they just get in there and do it and also unfortunately some owners are reluctant to employ external companies at their expense because they are not cheap if you want to and hire out furnishing sometimes.

But the very least an agent can do is hopefully visually say look madam you know the apartment got too much in here can you try and have a little crack at sorting some of this out.

So yes, not all agents unfortunately do that. I personally take the role of doing that and probably go the next step as well and physically doing this stuff all by myself as point of difference.

Amanda Farmer: Do you send them off to watch an episode of Selling Houses Australia with Andrew Winter is it and the results that he achieves when they do a complete makeover. I always love watching those.

Paton Jamieson: I actually have a funny statement like I say to people even in my home referring your home earlier and I’m a bit the same I keep it meticulous.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: And I have a philosophy that when I walk out the door if they wanted to bring Vogue in to do a shoot they can do it then. I’m meticulous right down to the bedspread being made. That’s just a personal thing that I have and I try to install the customers at the same time as well.

Amanda Farmer: I had a friend of mine who recently sold her apartment and she’s got 2 little boys who are 2 years old and 4 years old. And she said every time I leave the house the next 3 weeks I have to make sure everything is like out from a magazine and she said do you know how hard that is with 2 little kids. Oh, I can only imagine.

Paton Jamieson: only imagine yes that would be a nightmare.

Amanda Farmer: But you know what and that’s part of the reason why you want a quick sale too because who wants to put up with that for too long if you’re not used to it.

Paton Jamieson: That’s what I was talking before- a quick sale, best price.

Amanda Farmer: Okay. So no doubt we have some listeners today, Paton who are thinking about selling their strata unit hopefully not from listening to this podcast and being the solution for strata maybe some investors who are thinking offloading. What actions can they be taking today? What quick wins can they get on board when it comes to preparing their unit for sale?

Paton Jamieson: Okay. Well, I think the first thing the most important thing is cleaning the place. If They’re looking for quick win

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Get the place spotless because that is basically what a person was going to come in and if it’s got a dirty bathroom or toilet or whatever it is.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: It is an immediate turn off unfortunately so the place needs to be clean. If there’s anything in the garages and stuff like that, pack it away. Throw it out or store it. You want to make sure that people get there and if they’ve got a big car or whatever it is can fit in the garage because unfortunately so often people have so much stuff in there that they can’t get their own car in there.

Amanda Farmer: That’s a really good point especially for strata. Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Yes, so that would be2 quick tips for your listeners- just get started.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: And if it is investors you know typically the investor is going to be selling a vacant unit with nothing in there and the difference it makes to go and get an external company to furnish it up is well worth the investment and also it would be a tax deduction.

Amanda Farmer: Sure.

Paton Jamieson: that’s 2 important things. Don’t underestimate the value of furnishing up an apartment that is vacant.

Amanda Farmer: Yes, excellent. Okay. Paton, what books have had the greatest impact on you and why?

Paton Jamieson: Wow! That’s a good question. I’m not a big book reader these days I used to be and I guess you couldn’t really print books quick enough these days as a result.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Everything’s online.

Amanda Farmer: Yes. It’s true.

Paton Jamieson: I find the listeners are looking for something to gain inspiration and ideas from. You could get better mediums and social media such as Instagram.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: I think it’s an ideal as a start.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: Facebook, another great place to have a look at stuff also magazines I mean.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: I’m a great tactile sort of person. I like to go and sit at the beach or whatever with a good magazine, a Vogue magazine, an Architectural Digest magazine, an InDesign magazine.

Amanda Farmer: Beautiful.

Paton Jamieson: There are the sorts of things that you can get immediate gratification from in understanding stuff.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: So, being in the modern age, everything’s online these days and I find picking up a book not so much these days. It’s more the online experience and also you know the magazines if they want to be able to be transportable and sit on a plane or something like are another good method.

Amanda Farmer: Yes. It’s interesting when we renovated our home about a year ago and during that process I’ve of course become addicted to Pinterest and Instagram.

Paton Jamieson: Yes.

Amanda Farmer: Looking at for ideas and it’s amazing how much value those kind of places you have to provide when you’ve got a unique problem to be solved because it’s only today I’m heading off to my hairdresser this afternoon. And I thought I want change but I really don’t know what I want.

So last night I was Googling different hairstyles and I have a bit of a list going here which I’ll present to my hairdresser so you’re exactly right. Good places to stop and stuff in get some inspiration.

Paton Jamieson: Yes, absolutely.

Amanda Farmer: Paton, how do our listeners find out more about you and please is there anything you want to add before we wrap up?

Paton Jamieson: Thank you, Amanda. I guess, the most obvious place to start and try to locate who I am and what we’re about is at www.patonjamieson.com that would be our website. We are also on Facebook and constantly update Facebook and Instagram almost daily.

Amanda Farmer: Awesome.     

Paton Jamieson: Yes so there are a lot of followers on that now which is quite exciting. Also, if they want real life experience and see what I’m all about and who I am and how I present my products what we sell I’ve got buildings on the market in Bondi Junction building called Eden look that up in the net that would be another one called Spruce that’s in Camperdown.

Amanda Farmer: Yes.

Paton Jamieson: There’s market in about 2, 3 weeks’ time we are launching that said 2 obvious places. Come and see what real styling is all about from my point of view and you know, hear the sounds of the music playing in the background.

Amanda Farmer: I love it.

Paton Jamieson: Smell the oil scents.

Amanda Farmer: Awesome.

Paton Jamieson: Call me directly on my mobile which is 0416246969; ask anything.

Amanda Farmer: And I will I get those links to not only your website but to your properties that you’re marketing now, those 2 you’ve mentioned and I’ll put those in the show notes under this episode on the website. So, anybody who wants to check out Paton and what he has to offer and I definitely recommend it. Head over to the Your Strata Property website under this episode and you’ll be able to click through and find out where exactly you can meet the man himself.

Paton Jamieson: That’s amazing. Thank you, Amanda. I much appreciate the opportunity today.

Amanda Farmer: Thank you so much for joining us.

Paton Jamieson: Thank you.

Outro:  Thank you for listening to Your Strata Property. The podcast which consistently delivers to property owners reliable and accurate information about their strata property. You can access all the information below this episode by the show notes at www.yourstrataproperty.com.au. You can also ask questions in the comment section which Amanda will answer in her upcoming episodes.  How can Amanda help you today?

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