From unemployed and unmotivated, to record- breaker, that’s Carla Fetter.
Carla, a partner at Jellis Craig, Stonnington, sold property worth $172 million last year, making her the top sales person in the entire Jellis Craig network of 23 offices.
How did you get into real estate?
Sixteen years ago, when I was 23, I was unemployed and unmotivated in life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. One day a close friend called and asked if I wanted to apply for the receptionist role at the real estate office, she worked in. I said “yes” simply because it was a paying job, not because I had any great interest in real estate.
I never considered a career in real estate and it wasn’t until I was working as a receptionist at Bennison Mackinnon that I got a taste of what real estate was. Clearly I liked the taste very much which is how I ended up where I am today.
What did you do before real estate?
I studied primary education for a few years and failed miserably. University was not for me. I also spent time selling chimineas (outdoor Mexican fireplaces), telemarketing and various other random jobs.
You sold $172 million worth of real estate in the year to June 30. How does that happen?
Focus, goal setting, working with an incredible team and having an insatiable hunger for success have been the key reasons behind me and my team’s achievements this year.
What’s the biggest ticket property you have sold?
Last year I sold a stunning Arts and Crafts house in Moorhouse Street, Armadale which was upwards of $7,000,000.
Have you had mentors along the way?
My main mentor is Andrew McCann. He employed me as his assistant 15 years ago and for the next 10 years he helped to shape me into the agent I am today. Today we are the best of friends and he continues to be a great support to me. In addition to Andrew, Josh Phegan (real estate trainer extraordinaire) has also been a great mentor/trainer.
What changes (if any) have you noticed in buyers and sellers since COVID-19 began?
Strangely enough it has almost been easier to put deals together since Covid hit. The buyers are motivated and ready to do a deal and the vendors, if committed, are equally keen to transact. If we introduce the right buyer to the right home then the rest is easy. In short, deals are happening much quicker which I think is fantastic.
What’s one thing you have learnt in your 16 years in real estate?
There are many I could list but the most important thing I’ve learnt is to be human.
What do you love most about your job?
Working in a fantastic business and being surrounded by great people. In addition, I truly value the relationships that I have built over the years with my clients.
How do you balance work with life as the mother of an active toddler?
Trying to balance the two requires good scheduling between me and my partner. The days I work then I’m in work mode and the days I’m at home, I’m a mum. I’m very fortunate that I have a team around me at work that allow me to do both roles successfully. I’m definitely a much better mum when I have the balance of work and parenting. I’m not cut out for being a stay at home mum, that’s for sure!!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of real estate?
My family come first and spending as much time with my daughter and partner outside of work is really important. I’m also constantly trying to fit in time with my close friends and extended family. Clearly not an issue at the moment given Covid.
Any advice for women wanting a career in real estate?
I can honestly say that I absolutely love what I do. I have found real estate to be an incredibly rewarding industry. You need to have a thick skin to deal with the many challenges, but equally the upside is huge. Finally, real estate is a long game not a short one. It took me many years before I started seeing personal success. If you are committed and resilient then the sky is the limit.