The best and brightest Queensland agents in 2017

If you want to see the future of Australian real estate, remember these faces and names.


Domain’s Rising Star Awards have found the most outstanding agents aged 30 or under in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Now in its second year and expanded to cover all three of Australia’s eastern states, the awards, in partnership with American Express, recognises the real estate industry’s young guns who consistently find innovative ways to help clients achieve their buying and selling goals, while displaying ‘old school’ professional values.

More than 200 agents from metro and regional agencies competed for the prestigious industry accolade in 2017.

Each was assessed by an expert panel including Australian Paralympic Gold Medallist Dylan Alcott, client partner from Facebook Susan Duong and Domain Group CEO Antony Catalano.

Nominees were judged against criteria including how they use digital nous to drive innovation, how they ‘go the extra mile’ and their career achievements to date.

Last week, Victoria and NSW’s winners were announced.

Sam Goddard of Abercromby’s Real Estate in Melbourne and Phillip Allison of Belle Property Hunters Hill in Sydney are their respective Rising Star Award winners. Related: Victoria’s 2017 Rising Stars revealedRelated: The brightest agents in NSW this year Related: How to choose a real estate agent

Today, Queensland’s finalists including state winner Jesse Willcox of Lambert Willcox on the Gold Coast can be revealed.

“We believed we could bring something to the market that simply didn’t exist,” says Queensland Rising Star winner Jesse Willcox who, at 28, is co-founder of Lambert Willcox, a growing Broadbeach agency that is attracting national attention for its collaboration with a local animal welfare organisation. The partnership sees animals in need promoted in select online property listings.

“AWLQ was a kind of Eureka moment.”

Jesse Willcox – WinnerLambert Willcox, BroadbeachAbove: Jesse Willcox. Photo: Will Horner

“It was always important to back my own work ethic, processes and moral beliefs.”

Willcox co-founded his business to fill “a gap” in agencies with ethical processes and values. His initiatives including recycled marketing materials, and his partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland to promote animals needing homes in property marketing.

“Some of our properties get upwards of 200,000 views so to not do something meaningful with that cut-through, something reflecting our moral thinking, well it just seemed so obvious.”

Katrina Keegan – Highly CommendedHarcourts Coastal, BroadbeachAbove: Katrina Keegan. Photo: Will Horner

“How I use my time has changed, which has been a huge positive.”

Keegan blazed trails for women in 2017. Back to work a week after her daughter’s birth, she beat her own sales’ numbers and picked up multiple industry gongs.

Embracing tech tools and adopting a “more structured” business model was the answer. “It is the year I learnt more than ever about the importance of time management.”

Jacob Pirrone – Highly CommendedPirrone Property, BardonAbove: Jacob Pirrone. Photo: Will Horner

“Going out alone was a big milestone and leap of faith.”

Since outgrowing his “humble home nook” and opening his bricks and mortar agency in 2016, Pirrone has watched sale numbers grow more than 35 per cent.

“Just having people walk-in off the street was a nice surprise.

“I knew I understood the industry. Taking risks is important. I believed it was my time.”

Anthony ObeeBridgebury Real Estate, North LakesAbove: Anthony Obee. Photo: Will Horner

“I embraced new technologies to create a point of difference.”

British-born Obee was a real estate “negotiation manager” in the UK before moving Down Under in 2015 and starting his own agency, which resulted in him launching a custom app for iOS users that updates new listings and price changes.

“My pipedream has become a reality”.

Brendan CoulstonRichardson & Wrench, Bribie IslandAbove: Brendan Coulston. Photo: Will Horner

“If you can last 12 months in my market, you can last 20 years.”

Coulston, 22, has lived on Bribie for 17 years.

Today, with four agencies, competition for listings is fierce. Everyone knows everyone.

“Whether attending a 6.30am inspection or painting a vendor’s patio after hours because they cannot afford it, I pride myself on dedication to best results.”

Jack HarveyCoronis, Bracken RidgeAbove: Jack Harvey. Photo: Will Horner

“Awards are great acknowledgement what I am doing must be right.”

Harvey, 21, collected two gongs – Newcomer of the Year and the Industry Excellence – at a recent national industry peer award night for an exceptional debut year as an agent including 52 sales, 40 per cent market share in his core suburb and a referral network bringing almost 50 per cent of his business.

“To be recognised was monumental and truly humbling.”

Kiah CouplandFirst National, SpringfieldAbove: Kiah Coupland. Photo: Will Horner

“I needed something that told them about me.”

Ex-hairdresser Coupland joined her agency in 2015 and immediately made a point of learning how to make an interactive web-book via her agency’s tech tools.

“Just a short profile before it shoots people off to the CMA (comparative market analysis) has increased my closing rate dramatically.”

Luke VaughanCrown Realty International, Surfers ParadiseAbove: Luke Vaughan. Photo: Will Horner

“We literally live and breathe this.”

Vaughan prides himself on his specialist service. He launched with three staff in 2013.

Today he has 12.

“Someone calls me, tells me their apartment number and I can quote them its square meterage, literally walk them through that property.

“It is the little things we do, the ‘1%s’ that make the difference.”

Nathan Strudwick ???Elders, Shailer ParkAbove: Nathan Strudwick. Photo: Will Horner

“I find it extremely rewarding to be able to grow other young agents.”

Since leaving law-commerce in 2013, Elders’ number one agent for three years’ running relishes having “a direct impact on other’s lives” as agency partner. Last year he sold 101 properties.

“My biggest achievement is repeat clients.

“People can trust me and come back to me again and again.”

Patrick IveyHarcourts M1, CoorparooAbove: Patrick Ivey. Photo: Will Horner

“Some people told me to put a handbrake on but it is just not me.”

Self-described “ball of energy” Ivey is using weekly videos shot in local cafes to give his market a suburban snapshot laced with “entertaining” content. Feedback suggests it is working.

“It is the real Patrick Ivey. If you become an information provider without the hard sell, you reap rewards.”

Troy FitzgeraldRay White, BroadbeachAbove: Troy Fitzgerald. Photo: Will Horner

“The synergy between working on rigs and as an agent is work ethic.”

Former offshore oil rig worker, Fitzgerald, joined real estate in 2015 with blind faith: “It had to work”.

Both require long hours, following instructions and focus, qualities he had in spade.

His $2.55 million residential sale in Burleigh Heads in February drew 50 bidders and global coverage; “a watershed moment.”

Wayde HildrewRay White, AspleyAbove: Wayde Hildrew. Photo: Will Horner

“My use of cutting-edge technology and strategic rental marketing shows innovation.”

Since 2016, in his BDM and leasing manager role, Hildrew has helped buyer’s agents find properties with “those perfect rental yields” and contributed to P&C fundraisers at local schools. He has brought 272 properties to his team.

“My role is similar to a salesperson, not only the hours I invest in clients but the way business opportunities are created.”

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