23 Jun 2021

Q&A with REIA Buyer's Agent of the Year

REBAA ACT representative and director of Capital Buyers Agency in Canberra, Claire Corby, was recently crowned Buyer’s Agent of the Year at the REIA’s National Awards for Excellence. We asked Claire about the ‘secret sauce’ to her success and she shared these nuggets:

Q: Why did you become a buyer’s agent?

A: I love being of service to others. Early on, I knew I loved property but being a buyer’s agent is so much more than looking at pretty homes. It’s about the people. I chose to become a buyer’s agent because I could see the impact I might make in people’s lives. To help them reach a purchasing decision with confidence, to know that they have a trusted advisor on their side of the negotiation; it’s an enormous privilege to take on that role and be responsible for the best use of someone else’s time, money and emotional energy.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love the diversity. No two clients are the same, no two days are the same. Helping clients move through the process in a calm, systematic manner (regardless of the prevailing market conditions) to purchase well makes all the challenges, sacrifices and long hours worthwhile. Many of my clients come to me with a mixed brief – part investment, part home – so helping them gain clarity and find the right fit for a home and neighbourhood to suit them is just magic. Hits me every time.

Q: What does winning this award mean to you?

A: I’m thrilled to be flying the flag for buyer’s agents. To be recognised at the highest level in Australia is the culmination of years of consistent contribution. Many people believe that the real estate industry is all about ‘me, me, me’ when in fact, the polar opposite is true for those who are here for the long game. Being of service to your clients, your staff, your fellow agents and contributing in a meaningful way to the industry is the secret sauce for success. I’m thankful every day to work with such a caring and supportive tribe of REBAA colleagues across the country.

Q: What skills do you need to be a good buyer’s agent?

A: A good buyer’s agent calls on so many skills. Quite often, we’re acting as marriage counsellors, psychologists, high-stakes poker players, data analysts, hostage negotiators, event planners, trusted confidant and wearing all the hats. Being able to guide clients to sometimes get out of their own way to make a good buying decision, perhaps by calming their emotions or overcoming analysis-paralysis in order for them to reach closure on their goal. Empathy and the ability to support others through times of stress, in a calm and confident manner is what I believe helps a good buyer’s agent move their clients from uncertainty to action.

Q: What advice would you give to those considering a career in the industry?

A: Look to those who have been in the game over the long term. REBAA began in 2000 and the experience that’s available through initiatives such as mentoring and peer training is exceptional. It takes a great deal of time to build the necessary relationships to succeed through all market conditions so don’t expect overnight success. Transparency and integrity are everything; you need to be willing to put the buyer first and the deal second. There’s no shortcuts and no place for ego. Know that your role is to be Yoda, not Luke Skywalker! And most of all, give back to the industry – you never know when you’ll need it to support you through tough times, so put your hand up to contribute in any way you can without expectation.

Q: How do you like to spend your days off?

A: You’ll find me with my husband and our two boys. Canberra has so many beautiful places to enjoy together. Of an evening, I love to put my feet up and devour a novel by the fire with our dog, Harry, curled up beside me.