PHOTO: Stephanie Mason

A new principal who made more money in her first two months of business than her previous 12 as an employee has credited COVID with exposing her to a better way of working.

Stephanie Mason, who now owns One Agency Stephanie Mason, was working as an agent in a different business when the pandemic hit, with no plans to go out on her own.

However, once instructed to work from home, she soon realised real estate could be done differently, for the benefit of both herself and her clients.

“When I went from a noisy office to my peaceful home, I found my focus and concentration were sharpened, and I was able to work on my business, not just in it. That made me think perhaps this was the way forward for me,” she said.

Ms Mason decided she wanted to start her own business, from a dedicated home office, partly to be able to offer a more personalised one-on-one service to her clients but also to be able to increase her ability to produce financially, and enjoy life without the pressures of office targets and restrictions.

“I wanted group support, because the idea of starting an independent agency felt overwhelming,” she said.

“I chose a group that not only offered the same sort of branding power and support of other groups, but also allowed me to run my business independently from home, making my own decisions for the benefit of my clients, which in turn enabled me to offer clients cost-effective packages due to my own decreased overheads. That meant I could be more productive and had no need to pay for an expensive office.”

Ms Mason, who started One Agency Stephanie Mason on 1 July, said she was grateful to have been able to produce more financially in her first two months as a principal than her previous 12 months as an employee.

Partly, she said, that was down to timing – her local market, on the Central Coast of NSW, strengthened just as she opened her business.

However, there were two other big reasons for her big jump in profitability. First, she previously had to give away 50% of her commissions, whereas her new group gives her the opportunity to keep 100%. Second, the group allows her to promote her personal brand and supports her where she needs it.

“A large portion of my business is past clients or referrals, so now that I’m on my own, it’s easier for me to attract business, and continue to work in the way that suits my clients’ needs,” she said.