PHOTO: Glen Coutinho

Having notched up a hugely successful real estate career spanning more than 30 years, agent and auctioneer Glen Coutinho is proof nice guys don’t finish last. The committed family man has built not one but two successful real estate agencies, received numerous awards, featured as the 2016 auctioneer on The Block and still finds time to write and send 3,000 Christmas cards to friends, family and a huge database of clients each year. Now he’s embarking on a totally new adventure in the US, heading up Harcourts in Beverly Hills.

Glen Coutinho recently sat down and penned a quick letter. It was a short note to his first ever client in real estate, thanking him for his support.

“I hope you’re enjoying your home,” he wrote. “Just letting you know I’ve been in real estate for 30 years now, but I wanted to remind you that you were my first sale, and I’ll never forget it.”

The truth is, Glen rarely forgets anyone or anything. From staff birthdays to client anniversaries and appreciative notes to the waiter at dinner, Glen makes a point of remembering the special interests, events and achievements of the people he meets.

It’s part of what he describes as a “people-loving” approach to real estate that just happens to be paired with the mindset of a hunter.

“I’m often asked if I love houses. The honest answer is no. I love people of all types, and I’m focused on building lasting relationships and friendships in real estate,” he notes.

That philosophy, combined with pure hard work, has seen Glen rise to the top of the industry pile in his career. He has sold more than $340 million worth of property this year and over the last three years has overseen more than $1 Billion worth of sales.

That’s no small feat for a man who started life in Australia in the housing commission flats of Fitzroy.Along the way he has picked up numerous awards, including an international Bronze Stevie Award for sales and customer service in 2017. The same year he was named an industry influencer by Elite Agent as a champion of customer service.

Pure hard work

Glen notes he was taught the value of hard work at an early age. His family immigrated to Australia from Bahrain when he was just five, his mother and father – a talented chef – working tirelessly to support them in their new life.

“My parents were modest, hard-working people who took us from Fitzroy in the 1980s to Vermont. We spent most of our lives in a little 10-square home,” he explains. “I knew if I wanted money I had to work hard for it.”

At 14, Glen was juggling three jobs: butcher’s assistant, kitchen hand and assistant cook, in addition to school.

“I developed a strong work ethic at an  early age; days off and sick days were non-negotiable in my mind.”

By his 20s, Glen was working for Westpac, initially in branch banking and then in treasury dealing in financial markets. The shift into real estate happened by chance.

“I was out one Saturday, and I was following a young bloke in a convertible Mercedes,” Glen recalls.

“He went into Woodards Real Estate in Camberwell and I was so impressed with this car that I walked in after him and asked for a job because I wanted a nice car. I know it sounds silly, but that’s how I got started.”

In his first year in real estate, the company recognised him for the “best first year in sales”. He went on to win the award of best salesperson for several years running and was promoted to associate director.

Then, in the mid-1990s, Glen decided it was time to go out on his own. He accepted an offer to open a Hockingstuart franchise, which quickly became the number one office, and was joined in the endeavour by his brothers-in-law. It marked the beginning of a family business partnership that continues to this day.

Recognising it was time for a change, Glen sold out of Hockingstuart in 2012, only to be offered a new opportunity with RT Edgar in Boroondara.

For the past six years, Glen and his brothers-in-law have been building their stake in the RT Edgar brand with near partnerships. They now have three offices and 35 salespeople under their stewardship.

A people person with ‘raving fans’