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Our people, their stories | Meet Elliott Placks

By Samantha Krimotat
“I guess I’ve always been quite driven and competitive – it’s my personality type. When I was 14, I fudged my age so I could get a job, just to be able to earn money of my own. I went to university after I finished school, working nights in a restaurant as well. I studied commerce because I always thought I’d be a banker. But in reality, I found it incredibly dry.
After a couple of years, I decided to take a break and took a job prospecting for a competitor agency during the day to supplement my income as a waiter. It was a natural step, given my mother was in real estate. My vision at that time was to save enough to buy the restaurant I worked in. Gradually though, my energy shifted more to the property industry, so I quit working nights and real estate became number one.
Two years later, I felt ready to become a sales agent and wrote a business plan that I proudly presented to my principal. He said no, telling me I needed another “couple of years” as an assistant. So I walked out the door and down the street to Ray White Double Bay. They agreed to give me a shot and in my first year, I became the number three agent across NSW. I remained a leading agent for the next eight years.
In 2011, I was given the opportunity to join the management team and become part owner. It was an easy decision! I’m still an elite salesperson, but now I’m also the sales manager and help oversee property management and finance as well. We have 62 employees and I think we’ve successfully built a culture of attraction with great people and great processes.
What’s my secret? I love it. You have to be happy and passionate about what you do – if I wasn’t, I’d have to re-evaluate. It’s not work for me, it’s a lifestyle. I love that a day can go from zero to hero in a minute, just with one phone call or a chance meeting.
I do work long hours most days, but I think balance is important too. I have a young family and I try to be home every night for the important things like baths and dinner, even if I have to go out to another meeting or listing presentation afterwards.
As a principal, it’s important to build a team that you can trust and empower them. It’s a mistake when business owners think “no one can ever do it as good as me”. I’ve been fortunate that whenever I’ve needed to hire someone, they seem to almost fall into my lap – sometimes in the strangest ways – but I also think it’s about having the radar on and knowing what you’re looking for.
Am I done? No. I think I can always do better. That’s what keeps it interesting.”
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