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Suter Smith Cleine: Reflecting on 12 months in their own agency

Noosa’s Suter Smith Cleine share how they built their successful real estate brand.

After years of working under franchise brands, Ian and Linda Suter, Clint Smith and Tyron Cleine took the leap and joined forces to launch their independent real estate agency, Suter Smith Cleine a little over 12 months ago.

Partnering with UrbanX, they haven’t looked back and are enjoying the many benefits that running an independent agency offers.

They share what pushed them to make the move, the advantages of owning their own business, and how they have capitalised quickly by focusing their efforts on dollar productive work.

Despite the success the group had achieved while working for franchises, they were becoming frustrated with the limitations imposed on them, ranging from how they could market themselves and how much they were earning to not owning the databases they were building.

As Tyron Cleine explains, making the decision to leave his successful career was two-fold.

It was a combination of realising how much he was leaving on the table and the restrictions holding him back that prompted him to break free.

“Every agent, I’m sure, has the frustration of selling a home, putting in all of your blood, sweat, and tears to then calculate your share of it and your offices share of the sale and realise there’s a there’s a lot you’re giving up. So now that we control all of that, we get a bigger split of the pie and it’s more rewarding at the end of the day,” he says.

“What owning your own business and being a director allows, is to offer a more boutique, customised service to every client.”

Ian Suter adds that with full control comes full responsibility and having your name on the door creates the dive to succeed.

“Working under my own brand means that I get to make my own mistakes, I get to be responsible for my own mistakes, and I also get to be responsible for my wins as well.

“You take that leap of responsibility, accepting the potential for failure in the process, and as a reward for success you get more money. It’s that simple.”

As we all know, any change in your life comes with a degree of fear, and it was no different for the Suter Smith Cleine team when they were discussing the move.

“Anyone who goes out their own in any business typically will be fearful. Fearful of failure, really,” Ian says.

So, how did they overcome that fear and focus on success? It came down to reflecting on how much they were missing out on, and then feeling supported to make the change.

For Ian, one of the biggest challenges he faced when he was in a franchise was the feeling that he was “building a business within a business, but not owning that business.”

“I didn’t own my sellers. I didn’t own my data. When you leave a franchise to go out on your own, you start fresh again… and you realise how much money and information you’ve given to a franchise owner,” he explains.

“If you can have someone like an UrbanX take care of all the small details that distract you from what you’re good at, what you’re meant to be doing, which is listing and selling real estate, it’s solid gold.

“That way, you can focus on building your brand, your business, yourself, your experience, your future, and your fortune.”

Tyron explains that the support the team receives is continuous, particularly with the many administrative tasks from marketing, listings, contracts and accounting.

“What UrbanX does, is it surrounds you with a team of people who are experts in those things, and that’s all they do every day. You can send off what needs to be done and get the right details back, and you can focus on doing what you do best.”

Ian adds that the systems that UrbanX equip their partners with provides a structure that drives their success.

“UrbanX has a very strong structure, where those who are successful, and work hard are very well rewarded,” he says.

When reflecting on their journey, Tyron had this advice to share.

“If you’re committed that in the next five, ten, fifteen, twenty years you’re going to be in real estate and you add up all the extra income you can earn in that time alone, plus the fact that you’re growing your own business and asset that you can one day sell, the sooner you get in the better.”

And to wrap up his feelings about the decision to create Suter Smith Cleine, Ian is clear that it’s more than just the money.

“With my experience, it’s been extremely rewarding.  Not just monetarily but certainly emotionally and psychologically as well

“It’s great to be considered by your peers as one of the best in town and not live and die anonymously behind some franchise.”

As featured on Elite Agent and The Real Estate Converstion

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