Footy legend turns to real estate
BROWNLOW medallist Jason Akermanis has opened his own estate agency under the Blue Moon umbrella in the well-heeled neighbourhood of Ascot.
Walking away from Ray White, the biggest agency in the country, where he was mentored by property stalwart Dwight Ferguson, the ex-professional AFL star said he preferred the smaller, family-oriented ethos of Blue Moon to the dog-eat-dog world of the larger corporates.
"Knocking on doors and making 50 phone calls a day is not the way to get listings, it's not how I like to operate," he said.
"Going out on my own has happened a bit earlier than I expected," Mr Akermanis said, "but I could go from making 45 per cent commission working for someone else to making 100 per cent commission for myself. It was a bit of a no-brainer."
With his offices still being set up and just one registered listing on his books, Mr Akermanis's decision to leave a more corporate environment does not mean that he is any less driven.
Already, he has set his sights on expansion into the surrounding blue-chip territories of Hamilton, Hawthorne and Bulimba, and longer-term he wants to open an office in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
"On my own I have the chance to run my own crew. I've done it before in my coaching jobs and other businesses, essentially it is what I do," Mr Akermanis said.
And he is looking to do it the old-fashioned way, with a focus on customer service.
"In my life I've had millions and I've also lost millions, so I've been fortunate enough to work out that life is not always about money," he said.
"Justin Voss [the founder of Blue Moon] is a crazy disciplined triathlete, but his company model is based on putting family first; you work hard for them and then for your customers. So you're in the job for the right reasons.
"I don't know how agents can handle 15 listings at once. With me it's pretty simple. You focus on doing the best for the person you're representing," he said.
"If you're good at what you do, the money will come. The first thing is to build up your business and gain referrals."
Known for his crazy antics and outspoken views on and off the football field over the years, Mr Akermanis said moving back to Queensland last year from where he was living "practically like a recluse" in Albury-Wodonga, made him a different person.
"I didn't socialise because I didn't want to. I enjoyed a few select friends, who were pretty worldly, but it didn't feel right. I hated where I was. Now I am back home, where my mates are, and it's great. Here is such a different world to our life in Melbourne."
Mr Akermanis bought a four-bedroom family home in Warner in October, a few months after his family made a mad dash back to Queensland before the borders closed last year.
He continues to run his cryptocurrency business as well as undertake commentary and public speaking roles, but building his estate agency is his No. 1 priority.
Despite only being in the game for a short time, he had some sage advice.
"If you start an agency or a business just to make more money, it will always fail. Sometimes it is hard to ignore, it happens when you see the dollar signs and get carried away, but service is always number one," he said.
"If you don't put your time into your staff your turnover will be high and you won't get any synergy. The point of being a leader is that you eventually become redundant, because a good student will pass you to become a leader themselves and that's what I want."
Originally published as Footy legend turns to real estate