Even before COVID turned the real estate industry (and pretty much every other industry!) upside down, Southern Highlands real estate agent, Sam Mulholland was researching and learning about a new way of doing things. It’s a new approach to real estate and selling houses that was more in keeping with his style of business – local, social and paperless.
“It’s the 2020 way!” Sam, Principal of Mulholland Property, says.
We chatted to Sam about this new way of working, how he ended up in the property biz, what’s happening in the market locally and his exciting plans for the future of Mulholland Property in the Southern Highlands.
You can hear and see more from Sam on his weekly Facebook property wraps - head to his Facebook page to hear a weekly update on all-thing Southern Highlands property.
1 // How did you get into the real estate industry?
It all started when I bought the first block of land in the Retford Park Estate. My parents, John and Sharon, managed Retford Park for thirty years. I went overseas for a number of years in my early twenties and when I came back to the Highlands, I needed a job. By that time, Mr Fairfax was at the house fulltime and Mum and Dad needed some extra help around the property.
I ended up helping with the sub-division, did the numbers and realised it was a good time to get on the property ladder. It was actually a fun process for me to go through. I really enjoyed it. That’s when I realised that going into the world of real estate would probably be a good career move for me, so that’s what I did.
2 // So, tell us about your business model and how it benefits your clients?
It’s a modern approach to real estate with less overheads, more flexibility and better connection with potential buyers and sellers. I don’t have a traditional bricks and mortar office with houses for sale in the window. I’m actually based in the Collab Highlands space at The Mill in Bowral, which has such a great vibe and energy – clients love it here.
I’ve partnered up with Realty, who provide me with all the software, sales and accounting tools I need to run the business which gives me another cost saving. And I market properties exclusively online which is a fantastic way to reach the exact demographic I want to reach, and it’s a better investment.
All of this means that I can offer highly competitive rates and a huge amount of flexibility for my clients.
3 // We love your biz mantra – Local, Social and Paperless – tell us more about that.
I love the Highlands. I was born here, went to school here and after a few years in Sydney and overseas, came back for the quality of life the Southern Highlands offers up.
It’s that quality of life that I want to celebrate and focus on with Mulholland Property. I want to provide employment opportunities for locals, support community groups and also local businesses. Once a week I do a live Facebook broadcast and once a month I focus on a local Business of the Month. I give them a shoutout, get them online to interview them and have a really good chat. It’s so important to support local, especially now.
Now, there are two aspects to the ‘social’ part. Anyone who knows me knows I’m always up for a chat! I love meeting people, having a beer and a chat with them. And the second part is that the real estate agency uses social media to market properties and also to stay connected to clients, investors and potential buyers. Targeted social media advertising means I can really speak to the people who are keen to buy in the area. It gives us great return on investment and puts the properties for sale in front of the right people at the right time.
As for the paperless side of things, going paperless is a way to save the environment, save money and with COVID going on, minimise the risk of transmission. All agency agreements are done digitally. We don’t have brochures at open homes. Instead, we send you a text with a link to an online brochure. It’s an efficient, safe and environmentally-friendly way to work.
4 // Okay Sam, here’s the million-dollar question! What’s happening in the Highlands property market at the moment?
The local market is really buoyant. We have had a lot of Sydneysiders coming to open homes or enquiring about properties in the Highlands. COVID has acted as a catalyst for people to move out of the city. They now have the capability to work from home with many companies moving towards the working from model permanently (less overheads and a positive impact on productivity). So, people are taking the opportunity to move somewhere quieter, more affordable and less stressful. The proximity of the Highlands to Sydney means they can go to a city-based office once or twice a week but work from home here most of the time and get that quality of life we were talking about before.
We’ve had a spike in younger families looking at buying in the area. And of course, the Highlands is always popular with downsizers and empty nesters.
5 // And what do YOU love about living in the Southern Highlands and running a business here?
It’s such a great place for kids to grow up with good schools and lots of space. I have a 3-year-old now, so that’s really important to me. We love getting outdoors and go bushwalking whenever we can. Having all these amazing national parks and bushwalks on our doorstep is great. I’m a bit of a golfer too, so enjoy having access to some really good golf courses nearby.
As a young business owner, I know the community here is supportive of people giving something new a go. Since I opened Mulholland Property a few months ago, I’ve received some really nice supportive phone calls, texts and emails from people saying they love what I’m doing, and they’re excited for me. I think the people who live here respond well to something new, especially something with a fresh approach.
And I’ve got loads of interesting stuff in the pipeline, including some cool collaborations so would encourage everyone to come along for the ride!
The team at Mulholland Property live, breathe and love real estate. Available 24/7 and with a strong focus on supporting local, the newest real estate agency in the Southern Highlands is changing things up with their local, social and paperless approach to selling property. Get on board!