It might seem like a strange twist, switching from designing fashion to selling real estate in the streets of Epping, but that’s the brave decision Allison Mifsud decided to take back in 2001.
It was the dream of starting a family that had driven Allison to give up a high-stakes fashion career that saw her travelling the globe for 13 years, living a glamorous lifestyle others would envy. Realistically, the decision to chase a more mainstream role in real estate sales wasn’t initially about following her passion. It was about finding a new career that could quickly generate a similar income without the need to travel, while also giving her the flexibility down the track to be a great parent.
Answering an advertisement for a saleswoman at First National Real Estate at Epping in the northern districts of Sydney, Allison dove headfirst into the role, working long hours every day of the week as she learned the ropes and tried to establish herself in what was at that time still a heavily male-dominated industry.
Less than five years later, Allison had already been awarded the number one agent in New South Wales for First National Real Estate and within eight years, she’d become the number one auction agent across the entire Australian group. But despite Allison’s love for the First National group, her principal decided a short time later that he would rebrand the office as an independent agency.
The CEO of First National had every belief that Allison was capable of running her own business and encouraged her to start up what would become the new First National office in Epping. With a three-year-old son and a less than convinced husband, Allison decided to take the plunge regardless, stepping into the role of principal and business owner. But the journey would be far from straightforward.
“I was so lucky to have so much support as I really didn’t know what I was doing. My son was still so young, but my sister and so many of the other members and the corporate team all rallied around me and helped me get set up.”
“We opened with five listings and sold them all within the first month. I knew then my client base would stick with me and it would all work.”
“When my marriage broke down a couple of years into it and I found myself a single mother, things got really tough, but I was so determined to push through and somehow I did, again with my support team behind me.”
Despite the challenges, Allison made it through, achieving each goal as she set it and continuing to build a more robust business.
“My son’s now fifteen and I don’t work really long hours anymore because my time as a mother is particularly precious to me. I have a solid business that employs eight people and I’m content with where I’m at, as I also want the freedom right now to be able to take time off, have long lunches if I feel like it.”
“I’ve just purchased another rent roll and that’s a big focus. It’s not the time for me to be setting the world on fire right now and I love that I don’t have the pressure on me that many franchises put on their members to always be doing more.”
“I constantly get approached by other brands trying to recruit me but honestly, the conversations don’t get very far as I can’t see they have anything that would be better than what I have now.”
“I think it’s funny when a brand talks about being a family in particular, because it doesn’t seem like they act that way. We actually are very family oriented within the First National Real Estate group in the way we really support each other, and I think our consumer brand appeals to families too – we’re really neutral and people like that. I have been blessed to have made
some lifelong friends through the network and I am grateful for that.”
“I’m so loyal to the group. First National Real Estate agents are my friends, family and my business too. I love that it can be all those things – that’s a great life.”
If you think First National Real Estate could be the right brand to help you build your own agency, or you’re looking for alternatives to your current network, fill in this form and let’s have a chat.