Real estate can be a competitive and cut-throat industry – for buyers, sellers and agents.
But it doesn’t have to be if you work with the right people. This week I speak to my long-time friend and colleague, Daphne Sauvage, about how our close working relationship benefits buyers and sellers in both Potts Point and Darling Point.
Real estate agent Daphne Sauvage works under the Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty brand and dominates the Darling Point market. We’ve known each other for many years and often work together for our respective clients, or sell the same properties as co-listings.
Daphne, we’ve been friends for a long time. I think we first met over twenty years ago? How did you start out in real estate?
I’ve been working in real estate for 24 years now. I’m originally from the UK, but I’d moved to Australia and was running my own successful public relations business. I was offered a job in real estate by one of my PR clients who ran a big real estate business in Double Bay. I sold my business and it’s been real estate ever since for me.
What do you enjoy most about real estate?
Like you, Jason, I’m a people person. Real estate appealed to me because I loved the property, but I also loved people and the human element.
I enjoy the relationships I’ve developed through my career in real estate. I focus on Darling Point and I’ve built up beautiful friendships there over the years. I’ve sold for, and to, the same people time and time again, and I’ve also sold the same properties multiple times, often selling them for the same people who bought them from me years earlier.
I also feel I can play a valuable role in people’s lives by helping them find a home and build financial security.
There’s really no greater trust that a person can give you than the keys to their home – they’re letting someone into their sacred space. Giving the keys to your home to an agent demonstrates huge trust.
That’s one thing I admire about the way you work, Jason. You’ve always been honest and trustworthy and you really care about your clients and their privacy. I learnt a lot about the kind of real estate agent I wanted to be and the values that were important to me by watching how you did it. If I was going to sell my place, I’d sell with you. You’re also a lot of fun.
Thanks, Daphne, the feeling is mutual. I thoroughly enjoy the co-listings we do together, and even though we’re with different agency brands, I think we work well together because our shared values result in some great sales for our clients and we can help each other’s buyers.
I agree. The Richardson & Wrench brand is strong in your area, while my brand, Sotheby’s, is very strong internationally. I think we are both good ambassadors for our brand. But when we join forces it gives our clients and vendors a greater reach.
Potts Point and Darling Point are very close geographically. While they have some similarities they’re very different suburbs. I often find if it doesn’t work in Darling Point for a client you may have something for them in Potts Point, or vice versa.
If I take a client into Potts Point and introduce them to you, I know I’m dealing with somebody who knows more about that area than anyone else. I’m not just talking about the properties, there are also your deep relationships with people in the area and your detailed knowledge of the location. In our respective areas, we know which buildings will suit certain buyers, and we can tell them the good, bad and in-between so they are well-informed.
My area, Potts Point, has obviously changed enormously over the last 20 years. How has your core area of Darling Point changed over the years?
There’s been a lot of redevelopment. For example, many of the homes have been significantly renovated and added to. There’s also been a lot of apartments amalgamated by joining together and renovating a couple of smaller apartments in the same building. People are really keen to capitalise on the position and views of Darling Point. Apartment blocks as a whole have also invested heavily in the building and many have upgraded the externals and common areas to be more glamorous and modern in recent years. It’s a beautiful community. I find that once someone moves into the area, they rarely move out, they simply move around.
And how have you seen real estate as an industry changed over time?
I think real estate has become a lot more transparent for the consumer. The web has been a fabulous tool for research. Buyers and sellers can talk to an agent then go online and see that they’ve been told the truth.
What’s your favourite Darling Point building?
I don’t have one clear favourite, but I do love the waterfront properties or any of the properties with the magnificent views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, city or water. There’s something very uplifting but also meditative about being able to see the water.
And when you come to my neighbourhood, what’s your favourite Potts Point hangout?
I love the Potts Point restaurants. There are so many good ones it’s hard to choose.