Episode 10 – Mark & Michelle Errichiello

Interview: Episode 10
Podcast Host: Michael Furlong – Rent Roll Maximiser
Guests: Mark & Michelle Errichiello –  Master Advocates
Youtube Link: Real Estate Success Principles – Episode 10

Buyers Advocacy Should be Independent – You get Paid by the Client to Search in their Best Interest

Michael Furlong: Hey guys, it’s Michael Furlong from Rent Roll Maximiser here. This is the first time I’ve really interviewed a Husband & Wife team. Mark, you’re going sit down below at the moment because on the camera – you’re below. I am meeting the lovely Michelle – after many, many, many years. Michelle Errichiello & Mark Errichiello, make sure that I get that correct – from Master Advocates. Welcome, how are you?

Michelle Errichiello: Thank You, yeah we’re going good today

Mark Errichiello: Thanks Michael, thanks for having us

Michael Furlong: Now in Victoria at the moment where in, we’re just sort of coming out the end of the lockdown. This is a question that I didn’t give you beforehand, but a lot of Agencies are really struggling with working from home. I didn’t want to prepare you on this one – how are you guys going? You’re working from home and you’re actually married. How does that work?

Mark Errichiello: I’ll be smart and let Michelle answer first.

Michael Furlong: Very diplomatic, I can see the way this is going to go.

Michelle Errichiello: Look, it wasn’t easy. I think the hardest period was the homeschooling. So, we kind of said, “All right, Mark, you’re focusing on the business and I need to focus on the girls and get their homeschooling done.” And to my surprise – our youngest does Childcare and Kinder, and I was getting emails especially once that Stage 4 hit and Childcare and Kinder were closed. I was getting emails from them that I needed to do some schoolwork with her. So that was something that I wasn’t prepared for. I thought our Primary School Aged daughter, I knew I had to homeschool her. But then when I had to homeschool the 4-year-old from Kinder work and Childcare work, that was another thing that was thrown at me that I wasn’t expecting. That’s when I said, “Do you know what, I need to kind of take a step back. Mark, you’re running the business and I need to just focus on the household.” Obviously, there’s times when the girls went to bed or lunchtime or whatever that I would jump on my emails and action anything that needed to be actioned, but yeah, predominantly that was Mark’s space.

Michael Furlong: So, a couple of months of homeschooling. So tell me you got 2 girls, 2 little ones?

Michelle Errichiello: Yes, a four and a seven-year old.

Michael Furlong: Still cute stage.

Mark Errichiello: Yeah!

Michelle Errichiello: Yeah!

Michael Furlong: Hopefully they’re always going to be cute. I don’t know about you, Mark, but I’ve got a Daughter as well. And you have a special affection for your Daughter, whereas your Son – I’ve got a Son – and it’s a bit more rugged. But the Daughter, you just want to protect them. Is that the way you are? you’ve got 2 of them.

Mark Errichiello: Michelle says I’m too soft, that I treat them both like Little Princesses too much. So, I’ve had to be a bit more assertive with discipline, but definitely wanting to protect them – that feeling, being a bit softer. And through the pandemic, even just being at home with them and a bit more quality time which I never really had before, because you’re always working hours. They’re asleep most of the time when I came home before. So that was great, that was bonding a lot more, that was a benefit. We got through it, which is a good thing.

Michael Furlong: Mate, never apologise for treating your Daughters like Princesses – they are, never apologise for that. Now tell me a little bit about Master Advocates because I’ve known of you both for many, many years. Mark, I think we were just really reminiscing, it’s probably somewhere between 10, 15 and plus years. This is the thing which I like about our Industry. When you can connect with good people, it doesn’t matter where they are, you still gravitate to them. So we have had a relationship – you and I, about 3, 4, 5 different times along those years and that we’ve continually connected and we’ve just recently connected back again. I know Master Advocates’ been going for a long time, but it’s now both of you in it – full time, and this is your primary focus. Tell me about Master Advocates. What is it that you do and why?

Mark Errichiello: Yeah, Michelle, do you want to go first or you want me to answer?

Michelle Errichiello: You go for it

Mark Errichiello: It has been a long time and we value those long-term relationships with people like yourself, Michael. That we come in and out of the industry in different ways and sort of sounding boards and appreciation of different ways to practice. Predominantly, Michelle and I both met working in a Franchise that my Father started in Ascot Vale, a Raine & Horne Franchise around the year 2000 – we joined the business.

Michael Furlong: Mark, you’re second-generation Real Estate?

Mark Errichiello: Second now, yeah, and my Brother George as well. George and his business partner, Pat – still operate that Franchise and Dad’s 76 yesterday, and still working there. So, Michelle and I met there for a passion of the business.

Michael Furlong: Italian background?

Mark Errichiello: Italian, yeah – all from Southern Italy, the family’s all from Calabria-Napoli heritage and Michelle’s actually German-Polish, so it’s a big mix in our house.

Michael Furlong: The reason why I say that is – Europeans, particularly older Europeans, 76, he would still come to work every day, still think he was the King of the Castle and it’s my way or the highway, what I did in 1970 is still true today. Like it’s a long time ago, but 76, what a Trooper!

Mark Errichiello: He is, yeah! And you know what, Dad evolved from what I saw growing up as a kid in the 80’s and 90’s. What Real Estate Offices were like – they were smoking cigars, drinking whiskey and cigarettes in the office. It was a much different playing field. I think Real Estate’s an area that – it’s not a backbreaking job. You just get better and the more deals, the longer you’re in the game, the more relationships you build. He’s managed to deal with people, their kids, their grandkids. So, it’s long-term – you learn from them. I guess when Michelle and I were quite young, we met working in that sort of traditional sense, in the Raine & Horne Franchise. We were 19 and 20. It was really around the time that Michelle had a tragic accident in 2007, that we started to really think about perspective in life, and if we’re going to be doing something for a career the next 50 years or so when we were in our early 20’s. We have to be passionate and love what we do every day and what could we do together. And eventually, we started Master Advocates. It took us 7 years to make the plunge, but we went and incorporated the business in 2014.

Michael Furlong: So that’s 6 years, the business has been operating as Master Advocates as the license.

Mark Errichiello: Yeah, and that’s purely Michelle and I, and we’ve got a Research Partner that we work very closely with. And that’s Buyer’s Advocacy, Vendor Advocacy and Property Management.

Michael Furlong: OK, so good Mark, Thank You for that because I was going to ask. And Michelle, I’m not skipping over the accident, we’ll come back to that. So, I wanted to get from you maybe, the difference between: Buyer’s Advocate, Vendor’s Advocate- which is relatively new, and Sales Agent. For those that are watching this that really don’t understand the differences. Firstly, are all of them Real Estate Agents? Obviously, Sales are, so you’re Real Estate Agent. Licensed?

Mark Errichiello: Yes, Licensed Estate Agents. There’s still people emerging into the Industry that probably some have operated without a license or without experience and obtained a license. But yes, majority, if you’re in the right Associations and Independent Buyer’s Advocacy, and that was one of the reasons why we had to. It wasn’t only up until March this year, we completely separated from any of the Sales process, and the businesses we’re involved in with Raine & Horne and the family because Buyer’s Advocacy should be Independent. You get paid by the Client to search in their best interests, whether it’s to occupy or invest. And the Vendor’s Advocacy side became a more subsequent need or value service for Clients based on my Sales background and Auctioneering. When Clients needed to sometimes sell something prior to buying before we could start their buying campaign, or they needed to sell directly after buying, because you can’t always rely on the banks, now. It’s not easy to get bridging loans, they sometimes need to sell assets to move forward. We would naturally then not engage in the Sales process in the frontline, that’s the Sales Agent. We’d engage and bring in, as though with the Vendor’s, I guess, right hand, would speak on their behalf as their Advocate. We’d bring in the Sales Agents in the location that we think will be suitable. 2 or 3 do the Appraisal Process, manage their relationship with the Vendor with an unbiased opinion. And the Sales Agent does the “heavy lifting” in the frontline – be the face, their Brand and speaking with the Buyers and dealing with that process. So, we don’t get hands-on with Buyers on both sides of the fence.

Michael Furlong: Yep, so, Michelle, are you involved? Because I’ve had to look at your profile and we’re going to go into that in a second. I looked at that amazing profile, both of you. I learnt a little bit about you, Mark, that I didn’t know today when I was looking at your profile. I looked at that and you’re almost like a Ninja. I just saw that in there and I’m like, all this time I thought, “Ah, Mark I’ll just flip him aside”.

Mark Errichiello: I do love Martial Arts, I love Japanese Culture and Japanese Martial Arts. I sort of got halfway to black, formerly in Aikido, other than boxing and things like that growing up. I love Aikido, I loved the philosophy, I loved the Teacher was at Seikatsu Akido in Pascoe Vale. I’m hoping now out of this lockdown, they get back up because, I guess, it gave me great balance out of work. Real Estate is a stressful job – family and all the things you balance now. It was just that place where you just focus on what you’re doing at the time. It’s like a movement meditation, good people. It brought in a lot of Japanese Philosophies & Culture, and the way to live and on the Codes of Living. That’s the thing that drew me to it.

Michael Furlong: Now that I’ve announced that I’m scared of you, the rest of the interview is going to be very soft. Tell me, Michelle – what’s your role in the business at the moment? It sounds like Mark is the Advocate, but are you also in the Advocacy Side, or do you blend your roles? Do you both work through the PM?

Michelle Errichiello: Predominantly, Mark does look after the Advocacy side. So, the Buyer’s Advocacy, the Vendor’s Advocacy, and I mainly focus on Property Management. However, having said that – that’s generally our roles within the business, but we still blend. I’ll still go out on the weekends and bid at Auctions. If there’s a couple of Buyers and at times, there’s 2 auctions on at the same time – Mark would go to one and I’ll go to the other. If I need assistance in Property Management, Mark will step in, especially with the Routine Inspections. Mark’s on the road a lot. So, when he’s on the road and there’s a Routine Inspection that needs to be done – generally he’ll do it. He’s got a keen eye for maintenance, his eye is a bit better for those things. I trust him when it comes to the routine. So we have our roles, but we also blend.

Michael Furlong: We’ll just wrap up with the types of properties that you work with at the moment now. Mark, am I understanding that you work with both Investors and Homeowners? Of course when the Market’s more buoyant, there’s more Investors. But do you work with both or do you work only with Homeowners? How does that work?

Mark Errichiello: We work with both, definitely, right around Metro Melbourne. And finally we were permitted during this period that we could get permits to work back in Regional areas and travel out, or Coast. So as a family, we’ve managed to blend that around Victoria. Whether it’s Investor or Owner Occupiers, travelling out, Victoria-wide, we made it part of the lifestyle as well. If I knew we had to go and investigate a property a bit further out. We’d go and support an Airbnb and local businesses and take the kids out and experience a bit of local culture as well. I like the part about helping Investors, cause it’s very much more emotional-based, subjective. You do a lot more discovery about what’s important for them. With the Owner Occupiers, you do discover a lot more about them personally and build a strong relationship. And Investors as well, over time, getting to their long-term goal. It can be a bit more mathematical, geographical areas are a bit broader looking at the dollars, the growth, and the returns. So, yeah, we do deal with both though, but I love aspects of both sides.

Michael Furlong: I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, Mark and Michelle, but I spent about 3 years as an Advocate.

Mark Errichiello: I was aware.

Michael Furlong: At that stage, I drew the line with Homeowners. I just found that process to be very difficult, and we’ll talk about this later throughout the meetings. I found that process really difficult because from an Investors point of view, I felt that there was very different criteria. So, you must find that as well is that an Investors looking for return – as in the growth, capital growth, the yield. Whereas a Homeowner is “I don’t like where that window is positioned. It faces into a lemon tree and I don’t like lemons”. Like, man, give me a break. How do you deal with that? You’re both smiling, I think you agree with me.

Mark Errichiello: I agree with you there in a sense that you own go in with an expectation. When we speak with an Owner Occupiers, you know the expectation is going to be that the criteria could change. I’ll set boundaries there with, I guess, where the criteria changes drastically. Then it might be a different Fee Level introduced or an Engagement Fee. If we have to start again and changes in price or changes in location or property style – changed drastically, then I’m happy to put the hours of in working and our Researcher puts in a lot of Due Diligence with me and hours when we work together; and Michelle will bounce off different property types. It does take longer. Average on an Investor might take 1 to 3 months for success. Just nature of small geographical areas for Home Owner Occupier, could take 6 months or more sometimes if the stocks not there and stock levels are low.

Michael Furlong: Yeah, guys, we’ll wrap up this session. Thank You very much. Where do we find you? Is it www.masteradvocates.com.au?

Michelle Errichiello: That’s the one.

Michael Furlong: Yep, Master Advocates. It’s been great chatting with you both. We will find out a little bit more in the next episode. Thank You very much, Mark and Michelle, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

Michelle Errichiello: Thanks, Michael

Mark Errichiello: Thank You so much Michael, have a great day

Discover the 20 Best Questions & Property Management KPI’s, that SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT their Rent Roll Growth

Work through this easy to follow checklist, and compare it against your New Business Strategy to identify the gaps

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Share This

Related Posts