A career of great results is no accident

posted on 30.05.2019

REI Super Member profile

Fred Jabbour, Senior Property Specialist/Director, First National Real Estate, Gladesville, NSW

Fed Jabbour has been a real estate business owner and selling agent for more than 35 years.

He has deservedly earned a reputation as a great agent and as someone who gives back to the industry.


REI Super: How did you get into real estate?

FJ: By accident! After leaving school I actually intended to study programming and accounting. But a friend of mine enrolled me in a real estate course. He had enrolled himself and announced to me that he put my name down as well because he wanted some company!!

We did the two-year course together. And I’ve been working in real estate ever since 1982. In 1991 I opened a Richardson and Wrench office in Gladesville, which was my business until I sold it to First National last year, who I am currently with.


REI Super: What do you like about working in real estate?

FJ: Definitely the people interaction. No two people are the same. The buzz is when you deliver above people’s expectations.

After all these years I still get butterflies at an auction because I want to get the best outcome possible for a vendor.


REI Super: What are the challenges of real estate for you?

FJ: Certainly there are some external factors, such as the economy and changing legislation and training requirements. Maintaining a presence in the market place is increasingly a challenge too, as it’s a very competitive industry.

Satisfying clients’ needs is often a challenge. People come to me with all sorts of interesting requests and requirements. Some people want to sell and buy at the same time for example.

I experience sleepless nights solving people’s problems, but there’s nothing more gratifying than overcoming them.

You have to be able to cope well with the human dimension of this job, or it will wear you out!!


REI Super: Tell me about the community in Gladesville 

FJ: It’s an established area, with a lot of families who have been here a long time. And family members tend to pass on property to each other.

The turnover is low – approximately 18 to 20 years on average.


REI Super: What's the sales market like there at present?

FJ: Since early 2018 we’ve gone back 15% to 20% in the area. But there’s still turnover.

It’s a cycle. I’ve seen several cycles. This is probably one of the worst we’ve seen, because prices climbed so high.

In the long run growth continues however, despite the short-term ups and downs.


REI Super: What has been your biggest career highlight so far? 

FJ: More of a general highlight is that I ran a successful office for so many years.

Also achieving record prices – first breaking $1 million bracket in Putney was exciting as well as holding the highest price property sale in Ryde for several years was a proud achievement.


REI Super: Where does super come in for you?

FJ: I’ve always been with REI Super. There are some good people on the Board.

The Fund has experience and gets good results. I’m confident that my money is being invested wisely and well diversified.


REI Super: Have you had an experience with SMSF's?

FJ: Fortunately, I haven’t! It was something I was a bit interested in when I was younger, but I’m glad I didn’t do it.

 Now that I’m older and wiser I’m happy to let the people who know what they’re doing look after my super.


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