As a teenager, Mike didn’t see himself going to university and instead went into full-time work. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, racing motorcycles took his interest. Competing primarily in Australia and New Zealand, Mike took out several championships and to this day still holds the national land speed record for a 350cc motorcycle. In his mid-20s, however, he changed his focus to a career as a pilot, gaining his commercial pilot’s licence and flying for Mt Cook Airlines.
In 1990, when Mike was 30 years old, he suddenly had an idea about helping people with their mortgages. In 1991 Mike Pero Mortgages launched, becoming
New Zealand’s single largest mortgage broking brand – with one of the most memorable advertising jingles. “Most people know me from that!” he says.
Mike has since sold this company and moved his focus into building Mike Pero Real Estate, which commenced trading in 2011 and has become New Zealand’s fastest growing real estate company with a team of agents based all over New Zealand.
While Mike is not a licensed salesperson himself, his knowledge of real estate marketing and driving initiatives and systems is extensive.
He says the marketing of a house is the single most important thing when it comes to selling. “Anyone can put a For Sale sign up on their gate but there is a strategy. Most people who do it privately or by themselves are selling themselves short.”
As a company, Mike Pero Real Estate has a huge focus on marketing, knowing that it can significantly alter the price at which a house can sell.
Real estate agents sell around two properties per month and can earn on average around $200,000 a year – though Mike claims that some of the more successful agents are earning up to $1,000,000 per year. Although that may sound appealing, Mike says it’s not an easy industry to be in.
“It takes a certain type of person to make it in real estate. When I started the business, many sceptics believed I wasn’t that ‘certain type of person’ and wouldn’t make it far.
“I had people telling me ‘it won’t last’, ‘we’ve seen it all before’, and giving me three or six months… but the proof is in the pudding and everything has gone particularly well.”
That’s not to say that Mike hasn’t faced a few knocks along the way, but his message stands strong: it takes hard work to get you where you want to go.
“There can be all sorts of obstacles and challenges. Don’t blame the system, don’t blame the school, and don’t blame the enemies, because it’s generally the man or woman in the mirror.”
For students considering entering the industry, Mike reiterates the importance of setting SMART goals (specified, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely) and working on the essential qualities, such as self-motivation, enthusiasm, self-discipline, presentation, communication skills, empathy, honesty, a sense of humour and a willingness to help people. Studying for a National Certificate in Real Estate and registration with the Real Estate Agents Authority are additional requirements.
Mike also recommends getting alongside a highly successful agent for knowledge and advice. He himself has spoken to many students along the way and says he’s been impressed with their drive and enthusiasm.
“The single biggest thing I have found with school leavers is their desire to succeed.”