Coco Ma is on track to write $2 million in 2022

Just five years after a career change at her central Melbourne fast food business, Coco Ma is on track to earn $2 million in gross commission in 2022.

Ms Ma runs her own business in the Keysborough area, southeast of Melbourne, working with property agency platform Area Specialist.

“I entered the industry in November 2017 and after three months in a small agency, I joined Area Specialist,” Ms. Ma said.

“I saw a training video from Area Specialist founder Michael Choi on YouTube and thought, ‘I have to be a part of this’. I liked the brand, marketing, training and support from the office. “

Ms. Ma made a gross commission of $1.6 million in 2021 working with an executive assistant and plans to move to two office assistants to keep up with demand.

She said while property prices in Melbourne had started falling from the highs of 2020 and 2021, the partnership with Area Specialist would help her navigate the ups and downs of the market.

Although Ms. Ma is relatively new to the industry, she has brought a tremendous array of life and business skills to her new career.

She came to Melbourne from China to study in 2003 and completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Victoria University, majoring in International Business and Retail Management, before earning a Masters of Commerce.

She is fluent in English and Mandarin.

“I ran my own fast food business in central Melbourne for 13 years, where you have to manage all parts of the operation, from managing staff to negotiating rent,” Ms Ma said.

“Rents were rising which was affecting profits and after so long in the fast food business I felt I needed a change.

“There’s pressure in real estate but different pressure than I’ve done before. Having run my own business, I was used to that kind of hectic pace.

The Area Specialist platform is designed to help real estate agents move away from the traditional franchise model, with the technology and training needed to grow their own business while minimizing cost and risk.

Agents have a range of options for their partnership with Area Specialist, including keeping their full commission. Ms. Ma works in an area specialist office, so part of her commission is spent on office expenses.

The Area Specialist team members help each other,” Ms. Ma said.

“If I need advice, Michael (Choi) is there to help too. He’s a big fan of modern technology and that’s not my thing. I’m a people person and the support I get helps me focus on that side of the business.

Another key to Ms. Ma’s success is the support of her husband Eddy Pham, an architect who speaks fluent Vietnamese.

“It helps at auction time on Saturdays because we have those language skills,” she said.

“He’s an architect well versed in renovations and leads a small team that helps my sellers get their property ready for sale.

“I think it’s very important and sets us apart from other agents. We want to help people spruce up their homes so they can get the best possible price. I have a team that supports me so I’m blessed .

“Moving into real estate was the best career change I could have made. It was life changing.

Ms. Ma said the most satisfying part of her new career is being able to help others achieve their goals.

“I don’t have my fast food business anymore, but I’m happy to talk to people about the issues they face in their own business because I had that experience,” she said.

“I have 242 five-star customer reviews on, the highest in the region. It’s great to have the satisfaction of helping people succeed.

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