Broking in the ’burbs

by Adam Smith22 Oct 2013

Blake ChandlerA former contestant on The Apprentice finds broking to be his true calling

Yellow Brick Road (YBR) Willoughby franchise manager Blake Chandler took a slightly more glamorous route into broking than most – he started out as a contestant on Mark Bouris’s The Apprentice before realising his true calling.

“I was one of the first contestants on The Apprentice. I met Mark through this really unique experience, and [when I decided to become a broker] it made sense to go through someone I knew and trusted when I started my own broking business.”
 
Chandler says he’s always had a passion for property, having purchased his first house at age 21, and that it was really only a matter of time before he left his job as a call centre manager and started up his branch of YBR.
 
“I’ve always loved property and investing in property. I got my first property at 21 and I’ve now got a portfolio of eight. After about 10 years – I had a friend who happened to work for Key Media at the time – it was like a light bulb went off. Imagine being able to help people for a living? I enjoy property and I enjoy investing, so it was a natural decision.”
 
Chandler, who’s lived in Willoughby for much of his life, says he enjoys the suburb and its location relatively close to Sydney’s CBD.
 
“There are lots of families starting out here. It’s in the ‘burbs’, but it’s close to town and there’s plenty of public transport and lots of schools for the kids.” 
 
Despite the fact that Willoughby has a large Chinese population, Chandler says he’s opted not to specifically target that market for fear of not being able to follow through.
 
“I specifically haven’t tried, because for me there’s no use targeting another group unless you have a full plan. You could advertise to them, but do you have a person who would be able to speak Mandarin when they come in? If someone’s reading a Chinese ad, are they going to speak to me? I don’t think we should jump in … for me, people need to spend a bit of time on the big picture.”
 
When it came to starting his own broking business, Chandler had it tougher than most, though you wouldn’t know it from his enthusiastic attitude.
 
“I’ve got my fourth little baby on the way in December. It’s going to be heads down and into it and don’t give up, but if someone does it with three and a bit kids, you can do it too!”