Principal, Bartlett and Co. Property
It’s rare that Tim Bartlett doesn’t get up on his feet to finish some tale he is telling. Such is his love of a good story and its place in understanding people and their real estate dreams.
For 30 years Tim Bartlett has had a front row seat in the great love story between Australians and their property.
Since he started looking after the rent roll in his first job in 1990, he’s seen it all in Illawarra real estate; the recession we had to have, 17% interest rates, booms and busts, the changing Wollongong skyline. He’s seen new suburbs pop up and he’s outlasted Guests Pies, Southern Crepes, and the Illawarra Steelers.
Tim is Wollongong through and through.
A tireless supporter of local schools, sports and charities, he lives locally with his wife Alana and four children. He spent the first half of his career in rentals and the next 15 years running his own real estate businesses.
But it is not just all that experience and expertise he’s built up over three decades that matters to Tim. After all, who could last for so long in an industry where so many people come and go without the kind of negotiation and communication skills and local knowledge that Tim brings with him? You only have to wade through the hundreds of reviews on Rate My Agent to know your sale is in safe hands.
Tim has never lost sight of the fact that buying and selling real estate is a part of a bigger story for families. Every purchase is about starting out or starting over; about growing families and upgrades; about empty nests and downsizing; about getting a foot on the ladder or moving into a dream home.
It is Tim’s ability to understand the story behind the sale that has earned him the trust and respect of so many clients during what can be a very stressful time.
“Every negotiation is different because every person is different,” says Tim, who has dealt with clients from across the spectrum.
“First homebuyers are often nervous. You need to talk them through the process. The idea of buying a house and actually following through can be scary.”
But it’s the oldies that bring out Tim’s authentic mix of storytelling, compassion and professionalism.
“If you are selling the property of a senior, you have got to be compassionate to the fact that they may have lived in that house for half a century. They may not want to move, but they have to. They are attached to that house. You are not in it to sell their property and move on. You need to keep reassuring them,” he says.
“There is a lot of emotion when selling and I understand that,” Tim concludes, “I have to nurse the sale all the way through. It is very important to get it right.”
A big part of Tim’s appeal is that he understands each stage of the real estate journey, while appreciating that everyone is different.
But it’s the story behind Tim’s move to Bartlett and Co. Property where the enthusiasm ratchets up a gear. It’s a story about his own fresh start, about doing real estate in a different way, about Wollongong and its people, about the next chapter, about family business, about loyalty, about 30 years. It’s a story that falls effortlessly out of his mouth, punctuated by laughter and enthusiasm, and smacking of authenticity.
And just like that, Tim gets up on his feet to finish the story.
Administration, Bartlett & Co. Property
It’s not hard to see where Alana Bartlett gets her easy mix of optimism, gratitude and pride in her husband Tim. It comes from knowing that she is in the right place at the right time.
Alana Bartlett must be pinching herself. It’s about three months out from launch date and she has just taken delivery of the new Bartlett and Co. Property open house boards. A small audience is huddled around her cracked iPhone screen as she zooms, toggles and swipes her way through photos of the boards.
“It’s really happening,” she says and she can’t wipe the smile off her face.
Of course, Alana is referring to the launch of Bartlett and Co. Property, to mark husband Tim’s 30 years in real estate. The delivery of the open boards somehow makes all the planning feel more real.
She’s been busy organising flags and signs and selfie boards and social media and she has just blown in from a meeting with the web designers. For all that, she’s unhurried. Perhaps it feels easy because, as Alana tells it, “It’s time.”
A part time school teacher and mother of four, she has been around real estate since she married Tim 23 years ago.
“It is not a stretch for me to be interested in what he is doing. I love watching renovation shows like Love it or List It,” she says. “I just like homes. I am not an interior designer but I like watching to see what other people do and how they make spaces work.”
Now, she will be taking a much more direct role in the business overseeing the administration.
“I look after the back end of the business,” she says. “That means looking after the accounts, wages and being in charge of marketing and social media.”
Alana will also continue in the role of sounding board.
“I’ll be someone to bounce ideas off and talk through situations and negotiations. Sometimes, you just want to talk it through with someone. I am that person, it’s not so much about giving Tim advice,” she says.
Mostly, Alana is looking forward to their fresh start and she is excited about the future.
“I think Tim has worked extremely hard for the last thirty years and I think now is his time. He has put in such long hours for others. It is now time for us to enjoy the fruits of his experience and expertise. It is time for him to shine,” she says proudly.
Sales assistant, Bartlett and Co. Property
After 28 years working in the real estate industry, Tanya Katselos has seen plenty of changes.
Tanya Katselos remembers a time when real estate moved at a slower pace.
Thirty years ago, newspaper classifieds were the centrepiece in the search for a new home. Saturday mornings would be organised around children’s sport and open house times as hopeful home buyers moved between suburbs looking for their slice of the Great Australian Dream.
That was another time. Real estate marketing meant preparing copy for glossy 70-page newspaper pull-outs and letterbox drops and buyers were so sparse that multi-listing was a thing.
But technology has changed all of that. “Real estate is always changing, especially with how the Internet has changed marketing and so you are constantly learning,” Tanya says.
Tanya, who spent 24 years in one real estate agency before starting to work with Tim a few years ago, has rolled with the advances in technology.
Now it’s all online search and social media and evolving digital technologies which help match buyers and sellers instantly. Tanya is more likely to be uploading a new listing to Facebook and fielding online enquiries than dealing with office foot traffic, which she says has slowed to almost nil since technology took over real estate.
But despite the pace of change, Tanya says that there are a few things that never change in real estate.
“In the real estate business, communication is the number one asset,” she says. Tanya places a high value on her relationships with the buyer and vendor and the brokers and solicitors she has to work with once the sales process has kicked off.
After all, she says, communication smooths the sales process.
“I’ve always liked interacting with the customer. It is nice to get to know Tim’s clients because, like him, I’m a people person. I have met some wonderful people through this job,” she says.
She is humble and hardworking, overseeing the paperwork in the sale process. When she introduces herself as, “Tim’s PA,” Tim, who is listening in the background fires back, “She’s an allrounder,” before rattling off a list of her achievements and experience and contribution to the business. It’s also the third time Tim has interrupted during the interview.
Some things never change.
Opens, Bartlett and Co. Property
Call it what you will: a chip off the old block; the apple not falling far from the tree; like father, like son. Whatever it is, Darcy Bartlett is a people person just like his dad, Tim.
You could say that real estate is in Darcy Bartlett’s blood. His father Tim has been in the game for 30 years and Darcy has grown up around open houses, letter box drops and funny real estate stories.
But Darcy would probably disagree. Basketball is his real passion. And since his dad has been shooting hoops since forever and both are mad keen Illawarra Hawks fans, you could say basketball is in his blood too.
Fathers, sons, basketball and real estate. And now the family business.
When the opportunity came for Darcy to join Bartlett and Co. Property, manning Saturday morning open houses, greeting buyers and taking names and numbers, it just seemed like the next step. Darcy is excited by the premise of the new business.
“Mum and dad are creating their own real estate agency with a difference. Something a little bit out of the box,” he says. They are part of a new breed of real estate agents using technology and remote office space to serve buyers and sellers.
Darcy juggles his time between work, basketball, responsibilities as School Captain and completing his HSC.
He says that it is the team building skills he has honed on the basketball court that makes him enjoy being a part of the new family business.
“To be a good team player, you have to work together. You need to be able to switch between both sides of the court and play defence and offense,” Darcy says, using sporting metaphors to explain the real estate world.
Six years in Illawarra basketball representative sides has honed his team and leadership skills.
Asked if he is closer in personality to his mother or father, he thinks he’s a mix of both. “Mum keeps things real. She gets things done and doesn’t sugar coat things.”
But it’s his dad that he thinks makes him the chip off the old block.
“We both have that outgoing personality that wants to help people and enjoy life and have fun along the way,” he says.
People persons. Like father, like son.