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Celebrating 32 Years in Real Estate with hockingstuart Director Steve Tickell

To know Steve Tickell is to know Bayside life and the community where his heart beats strongest. Long-time Director and Auctioneer of hockingstuart Sandringham (among others) since 1994, Steve has been a fixture of the hockingstuart brand for over 27 years. Steve also spent some years as Director of Brighton, Mentone and Mornington/Mount Eliza over the years.

Steve’s journey through real estate has been varied and interesting, with many twists and turns over the 32 years. Steve officially began his career in property in 1985 as an enthusiastic and raw salesman with no real estate experience, after several years teaching at Melbourne Grammar. He had his first taste of the industry working alongside well-known and respected agent Geoff Green and Associates in Alexander Road, Ascot Vale. Steve was a quick learner but realised even faster that there was more to the job than just doing the same as other agents and expecting business to come to you. “I learned that you can’t just simply wait for people to come to you, you have to go and chase them, and you need to be different!”

Full Steam Ahead in Booming Bayside

Following the stock market crash in 1988, Steve and his wife Eileen decided to move their young family down to Sandringham upon which Steve saw a real estate sales position open up with Olivers Real Estate in Brighton. Under Ken Oliver’s mentorship things really started clicking and Ken encouraged Steve, with his outgoing personality, to try his hand at auctioneering. Steve reluctantly entered the 1989 REIV Novice Auctioneers Competition where lo and behold, he ultimately took home the state championship! Then it was game on - auctioneering really reignited his passion for real estate, and as Steve’s often heard to say, “Auctioneering is the most fun you can have standing up!”

hockingstuart Sandringham - Open for Business

After three years at Olivers, Steve joined hockingstuart Brighton in 1992 - which was only the fourth hockingstuart office at the time. After a couple of prolific years of auctions and opens in a very busy, fast-growing Brighton office, Steve followed his forward momentum and went on to open the fifth hockingstuart office, that being Sandringham in 1994. It was an immediate success, not only because they already had market share down the bay in Hampton, Sandringham, Black Rock and Beaumaris, but because Steve had already immersed himself in the area as a long-time resident and local, in the schools and in sporting clubs with his family. 

Q + A with Steve Tickell

Who were your first mentors and how did they inspire you and impact your development? 

My first mentor was a chap called Ken Fife who was my first Sales Manager, ironically not in real estate but in the computer industry. Ken was a very wise head, much older than me, not at all how you would picture a ‘gun’ salesman. He almost spoke in a whisper, which meant you had to listen hard to hear what he had to say, one of his great traits. He always used to say to me, “You don’t need to sell the client anything, you simply need to offer a solution to their problem. The solution will sell itself.”

In real estate there’s no doubt Peter Kennett, Andrew Stuart and Greg Hocking were terrific mentors who taught me what it took to go from good to great! They were inspiring leaders and set extremely high expectations in what were hockingstuart’s formative years in the late 80’s and into the 90’s. Real Estate was more like a game than a business, and we made sure we had fun playing the game. It made the long hours easier to cope with and weekends of auctions and opens something you looked forward to. I find myself relaying so many of the skills learned from Peter, Andrew and Greg to our younger team members even today. 


How has the industry changed in the last two decades? 

It goes without saying that the digital age has seen a massive change to how we do things in our industry. Simply being a good salesman face to face in your own right is not enough on its own. You need a communication strategy (Social media/online/digital) to ensure you are front of mind for clients when the time comes to buy or sell, and you need to be visible to as many eyes as possible, for all the right reasons. This hasn’t totally replaced the word of mouth principle, but it’s certainly changed the way you communicate with your market.


What is some advice you have for newbies in the industry? 

The old principles of real estate still exist today. There’s no quick way to success without gaining people’s trust and respect, and this can’t be bought, it has to be earned.

Make every situation an opportunity to impress the client and win their loyalty through genuine interest, empathy and hard work.

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and find them, otherwise you’ll be waiting a long time, and you’ll be last in line even when they do arrive. 

Always put yourself in the client’s shoes. It’s about their needs not yours!

What is something that has surprised you about your experience thus far in real estate, either about the industry or yourself as a person?

I still find it hard to believe there are so few young people in real estate who aspire to take the next step and run their own businesses. The opportunities are huge, the risks of course are always there, but the reality is you can build a very successful business if you surround yourself with hard working like-minded people who share the same desire for hard work. The spoils of your success are limited only by your appetite for success.

When I was offered the opportunity as a young 28-year-old - it was like I’d been offered a pot of gold. Its certainly had its ups and downs, but its been an exciting journey, so much richer for having put myself out there. 

Steve in Present-Day 

Steve Tickell continues to lead and mentor others in the business and with his long-time co-director Jenny Dwyer doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. He’s been actively involved with many organisations throughout the decades - serving as Board Member at Family Life for over 10 years, President of the local East Sandringham Junior Football Club for several years where he and his wife Eileen are now Life Members, coached a number of football and basketball teams and also been an auction coach, sitting on the Auction Accreditation panel for the hockingstuart group for years, inducting many of our young aspiring auctioneers. 

Steve and Eileen now have four grown children - Lachie, Kyle, Tim and Sassi who all have had stints working around the office at some stage, attesting to the true “family-style” nature of how Steve and Jenny like to run their business. 

Thank you, Steve, for all of your dedication, efforts and critical leadership! Here’s to 32 more years.