THE apple has not fallen far from the tree for the Snooks and Young families.
Despite taking different paths initially, Natalie Snooks and Tony Young have followed in their respective parents Nena Snooks and Robbie Young’s footsteps.
Both grew up with parents who had built successful careers and both were exposed to the industry as children; taking phone messages for their parents, helping erect signs and placing stickers on signboards, for example.
They developed an interest in real estate, but embarked on other careers.
Tony worked as a senior detective in the WA Police specialist crime portfolio before an opportunity arose in 2007 to buy out his father’s business partner and invest in the business.
“When I was young, being with Dad gave me an appreciation for desirable property attributes and varying market conditions,” he said.
“I’m fortunate to have had him as a mentor and although I’ve learnt from other successful salespeople, it was Dad’s straight-talking, deliver on what’s promised approach that consolidated our reputation that he has built after 50 years in the industry.”
Natalie became a successful chartered accountant, but when she was 26 wanted a change in direction.
“I had six weeks annual leave and decided to use that to work with Nena in her business,” she said.
“At the end of that time I told her I’m leaving work and going into real estate.”
Both Natalie and Tony agree that having a successful parent had been beneficial, but they still had to prove themselves in a very competitive industry.
Nena said whether or not you had a family member in the business, it was important to have a successful career before coming into real estate.
“Too many people go into the industry and think it’s going to be easy,” she said.
“But people who have had a successful career and have a good work ethic are more likely to succeed.”
Robbie agreed, noting it was a very competitive industry.
“You see people come into the industry and they might take off like a Saturn 5 rocket, and then disappear,” he said.
“Nena has built her career over many years as I have; providing good customer service so that people are happy to use you again and refer you to others has been the key to our longevity.”
Nena was a school teacher, head of a school and had a lecturing position at a university before making the move into a real estate career in 1981.
Robbie had a successful sales career before being approached by Kerry Stokes to sell land in Kelmscott in 1967.
Their careers crossed paths when Robbie opened Zadnik Young & Co in West Perth in 1981 and Nena joined the business.
She made a strong impression and was offered a role as the branch manager of the company’s new City Beach office in 1988, before leaving to open her own business in 1994.
Life has come full circle, with the families again joining forces earlier this year at Optimus Real Estate. n