Garon Michalitsis pursues his dream realtor career on his own turf after touring the world with Tap Dogs | Northern Beaches Review
GARON Michalitsis was a teenager when he bought his first property in Cooks Hill, an inner-city suburb of Newcastle in the Hunter region of New South Wales.
“It was $212,000 for a freestanding townhouse. I put tenants in it and it started to interest me in real estate. I got to see what real estate can do for people on a long time,” the 42-year-old said. old said.
Mr. Michalitsis was able to make a name for himself in the market thanks to his own footwork: at 16, he left school at New Lambton High after successfully auditioning to be part of the world famous troupe Tap Dogs , founded in Newcastle. He started tap dancing as a toddler with his mother, a tap teacher, then was tutored by the late Les Griffiths, who taught Tap Dogs founder Dein Perry.
“I think my teacher at the time thought it was okay for me to leave school because I didn’t look like the kind of student who would,” he laughs.
Mr. Michalitsis was only supposed to tour for a few months, but he tap danced all over the world for a decade.
There were many highlights: performing at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Jay Leno Show in Las Vegas and the movie Bootmen. His favorite moment, however, came in 1999, when the Tap Dogs performed alongside a who’s who of celebrities on a show celebrating American music and record producer Quincy Jones.
“We opened the show with Stevie Wonder, so that was number one…Even watching it now, it gives me goosebumps,” he says.
Mr Michalitsis returned to the Hunter in his mid-twenties and worked as an operations manager at his parents’ transport company before last year he decided to pursue a long-held ambition of being an estate agent and sign up for TAFE.
The Tap Dogs perform with Stevie Wonder
“It was in the back of my mind and I didn’t want to regret not going that route,” he said.
“I guess I’ve always been goal-oriented and wanted to make a change and get into something that didn’t feel like work and something I loved doing, like tap dancing.”
Mr Michalitsis, who sold his first property 12 years ago when he bought a family home in Charlestown, has investment properties in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
In February he made his debut as an agent at the Stone Real Estate office in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and says he enjoyed the new responsibilities and “just helping people”.
“I felt like getting out into the community and helping people achieve their goals,” he said.
He thinks the market is slowing from the price spikes seen over the past 24 months, but doesn’t think there will be a crash.
“The market is slowing down to a more normal market and instead of getting 10 bids submitted, you might get a few,” he notes.
“It’s a strong market but it depends on what else is going on, also in the global market. We’ve been pretty lucky at Newcastle for the last couple of years.”
He says his goals early in his real estate career are simply to leave clients with a positive experience and earn a good reputation by helping them achieve their goals.
As a seasoned market watcher, his advice for those trying to enter the real estate market is to “start small.”
“You may need to start with something like a townhouse or a unit that’s not in your preferred location. Your first home isn’t your dream home,” he says.
“Also, you shouldn’t expect your property to be worth that much more two years after you buy it. You should plan to hold it for up to 10 years to realize a real gain.”
“And if you’re considering buying multiple properties, get professional advice early on to avoid costly mistakes later.”