In one form or another, we’ve been around the Northern Beaches for almost 100 years now. That’s a lot of auctions, properties, meetings, coffees, chats, surf checks, laughs, and everything else in the average life of an Upstate agent.
It seems appropriate that we stop to acknowledge that legacy, and take a stroll down memory lane. We approached some of our longest-serving team members (and some fresh faces), and chatted about their time in the business, the local community, and the future of both.
Vincent West (with us since 2008)
Vincent is the perfect example of what hard work and a love for the area can achieve you. As a 14 year old boy, he’d lace up his old walking shoes and spend hour upon hour delivering pamphlets to local houses. These days, he’s lacing up his shiniest shoes, and working as our every-reliable Director of Commercial Sales & Leasing.
Much like the community itself, Vincent’s role has evolved significantly over the years. The biggest transformation to both has been the integration of online technology:
“The community is probably a little less engaged in person now than 10 years ago. That being said, they’re a lot more engaged and active online. With more information at their fingertips, this means buyers are better prepared than ever.”
But with all the changes to how we communicate, Vincent has stayed clear on his world view – and it’s something that drives his every action:
“No matter who, no matter when, no matter how, no matter why. Treat people with honesty and respect.”
Well said, Vincent.
Sam Mendicino (with us since 1998)
The world of ‘98 was a vastly different place. Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” was topping the charts, Nokia was the most popular phone-maker on the planet, and (according to Sam Mendicino) you could buy a house in the area for $220,000.
Sam really is someone who has been there, and done that. And his stories from the early days show just how much as changed in the industry:
“One of my earliest memories was typing out an advertisement, sticking it to a sheet of paper, and personally driving it to the Weekender (the alternate real estate paper to the Manly Daily). Back in those days, agents would do everything – from taking pictures to putting up signs.”
But despite his time in the industry, he’s taken to today’s technology like a duck to water. Well, these days he has. Even he’ll admit that in its earlier years, the internet looked more like a ‘fad’:
“Around when I started in real estate, my boss mentioned something about introducing the internet. To which, I responded “Now why would you ever need that?”. I don’t think I could’ve been more wrong on that one.”
That’s okay, ‘98 Sam couldn’t have known what the internet would become.
Tulo Sila (with us since 2017)
Compared to some, Tulo is still crispy-fresh in the Upstate team. But two years is a long time, and it’s been more than enough for him to notice some fascinating changes in the Northern Beaches:
“It’s been wonderful to see the local community evolve in recent years. Even in the time I’ve been with Upstate, I’ve noticed the area has grown in culture and diversity.”
For those familiar with Tulo, you might have spotted a particular little trait of his. That all falls back on a small piece of advice he was given when his real estate career began.
“A wise mentor once told me to always shine my shoes, and to keep a small notepad in my pocket. It’s good advice, but I think the point of them was more metaphorical. That saying taught me that the extra mile is always worth travelling, and personal details/touches are important. And even in the age of new media, I still prefer jotting down details in a notepad.”
With all the changes modern technology brought, it’s somewhat refreshing to see a classic notepad. Never change, Tulo.
Get to Know More
We’re not just passionate about property. We’re passionate about the people, the culture, and the places that make the Northern Beaches fantastic. If you’re ready to buy or sell, or even just looking to learn more about the local area, don’t be a stranger. Our friendly team would love to meet you for coffee and have a chat.