Why working with like-minded people matters
By Ballast Point managing director Mat Wilk
As a business owner, one of the things I find most important is working with like-minded people. Over the years I have built up strong relationships with a loyal team of collaborators. I find it makes it easier to get a better result for your clients and be successful when you work this way. We work with people who we trust and who are reliable — we don’t need to spend all day looking over their shoulder. They are very different, but they are all down to earth and they are pushing the envelope. We support each other and learn from each other. Here are some of the people we love to work with at Ballast Point.
- Murray Fredericks — Murray Fredericks Photography
I met photographer Murray Fredericks on a shoot for a house organised by an architect I was working with at the time. When I started Ballast Point, I decided that he would do all our photography — if he’s not sleeping in a tent in the middle of Lake Eyre taking photos of the sky that is. During his first shoot for Ballast Point I spent the day with him, and all these commonalities kept popping up. He’s got a child with a disability and one of my sons has cerebral palsy. He’s also adventurous and we had been to several of the same places that most people haven’t been to, most notably Danae Brook Canyon in the Blue Mountains. Canyons usually go up to grade five, and this one is a grade six. One of the real pleasures and most rewarding aspects of my job is watching Murray photograph the projects we have completed. He is a master of his art, a creative genius, a storyteller — as good as anyone in the world. We share many things, including a passion for design and photography. He does more than just turn up and take photos, he helps us tell the story of the places we have created and it’s just an amazing experience every time. He’s very easy to get along with, he works hard and he looks after you. You really feel like you’re getting value for money. I like to think that with our developments we tell the story of a house and what it was, as Murray tells stories through his photos.
- Matt Hayson — Cobden & Hayson Balmain
I met real estate agent Matt Hayson, from Cobden & Hayson in Balmain, when I bought a house he was selling in North St a decade ago and found him to be very straight forward, there was no mucking around. I think he’s the best agent in the area. He really understands what potential buyers want and need, which makes him an excellent sounding board for ideas for projects that we’re pitching to a buyer. He’s very knowledgeable, generous with his time and approachable. He’s upfront; there’s no waffle. He tells you what to expect and he delivers. We’ve worked with him on several projects and he’s happy to help even before you sign him up for the sales campaign. He’s also someone who is passionate about growing his business and brand development, as I am, and we have similar aged kids. We are on the same wavelength. He’s a bit of a mentor in some ways and I have learned a lot about business from him, not just sales. He’s very good at thinking outside the square and his business is always evolving. We’re both passionate about property and helping buyers.
- Michael Bates — Bates Landscape
I’ve also worked with landscape designer Michael Bates, from Bates Landscape, for about 20 years. We worked on a project together and we’ve been great mates ever since. He helps with design and is a sounding board for anything to do with landscaping or plants, of which he has Encyclopaedic knowledge. We’re both aligned in terms of quality and making the job better. I like the way he just gets on with it. I have learnt a lot from their business model where they provide a whole service. Michael has been a bit of a mentor to me in terms of business strategy and seeing how they do Instagram and promote the business. They’re experts and they do a high-quality job.
- David Seehusen — Red Truck Removals & Storage
I have also known Red Truck Removals & Storage founder David Seehusen for two decades. We were originally introduced by a university friend who he went to school with. I ride mountain bikes and he rides a penny farthing, but he also likes the outdoors and has travelled a lot. You won’t find a more loyal person. He’s always there when you need something. If we ever need anything moved or stored, I give him a call. We’re both a similar age and both business owners, so we are good mates and support each other in our businesses, bounce ideas each other and counsel each other about issues that come up. He’s been in business a bit longer and it’s a different type of business, but we still have the same kind of issues pop up.