Damon, the $2 million teenager

Meet Damon

“It’s pretty amazing to think where I’ve come from,” admits Damon Walker, 19, Sales Associate at Ray White Commercial Burleigh Group, fresh from selling his first-ever property for more than $2 million. 

"It still blows my mind"
Indeed, listening to the chatty Gold Coast teenager today, you’d never know the depths of his mental health struggles. Or that he’d experienced homelessness before being referred to Omnia Inclusive just 18 months earlier.

“The very first thing Omnia Inclusive did for me was find accommodation,” recalls Damon. “I’d been staying on friends’ couches, in my car and other places. But within 24 hours I was in community emergency housing which was just fantastic, finally having a bed was a huge relief.”

Damon was introduced to Kimon Peters, Workplace Consultant at Omnia Inclusive Gold Coast and they built an instant connection. “We pretty much hit it off straight away,” smiles Kimon. “There was a real sincerity and a hidden drive that I saw in Damon – towards life, not just work.”
"I might have a position for you"
Initially, Kimon’s focus was simply providing Damon with emotional support and stability. But after a while their focus shifted naturally to the future. “Damon and I had a lot of conversations,” reflects Kimon. “I asked a lot of questions, did a lot of listening and discovered his love for real estate.”

“I’ve been interested in real estate since my very first job,” remembers Damon. “I was a furniture removalist for a while and we used to work in these massive mansions, I just fell in love with property and architecture.

Shortly after, Kimon introduced Damon to Ryan Langham from Ray White Commercial Burleigh Group. They had a great chat and rest is now history. “Ryan gave me a call a couple weeks later and said, ‘I might have a position for you’. It was just unreal,” says Damon.
"He wants to succeed, he's very hardworking"
Damon has been working full-time at Ray White Commercial Burleigh Group for just over a year now. Under the watchful eye of Ryan, he continues to learn and grow his skills every day. “I love working with Ryan,” says Damon. “He’s a great boss, always guiding me and pushing me to do even better. He’s very helpful and understanding, he encourages me every step of the way. He can be tough sometimes, but it’s tough love. It keeps me focused and helps me progress.”

“When Damon first joined our team, he didn’t know much about real estate, so we got him on the phones talking to potential clients,” explains Ryan of his talented protégé. “He’s made thousands of calls since then and gained a huge amount of knowledge. That’s been one of his big strengths, his persistence. He wants to succeed and is very hardworking.”

“Back at the start Damon was also pretty quiet, he liked to keep to himself,” Ryan continues. “But something in his eyes kept telling me, ‘listen, I’ve been at the very bottom. I know what it’s like. I can only go up from here.’ That’s exactly what he’s done. Damon has really come out of his shell and is actually very outgoing. He likes to talk to people, he builds a great rapport, he’s just sprung up so much as a young man.”

Damon estimates he’s made around 7,000 calls since joining Ray White, with anywhere between 50 and 150 calls most days. “I’ve also completed my real estate registration certificate,” he adds. “That took me a couple months and was hard work, but it was definitely worth it. If you don’t put in the effort, you don’t reap the rewards down the track.”

"Support you can't really get anywhere else"

Damon’s positivity and drive has carried him a very long way in a short time. But he’s also hugely grateful for the support that’s helped to make it possible. “Omnia Inclusive have definitely opened a lot of doors for me,” says Damon. “Kimon provides me with all kinds of support, from how to organise myself, how to be on time, how to be prepared, how to manage myself better in social situations. It’s support you can’t really get anywhere else. It’s very personal and tailored to help you through every step, not just, ‘here’s a job, you’re on your own’. Even now, a year on, I know I can pick up the phone and call Kimon any time.”

The other person who can always pick up the phone to Kimon is Damon’s boss, Ryan. “Kimon has always been someone who’s very easy to talk to,” says Ryan. “We share the same vision, there’s real trust there and I think that’s been one the biggest keys (to Damon’s success), keeping that communication open.”

Kimon agrees. “Ryan and I have lots of conversations, often it’s just a quick catch up to ask ‘how’s Damon going?’ Whenever I do speak with Ryan, I’ll always talk to Damon as well so we all have a really clear direction and understanding of where things are at.”

“Ryan and Ray White have been absolutely fantastic to work with,” Kimon adds. “Their approach to inclusive employment is pretty phenomenal. The support they’ve given Damon is nothing short of outstanding.”

"I'm excited about Damon's future"

Damon has already made big strides in his real estate career. But he’s far from done. “Deep down, there’s always been a part of me that’s strived for success,” Damon reflects. “For a long time, achieving it probably seemed too far out of reach. But now I can see myself getting there. One of my big goals is to be the ‘top young gun’ of Ray White Australia. It won’t be easy, but if you don’t aim high, you just may as well not aim at all!”

“I’m excited about Damon’s future,” says Ryan Langham. “He’s already bought in his first big listing for us, a commercial property which he sold for over $2 million. That’s a big deal for a 19-year-old who’s never really done real estate before. But with Damon, all those things he picks up along the way, he’s able to apply them and that’s what makes him special.”

“Damon had been in some tough situations before Ray White,” says Kimon Peters with almost paternal pride. “But he’s putting the puzzle of life together and I’m confident his success will continue to flow. He’s a fine young man.”

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