rant Smith is the owner, and namesake, of Century 21 Grant Smith Property Buderim. He holds a place in the top two per cent of 300,000 Century 21 network sales people internationally, and signed the contract to buy his agency the day before his 21st birthday. He has a lavish lifestyle, appeared on television show A Current Affair in 2008 touted as the new face of real estate, is an avid collector of luxury label Louis Vuitton, manages a substantial personal investment portfolio and owns a beautiful home, not to mention his hugely successful real estate business. This Buderim local has earned every coveted inch of his glittering career and now he is enjoying reaping the well-deserved rewards. But Grant admits, despite his larger-than-life persona, or perhaps because of it, he is faced with a question that both puzzles and intrigues him on a daily basis. “People ask me everyday, who is the real Grant Smith? They can’t seem to accept that ‘Grant at home’ and ‘Grant the real estate agent’ is the same person,” he says.
I know who I am – there is no facade. It’s just me, what you see is what you get.” Does this constant scrutiny make Grant question himself? He pauses, deep in thought. “I know who I am – there is no facade. It’s just me, what you see is what you get.” And what you get is a warm, welcoming interviewee who happily invites me into his beautiful home to share the story of his life first-hand. Grant’s house is a truly divine abode, and I compliment him on it. “At one point I wanted to study architecture, so I used my interest in design to achieve this,” he says, waving his hand around to encompass the stylish, masculine interior of his home, complete with bar, dancefloor and cinema. It is from this house, referred to by his inner circle as the ‘Champagne Palace,’ that Grant has made his own life of luxury. The somewhat flippant way Grant refers to his success belies the fact that he has put in the hard yards, and then some. He fast emerged as a key player in the Sunshine Coast real estate game, commencing a traineeship in a local real estate agency at just 14, after moving to the Sunshine Coast as a young child with his parents, Tony and Carmen, and siblings Dean and Tenelle. In the early years Grant admits, “Age was a barrier at first, but knowing your market and your product, gives you the ability to overcome it … and there is always that drive of wanting to be the best.” Add some ambition, focus, passion and determination, and by the time Grant had graduated school in 2003, he had completed his Real Estate Institute of Queensland training and at age 18 started full-time work with the Century 21 company. An auctioneer at 19, Grant then moved into business ownership, establishing Century 21 Grant Smith Property the day before he turned 21.
From there, Grant steadily grew his sales listings, rent roll and office team, until in early 2014, he expanded to his new office, regally positioned under the bold lettering of the ‘G Smith House’ building in Buderim. “Looking back, I have exceeded what I have expected, both personally and career-wise,” he shares. The support of his mum Carmen, who works in Grant’s office, reveals a softer side to Grant. “Mum is my rock, she has supported me in everything I have ever done,” he says softly. “She has been a big role model ... still is to this day.” Grant also appreciates the support that his close team of 10 staff, clients turned friends, and vice-versa, offer. “I just love being surrounded by people,” he shares. “I don’t have kids or a partner, I work hard, so I can reward myself,” he grins. Grant reels off his interstate holidays and overseas sojourns. “I love Las Vegas, it’s like an adult’s playground. The shows, the wining, the dining,” he laughs. “I would like to travel Europe properly, but I want to wait until I have a partner to share it with.” Grant is also heavily involved with local charities, including Bloomhill and SunnyKids, which benefit from his generosity and kind-heartedness. “I try to give back to charity as much as I can. I believe if you have the ability to be able to support a cause, than you should absolutely do it,” he affirms. So he loves his family, tick. He can’t live without his friends, tick. He is charitable, tick. He appreciates a good holiday – don’t we all? So the question remains, why do people have difficulty believing that Grant Smith isn’t hiding under a facade? Quite possibly his power player status overshadows the more relatable aspects. Grant admits that when he has been awarded his various accolades, he has felt, quite simply, “Extremely humbled”. Not exactly the statement you would expect from him. “Perhaps there is a component of tall poppy syndrome,” Grant ventures. It could be attributed to this social phenomenon, after all it might be easy to resent Grant’s success, talent and achievement. “I am the same person at work and home, and there are no secrets in my life,” Grant says honestly. A lesson learnt perhaps, not to take his success story for granted.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Get to know Grant at home • As well as Celine Dion, Grant relaxes to opera, listing Andrea Bocelli as a favourite • He would love to learn French, and how to play the piano • If he had time, Grant would appear on the reality television show, The Block • Grant has seen Celine Dion perform live an astounding 14 times • His motto: “Find something you love, do it well, and do it differently”
Published on Jun 1, 2014