AREC 2012 Wrap Up with Michael Sheargold

Michael Sheargold, super-coach to many of Australia’s leading real estate Principals and Agents, was once again front and centre of AREC 12 as Master of Ceremonies. Samantha McLean caught up with him after the event to get his thoughts plus the key messages relevant to every agent.

What were your impressions of AREC 12? I was really impressed this year. It’s the largest AREC that has ever been, and the largest gathering of real estate professionals that has ever been held in the southern hemisphere. There are so many agents out there who want to improve and advance their results and explore new things. Everyone was ready to learn, which was great to see.

As the MC, you had a bit of a different perspective on some of the speakers, particularly Donald Trump. Who were your favourites from the event? Well, Tom Ferry is always a highlight. As the leading coach in the US, he really brought some great insights and perspectives as to how to raise the bar, raise your standards, and raise results. Interviewing Donald Trump was a great experience, and probably my favourite moment. I love what he says around getting into something and being completely immersed in it. Don’t play around in your chosen field, get immersed in it. He spoke about having passion, enthusiasm, persistency, and consistency. In addition, he pointed out one of the great qualities of successful people, which I hadn’t heard before, and that is the ability to handle pressure situations. A lot of the time when we’re in a situation like that we naturally think how to get ourselves out, but Donald Trump said, “It’s OK to be in a pressure situation; in fact you should move toward it and say, ‘There is probably something for me to learn here.’”

Having reflected on all of the speaker presentations from AREC 12, what do you think the key messages were for attendees? I think it would have been impossible to walk away from AREC without getting at least these messages:

  1. Know your numbers It was clear that so many of the speakers were passionate about this. Know how many calls you need to make, how many face-to-face appointments you need to have, what you need to do to achieve a particular result or KPI that you have set for yourself. And yes, many have said this before, but there was more of a ‘science’ that the various speakers put in place to help agents achieve better results.
  2. Increase face-to-face appointments I think with email, social media and the telephone, many agents have defaulted and moved away from face to face meetings. In fact, in many cases, several have opened their own homes to beat the face to face meetings, and that’s just the wrong strategy. What comes out loud and clear is that the agents who are doing the best have increased face to face meetings, both with sellers and with buyers. The top agents are doing between 45 and 50 face to face meetings.Clearly not all of these are listing appointments. They are showing buyers two or three properties here, doing second inspections with the buyer and all those activities that build rapport, like the coffee catch-up with clients and so on – they all go towards building a successful business framework and network.Much of the conversation I heard was about how the top agents are clear on how they are generating leads, and how well those particular lead generation activities are working. Again it’s about analysing and knowing your numbers. A lot of the conversation was around ‘What are your top five strategies to generate new business?’ and what that means in terms of prospecting activity, networking, even the nurturing and so on. How do you make that stand out and be a very important part of every day and every week? Virtually every agent that spoke at AREC is working within a ‘super team’. The super team is when an agent is working with another person – a PA, a buyer’s assistant or a specialist. The common theme coming through is that when the agents brought on board an effective assistant, it allowed them to grow their business quite dramatically. The agents that spoke also mostly make sure that these activities get into their day early, rather than leaving them an optional ‘exit’ that might not happen until the end of the day.
  3. Have a stand out listing presentation This is something I talk about to my clients, in that there is no silver medal for a listing appointment, you’ve got to go for gold every time. And I’m very, very clear that no one could have left AREC without recognising the fact that they need to look at their listing presentation, reinvent it, clone it, and look at how it stands out compared to their competitors in the marketplace.

There was additional content this year at AREC for new agents entering the industry. were there any strong messages for some of the more inexperienced agents? I think we had more than 1000 new people at AREC this year, and it gave me great pleasure to see the amount of respect and professionalism that has surfaced within the industry. It was great to see guys like Tom Hector on a panel; he’s 21 years old and heading for his first half million in fees/ gross commissions, and that’s fantastic for someone who has been in the industry since he was 18. It shows his commitment and passion, and I think particularly for young people who were in the audience that was really great to be able to see someone like that who has put in the hard  years and made it happen. When you are a new agent in the business, metaphorically it’s a bit like a 747 aircraft. Take-off needs a heck of a lot of energy to get off the runway and then go climbing before you get up to a cruise. Once it gets up to cruising speed, it doesn’t take that much more to keep it going. I think it’s the same with new agents. They will have gained so much value out of AREC and seen what they need to do to get that level of momentum and then take it up to another level. And of course they should recognise the importance of having a good coach as well!

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.