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Episode 63: Brian and Paul White on the evolution of Ray White from ‘The Shed’ to global real estate powerhouse

“In this shed, he [Alan White] said he’d hear them talking and talking, but they were always asking somebody to do something, to sell something, to buy something, to do something. Such a great lesson to agents, you’ve got to get people to do something.”

In this week’s edition of the Elevate podcast Samantha McLean talks to Brian White AO and Paul White, Joint Chairmen of Ray White about what they remember of their grandfather Ray, their father Alan, the growth of the company from one Shed to over 1000 franchisees, plus advice for future leaders.

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Episode host: Samantha McLean
Special guests: Brian White AO and Paul White

SHOW NOTES / LINKS

1:51 Paul White talks about the original business of Ray White; “Mixed Business,” selling machinery, livestock and property. ‘A true country agent’
3:06 The original Ray White Shed was in a railway siding – outside of the town, making it difficult to build a brand
3:41 The business was started with no capital
4:00 The auction culture started with pigs; “The pig day was a big day!”
5:14 Ray was in his mid-40s when he moved to Brisbane (1920s) to specialise in real estate
6:58 Ray was an incredible personality and never missed an opportunity
8:00 Brian remembers his grandfather and particularly his love of the Gold Coast, took him for his first surf
9:26 For many years The Shed was lost to the family, the White family had to find it and buy it back. It is now located in the Crows Nest Historical Village and Museum
11:39 “He’d hear them talking and talking, but they were always asking somebody to do something, to sell something, to buy something, to do something. Such a great lesson to agents, you’ve got to get people to do something.”
13:05 Brian and Paul attended auctions with father Alan before the war. They were both tear sheet runners
14:18 Alan’s real entry to the business was after the war, when many businesses had shrunk, and Ray White needed rejuvenation; which Alan should be credited for reinvigorating the business completely
16:07 Paul becomes a Jackaroo; Brian enters the business, initially collecting rent. “The joy in being in a family business is pretty hard to describe; it just fits nicely”
17:45 Brian opens his own office in South Brisbane
18:38 Paul learns the mechanics of running rural properties
19:03 Paul opens his own office in Townsville on 7/7/1977
19:47 The lessons from father Alan: “If you are not committed don’t do it”
20:47 The move south into NSW: “We expand and we might fail, but we might succeed, or we can do nothing and fail”. Brian says he was ‘terrified’.
22:54 Initially weren’t keen on franchising until an experiment, where they quickly realised that it would benefit everyone. “People have a desire to own their own business rather than working for someone else”
26:00 “We went through the highs and lows as a family”
27:28 Alan claimed to be the first to employ a female in real estate
27:58 True leaders are made, not born. “We have so many unlikely people turn into something extraordinary, through training”
29:33 The risks of complacency
29:50 Why you need to bring value to your people, even your high performers
31:41 What would Ray say if he could see the business now?
32:40 Ray’s very simple, yet appropriate advice for agents when business is slow.

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Managing Editor of Elite Agent Magazine.

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