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Why “Good Works”: Chris Hanley OAM

Week 5: Our Transform Masters 2017 Supersix learn some simple but important lessons from one of the industry's true leaders

Transform Masters 2017 is brought to you with thanks to our sponsors Property Tree, and Real+

Chris Hanley OAM of First National Byron Bay knows that “good works”, because it does. We’re privileged to have him coach our Transform Masters crew this year where we will bring you all a series of tips from Chris.

In this video we asked Chris what “good works” really means to him, and why good works in real estate within the community as well as with your team; what leaders should do when they are having the inevitable “off day”, and when seas are rough why it’s always best for the leader to stay calm.

Chris Hanley will also be speaking at our event “How to lead a winning team in 2018”. For more info and to book tickets visit


I’d spent years running our business here, and living in this community here, without really having a phrase that summed up what it is we did. I was sitting in a car in Cleveland Street, in Sydney, the rain, it was a taxi. I was running late to catch a plane, which is often the case. I looked up at the wall, and on the wall was this faded couple of words. It actually happens to be St. Vincent de Paul motto, Good Works. It was faded. It must’ve been painted 50, 60 years ago.

It got me thinking I’ve never, ever understood more directly the premise on which our business, and I guess my own philosophies been that. Overall if you focus on doing good things in your community, and good things to your staff, and good things in general there’s an up side. A really big upside. So, for me good works just dropped into my lap as a present from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic church.

When you start out, you haven’t got much to give except toil. You haven’t got a lot of money when you’re a young agent. So, what you’ve got to do is try and find some areas in which you can help people that are outside real estate.

The more work you do outside being a real estate agent where you’re being paid a fee the better, in my view, for you and your community in the sense that people think you’re around a human being and that you’re not just there asking to sell their home and make what is often very large commissions.

We find good people and then teach them to do, or coach them to do, whatever it is that we need them to do. So, you can find good people and teach them to be sales people, for example. But you can’t find sales people and then teach them to be good people. So, our whole recruitment premise over the years has been to find good people.

I know this is simplicity again, a lot of people have got an aversion to people who say there’s only two types of people. But, for me having run not only this type of organisation but other organisations over time it’s pretty self evident to me that there is just two types of people. There’s good people, and there’s the others.

I’ve had just about everything happen to me in both of the organisations I run. I’ve had people who earned a million dollars walk out of the front door of my business on numerous ocassions. I’ve had issues, just like everybody else has, but the difference is once you’ve been doing it for a long time you know that it’ll be okay.

The second thing is that you’ve gotta stay calm. You just need someone to tell you that calm at your core. When you’re a leader imagine a film of magnify glass across you. So whenever your staff look at you, everything you do is magnified. Whether it’s a nervous tick, whether it’s a tell in your eye, whether it’s, you know. Whether you shake, whether your voice has got a waiver. It’s by ten when people are watching you. So what you’ve got to do is develop a way to be calm, even if you’re not, so that when those bad things, the bad day, happens people can watch you and they still feel okay.

You know, the GFC up here was very tough. I think in our business here, our market share grew a great deal. But it grew primarily because the leadership team in our businesses stayed calm through those four to five hard years. So, stay calm.


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