Laura Shooter of SJ Shooter Real Estate named Transform 2020 winner

SJ Shooter Real Estate Managing Director Laura Shooter has been named the winner of Elite Agent’s Transform challenge for 2020.

Receiving the welcome news on Friday, Ms Shooter said was “very excited,” and “quite surprised” to take out the title over a field of 306 participants who completed this year’s 30-day virtual course.

“I didn’t go in playing to win, but wanted to give my team a communal experience,” Ms Shooter explained.

“Then part way through, with the encouragement of my husband, I thought I should really see it through to the end.”

Transform sees real estate professionals given access to some of the brightest minds in the business, covering topics ranging from business management to mindset, property management, marketing and sales.

The course is defined by a series of challenges that are designed to promote action and accountability, encouraging participants to step outside their comfort zone.

Ms Shooter explained a series of catalysts prompted her to enrol in this year’s event.

“Like many agencies, Covid hit us at a bad time. We had so much optimism about 2020 and bought a new rent roll in January that will effectively double our property management department on July 1. Then there was Covid and it all felt a bit overwhelming,” Ms Shooter said.

“I saw transform as a way to put a fresh spring in our step and re-set that optimism. We’re looking at it as a new chapter after Covid-19.”

Ms Shooter, her current staff and the new team members all took part in Transform together, and Ms Shooter noted it provided the perfect opportunity to unify her team.

“We loved it. It was great to all hear the same things at the same time and put that into practice,” she said.

“A big part for me was really clarifying what I’m about in this business and my role. The challenges also got me doing what I know I should.”

SJ Shooter Real Estate services the Dubbo region in NSW and is run by Ms Shooter and her husband Samuel. The couple launched the brand from their bedroom in 2015, while Ms Shooter was heavily pregnant with their second child.

“It’s funny, we were audited by Fair Trading before we even listed our first property,” Ms Shooter said.

“Initially I was only interested in helping Samuel set up the business, then in October 2016 we launched the property management department and I stepped in to assist full-time.”

From there, SJ Shooter Real Estate has gone from strength to strength, growing both its sales and PM sides organically until the recent acquisition of an additional rent roll.

Now operating out of large premises on a main road in Dubbo, they have a team of dedicated staff and have even built an “experience centre” where they produce their own content and host events.

“We also make that available to the community and it’s been used by quite a few people during Covid-19 to create their content and videos,” Ms Shooter said.

Winning Transform 2020 involved collecting points for challenges successfully completed. Twelve finalists were then named, with each required to pitch to the judges in order to win a first prize of $5000.

Hosted by Elite Editor Samantha McLean, this year’s event was sponsored by Homely, Direct Connect,  Openn Negotiation, and Kolmeo.

Ms McLean said the cash prizes of Transform 2020 were larger than in years gone by.

“When Covid-19 started, we believed this money would mean a lot to people,” she noted.

“Each of the 12 finalists was asked three questions: what would you do with $5000, $2500, and $1000? They had to answer to prove a return on investment including business growth.”

Homely co-founder and Transform judge Jason Spencer said Ms Shooter was the unanimous winner due to a great presentation and thorough preparation.

In second place, and receiving $2500, was One Agency Dwyer Properties director David Dwyer, while LJ Hooker Mandurah CEO Rebecca Halton came in at third position.

In addition, Wiseberry Heritage Group property manager Shaye Wallis picked up a podcasting kit from Kolmeo.

“Transform is one of the best things we do,” Ms McLean stated. “Everyone who took part worked incredibly hard as part of a supportive environment that celebrates the wins along the way.”

If you’re looking for great content or to gain access to the expert insight shared during Transform 2020, sign up for our Elite Agent Pro content here.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.