Looking back, moving forward: John McGrath

John McGrath, founder and executive director of McGrath Estate Agents, reflects on 2020, and looks toward the coming year

Success is equal parts reaction and reflection, according to bestselling author James Clear, and 2020 has been a watershed year for both of those things. There have been unexpected hurdles, times to check in on what really matters, to reassess our goals and look towards a hopeful future.

In the final issue of our magazine for 2020, we asked some of our industry leaders how they found the past year, and what they’re looking forward to in 2021.

2020 in one word?


Give us some highlights?

We doubled down on internal communications with our team to ensure they knew that we were all going through these uncertain times together.

We aired a daily video webinar for the duration of COVID-19, which worked well.

We had to work very hard to ensure that no one felt they were going through this on their own.

We also maintained focus on what we call the ‘Inner Market’ – being the things that we can control as opposed to the things we can’t control.

What will you leave in 2020?

Hopefully COVID-19. Other than that, I think our corporate mindset was in good shape, so there’s very little we would want to disregard and leave behind. 

I think the lessons we learnt and the strength we developed will be a huge asset in 2021 and beyond.

What worked for you in 2020?

Teamwork. We saw our longterm legends provide our newer and less experienced team members pearls of wisdom to help them through the challenging times.

And we found that the pressures and challenges of COVID-19 did bring the best out in our team.

Many of our top agents had their best year ever, establishing new records and even record sales prices despite the challenges.

So, by working closely together, combined with ensuring that we focused all our attention on the things we could control, we managed to deliver one of the best years in our long history.

We proved chaos does create opportunity.

What’s your focus for 2021?

Nothing much has changed. For us, it’s about helping our people grow their business and providing them with whatever they need to maximise their productivity.

So more training, coaching, conversations and challenging our team to find their greatness within.

We believe the chaos of the current environment is creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build market share like never before.

While many agents bunker down and wait for this to pass, we see it as an opportunity to provide buyers and sellers calm, quality, confident guidance to navigate through the fear that exists. 

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