Transform 2019: 30 Day Challenge Starts April 1

Win tickets to AREC 2019 and more - Transform starts April 1

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There is no time management, only choice management

Last year, we were fortunate enough to welcome Dr Peter Fuda to the AREC "couch". He was one of the year's most popular speakers and in this exclusive, he sat down with me to discuss why he believes most of us are closer to success than we might think - as well as the two per centers that can really give you leverage. This is the directors-cut version of this interview where Peter also examines the difference between time management and choice management - yes we all have the same 24 hours in the day that Beyonce does, but her choice management is probably better. If you're participating in the Transform 30-day challenge this year, you're going to want to watch this.

Transform 2019 - Welcome

Hi Transformers!

What if I told you ... I completed my own competitive 30-day challenge in January this year?

Now that Transform is in its fourth year, I felt like I needed to see what it was like to be on the other side of a challenge.

I also badly needed some help, because I have a confession to make.

Although we always wish everyone 'a productive day' every morning in The Brief, it sometimes felt a bit weird - because the truth is that some days my days were sometimes anything but productive!

I love the real estate industry - but sometimes it's 'a lot'. Coaches with different opinions. Social media. The hustle mentality. The long hours.

I got myself in pretty deep, feeling as though I needed to join our readers in working 16 hour days, not paying enough attention to my family, and putting work above my own needs and desires.

So something had to change, but I wasn't sure what - or even if I could.

I've interviewed enough people that have told me change is hard.

(Which is probably what you're thinking now!)

But if I can, you can.

I signed up for Perry Marshall's 30-day reboot and just made the decision to just follow the process - which is what I am asking you to do when ourTransform challenge officially kicks off on April 1 - and that is just to follow the process.

One of the early assignments I was given in Perry's challenge was to watch the movie The Matrix - a classic which is 20 years old this year.

The movie was meant to be a work of science fiction.

But let's be serious for a moment; we are living in a version The Matrix right now.

Once I saw what Perry meant, I couldn't unsee it - and it changed for good the way I looked at all of the distractions around me.

During this year's first Transform 30 day challenge I'm going to guide you (with some help a few of my friends you may know) out of The Matrix and into a place where you work to your strengths, know where you're going, and feel calm and in control. True productivity is driven by priority and purpose.

So your first assignment is also to watch the movie before the challenge starts in earnest on April 1.

In case you're wondering - no I didn't win my 30-day challenge but I 'won' so much more.

And if you do the work, you will too.

This transformation is worth your time.

Watch The Matrix and look out for your next assignment.

Semper ad meliora!


Transform 2019 - Pre Challenge Assignment

Welcome to Transform 2019! We are thrilled you’re here.

In 30 days from now, by following this simple program, and tracking a few important daily activities, you going to gain, or re-gain tremendous control of your time. 

This challenge is all about productivity...

Speaking of productivity - in today's world, technology is both your greatest enabler of productivity but also your greatest distraction, your greatest enemy in getting clarity over what is really important.

If you've done Transform of any kind before with us, this will be very different. 

There will be no 'information dump' or time consuming webinars. But we are going to take this transformation one day at a time in bite sized pieces.

Right out of the gate I'm going to give you an assignment to carry out. Then I'm going to explain the thinking behind this Transform challenge.

Most tasks in this course will only take 5-10 minutes. But this one needs an hour, but this one task is going to buy you back possibly hundreds of hours.  You've heard of Return on Investment (ROI)? We have tested each lesson in this course for Return on Time (ROT). 

Transform/19 is a challenge you can WIN

At the end of the 30 days (which will begin on the 1st of April), I’m going to choose 8 winners who will receive AREC 2019 tickets. I have six gold passes and 2 platinum passes to give away. 

All you have to do is get yourself to the event.

(this is how close you get to the stage in the platinum area)

The way you enter is you log your progress. Every day, you log into the members area and check off your assigned activities. Your check-in only takes 30 seconds (more about this on Monday).

At the end of Transform/19 we will tally up your points and ask you to send in a report on your results. That's it. The top 8 go to AREC.

Your first Transform/19 Assignment

Assignment #1 
Go through your email inbox and do a massive unsubscribe. Today. 

Do not put this off.
Do not hesitate.
Do it NOW.

This one activity has much bigger leverage than you initially realise, because for 99 per cent of business people your inbox becomes a functional or de-facto 'to-do' list. Yes, you're supposed to have a separate to-do list, but the reality is we all react and respond to emails every day.

Decluttering your inbox will help you in two ways:

1. It literally saves you time and grants you mental space every single day. It saves most people a minimum of 20 minutes and likely much more, simply by reducing the clutter. The average person gets somewhere between 100-200 emails per day. Doing a mass unsubscribe should cut your email in half

2. It further saves you time because you are not reading, responding and reacting. You're not buying stuff you didn't intend to buy. You're giving far fewer people an opportunity to interrupt you.

(NB when I did this in January, I cut mine down to 1/10th of what they were and it changed my world)


1.    Unsubscribe from notifications from Social Media sites. There’s no reason to get an email from Facebook every time someone comments on your stuff; ditto with Twitter and all the other platforms. This one is huge. Most online services, from Google Docs and YouTube to Instagram, send you emails by default every time anything happens. Most people allow their inner space to get cluttered and interrupted by dings and bells and it's part of the reason we all end up so distracted.

2.    Unsubscribe from at least 80% of all newsletters people are sending you. Most of them, you probably didn’t even ask for. If it’s real estate or marketing or business advice (or any advice), if someone hasn’t delivered significant  value recently, unsubscribe. If in doubt, unsubscribe. Be ruthless.

(NB don't unsubscribe from your Transform emails otherwise you won't know what's going on in the course!)

3.    Unsubscribe from product purchase updates every online purchase you make is an opportunity to get on someone’s email list. It's your right to hop off. It doesn’t prevent you from buying from them again; it just prevents them from interrupting you any time they feel like it.

4.    Unsubscribe from distribution lists from forums and chat groups, except for ones that are of immense immediate value to you (we have designed this one so it will be!)

5.    Unsubscribe from “XYZ just posted a comment” – again, if it's important enough, you can check those things at scheduled times.

This mass unsubscribe also isn’t some permanent, irrevocable loss. If later you find you miss receiving something, you can always re-subscribe. None of this is “amputation.” But for the purpose of this 30 day challenge, don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt. If there’s any doubt, nix ‘em. You won’t miss 99 per cent of it. I promise...

Criteria for what stays or goes
Ask yourself this question: “Does this person consistently answer the most pressing questions I’ve got?” If the answer is “no” or “not sure,” hit the unsubscribe link and move on.

If you are worried you might get RSI from this task here's a tip...

When I did this task earlier in the year I had 7,500 unread emails. The tool I used to regain control of my inbox is a tool called Mailstrom. I still use it and it's an absolute lifesaver.

Did that hurt?

In all likelihood we just trimmed 30-60 minutes off of your day, every day, which even if your hourly rate is minimum wage of $20 per hour you just paid for this course. But your investment will continue to pay off every week for what we hope is a long time.

You’re welcome.

We’re only just beginning.

Step out of The Matrix!

95% of people these days allow their lives to be dictated to by tech. Up until recently, I was one of them (but I will tell you some days it's still a work in progress!)

But over the next 30 days I want you to understand that we are the operators of our technology but we don't allow ourselves to be controlled by it. 

Anyone can unplug from the machine and learn how to operate it; but it’s a simple fact that most people won’t.

And by viewing things differently - like this - it can be a very big advantage over your competition who just love being in The Matrix, but are completely unaware of it.

During the coming weeks - along with some of my best friends in the industry - I will define small daily rituals that will bring you into alignment and sharp mental focus. These are also the habits I use every day to manage a tremendous amount of responsibility and a super busy publishing business.

Some of them are so easy - you won't believe but they are true :)

Semper ad Meliora!
(To greater things)


30 Day Challenge

Day 1

Get excited! The evolution has begun!

In the next 30 days we are going to create some new habits, ditch some old ones and learn a few new tricks. 

And at the end of it, once we are done, I predict you will feel so good you are going to want to keep going with these new habits. 

In the introductory task yesterday, I assigned you to do a MASSIVE email unsubscribe.

Why? Because email is our grand central station of where most of us get our actual work done. If that’s cluttered, it's a bad start.


Now we're going to make the next cut...

We're going on a [social media] diet...

Social Media is entertainment by the masses, for the masses. 

Facebook dumps more random topics into your head in 10 minutes than an hour of TV channel surfing. 

Facebook, as much as we all love sometimes, has no way of differentiating smart posts and people from dumb posts and people. 

Facebook has no incentive to build functions that make us spend less time there and more time on the things that matter (our families, our clients, our work)

You can highly leverage Facebook as a personal/business branding and sales tool. And you should. 

But you need to alter your posture towards it and operate The Matrix from outside The Matrix.

So we're also going on a social media 'fast' for 30 days...

  1. Delete social media apps from your phone. Yes, NOW.
  2. No mindless social media during business hours.
  3. On your work computer, you log OUT of Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  4. No 3-minute social media breaks. (Breaks that inevitably turn into 13 or 43 minutes.)
  5. Limit Social Media to 30-60 deliberate minutes per day, after 6pm

I know...  You'll thank me at the end of April though, I promise.

Here is what you can still do...

You can still log into Facebook from your browser instead of an app, if you must (but it takes more work so you can't be mindless about it). The most efficient way to do social media is on a notebook or PC. Time-blocked, intentionally. If you want to schedule property ads on Facebook, that's is fine - but plan them out and use Ads manager (again way more efficient)...

I predict this is going to save you around one hour per day - an hour of time you probably weren't even admitting to yourself that you were wasting. (If you don't believe me - go have a look at app usage under settings on your smart phone, take a screenshot of it now. You'll want to look back on it after this 30 days is up...)

For a few days this is going to feel very awkward.

Because you, like me and everyone else, has a limbic system response, a neural pathway carved into your brain, that says every now and then, I'm bored. 

What do most of us do when we are bored these days? Reach for Facebook, or Instagram or the like.

But if your goal is to create space and clarity into your day, that hit of Facebook is completely counter-productive.

In the coming days I’m going to give you better things to fill that space with. Strategies for altering those neural pathways and replacing them with FAR more productive habits.

For today, though, my simple suggestion is: Move the Kindle app and the Transform Group (Mighty Networks) app to the first home screen of your phone. (Yes now)... And when you want to scratch that itch to go onto Facebook, read something intentional on Kindle or better still, phone a client to see how they are doing, or even make a good news call. 


To recap...

  • You can still run advertising apps
  • You can still have your fan page
  • You can still inject information INTO The Matrix. (Watch this additional video in the member's area on how to do that)
  • You can still be a full time Social Media Manager if that’s what you do for a living.
  • But before 6pm, you remain OUT of The Matrix on your phone.

I just gave you back another 30-90 minutes a day. Every day.

There will be more on this tomorrow, we will be talking 'evolution'!

Day 2

Revolution begins with evolution...

... so today I have a simple yet profound assignment for you (and a follow up to that Covey/Eisenhower Matrix thing)

Your first video lesson is here

I really want you to watch the video or read the accompanying document (download it if you like!)


But here is a quick summary:

For the next 30 days, you don’t start your day digital, start your day analog.

Most of us start our days with our phones.

We're going to change that habit (remember you promised you would trust the process!)

So I want you to:

Grab a pen and a notebook (rather than your phone, tablet or computer) and carve out 20 minutes of quiet time (we're calling this evolution time) of a morning. First thing, if you can, and -

  • Write down one item of gratitude
  • Write down your one big question of the day
  • Spend time thinking about your priorities for the day and write them down



Do this every day before you do any 'work'.

You can take a shower if you want, grab something to eat, attend to the kids, get your cup of coffee. Go to the gym.

But no work, and don't touch the computer before you get in your 'evolution time'.

Last year, I would wakeup, check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my email and the news before I did anything else.

And I would end up bent out of shape by 'The Matrix' before I'd even gotten out of bed.


This is the one thing I want you to absolutely master over the 30 days.

Gary Keller wrote endlessly about 'one thing'.

Now that I've created this habit, there is no way I would go back to doing things the way I used to.

I think you’ll find the same.

Again, click to the link for the full description. Watch the video, read the PDF or both.

Please read or watch the entire presentation right away - Evolution Time is mission critical and lays a foundation for everything we’re doing next.


Important info:

If you've watched both videos you'll now know what you need to do to 'win' Transform/19.

So don't forget to check in every day during Transform and log your progress. Takes 30 seconds.

If you're not sure how the forms work check out the quick video I made on the Check-in page.

Join the Transform Community and post your questions.

Day 3

Lizard Island

Ok so before we move on to how the 80/20 rule can help you hopefully you've done the first two days tasks

  1. Massively unsubscribed from emails
  2. Gone on a social media fast - down to 30 minutes per day (or less)

You really did free up 30 - 120 minutes a day, just by doing those things.

If you're anything like me, you are probably now feeling a lot of restless energy. 

I felt serious FOMO for a couple of days that I was missing out so much.


Here's why...

For most of us, checking social media has become a habit.

It fills in time when we are bored, procrastinating or aren't clear on what we should be doing.

When we get on Facebook or Instagram our lizard brains get a bit of happy juice.

But here’s the problem: Your lizard brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s trivia and what’s important.

Both aspects of The Matrix/Social Media world give it the same hit.

But the trivia you get, the satisfaction you get, the hit you get... it doesn’t move you any closer to your goals.

So what do you do when you feel that need to check your phone every five minutes but the usual things aren't there?

The answer is to do something else instead. 

So we're going to go back to a bit of Gary Keller's wisdom.

Ask yourself “What is the biggest question I am trying to answer right now?”

If your buyer or owners are late for their inspection and you need to relieve a bit of boredom, don't pick up your phone to scratch the boredom itch.

Instead go back to the question you wrote down this morning. 

Anything you need to do to answer that question is fair game.

Going through your database, doing Google searches, calling a friend, reading a book, looking for a book on Amazon - it’s all fine. 

Post your question in the group as well - that's also an option. 

Just don't drift into looking for answers or mindless itch scratching on social media.

Question: What I do once my question gets answered?

Answer: Ask another question.


Bottom line: Never start your day without knowing what your question is.

So hopefully also by now you've kicked off this habit of what we are calling, "Evolution Time".

Everyone says the way to be successful in the face of disruptive innovation is to 'be curious'. 

Curiosity, like discipline, is a muscle. When you exercise it, it gets stronger.
One thing about 'Elite' agents is that they are insatiably curious. 

What’s your question for today?

Day 4

Would you like to earn $10k per hour?

Well done so far! If you've been keeping up you've:

  • performed a massive email unsubscribe and gone on a Social Media diet - removing apps from your phone, restricting social media to 30 minutes/day after business hours
  • now started a habit of beginning your day with 20 minutes of 'evolution' mindset time. Analog not digital. Listening, meditating, drawing inspiration, prioritising your day
  • Added or updated at least 10 names in your database (5 each day).

These habits alone - if you do nothing else - permanently set you on a vastly superior trajectory, while increasing your mental focus and energy. 

Every. Single. Day.

And... Return on time so far for Transform should also be good. If you've done the email unsubscribe and the social media diet thing, fitting in 20 minutes of evolution time should be a cinch!


How often is your work worth $10,000 (or more) per hour?

Now, something I alluded to one Day 1 which is what today's lesson is all about.

Each time you do perform a task I want you to be aware of the task and what it's worth to you or your employer.

An 8 hour day has 480 minutes. The 80/20 rule says that 20 per cent of your input creates 80 per cent of your output. So that would mean we are super producers for about two hours of the day and... well... not so much for the rest. (Most people get lost in busy-ness and really only two hours of real work gets done). 

Here's a practical example
Let's use an hourly rate of $20 per hour. If you apply a crazy maths formula (that some of us lost interest in at school) using the 80/20 rule, the most valuable minute of your day is worth about $15 and the least valuable minute of your day is worth about 7.6 cents.


What does this mean in practice?

If you're sitting on Facebook, scrolling mindlessly, your value to your employer (or yourself) is very low. If you are paying close attention in a conversation with a client or another staff member and relaying or using critical information that will win you new business, well - that is actually worth a whole lot more. 

Perry Marshall says that for at least one minute per day, even a $20 p/h employee is worth nearly a thousand dollars per hour (@ $15 per minute) when their time is spent on the right things. Which means a $200 per hour employee (eg a business owner, top sales agent, department manager) is worth at least ten thousand dollars per hour for one hour per day. (If you want to read more on this I suggest getting a hold of Perry's book 80/20 sales and marketing.)

You may be in a position to give yourself a 'raise' by moving resources from the left hand side of the 80/20 curve to the right side of the curve by focusing on the right types of activities and finding someone else to do the lower value activities (this was Tim Ferris' premise in the Four Hour Work Week). 

Outsourcing is not always possible (we will get to what to do about that in a later lesson). 

But awareness is always the first step.

Watch this video from Claudio (and download his hourly rate matrix) to see what I mean.

Day 5

With a little help from my friends

Day 1 of Transform 19 we let you know that you should set aside some time today to meet your buddy. Hopefully you have done that because today's the day and your allocated buddy's contact details are below:

Your buddy is:
Your buddy's email is:

Now you have this information, please connect with your buddy in the forum or via email and swap proper contact details so you can get on a call, Facetime, Skype or Zoom...



We want you to tick off three things:

  1. What your rules of engagement are. Are you going to encourage each other along the way daily with quick texts or one call each week? Confirm a time and date going forward that works for you both...
  2. Share Transform experiences - how's it going for you so far - what has challenged you and what have been the quick wins?
  3. Engage in some $10,000 per hour role play practice - explanation below...

In yesterday's lesson, we hopefully gave you pause to think about what you would like your hourly rate to be on a regular basis (if not, please check out Claudio's video here, or download the hourly rate matrix worksheet here). 

Right up the top right hand corner of that worksheet one of the $10,000/hour activities you should be engaging in are role plays - we want you to practice these so you can have those crucial conversations fluidly and easily.

We will start with a couple of easy scenarios for you to role play with your buddy, and today's topic is about fees - or more specifically when the client wants you to drop your fee. What do you say to protect your fee? Then c
ritique each other - would your buddy win your business? What needs to improve? What can you learn? Practice this dialog two or three times...

If you are looking for some inspiration, here is a listing role play that Gavin Rubinstein did for us back in 2017, which is a fun watch. 

But please bear in mind:

a)    Gavin's approach would not necessarily work for every prospect you meet - we are firm believers you need to find one or two things the consumer in front of you really wants in an agent and no two consumers are the same 
b)   Gavin is Gavin, and you are you. And you just as awesome as Gavin in your own way. 

We believe you guys are Elite Agent's just through doing the work.

Once you have checked in with your buddy - don't forget to check in!


Important info about your buddy check-in:

If you can't make contact with your buddy, then there is an option on the buddy check-in form to say you've exhausted all reasonable attempts to make contact with them. 

Keep in mind... you've got their Email address above, who they are (you know they are in real estate yeah?... how do people find someone in real estate... google 'firstname lastname real estate') and you've also got the option to check-in with them in the community and probably several other ways to make contact if you're really wanting to make it happen. 

If you do hit the AWOL option on the buddy check-in form, you'll get your 100 points and we'll allocate you a new buddy BUT bear in mind, doing so will deduct 100 points from your 'AWOL' buddy so be careful not to jump the gun for the sake of a few points and checking off boxes. 

This weekly buddy check-in exercise is about working together. Once you've completed the buddy check-in, the form won't appear for 7 days so make sure you book your check-in with your buddy ASAP. You've got a maximum of 4 buddy check-in's you can lodge each worth 100 points if you keep to a Friday check-in. Let this task slip and you risk the weekly timer still ticking once Transform finishes on 30th April and you miss logging a check-in.

Day 6

You are more awesome than you think you are...

Saturday is show day!

I hope you enjoyed our little bonus video with John McGrath yesterday, there were some great tips in there for getting stock, moving stock and holding world class open homes - so make sure you take them on board and make every minute count.

This week has been a big week - we've cleared off a few distractions and started to get our inner thoughts under control. Hopefully you are also becoming aware of the power of asking the right questions.

Sam, why do you keep harping on about asking questions?

I can't help it, I'm a writer... I ask people questions for a living.

(Actually that's not the reason!)

Serious answer: In the past, information meant power; the people or groups with the most information had the most power. Our system of education originated through giving students the answers to problems, recipes to follow, economic principles to remember. Learn as many answers as you can - and that gives you power or at least makes you better than the next guy - or girl.

But that doesn't work now, everyone has Google and other information sources, so everyone has the power. So if you are not asking good questions (of Google or of yourself), you might not be getting such great answers. 

So - I hope you are giving your brain a workout and asking some great questions of yourself and those around you and don't be afraid to be seriously interested in the people you meet today. Ask them great questions too!

Today i have a poem (and a song) for you to reflect on…

I bargained with Life for a penny,
and Life would pay no more,
however I begged at evening
when I counted my scanty store.
For Life is a just employer, he gives you what you ask, but once you have set the wages, why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menials hire,
only to learn,
that any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid.

My Wage - by JB Rittenhouse

What can you learn today? 
Who can you help? (great band by the way, Hothouse Flowers!)
What will you ask for?

Life is a question, and how we live it is our answer. Great questions are the path to great answers - and they are all within you.

Day 7

The Bat Phone

Happy Sunday folks - hope you had a great day out and about yesterday.

Over here at #TransformHQ, we are serious about you guys getting some good down time, not just during Transform, but also by building it into your routine.

This is sometimes where the real magic happens, stepping back, getting clarity, taking a break from "The Matrix".

I've already had some people write to me to say that by doing this challenge it has already given them more quality time with the people they love, just through being more present.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to get those emails and to see real change occurring.

If you were in any doubt whatsoever about why we're doing what we're doing, watch this video with Fiona Blayney who clearly explains why we need to control our tech, rather than letting our tech control us.


Today is about downtime

Step away from the phone and the computer, hug someone important and we will see you tomorrow, recharged and ready to go for another big week!

Day 8

Stronger than yesterday

Happy Monday Transformers!

Today’s Transform assignment will only take minutes. But its effect on you in the coming few days and weeks will help greatly with your personal branding, profile building and also the structure of your business.



Email at least seven of your friends and colleagues, preferably having a variety of relationships to you (folks you’ve worked with, or relatives, friends, friendly clients, social groups, community stuff, neighbours).

Say in an email...

I'm taking an Elite Agent 30-Day Transformation Challenge, and I have been given an assignment.

Would you take a few minutes and tell me:

  • What do you see as my Unique Capability?
  • What do I naturally do better than most other people?

Lastly ask them (nicely) if they could reply to you by Friday.

The more people you get this from the better. Get 15 if you can. But choose people who’ve known you at least three years.

You’ll appreciate what comes back to you.

Next week, we’ll begin working with the answers.

Over and out for now.

Day 9


By the end of today you should have added or updated around about 50 names in your database if you have been doing your dailies (and I hope you have!) since the start of Transform/19.

Today we are going to get focused on the 80/20 of databases with coach Caroline Bolderston.

Your task today is to watch this video and think about this in the context of your own database.

Are you talking to the people who are ready to do business with you now?

Watch the video.


Day 10

First responders

Previous 'Transformers' know I am pretty passionate about today's lesson (and probably also knew it was coming!)

You see the opportunities everywhere.

But you're busy.

"I need to be somewhere doing something otherwise I would help"
"Someone else will do it"
"Someone else will pick it up"
"Someone else can handle it"
"It's not my responsibility..."

So, you're out and about, and you see someone struggling with their shopping bags, or a mother struggling with a pram, or a door that needs opening.


When you see any of those things I want you to think about this...

Remember that real estate agent that rescued the baby shark from the Cronulla swimming pool?

Remember that guy that helped the mother with not one but two screaming toddlers out on a crowded flight?

Remember those property managers that helped a guy with cancer crowd fund his rent after his pension was cut?

I remember them way more than the last person that told me they made $1million in GCI (which was yesterday...)

One act of kindness per week will add fifty-two moments of inspiration to your year.

Push it to two a week and you add more than 100.

Imagine the possibilities.

And if you are in any doubt - this is $10,000 per hour work, the universe sees to it.

Who can you help today?

(If you're game, post in the group and tell us what your random act of kindness was...)

Day 11

The bottom 20 per cent

For most people, the 80/20 rule means that 80 per cent of output comes from 20 per cent of input.

There are also a few inverse relationships that you might want to be aware of as well.

Things like:

  • 80 per cent of your problems might seem to come from 20 per cent of your clients
  • 80 per cent of your staff issues (or lack of performance) may be a result of 20 per cent of someones under-performance.


Len Bertain in his book Winning the War on Waste says there is also likely a 20/120 rule in most businesses which says that 20 per cent of your customers make 120 per cent of your profit while 20 per cent of your customers lose 20 per cent of that profit (bringing the total number back to 100).

But obviously everyone's circumstances, businesses and profit margins are different.

In PM, it might be the owner that wants to haggle over every single bit of maintenance, that you feel won't let you do your job in an efficient way.

In sales, it might be the vendor that has completely unrealistic expectations and won't budge on marketing no matter what you say to them.

In leadership, writers often quote how Jack Welch (of GE) would systematically fire the bottom 10 per cent of employees each year.

To be super clear - I'm not saying go out and start firing people or clients - (although some people might!)

But what I am saying is there is no law in the universe that says you have to take every customer that comes your way.

There is no law in the universe that says you need to tolerate employees that cause chaos in your business, while adding little value.

There are many folks out there that will tell you you have to say 'no' to the wrong things to give the right things space to be let in.

This is why 'more of the same' is not always the solution to growth. Sometimes you do need to take a step back and think objectively about where less could equal more. In other words:

  • Sometimes - the solution is not more listings, sometimes it's moving stock
  • Sometimes - the solution is not more managements, it's making the ones you have more profitable
  • If you think you need more people, you need to understand why the people you've got aren't performing the way you think they should be (it could be a lack of training, processes etc).


So rather than taking a straight 80/20 ruler through the bottom, it's best to get out the pen and paper and map out how things really look with your own personal circumstances in mind.

Here's Fiona Blayney's view on the bottom 20 per cent.

Your question today: Where can you see opportunities in your business where less is more, are there opportunities to simplify?



Day 12

I'll be there for you

We hope you enjoyed Caroline's lesson on 80/20 in databases this week and there were a lot of great pointers in her AMA session online as well (jump into the group if you missed it).

One of the things that Caroline said in her video was that you should ask for the person's whole address at the open, where they are going to and their timing.

This week's buddy exercise is to role play some good open home dialog with your buddy. Practice being curious (without being creepy!) - pretending your buddy is someone who just came up to the door...

Particularly practice dialog around what you might say to a buyer who is making noises about waiting ... what would you say to make them feel a bit more urgency to act? What might you say to your vendor to get them to act if open home activity is low? What might you say to the owner if you think the rent is too high? How do you each approach OFI call backs?

Once you have checked in with your buddy this week - don't forget to tick that box!

Day 13

The 10-second rule

Lots of people ask me if I see see any commonality between the high performers in the industry I meet on a daily basis.

The answer is a big yes, and the number one thing I always answer is consistency.

High performers do their core activities consistently, like clockwork, every day, even if they have a bad day, they start again the next day. There are no secrets or shortcuts to success.

The other curious thing is that lots of people that become high performers in this industry have come from the hospitality industry.

Andy Reid is one of them.

I have a feeling it's because in hospitality you are exposed to the most demanding of customers, and you need to have a single minded focus on serving them.

Your assignment today is to look put yourself in your customers shoes, both in your offices and in your open homes and think about what it feels like to be your customer.

Watch this video and take some inspiration from Andy.

Also think about this: The customer has an 80/20 perspective on their time the same as we do.

How can you contribute to the 20 per cent of their activities that make up for 80 per cent of their result?

Have a great Saturday!

Day 14


This week we've been on a bit of a theme of less is more, and I have a little story of my own on this topic.

Elite Agent HQ is across the road from this awesome heritage pub in North Sydney called The Firehouse.

Yes, it was an old Firehouse built in 1895. The label is correct. Front door still the size it was back in the day so the horse drawn fire carts could be taken in and the horses stabled where the bar currently is.

Since we moved into our premises about three years ago, we've been regular patrons of the place, and to us it became a little bit like Cheers, where everyone knows your name - and all that.

We could wander in at the end of a very long day, the bartenders would know us and have our drinks poured before we'd even put our bags down. (Claudio will also attest to the fact they make an incredible schnitty....)

A couple of glasses of wine (sometimes more - depending on how good or bad the day had been!) and we'd walk home.

Easy habit to fall into but not a very productive one!

That one thing, as harmless as it may sound had a few knock on effects.

First up, instead of dealing whatever the question or issue of the day might have been I was actually drowning it.

Secondly, that would always be the end of the day because a couple of wines and all you really feel like doing is going to sleep (particularly if you've been on the go since 5am!)

Thirdly, after a couple of wines it's easier to go for the schnitty instead of a salad.

The list goes on.

Definitely, personal productivity suffers, as does the bank balance, so I've identified this old routine as toxic.


What's your point Sam?

The purpose of today's lesson is not meant to be about the pro's and con's of alcohol, it is meant to be about awareness of the less obvious enemies of your productivity.

My second 30-day challenge for this year (after the first one I did) was to go home every night without crossing the road and going into the Firehouse.

That started on my birthday (Feb 24) and I still haven't been in there for a drink on my way home from work. 

Not only that, I gave up alcohol completely for the month as an experiment to see what the impact on my productivity would be.

The 30 days went a whole lot faster than I imagined and although I may want to wander back into The Firehouse sometime soon it's the regular habit of doing something totally unproductive that needed to be kicked to the kerb...


Time to 'Land the plane'

OK - So today's thought, on the topic of less is more...we want you to free up more valuable time and greater productivity by eliminating something toxic from your life.

It could be

  • An unhealthy eating habit (eg takeaway)
  • Putting up with negativity from someone in your life or work
  • An obsession with a TV show that doesn't feed your brain with positive energy
  • “Enabling” a bad relationship or an employee, colleague, client or customer who brings drama to every day
  • Like me, it could be alcohol!
  • Something else that you consider toxic to your productivity.


If it's a well worn habit then someone like James Clear (speaking at AREC this year) will tell you to replace it with something equally satisfying.

I replaced my toxic habit with going for a walk in the other direction to the supermarket to buy ingredients to re-discover my inner Masterchef (I enjoy cooking but thought I didn't have time for it. I use that partly now as a bit of extra daily evolution time...)

Depending on what toxic thing you decide to replace, you need to replace it with something else. A better media channel. A better friend. A better Tuesday night activity.

This week, swap ideas with your buddy about what toxic thing you will give up - and check back in next Friday with how you are doing.

Nearly at the half way team - and we are going to cross the finish line of this 30 day challenge together!

(Email me and let me know how you're doing)

Day 15


One of the things we hope Transform/19 is doing for you is creating new habits for working out your most important tasks for the day.

But there are times that the to-do list will still be look a bit long and overwhelming.

I know mine sometimes is.

This can go one of two ways. Sometimes when we've got a lot to do, we become very productive; but when we have too much to do, we freeze.

Case in point: Sheena Iyengar, a management professor at Columbia Business School completed a study where one group of people sampled six different jams and another group 24 different jams, including the six jams they offered to the first group.

With all those choices, you'd think the group offered the 24 jams would be more likely to purchase one.

But it was the opposite.

Those in the six-jam group were found to be 10 times more likely to actually buy a jar of jam.

The more difficult it becomes to choose one item, the more likely it is we end up choosing nothing.

(If you're a fan of The Good Place, this is Chidi to a T!)

Same thing happens when we have too many things do to - we become overwhelmed and don't do any of them.

To escape this conundrum here is a bit of a ninja routine I use

1.  Spend a few minutes writing down everything you need to do (pen and paper - as I hope you've become aware by now, it engages the brain in a different way).

2.  Spend 15 minutes - no more - knocking out as many of the easiest, fastest tasks as you can. Make the quick calls, send the short emails. Cross off as many things as possible in the shortest space of time.

3.  When the 15 minutes are up, turn off your phone, close down all the windows on your computer and choose the biggest task on your list. It could be your call session, if you are in PM it could be one of the many big calls of some other description. Work on this without hesitation for at least 35 minutes. Then take a break for 10 minutes.

Rinse and repeat.

One last tip. When I'm finished making my to-do list I think 80/20. So if I have 10 items on that list, usually two of them will make a real difference to a person or the bottom line

So to quantify what is really important I look at each item on my list, and ask myself, "What are the consequences if I don't do this?"

That should tell you how important the thing was in the first place.

How's that list looking now?


PS - This is a short week with Good Friday coming up. So you'll need to get your buddy check-in done early. Quick check-in call on yesterday's lesson - what toxic habit are you going to dump?

Day 16

Passion vs Unique Capabilities

If I had a dollar for everytime I saw on someones bio, website or agent profile that they were 'passionate' about real estate I wouldn't be writing this to you right now.

I'd be on a beachy island, sipping cocktails and basically living my best life.

We know you're passionate, and just quietly we are too, but it all looks the same, same, same, zzzzzzzzzz.

Sometimes, you just can't tell one agents profile from another.

Even the photo poses are the same.

And I am here to tell you that if you try to appeal to everyone, you may end up appealing to no one.

There are some agent profiles that are different though, and memorably so.

Leigh Thomas Brown from RE/MAX in North Carolina is a great human I met couple of years ago, and saw her again at NAR in October last year (2018).

She's a conservative from North Carolina, extremely active in the Realtor community and running for Congress this year. (By conservative, I mean ladies she will definitely judge you if you wear leggings in public without covering your 'assets'. And I dare say you fellas insist on loose pants and no belt, or no socks are probably going to fall into the same category. But - they are stories for another day.)

Leigh's USP (Unique Selling Proposition) goes something like this (queue southern accent):

"I say [to the seller] well frankly you should hire me, because I get my jollies out of helping you navigate the minefield of real estate. I might get blown up, and you might get blown up, but pieces of us will get across the finish line together."

Is this the Realtor version of Scandal?

But you get the idea - she is the person you call to help you handle the minefield of buying and selling property. She's great at managing the myriad of personalities that might be somehow involved. And, well, for once, the idea of getting 'blown up' sounds like it's going to be super fun when Leigh tells you that's what might happen in her perfect southern belle accent.

Fun fact: When signing the agency agreement, she also very seriously makes every vendor promise to not watch any of the real estate shows like Million Dollar Listing while their house is on the market. It's a brilliant way to set expectations from the get go explaining that stuff you see on TV doesn't necessarily reflect reality.

Who'd have thought?


What's your USP

Last Monday, I asked you to email 7+ friends to ask them what they see your strengths are.

You should have gotten a number of replies by now.

Today we’re going to start working with the information based on some inspo from marketing guru Dan Kennedy.

So grab those answers, your journal and a pen and make a simple table with the following headings:


Gifts - Passions - Values - Acquired Skills

Go through YOUR answers and categorise them under those headings.

If something gets mentioned by 2, 3, 4 or more people, mark it as having come up multiple times.

For example, if five different people talk about what a great listener you are, put five marks next to the skill of listening because it’s really important.

Actually, if five people or more close to you say you’re a great listener, then that’s not just a skill, it’s a gift.

When you’re finished, you should have 5-15 items on your table, some which have been mentioned multiple times.

Now arrange them in descending order ie the skills that came up most at the top and the least at the bottom, tossing out anything that was mentioned once or anything you feel was insignificant.

Now you should have 5-8 items, which have been identified by multiple people, and which you also agree are strengths for you.

Hang on to this.

Promise you it's going somewhere really cool and we will be working on it again tomorrow....

Day 17


You emailed a bunch of people.

You asked them to describe your unique capabilities

You sorted and condensed the answers.

So now you should have 5-8 items, which have been mentioned by multiple people, and which you also agree are strengths for you.

Yesterday, I also gave you an example of a USP from Leigh Brown a Realtor in the USA which clearly differentiates her from 99.9999 per cent of Realtors in the US (there are a lot of them!)


What we want you to do today

We want you to differentiate yourself from other real estate agents in your area.

Turn your 5-8 items into single sentence statements. “I accomplish ___ by doing ___.”

“When something needs to be done, I pick up the phone and get through to the right person...”
“I solve hard problems by making the complex easy...”
"I can tell you what every 2 bedroom apartment sold for in my area within five seconds flat...
“When people are walking through the minefield of buying or selling a home, they reach out to me and I safely guide them to the other side.”

Each sentence should deftly summarise what’s unique about how you take action to help your customers.


Today's Assignment

  • Whittle these statements down until you have FIVE TO SEVEN crisp, clear sentences that accurately describe your unique capability.
    Write them down.
  • Check them against things like your REA Agent Profile, LinkedIn Profile, Facebook Business Page, Website etc.
  • Do your public profiles reflect a vanilla 'passion for real estate' or a specific reason as to why I would want to work with you? If your answer is the former, it's time to update your profiles.


What's this got to do with productivity or 80/20?
Remember I said yesterday, that if you try to appeal to everyone, you may end up appealing to no one.

Differentiating yourself by playing to your strengths will help you to attract the type of customers that want/need to work with someone like you.

More tomorrow!

PS - I would love to see you guys post some of your USP sentences into the group...

Day 18

80/20 lead generation

"Racking the shotgun" is another one of Perry Marshall's expressions when it comes to lead generation.

I don't like talking about guns much but today we're using a bit of Tony Robbins logic.

If you've ever watched a Robbins presentation, you'll notice he drops the F bomb a lot - apparently, scientifically, it does something jolty to your brain to make you remember what's being said. (I highly recommend watching 'I am not your guru' over Easter if you have a Netflix subscription; love him or hate him watching Tony Robbins work the stage is probably better for you than Bachelor in Paradise...)

Anyway - back to the program - we're just using the term as an expression that may stick - think of a cheesy spaghetti Western with John Wayne, or the Three Amigos.

No matter what cowboy you're picturing, know this - you can't just pick up any gun and fire it (that would be unsafe), you have to rack it first. So when we refer to 'racking the shotgun' we're referring to that loud clack clack noise you hear in the old western movies.


Get to the point, Sam

'Spray and pray' marketing does not follow any laws of 80/20 (or any sort of sane marketing for that matter!) 'Racking the shotgun' is about triggering your audience, seeing who responds and acting accordingly.

'Racking the shotgun' could mean:

  • Creating a lead magnet on your website and seeing who downloads it
  • Sending an email to your database and seeing who clicks on a link (and calling them to follow up)
  • Holding a free information night and seeing who turns up (and following them up)


There are also others out there who are continuously 'racking the shotgun' for you

  • People interacting with your Facebook business page (build a bot to respond immediately)
  • Consumers sending enquiries through REA (don't let leads slip through the cracks)
  • Businesses connecting with you on LinkedIn (network with influencers)
  • The list goes on....


Chasing all leads is not 80/20

Chasing good leads, leads that are ready, leads that want to work with you, who value your unique expertise are a much better use of your time and far easier to convert.

Talking to the right people is more important than all the sales methods, copywriting techniques and negotiation tactics in the world, because:

  • the wrong person doesn't care
  • the wrong person doesn't have the money
  • the wrong person won't be persuaded no matter what
  • the wrong person doesn't buy into your USP
  • the wrong person doesn't have the ability to say yes

(yes there is a dating parallel!)

Back in my old Optus/BT/PWC days we used to use the acronym MANDACT to test qualification of prospects. It stands for Money, Authority, Need, Decision making criteria, Ability to act, Competition, and Time. These are just as relevant in real estate (but in effect are a whole course on their own!)

Today's question: Do you have a process in place to act quickly when someone responds to any of your marketing? And... are you paying attention to who is responding, how you got them to respond, and how you might be able to scale this...

And finally: If the lead is wrong for you but right for someone else, how can you be the Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady of your team and make sure that the lead gets passed safely the right person - even if it's not your office?

A touchdown is still a touchdown - no matter who made it happen. And in the consumers eyes, it makes you a hero.

Have a safe Easter - we will be continuing Transform/19 throughout weekend, so watch for updates.

Day 19

Freedom in Forgiveness

It's Good Friday today, and even if you're not religious, it doesn't hurt to pause and reflect on the historical significance of the day... and of course work on a few more entanglements in your life that might holding you back from the success you deserve.

Although the crucifixion and the journey of Christ is one of the main themes of most Good Friday messages, forgiveness is another big part of it. Many church services will talk about forgiveness on Good Friday, as Jesus was pretty famous for always forgiving the people that unrighteously wronged him.


We are going to talk about forgiveness too, albeit in a slightly different way.


To err is human - To forgive is devine

The last speaker of AREC 2018 was an amazing human by the name of Amanda Lindhout. She received a standing ovation. And when you watch her video you will see why (and side note: These are the magic moments at AREC that really do change lives...and why you really want to go if you have the opportunity. Ask me someday how Elite Agent came to be...)

Back to the main story: On August 23, 2008, Amanda and members of her entourage were kidnapped by Islamist insurgents in southern Somalia. Her abductors were teenage insurgents from the Hizbul Islam fundamentalist group. She and her photographer were kidnapped in lieu of two more experienced journalists (so she wasn't even the real target). While in captivity, Lindhout was brutally and repeatedly tortured.

Having endured worse treatment than any human should have to - the human spirit led her (surprisingly) to find compassion and even forgiveness for her kidnappers. And, as Amanda will tell you, "the hatred, the anger, those negative emotions that we hold onto they live inside of us. They are our own internal enemies and it's really only when you learn how to let go of that, that you will."

We all stuff up from time to time - and it's hard to have gotten through life without people stuffing up on us as well. It could have been your parents. It could be an ex-partner, a previous employer. A business partner; a client. Someone who gave you a bad review.

So my question to you today is - who do you need to forgive?
Write it down.
It may not come to you instantly.
You could spend two years on it.
Or two minutes.
Forgiveness doesn't mean you're saying you forget.
It doesn't mean you're condoning what the person did, or saying it's OK.
But what if a key part of your future success is eliminating any negativity that may currently sit within you - with a power that is completely within you.

NB - Don't forget to check in with your buddy this week - it's your choice of topic :)

Day 20


During Transform/19 you we've had you guys training a bit like athletes.

I'm really proud of how far some of you have come!

Speaking of athletes - over the years I've gotten to know Kate Strickland pretty well. She is an athlete by definition (she played softball for Australia) but she has also a real been a real winner in the industry.

Kate works both hard and smart - in sprints - to keep her energy levels up (her time out is what we call evolution time).

Kate is also a big believer in teams, balance and recruiting the right people.

And - just as we've been getting you into the habit of various rituals every day, Kate also has a certain rituals that gets her ready on 'game day'.

We recorded this podcast a few months ago and - even if you have heard it before - it's worth listening to it again with your 'Transform' hat on. Particularly the bit at 11.34 where she talks about how she sets herself up for success....

01:02 How Kate keeps her energy up by working in sprints
11:34 What Kate does to set herself up for success for the day
12:34 How the mentorship of Jack Bongiorno has impacted Kate’s career, and her own leadership style
13:30 Why both good and bad feedback should be seen as a gift
15:24 What you should do when you don’t agree with someone’s feedback
17:24 Where and when Kate’s best ideas come to her
18:16 Kate’s approach to recruiting new team members, and what the Marshall White recruitment process looks like
20:55 A good example of how having empathy gets the best out of people in your team
22:20 Kate’s advice for someone going into a leadership position for the first time
23:50 What does leadership look like at home for a successful personal relationship?
25:50 Kate’s goals for the next 12 months

(There is some also some great stuff in here about recruitment and delegation which we are also going to be talking about in the upcoming days)

We only have 10 'official' days left to go in this 30 day challenge.

Today's question: What ritual will you create to set yourself up for success post Transform?

Day 21

I'll take chocolate

If the 80/20 rule applies to all things, it's likely that around 20% of the people in your life bring you 80% of your happiness.

We eliminated something toxic from your life on Day 14 to free up some time specifically for this purpose.

Today is a holiday, and today we want to make sure that the most important people in your life get the attention they deserve.


Today's a new day

I want you to schedule time in the future (if not for the rest of the year) with the humans who are important to you.

If you’re married this might be your spouse or your kids.
If you’re not, then it’s extended family or very close friends.
You may already have stuff like holidays, weddings and birthdays booked.
You may have business stuff (like AREC and other events) - on there too.
All that stuff gets put on your calendar months in advance.
Then the minutia gets on your calendar if it's lucky.
And so the people we MOST care about (and admittedly sometimes take for granted) can just end up with the scraps. we transform this.
Sit down with your partner (and maybe even kids) and plan some simple things - breakfast, lunch, dinner, dates, game nights, whatever.

These might seem like such a small things, but you're saying to the people that are most important to you that they are important.
Sometimes they need to directly hear it.
Feel it.
Do this and some people close to you may be surprised, even shocked.
I can tell you - when I did this with my 17 year old daughter - she definitely was (but I can also tell you after a difficult 12 months, we're now back where we needed to be and it's likely this was a big part of it...)


Make the time

I've chosen today specifically to give you this lesson because it's a public holiday - and hopefully you've already got those important people around you!

But - if it's not today, schedule the time to do this.
Get the diary out.
Don't let life just 'happen' to your important relationships.
Give your important relationships a new life.
Do this, and trust me, your work will also, by default, get a new life.
Everyone wins.

Day 22


Dave Stewart is a super experienced agent, and has been very successful over the years in Melbourne, both in a sales capacity and also a leadership capacity, running his own offices.

One day he realised he needed to solve a problem in his own business for his customers - subsequently created a cool piece of tech - and as a result bagged just about every innovation award there is.

The tool is called Market Buy.

Now Dave switches daily between two businesses - still being an agent - but now also supporting other agents who are using his product to enable buyers to make an offer whenever the mood takes them.

I also want to say that Dave is a pretty good egg.

At the start of Transform I wanted to make the database check-in number 10 names per day. He convinced me to reduce it to 5. (You can personally thank him now!)

I recorded this interview with him - just for you guys. It kind of brings everything together that we've been talking about so far and more.

Here are some of the highlights:

00:27 What Market Buy does
01:00 How Dave sometimes manages competing priorities between two businesses
02:00 Why Dave originally rebelled against the 80/20 rule
03:42 Why Dave believes less is more in the area of databases
05:19 Why consistency wins and why you should never buy databases or market to people without permission
07:02 If Dave had to add/update five names per day to his database, how would he go about it?
09:59 How you can automate staying in touch with people via email (hit Dave up for his automation follow up sequence)
14:04 How you might approach writing automated emails
16:48 How Market Buy creates transparency which is a win for the agent (and has the effect of both 'racking the shotgun" as well as saving time for you and the consumer, while building your database)
20:00 Why do we fight consumers, particularly buyers - making them jump through hoops that they don't want to?
23:38 What Dave really wants you to take away from Transform

Dave will be in the forum on Friday - ask him anything - and don't forget to hit him up for a special offer on Market Buy if you are keen to try it!

Day 23

Game on!

So Transformers - I've gotten a heap of enthusiastic feedback about Transform/19; I've had some people say their energy is better, their focus is better and that they are getting more done, thinking more clearly and feeling better about themselves. And - I am also loving the conversations in the community.

So it’s time to unleash that competitive side for the contest.
We have 8 tickets to AREC 2019 to give away.
Two x platinum tickets to AREC 2019 valued at $1,300
Six x gold tickets to AREC 2019 valued at $1,000

But - only one person can have the glory of being crowned Transform Champion 2019.


The Task

Having completed roughly two thirds of the program we want you to send us a report of how Transform/19 has changed your daily routine for the better.

Read this carefully - as this is what you need to do.
A 250-word AND/OR 2 minute video summary of your results.
You can also add anything else you want - more words, more pages of documentation, more audios or videos, whatever and however much you like - but the concise 250-word / 2 minute summary is an absolute requirement.

Here are some ideas about what to include:

  • Where were you at before Transform/19?
  • Why did you sign up?
  • Where are you at now?
  • How did Transform change ….prospecting, sales, numbers, wasted time or energy, new initiatives, database cleanups, saying no to stuff, finding clarity, leveraging your USP, insights you gained about yourself, personal headspace transformation, seeing opportunity, just to give you a few ideas of the types of specific things we want to hear about.


How your score is calculated

40% of your score will be calculated based on your daily check-in points, which you can see in the Member’s Area.

60% of your score will be calculated based on your assignment

The more results you can QUANTIFY, the better.

Also - I earnestly desire your feedback: What can we do to drive Transform forward for you after Day 30?

And - How do we punch the whole thing up a another level for Transform 2020? - please include at least one suggestion in your prize entry!


Entries must be received by

May 7 - 5pm AEST


How to enter

Use this link to take you to a submission form

If your video file is large, upload to a service like Dropbox, Google Drive or and include the download link in the text portion of your entry).

May the eight best Transformers win!

Day 24


Very early on in Transform, we categorised your time into four buckets - easy (non-work) evolution (your morning journal/clarity time), effective time (high dollar productive activities) and lastly the everyday entanglements.

We also gave you a worksheet so you could readily determine the difference between say $20 per hour jobs and $10,000 per hour jobs.

It would be really simple now for me to say all you need to do is outsource any tasks under $10,000 per hour and end the email now.

I could say things like, "If you don't have a PA you are a PA."

But I think on it's own that is not the best statement I could make.

It's true we're seeing trends to teams and consolidation everywhere in the industry.

So, yes, you should have assistant and the right team around you to win in the current environment we are in.

We ran a whole day event (you have access to the videos) on team building - that's how important we think it is.

But finding the right people, whether they happen to be onshore, offshore, work from home, in office or [insert any of the myriad of options there are] - is both time consuming and something that requires you to be skilled at both recruitment and performance management.

And if you haven't allocated a significant chunk of 'evolution time' to work out what your new recruit's job description is based on your business plan - AND thought about how you're going to get this person to deliver - you might be wasting your time. (When we're up at AREC hit me up for some of my stories of all the different types of things that we've tried, failed or succeeded at - it's a lot!)

What I can tell you with some certainty is that if you rush in and just hire the first person you like that comes along it can cost your business far, far more than the salary you have offered.

According to Chief Executive Magazine:

"There are many different formulas that HR professionals use to calculate the cost of recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent.

For example, a management-level employee making $68,000 in annual salary would cost the company more than $800,000 if terminated within 2.5 years of hiring. This, shockingly, does not account for the cost of recruiting and hiring a replacement.

In addition to the tangible losses associated with turnover, making (and keeping) the wrong hire can cause significant disruption and damage to morale, bringing down staff productivity and creating even more HR headaches in the process. Diminished customer satisfaction, work quality and business reputation can also end up costing the company more money over the long term than the immediate costs of replacing a bad hire."

The 80/20 of recruitment and the art of delegating, I believe, looks more like 10/80/10.

You get involved to set expectations/strategy (10%), delegation happens in the middle (80%) and then you pick up for feedback and delivery (10%).

As an experienced recruiter and business systems consultant Fiona Blayney and I have had many, many chats about this whole piece both from the point of view of our own businesses and the real estate industry in general.

Here is what she has to say about how to find the right person, whether you should outsource or DIY for recruitment and her thoughts on performance management.

Today's question: What would you outsource if you could and what sort of person would this look like?

Day 25


Anzac Day: Lest we forget.

At the end of Downton Abbey Season 1 one of the main protagonists in the series, Lord Grantham, receives a telegram letting him and his subjects know the United Kingdom was at War with Germany, marking the beginning of the First World War.

It was a moment that changed the lives of all of the characters in that show, a moment that changed the lives of everyone in the world.

Nobody was left untouched by The Great War.

Then, in Season 2, the writers gave us some amazing insight as to how the characters adapted to the war - both those who went into battle, and also those who stayed behind.

Downton itself had to adapt became a temporary hospital for the wounded.

In 1912 nobody saw a war of those proportions coming or envisaged how it might change life as they knew it. Similarly, nobody foresaw the chaos that would be created when both heirs to the estate perished in the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic.

Life never really went back to normal; there was a new normal.

Technology disruption landed in Downton around about 1917 when an electric mix master arrived.

Mrs Patmore, the cook, was not a futurist - and was worried when it appeared that it would be the beginning of the end for her job.

Then a sewing machine appeared.

And then god help us all, a refrigerator arrived.

But - everyone adapted and found ways to live along side automation, using their skills in a different way.

At another point in the series it became known that the person Lord Grantham took his financial counsel from gave him some very bad advice.

Almost overnight, one of the finest and most respected families in England found out they were stone cold broke and might have to lose a few servants; and the fall out from this was way worse than the arrival of the mix master.


Forever changed

World War I changed the world as we know it.

Downton Abbey is a work of fiction, but as a historical piece it's not a bad reminder that there always going to be events in life and in business that are going to challenge and change us.

They happened 100 years ago, through history, and they are continually happening now.

The market has changed - and there may be more change ahead.
I'm not talking about bubbles bursting or anything sixty-minutes-ish.
There was the GFC in 2008, which lots of folks weren't really prepared for.
The stock market continues to be 'interesting'.
Who knows what might happen within the industry if the proposed changes to negative gearing go ahead - which will affect investors, tenants, banks, everyone.
Then there is technology - blockchain, iBuyers, robots... the list goes on.

So now after three weeks of doing our best to get you clear headed, agile, out of 'the matrix', stripping away noise, simplifying and looking at 80/20 every which way you can - we can't finish Transform without this.

It's a hard question, but answer it anyway.

If your business were facing a major economic, technological, or social event outside your control - what would you do.

How could you plan for this today?



Day 26

Role Model

Yesterday we asked the tough question of "What plans would you make for your business if a major economic, technological, or social event outside your control were to happen?"

No one business is the same and so there could be several different answers to that question and they could all be correct. (It's a good one to chat about with your buddy in your catch up this week!)...

Here's the thing: When times get tough, most people think about cutting.

Cut the optimism, cut the headcount, cut the Facebook budget.

Cut marketing.

But as you thinking about picking up those scissors, you also need to think about how cutting might compromise your service levels to your best clients.

Josh Phegan often says that "one customer served well will lead to your next customer," and I have to say I one-hundred-and-ten per cent agree with that.

There is a digital marketing theory known as 'RFM' which stands for recency, frequency, money. You can read up more on that here.

I prefer RFV - Recency, Frequency, Value.

Recency is not just about transactions, it's how long ago the person interacted with you (in person, online, over the phone).

Frequency is not just about purchasing from you, it's also about referring friends and colleagues to you. (It could also be something as simple as interacting with your emails).

Value could be what people have spent with you over the years, (that's why marketers refer to it generally as Money) - but sometimes it's not about what the customer spends with you, it could be value they provide in other ways (easy to serve, good with the referrals, trust you completely).

The 80/20 of marketing is that you should be able to generate more revenue from the right people - that puts the people that interact with you regularly at the top of the list.

Digital marketers of kinds know it - and you should too.

Hard core digital marketers (the ones that sell health programs and online gambling and stuff like that) would probably prefer swallowing razor blades than spending a dollar marketing to someone they don't know who is an unknown quantity.

They double down on people they do know, that interact with them, that have purchased before. They segment, build relationships and ensure each customer is served well.


Service is the new marketing

Whether it's a downturn or just business as usual, I think now is the time to focus in on your best customers even harder, providing them even better service.

Then when others cut - they look more mediocre while you get stronger.

You become the role model in your market.

Who are the customers or prospects you should really be investing in?

Today, we've gone far, far back into the vault for an hour long session (never been seen before in it's entirety) from Josh Phegan.

It was March 2016 - the first year we did Transform (2016)


If you can't watch all the video (there are productivity value bombs for everyone right the way through), just watch the first 10 minutes.

The market was quite different back in March 2016, so you'll have to go a bit deeper into this exercise during your evolution time today than we did a couple of years ago...

So... without looking at your database or anything electronic write down

  • The names and addresses of your next 10 listings (full name and address of the property)
  • The names and addresses of your top 10 buyers


  • The names of your top 10 investor prospects
  • The names of 10 great tenants who are looking to rent

Once you've got that down, test yourself - can you also write down the three things Josh talks about for each one - problem, destination, timeline.

How can you help/invest in these people today?


PS - Look out for a podcast on Saturday 27 April 2019 with everyone's favourite Chris Hanley where he answers the question about what he would do if he were faced a downturn (the GFC related downturn lasted about 5-6 years in Byron Bay...).

PPS - If you engage in email/digital marketing of any description - and you are not segmenting your lists/audience/creative by RFM you could be missing some really big opportunities in your business... more on that once we're through the first 30 days...


Day 27

A head full of dreams

Oh, I think I've landed
Where there are miracles at work
For the thirst and for the hunger
Come the conference of birds

And say it's true
It's not what it seems
Leave your broken windows open
And in the light just streams

And you get a head
A head full of dreams -

Chris Martin / Guy Berryman / Johnny Buckland / Mikkel Eriksen / Tor Hermansen / Will Champion
(-aka Coldplay)


Recently I watched the documentary/film A Head Full of Dreams about the band Coldplay - from their beginnings and rise to fame, through to now.

Coldplay started as a band of college students literally with a head full of dreams.

Today they are a multi-Grammy award winning group achieving world-wide fame and filling stadiums throughout the globe.

One of my favourite bits of the movie was the bit showing their 2000 gig at Glastonbury where Chris Martin introduces the song Yellow saying something like, "You won't know this song well enough to sing along, but next year you might."

Cut to 2002 and it's one of those goose bumpy moments - the whole audience is singing the lyrics for him.

But Chris Martin always knew where he was going.

His bandmates often said they gave whole hearted thanks that he had enough certainty for all of them.

But what if Martin wasn't so sure... about his songs, his lyrics, his band mates?

Would they be where they are today?


"I want the fairytale"

Vivien Ward wasn't prepared to settle for some half-assed relationship (if the name rings a bell I'm talking about Julia Roberts character in the movie Pretty Woman...)

We all fell in love with her as she became clear on who she was, and where she wanted to be. What she would settle for, and what was off the table.

But if she hadn't been clear on what it was that she really wanted, the movie might not have had such a happy ending.


What's your dream?

You could work for the next 10/20/30 years and in all probability make a great living doing what you're doing now.

But something I've learned over the last few months is that we all have dreams - no matter what age we are or what stage of our careers we are at.

Whatever you can do or dream, you can, if you give yourself the time and the space to do so.

In the past month, hopefully you've learned that you can spend hours on entanglements (eg Facebook, Toxic relationships, emails, and low dollar productive activities), or you can spend those same hours pursuing your dreams.

They may be career related, business related, they may be something else.

My goal in starting Elite Agent was to repair the relationship between the media and the real estate industry, and to make a difference.

If you managed to get through the Josh Phegan video yesterday about 47:00 it gets pretty interesting when he talks about getting clear on where you're going can remarkably change your behaviour.

And no goal is too big.

There is a reason that you all are doing what you're doing right now.

There is a reason you all signed up for Transform.

I want you to get clear on this reason - or the entanglements you started with at the beginning may take over again once this challenge is over.

And after all the hard work you've put in... we don't want to go back there, right?

Your question for today
What do you truly aspire to?

Day 28


Your personal USP is something we worked on in Week 2 of Transform and I hope you've been able to come up with some crisp, clear sentences that describe what is different about dealing with you on a personal level, than dealing with, say, the guy down the road.

Today, I want you to think about your USP as it relates to your business or service (which you'll hear sometimes referred to as DSP or Definitive Selling Proposition) and it answers this question:

Why should I list, lease, buy or rent from you instead of someone else?

If you have a great answer to that question, you can charge more, have better margins and be able to invest more into customer service.

If you have a lousy answer to that question - well, then that ain't good.

Here are some symptoms of an average DSP:

  • Constantly fighting price pressure
  • You feel the competition breathing down your neck
  • The guy down the road can do it cheaper or quicker.


Can you build a really crisp offer?

There is a four step formula for building a solid-hard-to-beat DSP which anyone can do; no marketing degree required.

Step 1. Tell me the benefit you provide (the problem you solve, the job you get done, the experience you deliver)

Step 2. Tell me what time frame you'll provide it in

Step 3. Make me a guarantee - what happens if something goes wrong (eg you'll redo the job, give me a replacement, refund my money) and

And lastly, this is the one everyone kind of forgets...

Step 4. Make me a negative promise - what won't I have to deal with if I list with you (what bad outcome will you avoid, what unpleasant experience am I not going to have if I chose you)

For Domino's Pizza, their DSP is "A fresh, hot pizza delivered in 20 minutes or it's free. Plus - you can build your own pizza with that fun app, not have to deal with bored call centre operators...


"We will provide you comprehensive written vendor report, emailed to you within one day of every open home (benefit + time frame)

If we miss our deadline we will drop 0.1 per cent of our fee each time*. (guarantee)

So - you will never be guessing what prospective buyers are thinking about your home in relation to other properties they may be looking at." (negative promise)


What can you deliver with certainty and confidence?

Think about your DSP(s).

Remember - your clients are looking to make or save money, or time.

They need to know with certainty that you are the one to help them do one or the other - or both.


Come up with a couple of crisp sentences that differentiate your DSP from other agencies, that can be used in a listing presentation.

* Don't be afraid of the guarantee - stand by your word (you guys that have read James Clear's Atomic Habits will understand the neuroscience of this too)

Day 29

The Resistance

On the weekend, we talked about pursuing your dreams.
Today we're going to talk about what might be stopping you.
Today we're going to talk about RESISTANCE.

There’s a book called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield (not to be confused with The Art of War by Sun Tsu)

Pressfield's book is all about the fact that when you attempt to do something great strange forces will conspire against you and try to stop you.

This resistance can be internal or external.


Who likes calling people, particularly cold calling?

It's not a skill-set issue because everyone knows how to pick up the phone.

But - picking up the phone is right at the top of the top right hand corner of our productivity matrix - squarely in that $10,000 per hour bucket.

And, we would all would like to see ourselves earning that $10k per hour or more but still find it hard to pick up the phone at times.

Well mostly it's a (somewhat irrational) fear of being judged, fear of failing, fear of being exposed, fear of not being liked by others.

If I asked you to call five expired listings, you might think of all the awful things that could go wrong. What if they yell at you, or hang up, and from there a bunch of awful things start happening and it ends down a rabbit hole of doom where you can't work or feed your family (sound familiar!?)

Most of us will procrastinate to stay in our comfort zones thanks to our lizard brain (which we talked about on Day 2) who do anything to resist going to a place of discomfort.

Here is what Jet Xavier has to stay on the topic.


When your inner procrastinator gets loud...

Jet talks about getting 'solution-focused' rather than being fear-focused and there are a few different ways to achieve this.

I remember back to the start of Elite Agent, the start of The Brief, the launch of Transform.

On all of those occasions, I didn't feel ready for any of it.

There were feelings of anxiety.

There was daily queasiness.

There was a lot of procrastination (there still is sometimes, as I am only human!)

There was quadruple checking of spelling errors before hitting publish (probably could do with a bit more of that now!)

There were voices in my head telling me nobody would want to listen to what we had to say...

But I've realised now that when my own inner procrastinator gets really loud it's actually a signal to me I'm absolutely on the right track and to keep going.


Re-defining procrastination

The top 20 per cent of activities (Quadrant 2) that produce 80 per cent of your results are usually the same things that trigger you to procrastinate instead of just doing them.

Recognise you don't need to be perfect - and get on with the job.

Weirdly practice does eventually make perfect - and the thing you are resisting also gets easier with practice.

Today we change our definition of procrastination.


From now on, when you think about deleting few emails, watering a plant, or getting a haircut, getting a coffee, as opposed to the activity you are supposed to be doing think of it as likely to be incredibly significant to achieving your dreams.

What are you resisting doing right now - and how can you embrace the opportunity?

Day 30

What if I told you...

"Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day, and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. For example, if you can get just 1 per cent better each day, you'll end up with results that are nearly 37 times better after one year...

...It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent..."

- James Clear: Atomic Habits


When was the last time you ever went to a movie and it was definitely the end?

These days, screenplays are written with a view to at least one sequel, if not many.

So, today might be Day 30 of our 30 day challenge, but really it's just the beginning.

Because, as you continue these good habits you have set up - and live out of a place of space, sanity and gratitude, you accomplish so much more, with so much less effort, while feeling in control of your life.

So today a couple of things:

Firstly - You should be thinking about your final assignment due on May 7th. Submit that here. We have 8 AREC tickets to give away and we want to see you there (and meet some of you for the first time!)

Secondly - I would love you to stay in our membership of Elite Agent VIPs and, yes, we will continue Transform on into next month and beyond.

I won't be sending you assignments every single day, but I will frequently send you something to help you step up your game - and possibly with a new challenge or two.

(And I still have some content from the coaches that you might be interested in that will be coming out in the next few days!)


To Be Continued...

The industry won't stop evolving - and neither should you.

We’ll drive forward with the evolution.

You guys will become the benchmark - and hopefully help us to create the manifesto for what it means to be amazing in real estate, creating brilliant customer experiences.


We are the sum of our habits

The habits we've created during the last 30 days are the foundation for almost anything you choose.

Stick with me, and each other.

While others might be doubting, I see even better things ahead; but I'm sure you'll agree that it's amazing what you can see when you see things clearly.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us.