Real empathy: Cara Atchison talks Survivor, true people skills, and how real estate set her up for success

There are a lot of parallels between the last couple of years and reality TV show Survivor. In both, it takes empathy, resilience and teamwork to handle a playing field that constantly shifts. In this episode, Cara Atchison shares her Survivor experience and the lessons that translate to real estate.

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It was always likely a real estate agent would make a formidable contestant on Survivor. After all, it’s a reality TV show where agent skills like strategy, understanding people, and playing the long game all come into play.

Last year 1st City Real Estate director Cara Atchison not only put that theory to the test, but exceeded expectations with a lengthy stint on Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawns that highlighted her unshakable personal integrity and incredible resilience.

In this episode of the Elevate podcast with Elite Agent managing editor Samantha McLean, Cara offers a behind-the-scenes insight into her Survivor experience, including the lessons that translated from real estate to reality TV.

Described on the show as an empath, she shares how her ability to read people served her on the series and has also assisted throughout her career.

Cara offers tips for agents looking to embrace this skill and explains why it matters far more than market knowledge or sales training when it comes to forging a connection with clients.

She also discusses her role at 1st City Real Estate and reveals why she and husband Brad Caldwell-Eyles make such a successful team who have established a stellar reputation as leaders in project sales in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“Being an agent and running a business is different versus just actually living in life and being an employee. When you own a business and are a real estate agent particularly, it’s all about politics and strategy and managing human beings and trying to get win-win situations.” Cara Atchison

Cara and Samantha also discuss:

  • How culture proved critical to the two teams in Survivor and why there’s lessons to be learned when leading a real estate team
  • Why Cara forged such a connection with fellow contestant George and how she came to the decision to put herself on the line for his benefit
  • How Cara maintained her personal integrity and why she felt it was important to her business, her brand and the perception of the real estate industry as a whole
  • Why empathy is a key skill Cara has embraced and how it matters in both a reality TV show and real estate
  • How agents can improve their people skills to forge a deeper connection with clients, including key questions to ask, and tips on body language and speech
  • The ways that empathetic agents can then protect themselves from becoming too emotionally involved, and the strategies Cara uses to ‘decompress’
  • How 1st City Real Estate has become a leader in project marketing in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and the plans they have going forward
  • Why there’s no room for prima donnas in real estate, and how 1st City fosters a culture of respect, trust and teamwork.
  • What’s ahead for Cara, and how she intends to strike a balance between business, leadership, family, and fun

And much, much more…

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.