From sales agent to business leader and mentor in 12 months

How to manage competing with your staff as a selling principal. The challenges you’ll face if you recruit the wrong people. The true costs associated with running a business. After opening his own office 12 months ago, these are just a few things that Sam Mayes has taught young agents in Queensland with ambitions to open a business.

“I tried to think about all the things I would’ve wanted to hear from someone who had just done it,” Sam said. “I drew from a lot of my mistakes along the way.”

Before becoming a business owner, Sam worked out of Ray White New Farm as a top sales agent, focussing on the Spring Hill marketplace.

“I’d just grown my team to four and was really enjoying it. I thought to myself, ‘we’re doing so well and I’m not even based out of my market. Imagine what could happen if I operated in Spring Hill?’

“There wasn’t a Ray White business based there at the time and I was worried the suburb would be snapped up by someone else,” he said.

The challenge Sam faced in opening a new business was a limited knowledge about what it actually takes to run a successful real estate operation.

“I needed to get more insight into the reality of a selling principal. Opening an office sounds great, but the reality of it is something completely different,” Sam explained.

Speaking with his then principal and mentor, Matt Lancashire, the duo decided to enrol Sam into the ‘Next Leaders’ Program; an industry-wide initiative run by Ray White Queensland to equip agents with the knowledge and skills to progress into business ownership.

Teaching aspiring principals every aspect of agency operation, Next Leaders was a vital step in Sam’s development.

“Matt saw the same opportunity I did. We decided to go into business together and open Ray White Spring Hill in partnership. What Next Leaders did was take me through step-by-step the responsibilities of a principal as well as the traits of a true leader,” Sam said.

It’s now been one year and four months since Sam and Matt opened the doors to Ray White Spring Hill and the business is thriving.

“We’ve grown quickly. My personal support team has grown to five, plus we’ve put on seven agents, an admin team and a Loan Market mortgage broker.

“We’re still quite new and we have plans to grow even more in 2017 – I’d like to see our sales team increase to 10 agents, and we haven’t even started growing property management yet. There’s still so much to achieve.”

So successful has Sam’s rise into leadership been, he recently returned to Next Leaders, but this time as a special guest speaker. Sharing his own personal experience, Sam said there’s there’s one piece of advice he’d give to everyone considering taking the leap to principal.

“You have to be willing to be selfless every day. It’s not just about you anymore – your decisions affect everyone. If you want to be a selling principal, selflessness is the first characteristic you must embrace.”

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