The Elite Retreat experience: Takeaways on navigating the future of real estate

Over the years, I’ve attended countless real estate events and as a result, I’m fairly well placed to assess the value of each.

One theme I’ve observed is that many presentations feel like they are more of an advertisement for the success of individuals and companies, but they only skim the surface of the methodology used to become successful. 

This may inspire and motivate the delegates, but it can be challenging to extract actionable takeaways to implement when you return home.

Elite Retreat was refreshingly different. It cut through the noise and offered genuine, holistic conversations that went beyond the market trends, results and themes of “work harder and you’ll succeed.”

I would need a much higher word count to share everything, so here are some of the key takeaways that have influenced how I think about our industry’s future. “

Embracing peer-to-peer collaboration

The first thing that struck me was the emphasis on collaborative learning. 

Gone are the days when we depended solely on a single source for insights and guidance. 

The real power today lies in pooling diverse perspectives. 

This approach allows us to get a multi-dimensional view of complex issues, helping us make better decisions. 

I found Elite Retreat’s atmosphere to be genuinely collaborative, where speakers and participants were conscious of contributing to the industry as a whole, rather than just pushing their own agendas.

The importance of adaptability

Future Crunch’s Rhea Mercado on stage at Elite Retreat 2023.

I was particularly intrigued by Future Crunch’s talk on adaptability quotient. 

Being adaptable is more critical than ever in a rapidly changing market. 

However, it’s not just about reacting to external change; it’s about aligning that change with what truly matters to your team, your clients, and the overall trajectory of your business. 

A formula that resonated with me is measuring the speed of change inside your organisation against the speed of change outside it. 

If you’re faster on the inside, you’re well-positioned to be an innovator.

Making an impact

Tim Duggan on stage at Elite Retreat 2023.

Tim Duggan’s discussion on creating impact statements stood out as well. 

The idea is to elevate your mission statement into something more dynamic and actionable—an impact statement. 

It’s something I started working on immediately during the flight back to Australia and have continued to iterate upon. 

I’ve put it up on the wall and I keep walking past it and refining it, not because it’s something I feel I ‘should’ do, but because it really moves the cells in my body and I’m driven to genuinely want to do it.

I believe this concept will strongly influence our brand messaging and strategies moving forward.

The power of metadata

Mark McLeod’s session, especially his take on and use of metadata, got me thinking on a strategic level. 

Ray White has used metadata to develop a model that is effective in different markets. 

This insight is vital for scaling and adapting successful strategies in diverse geographic locations. 

One particular statistic that stuck with me was that a mere 10-day reduction in a campaign’s time on the market can result in a 30 per cent increase in volume across a year.

That’s a huge number and hugely valuable once you know it. And once you know it you can leverage that knowledge.

The 42-day mark conversation

Mark McLeod on stage at Elite Retreat 2023.

Mark McLeod also spoke about the significance of the “Black Zone” or the 42-day mark in a sale campaign and why that’s a critical time period. 

That’s the time when the conversation owners have around the dinner table really start to change, and not usually in a good way.

But that also gives us, as business owners, as leaders, sales managers and agents the ability to take ownership.

Keeping an eye on such timelines allows us to anticipate changes in buyer-seller dynamics and adjust our strategies accordingly.

The role of data and technology

One of the eye-opening moments at the retreat was the realisation that even individuals at the forefront of tech firms are still not fully embracing the role of AI in digital transformation. 

In an age where data has become as significant as oil, this was quite surprising. 

Understanding AI and its potential for efficiency and customer service is crucial. 

We are on the brink of a new era; dismissing this is like overlooking the impact of electricity when it first came into use.

Being a speaker and a student

Elite Retreat delegates taking part in the Wim Hof breathing session.

Elite Agent Managing Editor Samantha McLean asked me to present at Elite Retreat on the topic of The Invisible Edge.

She’d received positive feedback from this year’s Transform cohort where I was a coach and mentor and spoke on a similar topic.

The invisible edge is about the intersection of biology, psychology, and the environment one creates around themselves – in business and in their private life.

This theme resonated strongly with many attendees, particularly the live Wim Hof Method breathwork session I incorporated in my presentation.

The response was overwhelming, and it opened doors for meaningful conversations that went beyond the scope of my presentation and the length of the conference.

Leveraging thought leadership

Often, conferences are judged by the weight of their sponsors, but what set Elite Retreat apart was the stipulation that any sponsoring company had to have someone from their C-suite in attendance. 

And yet, there was no hard selling on stage. The beauty was being able to have really in-depth discussions with the sponsors, who are experts in their closely related fields, at the dinners and networking events. 

I was really exposed to high-level strategic insights that added real value to the speakers and discussions I witnessed during the day.

Human connections: More than networking

We often underestimate the power of meaningful conversations in a professional setting. 

At Elite Retreat, the chats I had with fellow attendees and speakers weren’t just enlightening; they were grounded in real human experience. 

We discussed the universal challenges and opportunities that professionals face in the real estate industry, irrespective of our geographical location or the size of our operation.

Elite Retreat wasn’t just about sitting in a conference room absorbing information.

The event provided ample time for reflection and deep thinking. 

The venue was set up to encourage this, and the longer flight to get there offered an opportunity to prepare mentally for the experience.

Time to reflect

I have walked away from Elite Retreat not just with a notebook full of tips and contacts, but with a renewed sense of purpose and an expanded outlook on what’s possible in our industry. 

This event wasn’t just about acquiring new skills or networking for business opportunities; it was a forum for genuine human connection and groundbreaking ideas that could shape the future of real estate. 

It’s already helped shape my business. We recently rebranded to Presence, and Elite Retreat played a pivotal role in lending knowledge to our branding, depth of our mission and impact statements and more.

For anyone considering attending Elite Retreat in the future, it’s not just another item to tick off your professional development list; it’s an investment in both your personal and professional growth.

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Mark Kentwell

Mark Kentwell is the Founder, Director and Chief Vision Officer of Presence Real Estate.

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