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The highlights from AREC 2022 – Day 1

More than 4000 real estate professionals packed the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday for Day 1 of AREC 2022. This year’s headline speaker was Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey, who showed there are a striking number of similarities between acting auditions and listing presentations and the mindset needed to achieve success. Here are all of our Day 1 highlights….

Matthew McConaughey

Aim for joy, not happiness

Hollywood actor, Oscar winner, and bestselling author of Greenlights, Matthew McConaughey believes you should look at life as a ‘verb’. 

He says it’s a process, and rather than focusing on a destination of happiness, you should instead look for joy. 

Joy relates to enjoying the journey that you’re on and embraces your failures as well as your successes. 

“Joy is about enjoyment of the process and of doing what you are gifted to do,” he says.

“Failure will be a large part of it. I’ve not gotten a lot more jobs (auditions) than I have gotten.”

When it’s time to ‘unbrand’

Matthew says sometimes you have to “unbrand” in order to rebrand. 

He says he once declined a $14.5 million role in a romantic comedy as he wanted to break the stereotype pigeonholing him in Hollywood. 

For the next two years, he didn’t get a single role. 

“I was successful in romantic comedies, but I was also interested in doing dramas, but the industry wasn’t interested in me doing dramas,” he says.

“I had to stop doing what I had been doing. I chose to unbrand in the hope of later being able to rebrand.

“I had no guarantee (it would work), but I made a decision that was non-negotiable with myself. The persistence paid off.

“ I trusted it even when I was scared as hell.”

Preparation is the key

Matthew says there are a lot of similarities between going for an audition and a listing presentation, but the key to him securing a role has always been preparation.

“Watch phoning it in,” he says.

“I’m big on preparation as it allows me to be relaxed and present.”

Matthew recalled the last time he attended an audition without preparing. He said he arrived to find he had to deliver a four-page monologue in Spanish.

“It was embarrassing,” he says.

“I thought then, never again am I going to put myself in that position.”

When he leaves an audition, he wants to know there’s nothing more he could have done or given in his bid to win the role.

“I know there are jobs I got because I was more prepared than the next person,” Matthew says.

AREC 2022 Day 1.

Seth Godin

Marketing is not about hustling

The author of 20 bestselling books, including Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow, Seth Godin says marketing is not about hustling, interrupting potential clients or cutting corners.

Instead, he says modern marketing is about “the choices you make, the way you show up and the story you tell”.

“Everything you do that touches the market is marketing,” he states.

Seth says agents need to bring “practical empathy” to the table, which is all about treating customers with dignity and respect.

“Other people know things you don’t know and want things you don’t want, and that’s ok,” he says.

“If you can’t say, ‘that’s ok’, you can’t serve them or connect with them.”

Seth says your brand is your promise and what you’re asking your customer to judge you on in the future.

Who is talking about you?

Seth admits many agents secure listings simply because they are the first to return a potential vendor’s call or because they’re a dollar cheaper.

But he says the aim should be to get people to talk about you to people they know through “intentional design”.

The key is to question what kind of customer you seek to serve, what they want and dream of, and what change you seek to make on their behalf. 

“The goal is to make them feel seen, heard, understood and valued,” Seth says.

“The value you’re adding is helping someone through the most daunting, most nerve-wracking transaction of their whole life.”

Carla Fetter 

Shifting from fourth gear to fifth gear

Jellis Craig Armadale Director Carla Fetter shared the key elements that helped her go from a good agent running in fourth gear, to a great agent excelling in fifth gear.

She says her first core element for success is having a clear vision of who she wants to be as an agent and what she wants to achieve.

“I decided I wanted to be the number one agent in our group,” she says.

“In that first year, I came second, but it fuelled me for the following year.”

Carla says she also realised that someone with her personality needed to hire a mentor to keep her accountable, so she called on Peter Vigano from the Hawthorn office. 

Every Saturday at 8am, the pair would meet at the local carwash and track Carla’s key numbers.

She also built a specialist team that liked each other, communicated well and shared common goals.

The third key element, but perhaps the most important, Carla implemented was consistent prospecting, making 20 calls a day, day-in, day-out.

“Prospecting is one of the key things that flipped my business on its head,” Carla says.

Carla also decided to become a specialist, not a generalist, agent and didn’t take on all of the work that came her way.

“Saying no to non-core business will actually get you more business,” she says.

“But if I wanted to become a specialist agent, I had to ask, ‘What did I want to be known for? What type of real estate was I interested in?’.”

Finally, Carla says she had to stay current and not become complacent.

“Someone can come and take that market share off you,” she says.

Michael Kollosche

Creating a culture of success

In a highly anticipated session, Michael sat down with MC Tom Panos for a Q and A on building the Kollosche brand since opening in 2019.

In that time, Kollosche has grown to achieve $1.8 billion in sales and $45 million in GCI.

Creating a vibrant, supportive culture has been a key to that success.

“We’ve built what we’ve got from the ground up,” Michael says.

“We are particular about who we let into the tent. I have learnt through experience that working in an environment not conducive to success can make things hard.”

Michael notes the focus for Kolloshe is attracting good talent that has the same aspirations, morals, standards and who “claps each others’ success”.

He says while many agencies have a lot of internal competition, a big part of Kollosche’s success has come from collaboration.

“As a team, we are stronger.”

Tom Panos (right) sat down to interview Michael Kollosche (left) on Day 1 of AREC 2022.

The key quality in a super business

Tom also asked Michael about the qualities that go into making a super business, and he explained in his four-person Effective Business Unit (EBU) everyone has a clear role.

“In a super team, everyone knows what their roles are and very rarely do they cross over,” he says.

Michael says communication with clients is paramount, but rather than him being the sole conduit, each member of his team liaises with the clients in their area of expertise.

This includes a group WhatsApp chat for every property. He says being on point with every process and meeting clients’ expectations helped agents achieve higher fees.

“If you provide a good level of service and a good result, you can justify your fee,” he says.

Cathy Cattell

Rome wasn’t built in a day

PRD Hunter Valley agent Cathy Cattell came to real estate later in life and is the first to admit she’s not selling waterfront mansions worth millions of dollars.

But that hasn’t stopped the Maitland agent from succeeding. Last year she wrote $2.76 million with an average sale price of $770,000.

Cathy says the secret to her success is consistency, building strong business foundations, and remembering that today’s buyer is tomorrow’s seller.

“There are no shortcuts in this industry,” she says.

“Real estate is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Ask the key questions

As Cathy bluntly stated, “Sellers don’t want to know how good you are, they want to know how you can help them”.

Helping a vendor isn’t rocket science; it just comes down to asking a few key questions, which Cathy says most agents don’t stop to ask.

  • Why are they selling?
  • What is their plan and where are they moving to?
  • What costs have they allowed themselves to sell and move? 
  • What would they like assistance with? 

“This helps build rapport and earn their trust,” Cathy says.

Handling divorce simply but effectively

Cathy says 30 to 40 per cent of her listings come from vendors who are separating or divorcing. 

She and her team hold one key rule above all others.

“Do not take sides with either owner,” she says.

This is closely followed by a fine attention to detail and unbiased communication. The team notes on the listings whiteboard that it is a divorce sale so that everyone remembers how to handle the situation properly.

“It means two phone calls, two emails, two of everything,” Cathy explains.

“Don’t tell the other side what the other has said and (when the property sells) help them move on with whatever they are doing next.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.