The Power of Words

Recently I attended Robert Bevan’s 2009 Bestpractice conference for Real Estate business leaders.This event is unique in the ANZ real estate sector because it is a place where business leaders really share their own experiences without hype or fluff, often revealing their failings as well as success.

The event draws owners from leading independent agents, as well as many members of Australia’s and New Zealand’s franchise and marketing groups. It’s a place where anyone who wants to excel in Sales or Property Management should be in July every year, because the wisdom shared is second to none in the formal sessions and the networking opportunities the retreat presents.

This July’s event maintained the high standards established by Robert and his team at Bestpractice. There were the usual panel sessions with participants selected to present an agreed position, followed by many questions and then there were the key note sessions where leaders such as Philip Webb, Chris Hanley, Bob Walters and Ewan Morton covered both the obvious simple secrets to success, as well as the unique implementation in their own business, to gain an edge in the local market.

What I enjoyed this year were some of the simple points made in a few words or just a simple phrase that make a big difference in any business. Here are a few of my takeaways.

Face to face, belly to belly – Penrith Mayor, Butcher and Real Estate leader Jim Aiken, shared this term on a panel session to emphasise the importance of never losing sight of direct communication in a time of expanding e-mail, www, phone and other non face to face methods. Jim’s belly to belly approach demonstrates how he always leads through building trusting long term personal relationships.

Prospecting and Advocates – were two key words promoted by Byron Bay leading agent Chris Hanley in a very competitive market of just 6000 properties. Chris and his team know the importance of developing the best and most accurate database of potential vendors in their town. They can also prove the value of maintaining regular contact through various channels so that First National is always the first agent they think of when selling or buying.

Culture – Philip Webb is widely recognised as a top business in Australia and one that any aspiring Real Estate leader must visit. In a session that addressed the market difficulties of the past year as well as other challenges Philip faced, he stressed the importance of the culture of their people and how they work in the community. This unique Philip Webb culture has been key to ensuring that the business has delivered strong results in a very challenging time.

Read the manual – REINSW technology award winner Ewan Morton is widely known for interesting comments when he shares experiences on his business and its use of information technology. In a frank session on what has worked for his business, Ewan concluded with remarks that coincide with Rockend’s general experience in supporting technology in clients’ offices. Namely that most business owners and their staff just don’t know what they have available to them in their office applications today. Ewan’s advice is “read the manual.”

As the leader of a technology company I endorse Ewan’s comments and recommend that everyone who uses software in their business is adequately trained. I also strongly endorse the comments of the other speakers noted here. They are proven leaders in their field and it is wise to follow their lead.

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John Goddard

John Goddard is the former CEO of Rockend since 2004. He is personally committed to life-long learning and encourages all Rockend staff to take control of their personal development, both through work and personal learning.