Top takeaways from Ray White Connect 2022

More than 2800 agents have come together on the Gold Coast as the Ray White Group celebrates its 120th anniversary at the first Connect conference since the start of the pandemic.

Here are the key takeaways from Day 1 of Ray White Connect 2022…

Proud of the past, focused on the future – Dan White

Ray White Managing Director Dan White told the members assembled on the first morning of the two-day conference his family was proud of the group’s past but was equally focused on its future.

“When all is said and done, it’s the experience our customers have that will define success,” he noted.

“Ray White is a place in which we all seek to be proud of every relationship and every transaction.

“We use the concept of a springboard to help describe what it is that we seek to provide. A springboard helps you go higher, and the harder you jump on it, the higher you go.

“There’s much of our ‘springboard’ that has remained the same over our 120 years. There’s also much that has changed. And it will continue to do so as the industry, our network, and indeed the ambitions of our members, changes and evolves.”

Watch the kids in the garage – Sir John Key

As the first keynote speaker of the day, former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir John Key looked at leadership while also discussing his perspective on the future of real estate.

Noting leadership came down to belief and a clear understanding of the road ahead, he said it was important every person in a business was united in their view on what success looked like.

“Do you really think you can achieve things? You have to believe in yourself,” Sir John said.

“What does success look like for your company? What do you ultimately have to have? What’s crucially important? People are important. Are you consistent and clear with what you are?”

Looking to the future, he referred to the digital revolution of real estate and the fact transactions could now be conducted without physically visiting a property.

While that might be the current reality, he urged agents to embrace a healthy paranoia, and look at where the industry might be primed for disruption.

“The question is how’s all that going to change? Who are the people who will put you out of business? What is that kid in the garage thinking about?”

All about transparency – Dan White

In a changing market, Ray White Managing Director Dan White noted now was the time to educate sellers and buyers and embrace transparency.

He said in the current market there is more buyer caution, stock is increasing in some areas, and more and more headlines predict pain ahead.

“It’s about transparency,” Mr White said.

“It does not benefit our vendors to hold back the truth of the market. We didn’t cause the market.”

He urged agents to draw on the data available and educate their clients about market conditions.

Opportunity is found in your failures – Jana Pittman

In a keynote speech focused on resilience, former world champion athlete Jana Pittman shared how her failures shaped her ultimate success as a mother of six children and a medical practitioner specialising in women’s reproductive health.

 “I’m here today to talk not about my success but about my failures,” she said.

“I want to flip the idea of failure on its head a little bit here because I 100 per cent believe had I won that Olympic gold medal, had I not been through miscarriages, had I not been through the ups and downs of the media, I wouldn’t be this strong, powerful woman who’s able to voice her opinion. 

“The career and life I have now is because the greatest goal I had failed.”

Dr Pittman continued there are four essential elements to resilience:

  • Overcoming the fear
  • Finding proof your goal is possible by seeking out great mentors
  • Eliminating the distractions, including negative self-talk
  • Accepting yourself for who you are.

Make it easy for the vendor to say ‘yes’ – Josh Tesolin

In a role play session with Ray White Head of Performance Tim Snell, Chairman’s Elite agents Matt Lancashire, Rochelle Brinsdon and Josh Tesolin offered a masterclass in how to handle vendor objections in listing presentations.

Each featured a different style but managed to break down the typical objections from vendors about marketing costs, the method of sale, and even fees.

Explaining how he approaches listing presentations, Mr Lancashire noted he allocates time to build rapport with the potential client and offers case studies and stories to overcome objections before they occur.

Ms Brinsdon said a successful presentation involved having the statistics, stories and data on hand, then adapting the approach to the vendor’s style.

Meanwhile, Mr Tesolin stressed it was important to ask for the business and his aim throughout the listing presentation was to make it easy for the vendor to say ‘yes’.

Markets run on psychology – David Koch

Sunrise host and finance expert David Koch sat down with Ray White Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee to discuss the state of the economy and the real estate market.

He noted markets run on psychology and the reality is, with property prices beginning to decline, people don’t feel as rich as they once did.

But he said it was important to appreciate the only reason interest rates are rising is because the economy is strong.

He also reflected Australia and the world had just been through the biggest threat to the economy since the Spanish flu 110 years ago.

 “We’ve sailed through that pretty well,” he said.

The most valuable story ever told – Mark McLeod

Ray White Head of Strategy for Real Estate, Mark McLeod, used his breakout session to stress the importance of becoming the trusted real estate advisor throughout people’s property journey.

He noted the industry often labelled clients throughout their life, using terms such as tenants, first-time buyers, investors, landlords, upsizers, downsizers and more.

But each step offers the opportunity to build a relationship, and too often this is overlooked, he said.

Walking through each stage of the property journey, he said if agents tapped into the value of that relationship it could equate to $360,000 in commission from a single client and the referrals they made to their family and friends.

“Every client on your database is worth this type of money,” Mr McLeod stressed.

“Yet, agents run out of listings and have to do letterbox drops, or post on Instagram.

“It’s time for us to draw a line in the sand, to look at our business and the industry and say, ‘how do I stand out, how can I be different?’.”

He concluded by noting that point of difference could be found in understanding real estate’s core product is trust.

He stated there were multiple opportunities to appreciate people aren’t labels but clients and a trusted real estate professional could “turn their world around”.

The conference continues tomorrow.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.