Leading by example

November/December 2017 edition

Now is the time for leaders. That was REINSW President John Cunningham’s message to a packed room of attendees as he kicked off the Institute’s fifth annual Industry Summit.

Since 2013, the REINSW Industry Summit has brought together real estate leaders from across the state. It provides delegates with the opportunity to discuss and share their views on the hot issues and evolving trends facing the industry. Delegates represent all facets of professional practice, as well as other key stakeholders.

This year, with REINSW’s campaign toward professionalism well underway, the focus of the Summit was on engaging the next generation of agents in the future direction of the industry. Dubbed the ‘Future Agent Summit’, Mr Cunningham invited attendees “to become part of the professionalism movement”.
“Today is the start of the most significant opportunity to shift your career,” he said. “You’re here because you’re proud of what you do. You’re proud to be working in real estate and you want to be part of progressing the industry to the next level.”

Mr Cunningham warned that the biggest hurdle faced by the industry was complacency.

“In the past, we’ve collectively held tight to our belief in the status quo and lacked the desire to wholeheartedly embrace significant change. That’s all about to change. It’s already changing.

“This is a time for leaders. It’s your chance to stand up and be part of a movement that will change the face of real estate practice forever. It’s your chance to lead our industry into a future that embraces professionalism as the norm, rather than the exception.”

John McGrath's Agent 3.0

People don’t take real estate agents seriously, the Founder of McGrath Estate Agents told Industry Summit attendees.

“Some agents have chosen not to take on the same levels of education and standards as those in similar industries,” John McGrath explained. “Lawyers, accountants and those in many other industries are committed lifelong learners. We, on the other hand, have all too often decided to wing it.

“All stakeholders – buyers, sellers, tenants, landlords – deserve the very best in terms of professional standards. That’s why the work REINSW is doing, together with REIA, around better education and higher standards is so important. It’s helping the industry to evolve to the next level, which is not only exciting but also overdue and critical to our future.”

John encouraged attendees to rise to the challenge and outlined his nine essential traits making up the agent of the future: Agent 3.0.

1. Always be ethical

Work in a way that complements your values system, whether that’s integrity, honesty, care, empathy, compassion or something else. Winning brands in the future – the ones consumers will be attracted to – will be those that are ethical, because they stand out and shine.

2. Deal with integrity and transparency

Don’t hide anything. You need to tell people everything they need to know to make an informed choice. Act with integrity and transparency and you’ll create raving fans.

3. Act authentically

As technology becomes more pervasive, people will increasingly look for authenticity. Discover who you are and take that into the marketplace. It’s an irresistible recipe for success.

4. Be responsive

These days, everyone expects everything to be faster. They’re no longer prepared to wait. Everything you do needs to be directed toward delivering results quickly.

5. Focus on solutions

We live in an experience economy and people want end-to-end solutions. You need to look after all your clients’ needs throughout the buying, selling and renting process.

6. Go digital

The use of social media in real estate is finally starting to hit the sweet spot and using social platforms to source leads is becoming more and more critical. Using video, virtual reality, interactive floorplans and more will become increasingly central to creating engagement.

7. Embrace technology

Our approach to marketing property is predictable and not very targeted. By using the right data and embracing algorithms, we can better predict buyer behaviour. 

8. Take a global view

International investors look to Australian real estate as a safe and stable investment. To be successful and sell to overseas buyers, you need to do your homework, understand different cultures and learn how they expect to be treated.

9. Be community focused

It’s important to support the community that supports you. As agents, we’re well rewarded for the work we do and we need to give back in a meaningful way to ensure we continue to enjoy – and deserve – their support..

“Ethics is at the core of what we do and we need to make it ‘cool’ to be ethical. It comes down to leadership. If up-and-coming agents see our industry and agency leaders acting in an ethical way and following the letter of the law, then they’ll strive to do the same.”

Associate Director and Auctioneer at auctionWORKS

“Learning must always be ongoing. There is nothing more important and it needs to be part of the culture of every agency. Our agency leaders need to build a learning culture and encourage their teams to build their knowledge at very opportunity.”

Director of BresicWhitney

“Training needs to be a focus and our agency principals need to lead by example. Taking the bargain-basement option simply to tick the CPD box is just not good enough. We need to be better than that. We need to recognise the specialist skills and knowledge it takes to do our jobs and train accordingly.”

Principal at Laing+Simmons Property Management Double Bay

“As agents, we need to understand that consumers are looking for an ‘experience’. Whether they’re buying, selling or leasing, it’s about the experience and we need to elevate our standards to meet their expectations – and it all starts with strong leadership.”

Director of Residential Sales at Cunninghams