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James Pratt's tips for peak performance

1 December 2017

The real estate industry is an unpredictable and emotionally charged industry to work in, which is why it is crucial to maximise your performance.

James Pratt, former Director of Auctions for Raine & Horne Australia, and now the CEO of the JPA Group, said: “It’s important to understand even an extra 1% improvement in performance from those working for you will make a big difference over your competition.”
During his career James has had tremendous success in real estate, holding 17 auction sale price records.

However, it’s James’ expertise working with the biggest real estate offices in Australia and in the United States ultra-luxury market that’s seen him identify the best ways to improve peak performance for employees.

Here are James’ top tips for getting peak performance from your staff.

Align people with projects they’re passionate about

Find what your employees are passionate about and align them to their job role to help channel that passion.

Occasionally that can mean putting someone in an area where they don't have much experience. But if their previous work history makes you think they can succeed in that role, it will fuel a strong desire to learn and grow.

Then, once they're up to speed, that passion can become a strong driver of innovation and growth.

Reward your staff

The fastest way to motivate staff is to reward them when they have done a good job.

From words of recognition, to team lunches and financial bonuses, it is essential that staff members feel appreciated. 

The more your staff feel valued and rewarded the more attention to detail and effort they will put into working for you.

Your best performers should take the biggest opportunities

When you have a big opportunity come up that could propel your organisation forward, you need to step back and think about who is the best person to lead the charge.

Big opportunities come around occasionally, and can be lost, so you should always put your best performers on your biggest opportunities.

Improve as a boss

Be bold with goals

Develop a culture of performance by setting aggressive goals and holding your employees accountable for reporting on their progress.

However, the goals can't be so aggressive that your employees fall behind and feel like they can never realistically achieve them. 

That means that you must regularly re-evaluate the goals (at least on a quarterly basis) to decide whether they need to be scaled down or up.
Don’t throw people under the bus

Professionally handle mistakes by individuals privately and let them know your expectations for how this should be handled in the future.

Try to avoid publicly blaming individuals because you risk creating an atmosphere where people are afraid to make mistakes.

This in turn stops them being proactive and creative which is necessary to avoid future problems and drive new innovations.

Lead the company

There must always be a clear boss who sets an example for others and becomes a role model.

It is also crucial to make sure there is no dysfunction in communication between alpha type employees and the actual boss.


Try and get seven to eight hours of regular sleep, with at least one hour before midnight, and wake up at the same time each day. It’s hard to do regularly in real estate, but every time you do it helps.

Mind your diet

Nutrition plays a key role in mental performance. To give your brain the most benefit, eat generously from a variety of whole plant foods, and select fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours, making sure some of these are raw.