The time is ripe for agents and principals to grab market share, the CEO of McGrath Estate Agents, John McGrath, has told attendees at a real estate conference.
Talking at the REAL 2012 conference, held in Brisbane late last week, Mr McGrath said agents should take a positive approach to current market conditions.
“You’ve got to realise the market is fine,” he told the audience of around 350 industry professionals from across Australia and New Zealand.
“It [your success] has nothing to do with [Reserve Bank governor] Glenn Stevens.”
“This is not a tough market,” he continued. “Get rid of your excuses.”
Mr McGrath, whose own 49-office network has recently expanded into Qld and the ACT in recent months, pointed to a number of his own group’s top offices which doubled their market share during the GFC.
Mr McGrath said to succeed, agents need to have a clear direction.
“Most people don’t have clarity,” he said. “You’ve got to have an accountability plan. You need to execute it [your plan], and do it every single day.”
Mr McGrath added that any plans he created for himself would always fit onto one page.
Peter Ford, the co-founder of REAL 2012 and CEO at Complete Property Training, said one of the key thrusts of the event was having speakers who could relate directly to the audience.
Part of his research involved a road trip that took him to agencies across Queensland and northern NSW, and during this time that principals and agents made it clear what they wanted.
“They want relevant, real people, not American superstars with the ‘S’ on their chest,” he told Real Estate Business at the event. “They’re looking for people who are doing it, and having success in difficult markets.”
Other speakers at the event included real estate sales trainer and coach, Peter Gilchrist, chairman of Ray White Group, Brian White, real estate agent coach, Julie Ryan - who led a panel discussion with a number of the industry's best female sales agents and principals - and Lee Woodward, CEO of Real Estate Academy.
Mr Ford agreed with Mr McGrath’s sentiment about getting rid of the excuses.
“I think [speaker] Haesley Cush [principal at Ray White New Farm, Qld] pulled it together really well,” Mr Ford continued. “He said the market adds on the way up and takes on the way down, and the market is the market. Don’t make any excuses for it.”
“For agents to do well, they’ve got to get themselves a commitment plan. As much as they can, they need to come to these [events] and learn, and get themselves a coach, get themselves a mentor, get themselves into a program where there’s some accountability.
Mr Ford said he developed the REAL 2012 conference in part because he too was challenged by a previous mentor, who told him, ‘Bite off more than you can chew, and chew like hell”. It was for that reason the event has grown from 125 attendees last year to 350 this year, and with a bigger hall at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre already booked. A trade show will also accompany next year’s event, which will be held on August 30, 2013.
“So we are putting ourselves in a position where we can’t stand still, or go backwards,” he said.
“We want everything to be real. None of those people there have fancy scripts or dialogues – they tell it like it is. It’s a good story on the way up, and it’s a bad story on the way down. But it’s real, it’s how it is.”
Jason Andrew, independent auctioneer and co-founder of REAL 2012, added
“There are a few things that, if applied, you can run a very good business. Today there were a few things that were mentioned consistently. One was prospecting, or how to prospective, and one was price alignment. Getting the price right, or presenting the information to make the decision. Again, to hear that from all of the speakers we had today, it was a very big constant there.”
Mr Andrew added that events such as REAL 2012 helped build professionalism and, in turn, consumer trust. He said when an agent performed badly, consumers generally didn’t focus on the brand they worked for but instead simply believed all agents were bad.
“The message has to be, trust, integrity and relationships, they’re underpinning factors of this entire industry,” he concluded.