Rookie agents sell sand for dream jobs

Steven Cross

A talent search which involved prospective real estate agents having to sell sand has yielded four new employees for the Gold Coast-based office responsible for the innovative initiative.

Andrew Bell, CEO of the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group, said choosing four winners was harder than he expected.

“There were so many different aspects we had to look at, and having to go through all these different people,” he told Real Estate Business. “Having to make a choice of just four people proved to be much harder than we could possibly have imagined.”

Sophie Hallion, Jade-Leigh Howcroft, David Montoya and Josh Foster were the four Gold Coast locals who will start their real estate journey later this month.

There were three rounds in the selection process. The first was a video submission where entrants were asked to sell sand.

“There was great diversity in the videos, there were some entries that didn’t have a lot of effort put in, but there were some very good quality videos," Mr Bell said. “What it did for us was show the nature of the person, we could get an insight into who they were, how creative they could be and how confident they were.

“One memorable entry was a guy who did his as a news reader who did some onsite reporting at the beach. It had a CNN feel about it, and by his own admission he was a bit of a computer geek, so it was put together very well. He got down into the final category, but didn’t quite get over the line."

But there was another reason Mr Bell wanted the entrants to sell sand.

“It helped us weed out people who weren’t going to make an effort," he said. "Coming up with an imaginative and compelling video, shooting it and editing takes a lot of effort.

“It was to distinguish between people who would say ‘I think I might want to give real estate a go’ and those who had passion and drive.”

The second round was 30 face-to-face interviews, and after another culling process Mr Bell was left with eight prospective employees.

“That’s where we got stuck,” he admits. “They were eight good people and it was so hard, ultimately we had to come down to gut-feeling. I wanted self-motivated people, so the people who I felt wanted it more got it.”

Mr Bell claims the talent search was a resounding success which yielded excellent results.

“It gave us great encouragement and we will definitely do this again. We’re even looking to place some of the people who didn’t quite make the final four into other areas of the business, like property management, later in the year.”

Steven Cross

A talent search which involved prospective real estate agents having to sell sand has yielded four new employees for the Gold Coast-based office responsible for the innovative initiative.

Andrew Bell, CEO of the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group, said choosing four winners was harder than he expected.

“There were so many different aspects we had to look at, and having to go through all these different people,” he told Real Estate Business. “Having to make a choice of just four people proved to be much harder than we could possibly have imagined.”

Sophie Hallion, Jade-Leigh Howcroft, David Montoya and Josh Foster were the four Gold Coast locals who will start their real estate journey later this month.

There were three rounds in the selection process. The first was a video submission where entrants were asked to sell sand.

“There was great diversity in the videos, there were some entries that didn’t have a lot of effort put in, but there were some very good quality videos," Mr Bell said. “What it did for us was show the nature of the person, we could get an insight into who they were, how creative they could be and how confident they were.

“One memorable entry was a guy who did his as a news reader who did some onsite reporting at the beach. It had a CNN feel about it, and by his own admission he was a bit of a computer geek, so it was put together very well. He got down into the final category, but didn’t quite get over the line."

But there was another reason Mr Bell wanted the entrants to sell sand.

“It helped us weed out people who weren’t going to make an effort," he said. "Coming up with an imaginative and compelling video, shooting it and editing takes a lot of effort.

“It was to distinguish between people who would say ‘I think I might want to give real estate a go’ and those who had passion and drive.”

The second round was 30 face-to-face interviews, and after another culling process Mr Bell was left with eight prospective employees.

“That’s where we got stuck,” he admits. “They were eight good people and it was so hard, ultimately we had to come down to gut-feeling. I wanted self-motivated people, so the people who I felt wanted it more got it.”

Mr Bell claims the talent search was a resounding success which yielded excellent results.

“It gave us great encouragement and we will definitely do this again. We’re even looking to place some of the people who didn’t quite make the final four into other areas of the business, like property management, later in the year.”

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