With a little pomp and a touch of ceremony and whole lot of good old-fashioned celebration, the REB Awards for 2017, partnered by realestate.com.au, was held in Sydney last week. We asked a cross section of the winners what the accolade meant to them, and how it might impact their business going forward.
Jack Harvey is a sales specialist with Coronis in Bracken Ridge and winner of the coveted real estate business excellence Award.
Mr Harvey said winning it was both shocking and humbling.
“I didn’t even know the award was an award, so it is a massive honour to take that out. I guess there was a couple of big, big competitors that came up against me there, so it is a real privilege absolutely.”
Mr Harvey said there is no real secret to his success. It just comes back to good, old-fashioned hard work and determination.
“Head down, bum up, go hard, and make it count.
“There is nothing that beats hard work in this industry, and it shows what I have achieved here within two years in winning the Excellence Award,” he said.
Leanne Pilkington is the MD of Laing+Simmons and president-elect REINSW, and also the thought leader of the year for 2017.
Ms Pilkington was thrilled with the result.
“It’s unbelievable to have won,” she said, adding there are so many others also deserving of the award.
“I just feel really privileged and I think it is a reflection of the work I have been doing, in particular in promoting women in the real estate industry.”
For Ms Pilkington, it is business as usual in the year ahead.
“I plan to continue promoting professionalism in the industry and women in real estate.”
Cherie Humel and Michael Clarke are husband and wife principals of Clarke & Humel, which won the award for sales office of the year – metropolitan, and also got the biggest cheer on the night.
“It means everything,” said Cherie Humel.
“Because we work so hard and it is an industry where we put our heart and soul [into], and we are rewarded for every step of the way."
She said the award means a great deal for all of the Clarke & Humel staff members.
“We love our people. Our philosophy is to hire people that we really like and that we see talent and potential in, and help them reach their goals as well.”
Mr Clarke, an REB Top 100 ranked agent, added that it is “so rewarding” to see their staff members’ careers take off and thrive.
“This is great recognition for a lot of hard work from a lot of people and we are extremely humbled and grateful.”
He said Clarke & Humel plans to continue with its investment into growth and support for its team.
“We believe fundamentally that if we invest really heavily in making sure that our people grow and thrive, then the awards are a by-product of that.”
Gregg Toyama is head of e-business at Harcourts, who won the innovator of the year award.
He said he is delighted to receive this award, adding that innovation is often the fine line between “bleeding edge and leading edge”.
“The key thing is our agents,” he said.
“With tech there are sometimes a lot of good ideas, but implementation the main goal. [And today] we’ve got 4,000 app users in eight countries – all generated using Aussie developers.”
Jodie Ford is the property management director of the Coronis Group and accepted the property management business of the year – six or more property managers award on behalf of Coronis Lutwyche.
“The award is for all of our team,” said Ms Ford.
“We have a really big team of property managers that work really hard, are very talented and love what they do. And to bring this home for them makes me very proud.”
“We will continue to grow. We have worked very hard at growing our business. When I started we had 200 rentals, and now we have 8,000 so we will continue to do what we do well and learn and grow – and hopefully take home more of these."
Rob Stanley from Successful Ways picked up the buyer’s agent of the year award.
“It’s an acknowledgement of my network and of my ability to do a deal and look after clients,” he said.
Going forward, Mr Stanley said he hopes to pass on some of his knowledge.
“I’d like to train and teach other people what it means to actually do business, to bring people together and network.”
Jack Harvey is from Coronis in Brackenridge and is also the newcomer of the year in 2017.
He said winning the award is a “‘big” confidence boost.
“It is a nice validation for some hard work that has been put in and a nice boost for the agency too,” he said.
He added the industry can expect more of the same in the future from him.
“Onwards and upwards is the main goal. Just keep what I have been doing and more,” he said.
Ben Flannagan is one of the partners at Flannagan, Peressini and Shaw Greensborough and the winner of this year’s rising star award.
He said he is both very shocked and very honoured to have been singled out as the winner.
“It means that we are heading in the right direction,” said Mr Flannagan.
“We started this agency 18 months ago, we took a risk and went out on our own. It’s been a big challenge but loving every second of it.”