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How to move from agent to principal, and win 

By Tim Neary
25 November 2016 | 1 minute read

Before becoming a business owner, Sam Mayes worked out of Ray White’s New Farm office in Brisbane as one of its top sales agents, but he wanted more. This is how he survived the transition from agent to principal, and thrived. 

A little over a year ago, Sam Mayes had just grown his team in Ray White’s New Farm office to four, and he was doing well.

But it wasn’t enough: “I thought to myself, ‘We’re doing so well and I’m not even based out of my market. Imagine what could happen if I operated in Spring Hill’,” he said.

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There was no Ray White business based in Spring Hill at the time and, worried the suburb would be snapped up by someone else, he made the decision to open an office there without delay. 

The challenge Mr Mayes faced in opening a new business was his limited knowledge of what it actually takes to run a successful real estate operation.

“I needed to get more insight into the reality of a selling principal. Opening an office sounds great, but the reality of it is something completely different,” he said. 

On the advice of his then principal and mentor, Matt Lancashire, Mr Mayes signed up to the Ray White Next Leaders program: a group initiative designed to equip agents to progress into business ownership.

“Matt saw the same opportunity I did. We decided to go into business together and open Ray White Spring Hill in partnership. What Next Leaders did was take me through step by step the responsibilities of a principal, as well as the traits of a true leader,” he said.

Mr Mayes said the main learnings he took away were finding a way to manage competing with your staff as a selling principal, the challenges of recruiting the wrong people and the true costs associated with running a business.

Sixteen months later, his business is thriving.

“We’ve grown quickly,” says Mr Mayes.

“My personal support team has grown to five, plus we’ve put on seven agents, an admin team and a Loan Market mortgage broker.

“We’re still quite new and we have plans to grow even more in 2017. I’d like to see our sales team increase to 10 agents, and we haven’t even started growing property management yet.

“There’s still so much to achieve.”

How to move from agent to principal, and win 
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