What a blast! Standing in the networking session on Sunday night it was hard to remember the crazy events of the past 15 months. We are united as an industry, full of optimism and anticipation for the next era. Like everyone gathered we were bitterly disappointed for our Victorian customers and colleagues whose plans were hijacked at the last minute. But in true Aussie fashion, there was a determination to make the best of the situation.
Resilience is something that we have all been forced to develop in this COVID world. So it was only fitting that Dr Guy Winch, a leading advocate for integrating the science of emotional health into our daily lives, workplaces and education systems, was featured in the mix of world-class keynote speakers.
So let's take a trip back to AREC as we look at some of our favourite speakers. Let's start at the beginning...
Ryan Holiday - Part 1: Ego is the Enemy
“Ego sucks us down like the law of gravity.”
We started with a real high-five as US author and former director of marketing for the iconic American Apparel, Ryan Holiday, dived deep into why ego provides a barrier to success.
Live via satellite from Texas, Ryan shared “The first way ego holds us back is by preventing us from learning... the counterpoint is humility, which opens us to learning."
Many in the audience were probably mentally pushing back, asking "isn't a bit of ego a good thing?"
The ah-ha moment here comes when you realise that confidence and ego are two very different traits.
“Egotistical people want to fight head-to-head and make everything about them,”
“Egotistical people want to overreach and are unaware of where their vulnerabilities are.”
Ryan Holiday - Part 2: The Obstacle is the Way
"Everything that happens to us in life, even when it's the opposite of what we had planned, is also an opportunity"
Published in 2014, the Obstacle is the Way – the timeless art of turning trials into triumph was Ryan's third book. Based around the philosophy of 'stoicism' Ryan frequently drew parallels with the personal writing of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius:
"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
and expanded on the idea that how we respond to obstacles is what defines us.
Ryan shared his three disciplines to help guides through a path to success:
- The Discipline of Perception – "It's not things that upset us, it's our judgement about them."
- The Discipline of Action - He says sure perceptions matter, but not as much as what we do with those perceptions
- The discipline of will – In the words of Winston Churchill – KBO "Keep Buggering On".
Josh Phegan: How to have your cake and eat it too
“Would you like fries with that?”
Here at Rex we big fans of Sydney-based speaker, trainer and coach Josh Phegan, and are always so proud of his growing global reputation. He has a talent for getting complex concepts across in a simple way.
Josh shared his insight around the success of McDonalds with a simple customer service question, suggesting this could be transferred into the real estate industry.
The secret is to ask at open homes, “Have you bought locally before?”
He explained that this can lead to other questions, such as “What are your plans for your existing property, when you buy the next?”
“In what other industry would hundreds of people line up to talk to you on a Saturday to have you ask the equivalent of ‘do you want fries with that'?'”
And in usual Josh-fashion he had some amazing one-liners that really hit home .... ‘Are you drama-driven, or future-focused?’
“If you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes,” and conversely, “playing long-term games with long-term people” was how to achieve success.
John McGrath: Brand You
“Everyone has greatness in them”
After a 6 year absence from the AREC stage John McGrath, one of Australia’s leading real estate identities and the founder of McGrath, made a return visit with a great visual analogue. Referencing Michelangelo’s David sculpture, John said everyone has greatness in them.
“Some people are still a slab of marble, some are further refined,”
“You need to know where you are.”
He asked the audience if they were prepared to become the person they needed to become in order to succeed and concluded by saying:
“Perhaps your greatest work is happening right now."
Dr Guy Winch: Emotional First Aid (Part 1)
“How is it that we take better care of our teeth than we do our mind?”
The bestselling author joined the conference remotely from New York and explained he was born an identical twin, “which made (him) an expert on favourites”.
“We endure emotional injuries such as failure all the time,”
He acknowledged that rejection is common in the real estate industry: “Clients drop you, people who you thought were close colleagues might do something that suggests otherwise”.
And that rejection hurts because we are hard-wired for it to hurt.
“When we suffer rejection, we can have a subsequent drop in self-esteem, and our self-esteem is like an emotional immune system,” he said.
He also pointed out that those often cringey positive affirmations actually aren't helping us – in-fact they want those of us with low self esteem to feel even worse.
Self-affirmations, on the other hand, were effective. His advice was to make a list of every good quality you have – you are motivated, you are personable, you are good with clients… and when you face a rejection take 10 mins and write in detail about just one of your qualities.
“Failure is a great teacher but we rarely use the lessons from it,” he added.
“You have to be able to look at your failings without being too self-critical.”
Dr Guy Winch : Emotional First Aid (Part 2)
In 2017 the American Psychological Association declared loneliness an epidemic. In Part 2 of his session on emotional first aid, Dr Guy Winch explained we need to monitor our thinking in a bid to manage loneliness, stress, and burnout. You could feel the emotional reaction in the audience when Guy shared the stat that chronic loneliness can have as much of an impact on our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The answer to loneliness is connection, which happens through conversation, sharing and finding out how other people feel. But so often when under stress and edging on burnout we actually disconnect, starting a cycle that only ends up in a bad place.
But Guy showed us some very specific to do's to ensure we break these cycles:
- Set a schedule and be disciplined about what time your work day ends.
- Transition from work life to personal life. If you can't do this physically then at least establish a mental routine.
- Focus on productive problem solving not unproductive rumination.
“Our brain might be the most brilliant device in the universe, but it requires adult supervision."
Gary Vee: Practical Optimism
"Get comfortable with rejection"
Live from New York city via Zoom, Gary Vee reminded us that the biggest barrier to prospect is rejection.
“Fear of rejection is an imagination, it’s fake, you’ve got to practise through it."
Gary introduced the concept of 'micro-losing'. While macro failing is the extreme where you lose your business and declare bankruptcy, everything else is micro-losing. Like learning to swim, micro-losing is about learning to good a rejection and learning from each failure.
And in the sentiment of our opening address from Ryan Holiday, Gary declared:
"My interest level in impressing others is zero. I'm in this game for myself."
"Play your professional life within your own head but keep it quiet - If you don't hear the cheering, you can stay humble, and it also allows you not to hear the booing"
Gary's tips on negotiation:
- Be willing to a walk away.
- If someone can sense your genuinely willing to walk away, they know you're serious.
- Never walk away when you don't mean it.
- Don't try to squeeze every penny out of every deal. Leave a little juice in the orange so that you build your reputation.
Elle Macpherson: Insights into Building a Brand that Transcends the Ordinary
All the way from Florida via her phone camera, Elle spent the hour in conversation with ABC journalist Ellen Fanning. She shared the journey from 18 year old Aussie teenager to world supermodel, from mum to highly successful businesswomen.
After a 25 year contract with Bendon lingerie, Elle took the opportunity to explore the world of vitality, founding WelleCo in 2014 as a result of her own personal wellness journey and discoveries.
"With wellness, you can. It’s so simple that it might easily be misconstrued as simplistic. Yet its simplicity reveals a profound unlock."
The power behind WelleCo is the clear commitment to values that are non-negotiable:
- true blue Australia
- real beauty
- the greater good
And so AREC concluded with this powerful insight:
"As a supermodel, the more distant you were, the more mysterious you were, the more successful you were. Now, it's all about authenticity. The more real you are, the more successful you are."
Bonus insights from some of the other speakers:
- "Real estate is a game of millimetres" – Simon Caulfield – In an industry filled with big fish, it's reassuring to remember winning business can come down to differentiating yourself via small – but significant – acts of customer service.
- “People fail to achieve mastery, not because they are not talented but because they are not disciplined.” – Angelo Nickolas
- "The smartest person in the room is the one that asks the most questions." – Simon Caulfield
- "Complexity is easy, simplicity is hard. Get back to basics, do them well." – John McGrath: true for real estate, true for product design, true for many things.
- The most important person to believe in yourself and your goals is you – Jacqui Cooper
- "Don't let expertise get in the way of a good idea." – Jodie Fox
- "Real Estate is a listening game." – Gary Vee
- "Love yourself first before judging yourself." – Gary Vee
- "Who you are shouts so loudly, I can't hear what you say" – Amanda Gore
And finally not a quote... more of an observation. Almost, if not all, the Sales speakers hammered the importance of planning, organisation and structure as drivers of their success.
Whether it was lifestyle plans for customers, organising their day into 'in office' and 'out of office' activities or doing prospecting today to get listings in 30 days time, there was a real focus of getting the planning and implementation right in order to spend more time on the high-value human elements (interactions) of their business.