Toe-to-Toe with Nicole Bragg

video transcript

[Antonia]

Today, we're joined by Nicole Bragg from Explore Property in the beautiful Cairns. Welcome, Nicole, lovely to have you with us. So Nicole, I want to talk a little bit about your techniques for de-stressing because you're probably a little bit anti traditional relaxation methods. We were talking earlier on about certain things you don't enjoy doing. So talk to us a little bit about what works for you and more specifically, what you don't enjoy doing when it comes to relaxation. 

[Nicole]

I think my worst holiday I ever had was to go to the Maldives and sit on a sit-in a bungalow and have massages and drink alcohol and do nothing for 10 days. That was probably my worst holiday ever. 

[Antonia]

Right - that’s not your scene?

[Nicole]

No, no, not at all. 

[Antonia]

And it's really interesting because I think for some people, that is not a form of relaxation. So you're more of an adventure seeker? You'd rather do something physical? 

[Nicole]

Yeah to climb a mountain and be out in the elements is where my happy place is. And I don't even really like meditating, to be fair. But I've come to realize that it probably is my meditation.

[Antonia]

Ok so climbing mountains is your meditation? You don't do meditation per se?
[Nicole]

No. You know, I probably just haven't mastered it, to be fair. 

[Antonia]

Yeah well, but I think it's important to recognize that different techniques work for different people. Sometimes it can be stressful when you hear these people that are talking about meditation or yoga and you try it and it's not your thing, you almost feel like you're doing something wrong. And I don't think there's a right or a wrong way to relax. It's just about working out what works for you. 

[Nicole]

Yeah, I agree. And I think as you get older, you realize what does work for you and that you don't have to apologize for the fact that you don't do traditional meditation. And instead, what makes you happy? And for me, just to go for just go for a walk. To get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, and not a ‘5 AM club’ or the pressure that that's what you've got to be a part of. But just to be able to get up and just have my own time, I don't like walking or exercising with people. Purely because I think our whole business is about being on time and fitting in with everyone else's needs. I just like getting up at 5 o'clock and having my own walk. 

[Antonia]

So - 5AM every morning you go for a walk on your own?

[Nicole]

Yep.

[Antonia]

No music? Just completely switched off?

[Nicole]

Sometimes if I'm feeling that if I look within my team and that I want to make some changes and need to get the energy higher, I'll listen to a few podcasts. But most times it's no music and just in my own time. 

[Antonia]

Yeah, nice. And I want to talk about something that I find extraordinary about you, and I'm sure many sales people watching will be envious. You have a policy that once you get home, there's no mobile phone. 

[Nicole]

Yeah, I don't bring real estate into my home at all. It was funny because just for the last couple of years, I've been in the top five in Cairns agents and there was a big billboard up and my son was quite amazed. He was like, “Wow, mom, is that you? Why?” Because they just don't know. 

[Antonia]

Isn't that interesting? 

[Nicole]

Yeah, you know. In the time that I'm at work, I work. And when I'm at home, I’m at home. I've never, ever had to question or answer to anybody, as in my clients, about the fact that I haven’t answered a phone call. 

[Antonia]

That was going to be my next question. No pushback from clients about that?

[Nicole]

Can I say, not once. It’s been going like that for about 10 years.

[Antonia]

And I think many people would be surprised to hear that because often that is the perception. “I have to answer the phone exactly when it rings or I'll lose business.” But clearly you're one of the top performing agents in Cairns. And so how long has this been your policy? 

[Nicole]

I’ve been doing that solidly for probably about 10 years. It was probably around the same time that I stopped working Sundays. I used to always work seven days a week for the first 10 years of my career. And then about 10 years ago, I just decided that it was time to make that family time. The kids were going to school, it was fine to be able to have a bit more flexibility when they were smaller. And so I started having Sundays off. And interestingly enough, it just changed my mindset of what work I did during work hours. And, that I was very disciplined in not allowing outside noise or office noise to come into what I had to get done. 

[Antonia]

And you're very strict about that, aren't you, because you have got that policy of not taking work home and switching the phone off while you are at work and you are working. You're very disciplined about not allowing distractions to take hold. 

[Nicole]

I guess the reason I had to do that is because I had to ask myself what was important in my life. And really, it's my family. So to muck around and dick around through office hours, it wasn't conducive to why I was doing real estate, you know?

[Antonia]

But I think also the fact that you've been doing this for a decade and you are still one of the most successful agents up north, I think it speaks volumes about the ability to get both of those things - your home life is clearly great. You get to spend lots of time with your children. But you've also got this very successful real estate business that you've built - so, you know, we often talk about, can we have it all? I think you can. You just have to know how to manage those two things successfully. 

[Nicole]

Yeah and I think also too, I mean, I do work six days a week. Monday I actually do work from home. I could be in my pajamas and I kind of tinker around my house on Monday. But I still answer my phone. The phones diverted to me. So I find it a relaxed day anyway. So I kind of feel like it's a day off. I really don't work too many extra hours. I would say I work a normal work week, to be fair. I mean, I know I work six days a week, but my PA’s don't work extra hours. So we have our systems in place and we stick to it and we just get it done. 

[Antonia]

That's outstanding. Thanks so much for joining us Nicole and telling us a little bit about yourself. 

[Nicole]

Thank you very much.

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