AREC 2017 Review – a.k.a Hair gel addicts anonymous

Golden sand, never-ending beaches, warm enough weather to wear shorts and a t-shirt – what’s not to like about being on the Gold Coast!

Sadly for us, we spent our 2 days mostly inside a monstrous convention centre, but it was well worthwhile all the same.

Remind me to get there early next time. The line to register was craaazzzy!!

For anyone who hasn’t been before, AREC is the pinnacle of real estate conferences, especially in this part of the world. Imagine 4,500 agents collected in one room. I didn’t know that many oversized ego’s could fit in one building! Aside from all the juiced-up dudes wearing white pants, far too much hair product and ridiculously tight shirts, it was obvious this was the cream of the crop, the best of the best.

If you want to grow your real estate business, this is where you need to go.

A select few Aussies, Kiwi’s and Americans were chosen to jump into the limelight and present their best ideas on stage. What follows is a quick review of each speaker, including a list of their most memorable takeaways (for me anyway) along with links to where you can find more information.

4 over-riding themes:

  • Don’t be a dick-head. Don’t chase quick money. You are building a business, not 1 pay-cheque.
  • Have an ideal day & schedule it (prospecting in the morning, appointments in the afternoon)
  • Provide mind-blowing service to your favourite clients. Think long term, not short term.
  • You own a business, so act like it! Your success is up to you! No one else is going to hand it to you on a plate.

Now a lot of these tips are just one line notes that I wrote down, and you may have heard them all before, but don’t forget that there is a big difference between having knowledge, and taking action.

Note: If you want to view the slides from every speaker, you can view them at this link. There is some absolute gold hidden in there. My personal favourite is slide number 154.

Let’s get stuck in!

Scott Harris – The power of taking action.


Scott started us off with 5 minutes of name-dropping and ‘check me out in this photo with Tony Robbins’ moments which made a few people roll their eyes, but he actually had some great content too. Here are my top quotes or tips:

– Time is your most precious resource
– Most ppl in life are amateurs, they’re fucking around
– Your brain is designed to survive, not to be successful
– When ppl are overwhelmed, they don’t produce their best performance
– Check your last 3 months of credit card statements and calendar. Where are you spending your money and your time
– Are you focussing on too many things? If you’re doing something half assed, stop it. Have 3 or 4 things and do them properly.
– Whatever you do, play FULL OUT
– FUN stands for – how do I “Fully Utilise Now”
– Its in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped
– Everyone makes 280-320 decisions a day. Its the small ones that all add up. Why do you think Steve Jobs wore the same clothes every day? So he could save his mental energy for more important decisions that needed his full attention.
3 most important decisions…
– Where to spend your time? Are you allocating it wisely? Efficiently? 3 month plan, 6 month plan etc.
– Where is your money going? Is it producing results
– Where is your focus? Your brain can only make so many decisions before it gets tired.
The system / filter to decide use of the above is your VALUES. Have 3-5 filters for your life. Who are you as a person. What do you stand for? If you get stuck this will help you make the 3 decisions above.

Matt Lancashire – The road to number 1 is the worst best kept secret.

I liked Matt a lot, his message revolved around the need for all of us to stop chasing ‘quick money’ and take a long term approach in all our interactions with clients. This was an over-riding theme of the entire conference. A commonality amongst all the speakers. They considered the lifetime value of every client, not just whether they were going to buy a house in the next 5 minutes.
– Fix the leakage in your business, how many sellers are you missing at your open homes by only following up the active buyers? As an industry we have to stop chasing quick money, ignoring everyone else in the process.
– Don’t let an opportunity pass you by. Don’t ignore the big fish clients. Matt cold-emailed the biggest developer in Brisbane and ended up selling his multi-million dollar mansion which led to a large number of other opportunities.
– You must have a process to succeed.
– Ask EVERY open home visitor. “How’s the sale of your home going?” (eg. presume they have a house to sell until told otherwise).
– Ask: “A lot of the visitors today have been locals, are you researching, buying or selling?”

Melita Bell – Super agent, super mum

Apart from constantly referring to her listings as ‘pieces of stock’ which I found repulsive, Melita was pretty impressive. She regularly manages 40-50 listings with a team of 3 and is an exceptional networker.
Her key message was to figure out who your top 10 referrers are (your advocates) and worship them, spoil them, look after them as much as you can. Also, like all speakers she talked a lot about finding and articulating your ‘why’. What is your reason for succeeding? Melita’s was her Son. She went from being close to bankruptcy, to becoming one of Australia’s top agents in the space of a few short years.

Robert Cialdini – Universal master of persuasion


When looking at the title of Robert’s talk I thought ‘here we go’ some douche-bag who is going to talk about manipulating clients and making people do things they don’t want to do. I hate that crap. Persuasion as a word has fairly negative connotations and I think we should be careful about using it.

All that aside however, Robert was actually fantastic. By the end of the conference he was one of my favourite speakers. I referred to him constantly in conversations following the event.

When ppl are uncertain they step back, they can’t buy in to what you are selling.
You can’t be wishy-washy when advising clients. Pick a plan and own it. Give them confidence.
6 universal principles of social influence:
– Reciprocity
– Commitment / consistency
– Liking / rapport
– Scarcity
– Consensus
– Authority
Note: Robert carries a card with the above written on it with him, wherever he goes.
In the context of obligation, ppl say yes.
Find ways to give first before asking for a signature
Say to all appts: WILL YOU call if you have to change or cancel your appt? Will you be able to join me then? Dont say PLEASE CALL. Ppl want to live up to what they commit to publicly (and verbally).
Note: For me this was a tiny but huge point. How often have you sat at a house at 6:30pm at night, waiting for a client who is late, before eventually finding out they have forgotten, no longer want to look, or are just plain late and haven’t told you? When you book appointments, rather than saying ‘call me if anything changes’ say ‘WILL YOU call me if your plans change or you can’t make it?’ Ask for them to commit by saying yes. Hopefully this cuts down the number of times you get ‘stood up’.
Instant rapport comes from similarities and compliments.
Find the reasons to like your customers. Look for the good in everyone.
“I’m in the hands of an expert who likes me.” – is the best feeling you can provide.
Scarcity: A sign saying ‘Limit of 3 per customer’ increased sales by 220% in a supermarket during a study.
Whats uncommon about what you are providing?
Items with * on menu, referring to text saying: “this our most popular item” became 30% more popular – ideal for real estate marketing plans.
Find a 3rd party to validate your authority – who are your mutual friends on fbook? Who do you know that knows that person.
How does your front desk answer the phone? “Let me connect you to Kris, he’s our expert on Forrest Hill property”
Divulge a weakness early before going into strengths – establish trustworthiness.

Bob Wolff: 8 strategies to achieve superstar success

– If you don’t know what you want, how are going to know when you get it?
– You cannot think negative and positive thoughts at the same time.
– Walk away or try harder
– Use a visual goal file.
– Have 20sec of courage a day
– Have one todolist, not several.
– Headsets are a great way to stop ppl interrupting you. If someone annoying walks in your office, just start talking into your headset like you’re on the phone (even if there is no one on the other line).
– Learn to say NO.
– The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Charles Touma: Prospecting is a sport

– As a new agent, focus on buyer work, product knowledge, and prospecting. That’s it!
– Visit every property for sale in your area. Go to the auctions. Track the results.
– Call buyers about a competitors property, go through it and tell your key buyers what you think of it. Help them without expecting anything in return.
– Owners want to know whats happening in their street, in their building.
– Notify every person you know near a new listing before the sign goes up and after it sells, send text and follow up by phone and email plus market forecast.
– Home owners / pipeline sellers (3-6 months) / hot sellers (signing in next 3 months).
– When you sign up the listing thats the applause for good giving.

David Ding: Why always me?

The one, the only… Our very own David Ding! A true legend, a ridiculously hard worker. I don’t have a massive amount of notes from David’s session – I was personally just enjoying watching the man in action. You can view his slides here though, they start at number 34.
In the short time I have known David I can see why he is so successful. David has a calm, approachable, professional manner which I can imagine clients warm to instantly.
– Trust your gut
– Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10.
– Most important thing is to find your why. What pushes you.

Cherie Humel: 360 degree agent

To be honest I didn’t write down any notes. Cherie’s talk was all about Cherie, and about half the people in the auditorium left before it was over. She seemed like an impressive lady (she certainly told us she was, anyway). There is always 1 speaker like this at every conference. I hope she never reads this 🙂

Gary Vaynerchuk

This was a video of an interview that Tom Panos had completed earlier. This guy was so wired and it was fun to watch.
– Vlog every day. That’s what he would do.
– If you have a face for radio (not video), then do a podcast
– Every single agent is a media company, you should produce content with that in mind.
– Facebook ads – video of why you are the best. Instagram – pay influencers to endorse you – “Shoutout to your neighbourhood on behalf of agent x.” Talk about a hot neighbourhood near you.
– Nobody’s ever let me down. Never give with expectation. Gratitude and empathy at all times.
– Stop complaining – it is the quickest way to start winning
– Get out of bad behaviour that’s bringing you no value.
– Be a media company that sells real estate
– Never play at the competitors game. Play to your strengths.
– Don’t judge yourself
– I like the climb. It’s fun being the under-dog. Embrace it.
– Take one day off and reflect on your business. Get real and be honest with yourself.
– Master social media

The Michael Coombs Team

– Real estate is a sport like any other. One you can play for life.

– Take photos of shoes outside front door and send to owners during open home.

Marcus Chiminello: Establish a powerful personal business.

– Plan each day, health, family, business. In that order. Have a daily planner. A4 page. Calls, focus, priorities, messages. Daily goals, what is the next action that is most likely to make money?
– Build your database of your favourite ppl. 30-40 calls per week. To great ppl. Great influencers.
– Database of 500ppl = 1m per month in fees.
– Have 25-30 key referrers.
– If you have the relationships in your market, you will never fail.
– Avoid time thieves
– 10 power-hours per week – 5 on your physical being, 5 on your business (client nurture).
– Most ppl dont achieve greatness because they settle for good.

Leonard Steinberg: The gentlemans guide to NY back-stabbing brokerage.

The divine dozen:
– Brand for command
– To be mature is to be manure
– Trick or tweet – we need to provide data that’s accurate.
– 80% is greaty percent
– Revolution via evolution – incremental steps towards revolution
– Procrastination is constipation
– Fall then stand tall. Have selective alzheimers
– Competitors soar, others snore. You are surrounded by killers and sharks. Elegant aggression.
– Name shame
– It’s time to do your homework – provide real & meaningful insight. Be informed (on everything)
– Time is the last luxury – what can you do to save the time of your consumer.
– Take calculated risks

Henry Mason: Trendwatching

A really interesting young man who works at Trendwatching (sign up for their free newsletter). An organisation that looks where consumer behaviour and society is heading.
– 80% of affluent consumers would choose a luxury experience over a luxury item.
– Topshop teaches ppl to be successful. Why can’t we teach clients about investing / entrepreneurship / money (not just real estate)
– We are moving into the age of the ‘internet of experiences’
– What social currencies are you dealing in? Financial health? Making a difference?
Pinterest visual search tool. Imagine if you could Point at a house and search for it?
MOODO – customised scent tool. Could be cool for real estate.
– Extreme personalisation is where things are headed. Don’t dismiss the ridiculous.
– What digital superpowers will your customers expect to have?
– Real estate office could use self drive cars in future to pickup clients.

Josh Hart: Agent 4.0

I suggest following this young man on facebook for some cool ideas. That’s his specialty.
– Instagram – should be about you (a day in the life).
– Facebook – sneak peaks of new listings.
– Make more videos – find a videographer.
– Upload property video before the home goes on trademe and other portals.
– Have a campaign every year.
– What could you become if you knew you could not fail.

Arabella Hooper

One note only: What’s your weekly balance strategy?
Do I sound like I am being sexist with my note-taking at this point??? I hope not. In my defence I was a tad hungover by this point.

Nigel Dalton: Robots in real estate

Nigel is in charge of new technology for He talked, we listened, he entertained us and played with some cool robots on stage. I didn’t take any notes…
I guess you just had to be there 🙂

Chris Voss: FBI negotiation secrets for success.

Right. 2 more coffees at morning tea and now I’m back on track. Hangover be damned!
Chris was one of my favourite speakers. He just exuded calmness.
– The biggest cause of stress is the unknown. Eg. Going for a run with a super-fit friend when you don’t know how long you’re going for. Call your clients even if there is no news!
– Nothing better than calling and telling an owner ‘nothing new to report’. Ask how they are feeling after that (eg. at the end of the conversation).
– People don’t remember how things happened, just the ending you left them with. Move enquiring how they are to the end of the conversation. Get the news out first.
– Tell ppl to brace themselves – ‘I’ve got bad news’ gives them a sec to get ready.
– The enemies: uncertainty & lack of context.
– Remember: “What’s wrong with ‘yes’?” Saying ‘Yes’ sometimes leads to a trap. Soft sells, qualifying questions. We always start with an easy ‘yes’ but it’s leading to a sale. Instead: You have to get on a level of understanding where clients respond with: ‘that’s right’.
– First seek to understand, then be understood. Clarify owners feelings back to them.
– Read: “never split the difference” (by chris voss)
– Subscribe to ‘the edge‘ newsletter

Nicholas Heaton: Prospecting with no cold calls…

Possibly the driest speaker I have ever had the obligation to listen to. He is a commercial agent though, so that might explain it all…
One note only: Service your buyers and sellers to a level your competitors don’t (or won’t).

Ashley Weston: Structure brings Success

He talked so damn fast, too fast for me in fact, this kid was amazing though so look him up and follow him wherever you can. Also has some great slides, starting at no. 119.
Following on from Ashley we finished with James Kerr, talking about the all blacks, John Q (Ray White Remuera) and Ric Serrao (Sydney agent). They have some slides you can view, at the end of the day though, they all sang from the same song sheet…
– Don’t be a dickhead.
– Think long term.
– Treat clients you get along with like the absolute gold that they area.
– Work frigging hard and keep in touch with as many people as you possible can.
Give, give, give without expectation. Help as many people as you possibly can and it will all come back to you in the long run.
Oh… and come to AREC next year!
I look forward to seeing you there.
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