Was a pleasure to have First National CEO, Ray Ellis on today’s episode. Ray shares with us what makes First National different from the rest in the country.
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Here’s the transcript of the video:
Ray Ellis from First National, thanks so much for joining the Carpool series with Soho. It's a pleasure to be here Trent. Congratulations to Soho and yourself for doing this initiative. Yeah. I don't know how many people want to sing, but let's just talk and it'll make a lot easier. Well I do leave the door open. If you do want to sing, please let me know. First National is such a great brand, I mean there’s hundreds of offices. You guys are very well known in the marketplace, but I guess it's pretty a competitive landscape as well. How do you guys differ from some of the other agencies and brands? That's a very good question. And yes, differentiation is the biggest thing in the marketplace. Whilst were a major brand throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific we have to do something that's different. And the main difference with us is our people and whilst that is a common phrase, it's very easy to say ‘we’re the most professional, we’re the best, we’re the leading’ They're just catch cries. And what we spent a lot of time on, in fact, all our time on, is developing our people. Not only their offices but their businesses, their agencies and a lot of times, their personal lives. If you come to a First National function, event, whether that be our FN Squad for our young people under 35 or our major conventions or our awards nights, there's genuine compassion for each other. Not faked, not contrived. Genuine compassion. That Bill down the road or Susan in another state have achieved success and then their success and their worries and their tribulations and their joy; they’re more than happy to share that with each other. There's not a day goes by where I don't get a phone call from a member saying ‘I just spoke to Bill from Western Australia’ or ‘Margaret from Townsville called me and they really helped me’ and that's the difference of First National. That drives everything to do with recruiting new offices. It drives everything to do with keeping our offices together because real estates’ a people business. Yeah sure. And if you're not getting the people management right, why are you in this business? And you talk to the many First National offices throughout Australia and they say thank god I'm able to call a good friend of mine from another state or another suburb to help me out. Yeah. Sure. So guess how do you do that within the brand though? Like what do you provide? Is it some kind of training? Is it, I guess, I don't know, sales training or is it communication skills, actually practically within the brand. What do you guys do? We spend an exorbitant amount of time on training and not just training for the skills of real estate, training for people to mix and get together because running a real estate agencies, any business is a lonely business. Yeah, sure. You've got cash flow issues, market share, growth, staff issues, which grow, so when you get an environment when you can share with other people those trials and tribulations, that's what brings about what we call ‘Our Fabric’. So exorbitant amount of time on training. I mentioned earlier, our FN Squad, which are events for the younger people in our industry. We have a massive amount of awards nights. We have incentive programs. Our top sales people every year and our top offices go to the National Association of Realtors Conference in America every year, over 20,000 people attend. Yeah. That's a reward for them and trips like that, and our awards nights and our conventions. We had a very successful convention in Singapore this year. Next year's convention’s on a cruise, leaving Sydney and coming back to Sydney. At all these events, we make sure there's plenty of time for our offices, our agencies, our new staff, our younger staff, our more experienced staff, get an opportunity to sit with each other and just get to know each other. Now that sounds like a simple process and it is but it drives every part of our agenda. So when they leave the experience of the First National. Be it NAR, FN Squad, conventions training, they go ‘That was fantastic, but the bonus was spending time with like-minded people who share my opportunities concerns and excitement.’