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The Power of Taking Action with John McGrath

With John McGrath, McGrath Estate Agents

Industry legend, John McGrath has just opened his one hundredth office in the NSW seaside town of Toukley. Looking back over the last two decades in real estate he says, “There's no doubt some things stay the same. It is all about people, and it doesn't matter how much technology, whiz-bang gadgets, and techniques and solvent structures you use. At the end of the day, real estate is about looking after the customer and really creating raving fans."

Over the last twenty years the real estate landscape has changed with real estate marketing companies becoming serious businesses – underpinning the success of some of Australia’s largest companies. John says, “The digital world, and have been huge success vehicles, and grown their businesses a significant amount. The REA at the moment has an $8bn market cap. We’re talking about serious businesses that didn't exist, 15 years ago, or thereabouts."

He thinks the industry has now become more professional with the bar being raised in Australia and around the world. Owners expectations have changed as well – they want a good business operator to sell their properties. He says, “Agents can actually promote themselves to their market place, and their properties to their market place using video.

Businesses within businesses are commonplace, so most of the people we employ would have an assistant or three, and they're building a real business. I think the opportunity to run a business without opening your own office or franchise is really there today.” He adds, “I think a lot of agents are recognising what they love about the business, and what are their real strengths. And often it is more about the selling, and you do have to develop some business skills around that. But a lot of them don't want to have to do the heavy lifting principals and franchisees have to do. You've now got a very viable choice of being a single agent, being an agent that builds a team, or opening your own office."

"At the end of the day, this is about the customer and really creating raving fans."


As the creator of AREC, John is looking forward to the 2017 conference, as there is a fantastic line up of speakers. He says, “This year we have Chris Voss - he was the head of FBI negotiation. He would be the guy that gets on the phone, and he had a huge success rate, fortunately. He had to hone his skills of negotiation and deal with people in incredibly high-pressure situations. He's now finished with the FBI and he's put all of his insights, and wisdom and expertise into the world of coaching negotiation. So I think that's going to be a fascinating hour to listen to what he's got to say around negotiation."

Another key speaker is James Kerr, the author of Legacy – a phenomenal book about the All Blacks. John says, “The All Blacks, as many Australian and New Zealanders would know, unfortunately for Australians, are the world's most successful sporting brand in terms of wins and losses statistics over a long period of time. The All Blacks are the best team in the world. And it's interesting, because coming from a small population like New Zealand, they have taken on much bigger populations like us, and Europe, UK, and South Africa and so forth. James basically studied what it is that the All Blacks have done differently over the last 30 years and his book is just full of incredible wisdom and insights about what the All Blacks do."

Scott Harris, an Australian millionaire mentor who works with Tony Robbins, will also be taking to the stage. John says, “He's talking on probably the most important topic currently today - the power of taking action. No matter what you learn - be it audio, coaching, AREC - you've then got to get to that part of activation, where you bring it into your business." Listening is easy – taking the action is the hard part and Scott can show you how.

To leave the conference with a way forward John recommends asking yourself, "Where are you at in your life cycle or business cycle? What are your challenges, and what are the skills that you want to pick up on? Whatever it is that you think are the things that are blocking you from where you're at now to go to the next level - write them down. Then pour over the brochure. Have a look at it. There'll be probably some obvious speakers that you're going to want to pay particular attention to."

Great learning however, can also take place outside of the auditorium as well. John says, “You might be surprised. You'll find great speakers in the trade expo, you might find them in the coffee stand, you might find them sitting next to you in the auditorium. So I think just get really clear about at that."

He suggests after the conference taking some time to reflect to develop a plan of action. He says, “Create buffer time or space on the far side of the event. Many people nowadays are actually spending an extra day or two up on the beautiful Gold Coast after the event and they're sitting down with their teams, and I know a lot of corporates, or a lot of offices that are bringing multiple agents, are sitting down and they're spending a few hours debriefing, and then almost creating a sort of a revised version of their business plan."

If you want to change, do a little bit of homework up front, take a little time at the back end, and then do what people like Scott Harris advise. John says, “There's no doubt, for anyone in real estate - I don't care whether you're doing $100,000, $1m or $5m - whatever you're doing, after AREC you'll be able to walk away and have the tools and the wisdom to do a lot better. So that's the promise, and I'm really looking forward to hearing some great case studies."

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