'Who Do We Intend To Be?' - Max De Pre.

November, 2023 | Thought Provoker

It’s time for a bold new vision. A business is a set of systems that guarantees a profit, serves its customers beyond their wildest dreams, builds their communities and substantially contributes to a better world.

It’s time to get back to planning. We live in a chaotic world, but we can smooth out the waves by forecasting what’s ahead and adapting to the day’s conditions.

Power of Planning

There’s real power in taking a higher view. Oscillating between the horizons of focus, from 50,000 feet where we plan to be in 25 years, down to the ground level of what’s critical today, allows us to retain perspective and execute with precision.

The 2024 Calendar

Most agents across Australia and New Zealand love a long summer. Australia Day, January 26, and Waitangi Day, February 6 in NZ, is the usual starting gun for the new year's campaigns. In 2024, that’s a problem.

There’s Power in Data

If you graph the number of market appraisals and listing appointments booked through the year, the data tells us there’s a huge dip from late November, which doesn’t pick up until late January.

Most agents, therefore, kick off their campaigns late, forcing a tight run in Easter. An early Easter of March 29 leaves four auction Saturdays for the first quarter of 2024. If you’re a million-dollar agent, that’s $250,000 of revenue in just four weekends.

The smart money shifts the game. The power is in the planning. As soon as Melbourne Cup happens, Tuesday, November 7 2023, they shift to listing for 2024 campaigns. You can still sell off the market through December.

Changing the Narrative

What if Boxing Day was the biggest day on the internet, followed by New Year’s Day? Imagine launching 150 properties on Boxing Day, with your first run of open homes on January 13, 20 and 27, with your first auctions on Wednesday, January 31, or Saturday, February 3. Now you can auction Feb 3, 10, 17, 24, and March 2, 9, 16 and 23. Eight auction weekends for the first quarter’s revenue.

It means you holiday early, with specific shifts for your teams. Some go on leave December 8 to return January 8, some December 15 to be back January 10, and some December 20 to be back January 20. You finish early to start early. Plenty of sales will be made in December, but rarely many are listed. Christmas Tree photos don’t work well for January sales.

We live in a new world where our mobiles come with us on holidays, and so do our apps. Here’s the case for a December campaign launch for January auction campaigns:

1. There’s no RBA meeting in January.

2. There’s no media reporting on property in January.

3. You holiday early and come back early, refreshed.

4. Consumers feel refreshed after the Christmas break with a new perspective on what’s next.

5. Open numbers are stronger in January than in December.

6. Sellers who sold in December need to buy in January.

7. Leftover buyers who missed out on November and December campaigns are ready to buy in January.

8. Suppliers may offer incentives to assist in getting their teams and revenue back to work earlier to avoid cashflow issues in February.

9. There’s a better story to tell future sellers in January with all the additional buyers met during the January campaigns for a great February.

10. You catch your competitors asleep, steal market share and drive a new narrative.

Common Fears

You won’t get a holiday. Not true. Set an auto-response on all enquiries, advising the office to re-open on January 12, where you’ll respond to all enquiries. All listings have a one-line statement outlining that on their online listings.

Auctions don’t work. Auction clearance rates are higher in January than they are in December.

We sell a lot in December. Sure, but it gets harder every day in December to list - consumer focus shifts to end-of-year celebrations, people are stressed and hard to deal with. Distractions of Christmas parties drop productivity.

Revenue vs. Activity

The real skill is to think beyond that idea. How wedded to your previous practices are you? And are you prepared to challenge to drive revenue and market share success?

The skill is to graph your activity and revenue periods. Then work 90 days before revenue dips to drive revenue. Traditional periods where activity dips, school holidays, public holidays, Easter, Christmas, winter and one-offs like elections.

Your ability to drive activity and initiatives makes the difference in business success.


Back to the future day, it happens at the start of every month. You generate a list of every buyer who has bought from you that month in your entire career, and you call them.

Systems Break

You were probably taught to set one individual task against each consumer for their anniversary. When you have ten clients, what happens when you get to 500 or even 1000? Now you have 1000 tasks in the system. One day, you log into the system, and there’s a tonne of tasks of a different type. You lose faith in the system, and great work stops.

Instead, change the game. One monthly task is to pull up that list of people who’ve bought from you and call them. Reduce the resistance to doing great work. That one change shifts your results.

The lifetime value of a customer is critical for future success. When markets change, so too must you. 10% of Alexander Phillips' listings in August 2023 are sellers who bought from him in the last 12 months. Simple dialogue, ’Hi Hannah, thank you for purchasing from me this year; how are things with you? And how’s the house?’. You’ll find life goes on in the new world at speed.

If you just nailed that in your business, you’d be incredible.

Formula-driven Business

What’s your formula for how you...

Generate your leads?

Win your listings?

Sell your listings?

Grow your team?

Grow your market share?

All great questions.

If it’s not documented, it can’t be done with precision every time. You’ll struggle to grow your people, train them, teach them and test them.

Power of STM Charts

How can you quickly teach a complex set of ideas so your team members can get the formula for success as quickly as possible?

That’s where STM charts come into play. Real Estate is a mature business. There’s a way to play the game and gain commercial success. There’s a difference between innovation that matters, stepped change that helps to evolve our practices, and wasted energy and effort.

When the goal is clear, there are no distractions. If you reviewed every listing you’ve won in the last 12 months, ask two simple questions:

How did you meet the seller?

What did you do to progress them to market?

You may have met them at an open, but you called them around new listings and sales, added them to your weekly results email, and that built the relationship.

The major areas of lead generation include:

Buyer work (work the trade-ins)

10:10:20 (build the relationship with the neighbours)

Market appraisals (what happens next to drive their dis-satisfaction / vision)

Past clients (lifetime value of a customer - generate referrals and facilitate their life stages)

Landlords (archived landlords, tenants, etc., their principal place of residence, bring another, buy another approach to overall lifetime value growth).

With each, you need the tactics.

Buyer work is facilitated by driving a minimum number of opens on a weekend, then doing great second appointments. You adapt to ask great questions: ‘Have you bought locally before?’ and ’What are your plans with the existing when you buy the next?’. Every buyer at every open has to be asked that question before they leave the open home. If you don’t, you lose 50% of the leads.

Then, we move to measurement.

As you finish the open:

How many buyers did we meet?

How many are owners?

How many are out-of-area owners?

How many are landlords/investors?

How many are first-home buyers?

And once you complete the callbacks, how many did you:

Book in for a market appraisal (MAP)

Listing appointment (LAP)

Or Buyer appointment (BAP) to see the home again?

All great questions. If I do an open for you, you’d expect me to fill out that open home results form and send it to you. If the results are poor, you coach quickly.

You don’t get the results if you don’t follow the system. The first time, it’s a mistake; the second time, that’s a decision.

"The greatest impediments to our success are rarely our competitor’s cleverness, but rather our own internal barriers that we erect ourselves." - Tom Peters


True leadership provides insights that others can use to rapidly reshape their business. This is a call to action to be bold, plan well, and look ahead to build a thriving business. Business should not be dull, dreary, fear-driven and ride the markets of the day. Rather, it should be an incredible platform for change, enriching the lives of consumers, stakeholders and communities.

Challenge the status quo, move fast in the direction of your dreams and go for growth.


Josh Phegan is the internationally renowned go-to speaker, trainer and coach for high-performance real estate agents and agencies. He is the number one preferred trainer for Australia’s top 100 agents and top 50 women in real estate.

In 2023 he’s the drawcard speaker at over 200 events in the UAE, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

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