Top takeaways from AREC 2024 – Day 1

Almost 5000 real estate professionals packed the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for Day 1 of AREC 2024. This year’s headline speakers were the two Ryans – Hollywood actor, producer and entrepreneur, Ryan Reynolds, and world renowned real estate broker, Ryan Serhant.

In an engaging and authentic conversation with AREC Founder, John McGrath, Reynolds took a deep dive into dealing with rejection in Hollywood, the power of storytelling and why being in the moment is far more likely to generate successful outcomes than following a plan or script.

Million Dollar Listing New York star Ryan Serhant graced the AREC stage in person this year, for a high energy presentation on why having a personal brand has never been more important.

Other highlights included a poignant presentation from McGrath Terrigal’s Mat Steinwede and highly actionable, take-home property management advice from Wiseberry Heritage’s Shaye Wallis.

Here are all of our Day 1 highlights…

Ryan Reynolds – Listen to the moment

Ryan Reynolds at AREC24. Photo: AREC

Embracing the idea that he knows nothing is one of the lessons that has best served Hollywood actor, producer and entrepreneur, Ryan Reynolds, in his life.

Also an owner of Wrexham Football Club, Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile, Reynolds said, as a youngster, he thought he knew it all, but accepting that he didn’t was the most impactful moment.

“The movie business has a great analogy,” he said.

“You can shoot a scene where you go, ‘oh god, that’s the one, that is the scene’, but but then you get in the edit room and you will sit there and you’ll learn that it was the worst one, you got none of them right and you have to go back and shoot it again.

“In your business and in my business, where you’re telling stories and you’re working in these industries, the story you’re telling will speak to you, it will yell at you.

“So, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to stop focusing on the script, and I know you have a script in your head as well, so stop listening to the plan and the way you think it’s going to go.

“Start listening to the moment.”

Reynolds said he liked to make movies “responsibly”, working collaboratively with a studio to create a film that was on budget, on time and generated excellent results.

But he said he did this by listening to the movie and not assuming there was nothing new to learn.

“I’m  not trying to be the smartest guy in the room,” Reynolds said.

“I’d much rather be loving or kind in a moment, than right.”

Ryan Serhant – Future Ryan

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Ryan Serhant at AREC24. Photo: AREC

Ryan Serhant doesn’t believe in the saying ‘fake it until you make it’. 

The biggest real estate agent in the world prefers to refer to “Future Ryan”.

“It’s not about who you are today, it’s about who you are tomorrow,” he said.

“I am future me.

“I have written down who I want to be one year from today, and I then I start acting like that person today.”

That’s the tactic that helped him secure the role on Million Dollar Listing New York

At the time, he was an agent battling for listings and sales against 80,000 others in New York City, who had just secured the contract on an $8.3 million dollar home with an elusive foreign buyer.

He told the press about it and then MDL called. 

Standing in the middle of the 30 second audition, the mantra of being “Future Ryan” revolved in his mind, leading him to tell the producers that he was the “Greatest real estate broker in the history of the universe”. 

He also said he drove a black car during the day,  a Range Rover at night and then promptly left the audition. 

They bought it and then wanted to trail him around New York for half a day.

Suddenly it dawned on Ryan that “Future Ryan has a Range Rover,” and “Future Ryan crushes it”.

“I borrowed a Range Rover from a friend and I told everyone I knew, ‘Next Tuesday, starting at 8am, you’re going to call me non stop’,” he said.

When the producers called to tell Ryan he had the gig, he couldn’t believe it. 

Projecting and behaving as Future Ryan worked.

“It worked -the fear of missing out and taking back power in any situation,” he said.

“What’s the number one rule in negotiating? The one in the relationship who will hold power is the one who cares the least.” 

Ryan Serhant – Brand to expand

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Ryan Serhant at AREC24. Photo: AREC

Ryan also revealed his Number 1 job was not to be a real estate agent, but to “brand and expand”.

He said it was his role to brand to expand in growing markets, to build his team and to “brand and expand to control the situation”. 

“If you look at the maths of branding it’s core identity… that then creates the perception the world has of you… that becomes reputation and, over time, that then becomes brand,” Ryan said.

Ryan also stressed that the biggest thing agents ‘sell’ is confidence and solutions. 

“I’m a ‘solutioner’,” he said.

“It’s about how can I make my ability to provide solutions to other people’s problems part of my core identity?

“How can I be in real estate, which is what I do, and then the solver of problems, which is who I am?

“Then the way you describe me can be all the superficial stuff.”

Mat Steinwede – The Manuel effect

Mat Steinwede
Mat Steinwede at AREC24. Photo: AREC

McGrath Terrigal’s Mat Steinwede gave a heartfelt presentation where he reflected on the loss of his son Logan, to suicide in 2023.

He bravely shared the impact Logan’s death had on him and his family, and why it’s so important to keep life’s challenges in perspective and value what’s truly important.

“Whether it’s divorce or business or something, you’re going to have challenges and you’re going to have to dig deep sometimes and you’re going to have to make a difference to yourself for the others around you,” Mat said.

“Whether it’s this or something else, when somebody says ‘No’ to you, just don’t worry about it, move on with things.

“Moving on doesn’t mean you don’t feel it, but it’s how you handle it that matters.”

Mat also shared a story about a charismatic hotel worker, named Manuel, he met while attending a seminar in New Zealand. 

He said this team member had such positive energy and delivered exceptional service, that when it was time to return years later he wanted to stay at the same hotel.

“No one has impressed me as much as Manuel in 20 years,” Mat said.

“I wrote a letter to the CEO of that company.

“He gave us an experience and made us feel a certain way. 

“We over complicate this business sometimes, we really do.

“If you get up every day, make your calls and make people feel valued you’re going to explode, I can tell you.

“Because the competition is not that good.”

Chip Eichelberger – The number 1 asset in your business is you

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Chip Eichelberger at AREC24. Photo: AREC

Peak performance, motivation and wellness strategist Chip Eichelberger stressed that the number 1 asset in your business is you.

He said the formula for getting switched on and success in real estate, or any profession, was to take care of the top asset in your business. 

“Taking great care of yourself long-term, is the best decision you’re ever going to make,” Chip said. 

“How do you feel you’re taking care of your number one asset? What’s your energy level? What’s your level of joy?  What’s your level of optimism?”

He said leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well and ensuring you get enough sleep, provide a solid platform from which to launch your career. 

Then he suggests you need to confront the areas in your life and business that you have been neglecting.

“What are you lacking right now? What are you not taking care of that you need?” Chip questioned.

“If you don’t confront that neglect, what will be the impact in five years, or 10 years?”

You also need to implement daily success disciplines and think about something you need to step up and do better and something you need to stop, such as a bad habit.

While many people say breaking old habits and starting a new one takes 21 days, he believes it starts with the first decision. 

“There’s no study or anything that says there’s something magic about 21 days,” Chip said.

“A streak starts with one.”

Meagan Muir – First impressions count 

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Meagain Muir at AREC24. Photo: AREC

Meagan Muir is a big believer in the saying “First impressions count”.

For the Place Bulimba Partner, customer service is the key to running a successful business that clocks up more than 100 sales a year and writes $2 million -plus in fees.

“We underestimate the importance of the first point of contact,” she said.

It’s having this in mind that shapes the way Meagan and her team run their open homes. 

Every open home is viewed as another opportunity to conduct the best open home ever.

“We take our opens to another level because we treat it as if they (buyers) could all be potential clients,” she said.

“It’s about impressing your future business.”

Meagan and her team always arrive 30 minutes ahead of time to attend to all of the little things that have the power to make a big difference in how buyers see the property and you as the agent.

“We make sure the doors are open, the lights are on and the toilet seat is down,” she said.

“People judge you on that.”

Before the first open Meagan also sends every vendor a digital link to fill out a survey on all of the ‘invisible’ features and value in the home. 

The answers are sent to the entire team, loaded into the CRM and the key points are listed on the website. 

“Customer service is key,” Meagan said.

Gavin Rubinstein – Profile is your most important tool 

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Gavin Rubinstein at AREC24. Photo: AREC

Most real estate agents don’t understand the true concept of profile.

That was the clear and hard-hitting message from The Rubinstein Group Founder, Gavin Rubinstein, on the AREC24 stage.

“The objective in regard to profile is simple, you need to go from prospecting to being prospected,” he said.

“The myth about profile is that it is three Instagram posts a day. 

“The truth about profile is that profile is strategic and consistent action.

“Profile is a business plan, or at least that is how I have always treated it.”

But rather than starting with a profile, Gavin said a profile is something that is generated with hard work.

Calls lead to listings, listings generate sales and more sales is what builds your profile.

But he also said agents must amplify their results.

“I tell people about them,” Gavin said.

“If I don’t get you on Instagram, I get  you on Facebook, if I don’t get you on Facebook, I get you on a signboard.

“If I don’t get you on one of my signboards, I get you in the newspaper you’re reading or I get you in the mailbox with a DL card.

“Whether you like me or not you simply cannot ignore me.”

Shaye Wallis – Three ingredients for a high-performance team. 

Shaye Wallis knows what it takes to turn a good property management team into an award-winning one. 

The Wiseberry Heritage department manager says the “team ingredient list” consists of six core elements, including strong leadership, trust and respect, collaboration and teamwork, learning and development, considered communication and celebration of success.

But it’s her “secret sauce” that adds the icing on the cake – clarity on accountability, platform for innovation and team connection.

“These are the reasons why we went from a good property management team to an award-winning property management team within a few years,” she said.

To boost the team’s accountability, Wiseberry introduced a Friday afternoon scorecard that measured 12 KPIs, including rent arrears, outstanding maintenance, rent reviews and more.

The data is pulled from the team’s management software in seconds and the metrics for the KPIs are based on individual portfolio size.

“As soon as we implemented this accountability tool, we created an atmosphere and culture of transparency and honesty in our team,” Shaye said.

“But, more importantly, we gave our property managers a reason to be proud of their work and take ownership over their role.”

Shaye said the Scorecard also included a traffic light system, with each KPI coded by colour where green equals exceptional, orange is ‘great’ and red means ‘needs improvement’.

She said a score of ‘great’ is what’s expected of the team, but underperformance did not equate to discipline or punishment.

“Underperformance is about finding out the reason why and providing assistance and support to that property manager, to elevate their performance to ‘great’.” Shaye said.

Shaye said 99 per cent of the time the team reached green for all 12 KPIs and client satisfaction had increased “beyond limits”.

“When our clients’ needs are not just being met, but exceeded, we are able to offer our people flexibility in the way they perform their role and run their week.”

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