When Dominica McNamara got a call from her daughter, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Fingers crossed it wasn’t anything serious.
In the end, it was a busted shoe and her daughter couldn’t walk home from school, so Dominica hopped in the car, drove to get the shoe repaired and then drove her daughter home. Crisis averted.
“It’s situations like this that could make being a mum and working in real estate super stressful,” says Dominica. “But I work at Ray White as a sales consultant and the business is underpinned by values that includes team work, so everyone kicks in and helps when the need arises, even if it’s a broken shoe.”
Ray White Canberra started life as a tiny three-person operation in Belconnen. Today the company says it stands as the fastest growing brand and most decorated business in the ACT.
“With offices now in Belconnen, Gungahlin and Woden, the team has expanded to 60 real estate professionals driven by the purpose to be the best place on the planet to build a career in real estate,” says Ray White Canberra Chief Executive Officer Ben Faulks.
Dominica says the culture of Ray White supports her as a mum of three daughters, aged 12, 10 and 8. “It’s amazing to work for a company that allows you to pursue a career you love while striking the right balance with home life,” says Dominica.
Operations Manager at Ray White, Lisa Hyland, wholeheartedly agrees.
“The culture is about family first,” says Lisa. “Ray White gets that when things are good at home and all sorted with your family, you can come to work and be present with greater productivity. The flexibility the company allows really supports me with my seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old son.”
Ray White’s values—discussed openly and regularly at staff meetings—are underpinned by an ethos of customer first, and include humility, teamwork, success, reliability and leadership.
“We’re obsessed about improving the customer experience,” says Ben, “and removing friction for consumers and agents alike. We reward staff for meeting our values and celebrate life when they do. Happy staff translates to happier clients.”
Flexible arrangements that make life easier for Lisa as a mum include being hooked up with her laptop from home, meaning she can log on at any time if staying home, say, with a sick child. Other initiatives include online reminders to staff to go for a short walk to clear their head on super busy days, weekly bootcamps and the inaugural Ray White Canberra Fireside Conference, focused on wellness and being the best you can be.
“In addition to the culture and environment, the company’s Cloud-based platform means I can also work from any of our three offices and do so depending on where my appointments are or where I am at that part of my day,” says Lisa. “It saves time, increases productivity and quality of work.”
Lisa and Dominica agree that Ray White’s unique culture is driven from the top by the directors, as it is with any great organisation. It’s key given that the real estate industry is deadline-driven, stressful, fast-paced, and constantly changing.
The culture also ensures that these two mums don’t miss out on life’s special moments.
“I do drop-offs every morning,” says Lisa. “I always tell my kids to have a tremendous day and they always say ‘You have a tremendous day too, mum.’ My boy thinks that’s awesome.”
Dominica says the Ray White work-home culture lets her get to school assemblies or sports days that are important to her kids. “It works really well,” she says. “We just duck out, enjoy and then get back to it.”
But at Ray White it’s not all about mums and dads. Staff who aren’t parents are afforded the same flexibility with their personal matters. Again, the team just pitches in.
“There’s no resentment anywhere in the office,” says Lisa. “It’s amazing and is a big motivator for me looking to grow my career within the company.”
Company values are a point of pride for Ray White and are prominently displayed on posters and office walls. Monthly awards ensure staff are regularly recognised and rewarded for reflecting company values.
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