Corporate conferences these days entertain and uplift their audiences, yet only a few will ever touch a person’s psyche for life.
The Fireside Conference Ray White Canberra staged for its team was one such conference. In the aftermath is a resounding message – a rewarding career in real estate starts here.
“What we set out to deliver was a far more intimate, interactive conference than you are typically able to achieve with large scale events,” Ben Faulks, Ray White Canberra Chief Executive said afterwards.
The conference’s two main focuses were on real estate operations, and wellbeing of people in the real estate industry.
“Not everybody loves real estate agents,” says Ben, who has built his career coaching and developing people. “All of our agents set out to do the right thing by their clients and they take on a lot of stress with the role.”
Addressing this at the conference were life strategist Shannah Kennedy and author and wellness entrepreneur Lyndall Mitchell, who created The Essentialists in Melbourne.
“They spent an hour-and-a-half talking about stress management, and time management and things totally unrelated to real estate and it seemed to cut through,” Ben says.
“We have always prided ourselves on developing agents. Our mission is to be the best place on the planet to build a career in real estate. So, the conference was really about getting down to the brass tacks of how to be a great real estate agent. We wanted to go away from the ego-fuelled conferences many of us have attended in the past, and focus on the specific skills that will help our people grow their careers.”
Feedback on The Essentialists and the other outstanding speakers in their fields can be summed up in gratitude for practical advice.
“The balance between home and work is something we try to focus on,” Ben says. “We actually held a partner and parent appreciation evening at the completion of the conference and encouraged the spouses and those who support the people in our business to attend, which was a really nice way to say thank you for the support that we need to be able to live the real estate lifestyle.”
Rising young agent Jake Battenally who in 2011 went into real estate from school, says he has been to many conferences, none like the Fireside Conference, where each presenter was a headline act.
“Honestly, you would travel to anywhere in Australia to watch one of these people speak. To have them all in the room together was amazing. It doesn’t matter where you are up to, in your career, there was something to take away from that experience,” Jake says. “All of the speakers said ‘ask any questions you like’ and we were able to, nothing was off limits. Everyone presenting was so down to earth, nice, a breath of fresh air really.”
He came away reassured his business approach was in the right place and with lots of useful ways to tweak and improve those processes.
Jake says he and his Ray White colleagues receive abundant support. “It doesn’t feel like I am at work, because I am enjoying my work here so much, because of the culture that we have built in the last 10 years.”
If you want a career in real estate call Ben Faulks. “Or jump on to the Ray White Canberra website and order a copy of my book ‘Capacity’. This is a how-to manual to start your career in real estate,” Ben says.
Postscript: When Ben Faulks was 23 he went to Boorowa, a village north west of Canberra without a rugby team the previous year. In his second year as coach they won the minor premiership by a country mile. Although beaten in the grand final by Jindabyne, Ben won the ACT rugby union coach of the year trophy, an honour he shares with the likes of former Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher and former international coach Eddie Jones.
Developing people to be the best is what Ben Faulks is passionate about.
Find out more about careers with Ray White.