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By Hayley Healey

THE biggest Ray White training event ever held in Melbourne took place today at the Crown Palladium when more than 700 agents and property managers from across the leading group’s Victorian and Tasmanian networks gathered for Ignite19.

Australasia’s most successful real estate business, Ray White launched Ignite19 this week, a fresh national training series featuring powerful interviews and specialist sessions with its top performers.

The sessions were designed to help its agents navigate and adapt to current markets conditions.

Ray White Victoria and Tasmania CEO Stephen Dullens (pictured top) said the leading group’s ambition was to keep growing.

“We are chasing quality vendors, quality landlords, quality team members and finally, quality businesses to our group. The best thing that each of us can do for each other, is to grow,” Mr Dullens said.

“The best thing that each of us can do for each other is provide exceptional customer service. The best thing that each of us can do for each other is to engage with our communities. This is an amazing business that has such a great advantage over all of our competitors,” he said.

“No one can mimic the size of our group and no one can replicate the resources that we have.”

Mr Dullens introduced the keynote speaker, Mark Mathews, a professional big wave surfer who knows how to stare down adversity and face fears.

“I told the agents about how to handle change and fear. It’s the ability to reset your goals to what they need to be to mimic what is happening in the market. That’s one part of it – to reset expectations of your goals,” Mr Mathews said.

“Understanding that this difficult period will make you so much better than what you are now because if you can function and succeed in this really difficult period then when it does turn, and it always does, you are that much better and it will cull the competition which is the other valuable part of the downturn.

“The competition will drop off and you’ll get better at what you do because it’ll be that much difficult and when it does flip, you’ll be in the position to make up for whatever losses you may have had over the period. It seems to all balance out if you can play the long game.”

Speaking on stage, Ray White Gladstone Park business owners (above) Phillip Mercieca and Malek Younan described how they both got into the property game straight from school.

“It’s always initially not easy. There is a lot of hard work that goes into it, but once I got a taste of real estate I loved it and haven’t looked back,” Mr Mercieca said.

“You have got to have the energy, hunger and hard work to break through the barriers.

Mr Younan, who was recently named as the top agent in all of Australia by SQM Research, described his secrets of success as ‘passion, desire, hard work’.

“You have to have the self will and the self want. You have to want it yourself and if you want it yourself you will do what you have to to get it,” he said.

“People hide behind technology now. There was none of that when we started, it was all face-to-face. You need to have the face-to-face meeting, not be afraid of your vendors.

“If you use technology for the right reason and prompt it the right way you can use it to your advantage.”

The pair said they moved their business to Ray White last year to “push us out of our comfort zone”.

“We were the top sales guys, we were writing good numbers and it wasn’t for the money, it was for getting guided by the right people. We wanted to become our own bosses, guide and mentor our team and give something back. We wanted to share what we have learned,” the pair said.

Adelaide business owner Jason Spagnlolo of Ray White Norwood detailed how he completed 181 sales in a year.

“Hard work, sleepless nights and a lot of energy,” Mr Spagnolo said.

“There is no silver bullet, no perfect script instead I fight for the percentages.”

Ignite19 is being rolled out across the majority of capital cities in the first quarter of 2019, with Adelaide to host the event tomorrow, followed by Perth (February 12) and Sydney (March 14).

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