Grace Hooper – one half of the dynamic duo that makes up Gill & Hooper – has been in the real estate business for ten years. Over the last decade, Grace has dedicated herself to honing her craft in property management, all while gathering, analysing and implementing nuanced insights on people, culture and performance.
Property management is a passion of Grace’s (and of Gill & Hooper’s as a whole, obviously) and she’s unashamedly obsessed with all things best-practice in real estate. Today she’s bringing you her first-hand insight on four key pillars that help build a successful career in real estate. Over to Grace!
1. Emotion over all else
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like the real estate industry as a whole has become heavily scripted. Be it presentations, listings or content, the approach across the board can feel formulaic and stale.
It was Maya Angelou who said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – and it’s apt in this context. We as an industry need to start engaging with our clients on an emotional level, because that’s what ultimately drives decision making.
A bit of a psychology buff myself, I see it day in day out that indeed most people can articulate what they do, some can articulate how they do it (their unique selling point) but not many people can articulate why they do what they do. If you as a property manager can start with your why, you will be authentically talking to the part of your clients that ultimately builds feelings like trust and loyalty. It’s well known that the component of our brain that facilitates rational thinking around numbers, features and benefits doesn’t fundamentally drive decision making. Engaging with the why, the stories and the emotion behind property management and real estate leads to deeper and more meaningful relationships with clients.
2. Goal setting and structure is key
I’ve learnt over the years that having a razor-sharp focus on my goals, and breaking those goals down in to actionable and achievable chunks provides purpose and clarity for every single day. The system that works for me is a tiered approach with long term, 90 day and weekly goals. Each Sunday I write down my weekly goals – on my bathroom mirror with some lipstick – to keep me focused, driven and accountable.
Beyond setting goals, there are a few tactics that I employ that help me feel in control of my day. I am a huge believer in spending mornings in the office and leaving the afternoons for appointments; having this structure in place means the day doesn’t run away from me and I carve out appropriate time for all aspects of my role. Likewise, building in time for standing appointments; even if it’s time for admin or prospecting, setting up recurring appointments is a simple way to make sure you’re not neglecting some of the more high-level activities on your agendaFinally, I am big on making sure I don’t become a slave to responding; whether it’s email or phone it can be so easy to let those notifications run your day. For me and my team, I make sure that our team meetings and one-on-ones are mostly conducted out of the office to reduce distractions; and it’s invariably when we come up with our very best ideas.
3. Never stop learning and upskilling
Adopting a constantly learning mindset is critical to ongoing success in an industry that is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Every day I listen to podcasts, read articles and connect with the many people I come across who are doing great things. I read books constantly and seek to further understand new techniques and parts of business. I once read that if you study your chosen field for one hour a day, in five years’ time you’ll find yourself in the top 5% of your field. This notion of best practice is what drives me. Feeling confident articulating nuances about your chosen field means that when it comes to dialogue with clients, you’re comfortable steering the conversation in the direction that is most valuable to them.
Adopting a constantly learning mindset is critical to ongoing success in an industry that is evolving at an unprecedented rate.
4. Bring your energy
Knowing your field inside out is important, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that the most valuable thing you can bring to your work and career is your energy. It’s your soul. To make sure you’re doing this, I recommend taking an audit of how you spend your day (particularly the first part). Ask yourself, are you setting yourself up for success through your daily actions and habits? Or, do you just roll out of bed, head to work and hope for the best?
For me, I couldn’t do without my morning routine; I firmly believe it sets me up to attack the day the right way. I wake up at 4.15am every day, exercise, eat a huge breakfast, write a list of my musts for the day, mediate and listen to a podcast. This routine leaves me feeling energised and purposeful; which is exactly the attitude I take into the office. The routines and habits that make people fire on all cylinders will vary from person to person, but finding out what does it for you is critical self-awareness for ensuring success in your career.