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34 minutes | May 25, 2022
Episode 98: Nigel O’Neil - Using servant leadership to engage team, change culture, and improve business results
Welcome to Episode 98 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Nigel O’Neil, the Head of Growth at Barry Plant. He has a passion for leading and growing people, teams and offices and has been heading up large teams for over three decades. He has led a number of major real estate franchise networks through periods of change and growth and understands how building the right culture will deliver success. Barry Plant CEO Nigel O’Neil has established a reputation as one of the most successful leaders in the industry. Here, he offers an insight into his approach, along with key leadership lessons he’s learned within real estate and beyond. Having led some two of the industry’s best known real estate groups to success, it might come as a surprise to hear Barry Plant Chief Executive Officer Nigel O’Neil say he was a ‘terrible leader’ when he first started out as a business turnaround expert more than 20 years ago. But he states he was. Although he loved improving businesses, it wasn’t until he drew on emotional intelligence and embraced a ‘servant leadership’ style that he found the ability to bring people together and have them accept change. Drawing on his extensive experience in finance and banking, Nigel has now helped businesses in a range of industries improve their processes and procedures, find their unique culture, and improve their results. In this Courageous Conversation, Nigel shares his journey from chartered accountant to real estate CEO, discussing why the industry is unique but, at its core, still the same as any other business. He discusses the importance of measuring customer satisfaction, why it all comes back to process and procedure, and how to engage your team so your company culture attracts talent and retains it. Nigel also looks at some of the biggest challenges ahead for the industry, and how leaders can prepare for them now. He discusses client feedback, and why it’s critical to service-based business like real estate but is not just about seeking reviews and testimonials. Noting leadership is a privilege, he also offers a thought provoking insight into the leadership style that has seen people change industries to remain part of his team. “To me, being a servant to the team means I’m here to develop the business. I’m here to help them develop as people. So, it’s a simple mantra that if something goes wrong, it’s on me, and if something goes well, it’s them…” – Nigel O’Neil Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
29 minutes | May 11, 2022
Episode 97: Laura Valenti - Stepping up to tackle domestic violence in the face of a changing property management sector
Welcome to Episode 97 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Laura Valenti, is an REIQ board director and the founder of Solutions Property Management in southeast Queensland. With a focus on addressing domestic violence and a passion for empowering women, Laura was named the AREAs 2020 ‘Most Influential Woman in the Property Market’. Far too many headlines in the past few years have highlighted the tragedy of domestic violence. In this Courageous Conversation, Laura Valenti shares how the real estate industry can step up to assist, along with the ongoing challenges facing the property management sector as the nation emerges from a pandemic. When it comes to domestic violence, there are few people with as much access to what happens behind closed doors as a property manager. After all, what other professions have the right to regularly enter a home, assess its condition and get a feel for what’s happening behind the scenes? That’s why Solutions Property Management owner Laura Valenti believes real estate professionals have an opportunity and an obligation to make a real difference. This stance, and the initiatives she has put in place as a result, saw Laura named the Most Influential Woman in the Property Market at the REA awards in 2020. In the time since, Laura has been developing a two-pronged approach to ensure the property management industry steps up to help survivors of domestic and family violence. In this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington, Laura shares an insight into how real estate can play a role in recognising domestic and family violence, and helping its survivors. She shares the easy steps agencies can take to ensure the issue is on their radar, that their staff know what to do, and how they can help survivors access the help they need to re-establish their lives. With no experience of domestic violence personally, Laura explains the issue is far more common than many would believe and the past two years have shone a spotlight on just how prevalent the problem is. And that’s just one of the issues that came to light for the property management sector during Covid. In a wide-ranging podcast, Laura also discusses the personal toll Covid-19 has taken on business leaders, and how the property management industry has altered in the period since. She touches on the stress many PMs have endured, the mass exodus from the industry, and also looks at how the property management industry has changed permanently as a result. “Housing is just intrinsically entwined with helping people get out of a DFV situation, because if there was a place to go to, then that’s the first step. They leave, have a safe place and then start to get all of the things they need – the counselling, the connection to legal services – so that they can start to rebuild their lives. But you can’t have any of that if you don’t have a safe place to stay.” Laura Valenti. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
25 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
Episode 96: Kathryn Ford - Turning illness into empowerment and why your mind is the most important real estate you will ever manage
Welcome to Episode 96 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Kathryn Ford, a women's empowerment expert and celebrity consultant who designs incredible next chapters for women who are ready to make the rest of their life, the best of their life. Regardless of whether it’s personal, professional or health-related, when one area of your life breaks down, it has the potential to impact everything. Empowerment expert Kathryn Ford offers a personal story of turning tragedy into triumph and shares her tips on how you can unlock joy and peace within. What one thing would you change in your life right now which would make the greatest difference to your future? That’s the key question empowerment expert and celebrity consultant Kathryn Ford asks each client she works with as she seeks to help women design their ‘incredible next chapter’. It’s an approach that is based on Kathryn’s own life experience of turning tragedy into triumph and is the successful concept that saw her found the Excellence Institute in 2013. In this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington, Kathryn shares her insight into the mind-body connection and how she used it to overcome a series of personal challenges, including a rare disease, a devastating misdiagnosis, and a toxic marriage that ultimately saw her husband draw a gun on her. Kathryn notes people often can’t identify what’s holding them back, but chances are there is one defining element that has flow-on effects to everything else. Whether it’s work that affects your relationships, relationships that impact health, or health that impacts work, those three elements of life can’t be viewed in isolation, she explains. Instead, you need to find the key and focus on the person as a whole, and when you do, there’s an opportunity to take a ‘quantum leap’ towards true happiness. In a conversation that offers a fascinating insight into mindset, self-awareness and the art of unlocking success, Kathryn shares her story of overcoming adversity and the tools she used to turn her own life around while also assisting others. “The results in your life that you would love are there. It’s just a matter of learning how to focus,” – Kathryn Ford. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
20 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Episode 95: Rebecca Wiener McGregor - Hypnosis, mindfulness and breathing to create a master wellbeing mindset
Welcome to Episode 95 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Rebecca Wiener McGregor, a consulting hypnotist certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, creator of the Whole Life Happy Method of hypnosis, breakthrough-maker coach, and mentor since 2004. Rebecca Wiener McGregor is widely regarded as one of the best hypnotists and money mindset mentors in the US. Renowned for her spiritual practice and gratitude meditation, she has empowered the lives of thousands of people to achieve their vision and purpose. But as this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington reveals, it’s not an easy road to achieve the transformation, it’s a physical, mental and spiritual journey that in time will create certainty, clarity, and emotional freedom in your life. In this deeply personal podcast, Rebecca reveals how she blends hypnosis, mindfulness and breathing, to create clarity of personal and business values. She shares the thought process that has allowed her to push through the darkest of times to come out stronger and more empowered than ever. With her Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), along with neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Rebecca offers essential tips on self-care, finding the positive, and seeking out the space and support you need when times get tough. She offers an insight into how mentoring has allowed her clients to emerge stronger, more resilient and with more exciting plans for their businesses ahead. Rebecca also takes the time to share her expert advice on how to focus on a life without negative judgement but finding the balance to create a lifestyle that feels you, not like you think you should feel. “When you get into that practice of practising gratitude, where you’re writing down what you’re grateful for, what happens is that your brain starts to look for more good in your life. All the time. I have goosebumps right now because when I started practising gratitude, it saved my emotional life” – Rebecca Wiener McGregor Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
30 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Episode 94: Kylie Maxwell - Embrace unexpected leadership, bounce back from burnout, and build a sought-after business
Welcome to Episode 94 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Kylie Maxwell, a successful agency owner, a real estate business coach, consultant and a trainer at Real+ Training and Consultancy. When successful agency owners Kylie Maxwell and her husband Jason sold their business in Queanbeyan, New South Wales last year, many in the industry were surprised. After all, here was a couple at the top of their game, with a highly successful LJ Hooker office, an enviable market share and a renowned reputation in the industry. But as Kylie explains, it was an opportunity too good to pass up and one they weren’t sure would present itself again in a couple of years’ time. It also provided the opportunity to explore other areas of the industry that Kylie was passionate about. In this episode of Courageous Conversations with Leanne Pilkington, Kylie offers an insight into the thinking behind the sale, how it was a proposal that came out of the blue, and why they were fortunate to have a business that was sale-ready, despite no intentions to sell. She explains the role good processes and procedures play when it comes to property management, why every agency owner should audit their business annually, and why the systems they had in place allowed them to seize the unexpected opportunity. Kylie also reflects on a 30-year career in the industry, including a brush with burnout that many will relate to. She discusses the challenge of being a leader and a people pleaser, and the changes she made to her leadership style in order to better manage her time, her energy, and the work/life balance. In a podcast that’s part business best-practice, part property management masterclass, and part lessons in leadership, Kylie offers a wealth of tips, some stellar advice based on experience and a truly personal insight into why she is rightly regarded as one of the best real estate practitioners in the industry. “If you have a business and it is in your five-year plan to sell your rent roll, don’t wait until you’re tired of it and you’ve run it into the ground. Do it while you’re still actively working in it, and you’re vibrant and it’s got a good reputation and you’ve got a good asset to sell,” Kylie Maxwell Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
23 minutes | Mar 16, 2022
Episode 93: Nicole White - Why music can be the key to both team building and wellness
Welcome to Episode 93 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Nicole White, an events and team building expert who is passionate about mental health and the impact music can make in your life - professional and personal. While the real estate industry might have stood at a precipice of unknowns during Covid-19, the entertainment and events sector was forced into total freefall. Events dried up, entertainment was off the cards, and every corporate gathering was cancelled. So what do you do when your entire industry collapses? Well you pivot, and pivot again, in the hope one of those pirouettes pays off. That’s exactly the situation Nicole White and her company Rock and Roll Team Building found themselves in over the past two years. But in the face of extreme adversity and a landscape of business fear, she and business partner Ciaran Gribbin of INXS didn’t give up. Instead, they used their love of music and their background in team building to help businesses and individuals manage the mental uncertainty and anxiety of a pandemic. In this episode of Courageous Conversations with Leanne Pilkington, Nicole discusses how creating and experiencing music can help bring people together and foster wellbeing. She shares the highs and lows of working in the entertainment industry over the past couple of years, including navigating the heartbreak of watching events dry up and finding the successful business she had built was on the brink of closure. Nicole also offers an insight into how sound therapy and music alleviate stress and how the creation of music can bring a corporate team together in a whole new way. “One of the main tools that music therapists use in their work is actually songwriting. So being able to work with someone who’s experienced trauma or who is experiencing depression and anxiety, or has had a tough time in life, allowing them to articulate that through songs – through writing, putting words to music – is a really powerful therapy tool,” Nicole White. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
19 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Episode 92: Madelyn Jones - Addressing homelessness, one gift box at a time
Welcome to Episode 92 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Madelyn Jones, the founder of The Good Box. When events manager Madelyn Jones found herself walking past the same homeless man every morning in Sydney, she knew there must be something she could do. Confronted by the issue of homelessness in a big city, she didn’t want to become the type of person who averted their eyes, or worse yet, made jokes. The problem weighed on her, upset her and ultimately saw her take action in the form of a social enterprise called The Good Box, which she co-founded in 2018 with Gali Blacher. Each year, The Good Box now distributes tens of thousands of hand-packed gift boxes to partner charities who then hand the boxes out to the people who need them most. The aim is to provide a box packed full of new items that people experiencing homelessness need depending on their situation. There are boxes for men, for women and for people sleeping rough with their pets. Each box is purchased by an individual or corporate sponsor and contains a handwritten note. In addition to providing much-needed items, the gift boxes help start a conversation and build trust. In this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington, Madelyn shares the occasionally tough journey of The Good Box, including how it went from something she did part-time to a full-scale social enterprise that saw her willingly walk away from a promising corporate career. She also offers an insight into how and why real estate agencies are getting behind the initiative to donate a Good Box on behalf of their clients as an alternative to the traditional settlement gift. “The thing with homelessness is it’s not just one type of homelessness. It’s extremely multifaceted. And so our mission has always been to make sure that we’re catering to all different types of homelessness.” Madelyn Jones. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
17 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
Episode 91: Virginia Brookes - From burnout to balance, and the benefits it offered her business
Welcome to Episode 91 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Virginia Brookes, the Director of Resolver Recruitment and Temp Talent. It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day activity of being in real estate that you can overlook other areas of your life. In a market like the present that’s particularly the case, where agents and property managers find themselves making one more deal, one more phone call, sending one more email and soon realise they’re working seven days a week. That was exactly the position real estate recruitment expert Virginia Brookes found herself in back in 2020. After a tough couple of years, the industry had only just bounced back and as a business owner she was working relentlessly when the first wave of Covid saw 95% of her business evaporate overnight. She was exhausted before the strain of lockdowns even began. What she did next helped her regain her perspective, prioritise her family, and allowed her to say yes to her dreams. In a Courageous Conversation that is all about regaining the work/life balance, Virginia talks about the importance of getting your priorities right, of taking time out when you need to, of saying yes to experiences and no to never-ending work demands. She shares the lessons she learned by taking time out from her business, along with the benefits it provided her personally, and the tough decisions it helped her make. Virginia also offers an insight into the strategies she uses now to ensure she doesn’t fall back into workaholic habits. Through the lens of a recruitment expert, Virginia then talks about the mass exodus of property managers from the real estate industry, and gives her tips on how agencies can help retain staff, assure them of their value and set them up for the period ahead. “Something else has got to sometimes take priority other than work. Because as a business owner, you just get entrenched and you get obsessed and you always want to do better, and you forget some of the stuff that is going to be there one day after business.” Virginia Brookes. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
26 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
Episode 90: Lara Moro - Finding your niche, knowing your worth, and stepping outside your comfort zone
Welcome to Episode 90 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Lara Moro, a licensed consultant specialising in project marketing, sales and buyer advocacy. After starting in off-the-plan sales aged 21, Lara Moro has enjoyed a highly rewarding and successful 30-year career in real estate that unites her expertise in marketing and sales. Along the way, she has worked with some of the country’s best known hi-rise developers. But that doesn’t mean it was an easy or quick decision to start her own business. Instead, Lara explains it was a long time coming, despite her friends consistently urging her to back herself and take the leap. Now, that leap is well and truly paying off. Just two years after launching her own brand, Lara has been named among 15 property experts to watch by the Australian Business Journal. Working with developers and buyers, Lara specialises in assisting developers market and sell their project. She also works with buyers to help them make the right decision when it comes to purchasing an apartment. Looking back, Lara reflects the buyers’ advocate role in the apartment space was a gap in the market that needed filling, allowing downsizers, property hunters and investors to make educated choices. In this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington, Lara talks about creating a career that unites her extensive sales and marketing experience with a commitment to mentoring others. She shares an insight into what finally prompted her to start her own brand, including the unique services she offers. Lara also discusses how she came to be in project marketing and sales, and why it was a career she was destined for since she was a child. In a podcast that’s all about finding your niche, embracing your skills and picking the moment to take the leap required, Lara also talks about dealing with the negative voice in your head and the strategies she uses to make tough decisions. “For years, I said I’m going to work for myself. And then I would work for a developer and work as a channel manager or in their sales and marketing team…but then I just thought, no, enough’s enough. “It’s been a great experience to work with some of Melbourne’s best developers. I just feel that now I can offer my expertise and be a lot more impartial.” Lara Moro Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
25 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
Episode 89: Sherrie Storor - How agents can achieve success without the hustle and grind
Welcome to Episode 89 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Sherrie Storor, a real estate agent, mentor, speaker, educator, happiness advocate and Best Life catalyst. Sherrie Storor is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the industry. Renowned for her can-do attitude and positive mindset, she has worked hard, achieved success as an agent, lost it all then reinvented herself to emerge as a sought-after real estate coach. But as this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington reveals, behind that bright, smiling demeanour is a personal struggle that Sherrie has been navigating for the past couple of years. And it’s forced someone who views herself as an ‘agent of change’ to accept a situation she may not be able to alter. In this deeply personal podcast, Sherrie reveals the hidden struggle she has been grappling with and how it has affected her personally and professionally. She shares the thought process that has allowed her to push through, despite riding an emotional rollercoaster that vacillates between hope and loss. With her new-found perspective, Sherrie offers essential tips on self-care, finding the positive, and seeking out the space and support you need when times get tough. She offers an insight into what this experience has taught her and how it has allowed her to emerge stronger, more resilient and with exciting plans for her business ahead. Sherrie also takes the time to share her expert advice on where agents should be focusing in the year ahead, why real estate should shake off the mantra of ‘hustle and grind’, and how industry professionals can achieve a work-life balance. “There is something about pushing through and the show must go on. And really, you know, honestly, one of the big things that I have noticed in working with agents and high-performers and high-performing business owners, is that they also have this skill too. They are able to be completely broken, receive the most tragic and terrible news and go into a listing presentation within the next hour.” Sherrie Storor Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
15 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
Episode 88: Colin Lee - Mentoring to build the real estate business of his dreams
Welcome to Episode 88 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Colin Lee, Founder and CEO of Inspire Realty and a Property Advisor and Buyers agent Colin Lee had always dreamed of starting his own business, but it wasn’t until fate threw a curveball that he found the courage to take the leap. In November 2019, he was heading up a major division of a property investment services company in Sydney when he was unexpectedly made redundant due to a business restructure. At the time, his wife was seven months pregnant, Christmas was fast approaching, and Colin was faced with one the biggest decisions he would make in his life. He could scramble to find another job or take the plunge into entrepreneurship, drawing on the skills accumulated in a 13-year property management, sales and property investment career. Faced with uncertainty and doubt, but keenly aware of the ambition burning inside him, Colin notes it was a tough and scary decision to make. Ultimately, he would make it with the assistance of a mentor, starting Inspire Realty in 2020 just before Covid hit. In a Courageous Conversation that’s all about getting the right help when you need it, Colin discusses the value of having a mentor who asks the right questions to allow you to come to your own conclusion. It’s a story about finding courage when you need it, taking the risks required to fulfil your dream, and finding the strength to go for it when it could be far easier to play it safe. Colin also shares why it’s critical to surround yourself with good people when making a major decision, how a mentor was the perfect person to assist, and why he has come to be one since. He also notes often you have laid the foundations for success long before you have the courage to take a life changing leap. “I plucked up a bit of courage and I said, ‘you know what? This is it. I have one life. I might as well live it to my fullest’. I kind of felt like I’d started early. I’d been in business for so many years and I kind of take the analogy of the bamboo tree. It takes five years to grow its roots and then for the next five weeks, it just grows by twenty-five metres.” – Colin Lee Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
17 minutes | Nov 30, 2021
Episode 87: Louise Larkin - Giving up a corporate career and changing the lives of children
Welcome to Episode 87 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Louise Larkin, Chief Inclusion Officer (CIO) of Friend In Me and a Passionate Advocate of Social Change & Mental Health. Louise Larkin, a successful event organiser, had a high-flying career and her future all mapped out when she tuned into a radio interview that changed her trajectory. There, in her car she heard the heartbreaking story of a young boy with a disability who had invited his friends to his birthday party but no one showed up. It was a story that resonated with Louise for reasons she couldn’t fathom, and she quickly put her event skills to good use to organise the ultimate party. That party would go on to be the first event hosted by her not for profit Friend in Me. Held in a community hall, courtesy of the goodwill of friends and local residents, that first event attracted 350 children. The next year 700 came and it steadily increased to 3000 before COVID put a stop to in-person events. In this Courageous Conversation, Louise shares the story of an initiative that’s all about appreciating difference, embracing inclusiveness and has the aim of ensuring no child is left out or left behind. Since that first humble event, Friend in Me has gone on to become a recognised not-for-profit, which has hosted 700 virtual parties in the past 18 months alone. Some are for children suffering illness, others are designed to foster inclusiveness, but the aim is to build confidence, resilience and connection in children who are too often forced to the sidelines of society. In a remarkable leap of faith, Louise stepped away from her corporate career and now volunteers with Friend in Me full-time. It’s a role she describes as ‘beautifully exhausting’, but is a legacy she hopes will prove a valuable lesson for her children and society as a whole. She concedes, occasionally it’s hard and there are times she considers packing it all in to return to the corporate world…until she receives a phone call from an appreciative parent or sees the smile on the face of a child. “A lot of people say to me, ‘why did you leave your job?’ And ‘you don’t even have kids with a disability, so why are you doing this for these kids?’ ‘Why do you care so much about making these children feel included?’ And I just say back ‘well, I’ve got a very big heart and I’m going to create an inclusive world for my kids, as well as their friends. I want my girls to understand what it’s like for people that may be a little bit different or have different abilities.” Louise Larkin Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
29 minutes | Nov 17, 2021
Episode 86: Heidi Dening - Overcoming trauma and turn chaos into clarity
Welcome to Episode 86 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Heidi Dening, speaker, educator, and the author of a best-selling self-leadership book called ‘Her Middle Name Is Courage’ Heidi Dening was working for a children-focussed NGO in Vanuatu when a night of terror changed her life forever. Part of a volunteer group who proved the unsuspecting target of cultural conflict, she awoke to the sound of petrol bombs being thrown at her bungalow and the smell of smoke filling her room. Heidi and her companions endured a night of fear, huddled together awaiting an airlift from the Australian Embassy. All survived the attack, but the physical injuries faded long before the emotional scars. Filled with rage, robbed of her purpose and left with lingering insomnia, it would take her 18 months to recover from the trauma that had occurred in an idyllic paradise often referred to as “the happiest place on earth”. Now an international speaker and resilience educator, Heidi she hit rock physically and emotionally before making the conscious decision to claim back her life and find her joy in the wake of events of 2014. Ultimately, she would use her harrowing experience to empower others to overcome adversity. In this inspiring Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington, Heidi shares the strategies she used to find resilience within, and how she further employed those tools when her livelihood was threatened when the speaking industry ground to a halt during COVID-19. In a podcast that provides incredible lessons about finding strength, joy and quiet in a noisy and sometimes challenging world, Heidi explains resilience is not bouncing back but bouncing forward using the lessons learned. “What goes in textbooks, doesn’t always work when you apply it to life. And I just felt that due to the fact that I had both of these things, I had science backed education plus real life experience, that it was a great opportunity for me to bring these together so that I could really make a difference hopefully to other people.” Heidi Dening. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
30 minutes | Nov 4, 2021
Episode 85: Lorena Gaxiola - Build an international interior design business to inspire and empower a new generation of women
Welcome to Episode 85 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Lorena Gaxiola, an internationally acclaimed interior architect and designer with more than two decades of experience creating functional bespoke spaces for property developers and individuals. Lorena Gaxiola is a firm believer in one simple truth: without friction there cannot be change. And she’s endured more than her fair share of friction over what has become a highly successful career. Originally from Mexico, Lorena dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps and becoming an architect. When he advised it was no career for a woman, she chose another path, moving to the US to pursue an alternate ambition to become an interior designer. Aged 24, she built her own business, working with Fortune 500 companies and building an international brand. She’s been through recessions, launched products in China and made a name for herself for her customer focused design. Still, all this wasn’t enough to ensure cracking the Australian market would be easy. When Lorena brought her business to Australia in 2016, she found a very different landscape to the one she was used to, where it proved hard to get a look-in as a boutique brand up against the big names. In this Courageous Conversation, Lorena shares her story, including how she overcame the major setback of breast cancer shortly after arriving in Australia, and why it wasn’t going to deter her from serving her clients in both Australia and the US. She also discusses why she’s committed to empowering women in a male dominated industry, and how she is working to shape a new generation of business leaders. “This is it. I’m going to just completely devote the next 10 years in mentoring and building the next generation of female creatives and giving them a place in a position where they can gain recognition early in their careers.” Lorena Gaxiola. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
22 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Episode 84: Danielle Boyd - Carving out a successful career in real estate while managing a life-threatening illness
Welcome to Episode 84 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Danielle Boyd, Wiseberry Taree General Manager. Danielle has Crohn’s disease and living with it has involved countless operations, trial treatments including chemotherapy, and three instances where she’s come very close to death. In this Courageous Conversation about the power of gratitude and the importance of mindset, Danielle shares the story of why none of that stopped her carving out a successful real estate career. After initially struggling to find her first rental home, Danielle turned to real estate as a career in the belief the industry has the power to change the life of the people she works with. She notes a large part of her subsequent success comes down to gratitude and resilience. It also involves drawing on a series of mentors who she turns to for advice and the insight she needs to hear, but may not necessarily want to. As a result, she’s now living her dream, running a Wiseberry office after just over a decade working in real estate. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
27 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Episode 83: Samantha Barlow - Embracing real estate to help others
Welcome to Episode 83 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Samantha Barlow, Laing+Simmons Real Estate - Licensed Agent & Auctioneer. In 2009, Samantha was living her dream as a Sergeant in the NSW Police Force when she was brutally attacked by a random stranger and left for dead. The young mum, who was married to a fellow officer and had two small children at home, spent months in hospital and a year in recovery, determined to return to the police and achieve all that she had planned to. With courage, resilience and sheer determination, Samantha achieved that aim, but ultimately it ended her police career. In this raw and inspiring Courageous Conversation, Samantha shares her story, including the mindset she drew on throughout her recovery, why giving up was never an option, and how her passion for helping people as a police officer translated into a successful real estate career. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
25 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
Episode 82: Jacqui Crapp - How to become a sales agent of choice
Welcome to Episode 82 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Jacqui Crapp, Director and Sales Consultant in Raine and Horne. Jacqui had come off the back of a couple of tough years when she decided to take the plunge into property management, having lost both her parents to cancer. At the time the words of her dad were echoing in her ears: “Whatever you do, do it with passion, and if you don’t enjoy it, do something else”. That’s not to say her real estate run has been easy. A partnership that didn’t go to plan proved a learning curve, as did a car accident that left her with a blood clot. Prior to that she and her husband had also been forced to abandon their dream of dairy farming due to industry deregulation. In this Courageous Conversation, Jacqui shares her real estate journey, including the discussions you need to have before entering into a business partnership, and how she transitioned from a property manager to a principal and sales agent who is renowned for her no-nonsense approach. “I just call it how it is. You know, if people are talking to me about their wants and their needs, I’ll ask as many questions as I need to, to get to the bottom of it. And sometimes I’ll just say to them, ‘Hell no, you don’t want that’.” Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
32 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
Special Episode: Samantha McLean and Leanne Pilkington discuss lockdowns, the vaccination debate and the top podcast takeaways
Welcome to Special Episode, Elevate: The Official Podcast of Elite Agent Magazine, hosted by Samantha McLean. In this episode, Samantha McLean the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast and Leanne Pilkington discuss lockdowns, the vaccination debate and the top podcast takeaways From the vaccination debate to lockdown slump, there’s some big issues at play in real estate at the moment. In this podcast Elite Agent’s Samantha McLean and Courageous Conversations host Leanne Pilkington tackle them head on. Drawing on key takeaways from recent podcasts, they discuss what agents should be doing in lockdown, what’s likely to happen in the coming weeks and how agents can prepare for the period ahead. Samantha and Leanne note right now is the opportunity to set yourself up for the long-awaited comeback, and it could be as soon as October this year. The pair also recap their favourite takeaways from recent podcasts including interviews with Michael Sheargold and Steve Carroll, looking at how agents have overcome adversity, why leadership is critical, and the role real estate professionals should be playing in their community. “If your database needs a little bit of tweaking. If you don’t know how to use your CRM as well as you should, if your listing presentation isn’t up to scratch, now is the time. Do the stuff that you don’t normally have the time to do now whether it’s personally or at work,” Leanne Pilkington. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
25 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Episode 81: Michael Sheargold - How to avoid the slump of a lockdown and being the leader your team needs right now!
Welcome to Episode 81 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Michael Sheargold, The Entrepreneurs Growth Coach. He talks about the ’empathy factor’, how to avoid the slump of a lockdown, and being the leader your team needs right now. Michael explains right now the focus should be on what winning looks today or this week rather than the long-term view. It should also shift from what people can’t do to the things that they can. Michael also offers some great tips on giving your team the energy and support they need, along with how to set up a winning day. He also poses the question every leader should be asking their team members to foster accountability and turn goals into action. “Often when I’m talking with great agents and leaders, there’s this perception if there were 100 things you could do pre-COVID there’s only 90 you can do now. So there’s 10 things you can’t do. “Are you going to focus on the ones you can’t do or become really, really good at doing the 90 that you can?” Michael Sheargold. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
14 minutes | May 27, 2021
Episode 80: Georgina Ryan - What it takes to be the sales rookie of the year
Welcome to Episode 80 of our podcast, Courageous Conversations, hosted by Leanne Pilkington. In this episode, our guest is Georgina Ryan, Licensed Real Estate Agent at Laing+Simmons Port Macquarie. She talks about her start in the real estate industry, her recent Sales Rookie of the Year Award win in her network, why focusing on her service over the numbers earns her results, her tips for overcoming the 'bad days', and how to know what works for you when it comes to prospecting. This is our final episode for this season of Courageous Conversations as we enter a short hiatus. We have some exciting news to reveal about the future of our podcast, which we will share as soon as we can! Stay tuned for updates... Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
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