Episode 01 – Jessica Davidson

Youtube: Real Estate Success Principles – Episode 01

The Awards Process…. It’s Not About Winning, It’s About Developing the Culture!

Michael Furlong: Hi guys, Michael Furlong from Rent Roll Maximiser, I’m really excited because I love to be talking to Award winners.

Jess posted a little while ago, that she won the Award, and I try and follow all the Award winners.

I try and follow who the leaders are in the country, and I’ve not met Jess. I reached out and said can I spend some time with you? I want to find out what makes you tick.

Jessica Davidson, Ray White, Frankston – Award Winner – PM of the Year, Well done, Congratulations! We have probably been in the industry very similar time; I have read that you have been in the industry almost 20 years.

You look a lot better than I look, it must be a male thing. Was that your first online Awards? How did that go?

Jess Davidson: There has been so much changing during 2020, it has been a year of firsts, I think. One thing Ray White has been so great at doing is always acknowledging the people that work hard within their business.

When the whole Covid pandemic came along, we thought we can’t miss out on this, it forms part of the culture, it’s the heart & soul that is the Ray White Group.

A lot of the Directors, including my own Director campaigned really heavily with the Corporate Office to make sure this still went ahead.

A lot of the Award-Winners start preparing for this a long time in advance, and we put all of our ducks in a row. So, when we thought we might not be going ahead with the End of Financial Year Awards, it was a little bit devastating.

And it was just one little thing we couldn’t cope with on top of everything else that’s happened, so we are very fortunate. They ran a test run Awards, for the International Awards. We had our Victoria / Tasmania Awards

Michael Furlong: So, the Award was for Victoria / Tasmania combined. I am not intimate with the Ray White Franchise network within Victoria / Tasmania, don’t know how many offices there are? So, your Award would have been across how many different offices?

Jess Davidson: Good question….

Now you are really testing my Ray White knowledge. There’s a lot! I would probably say that per capita, there’s probably more offices in the Victoria / Tasmania network than there are in most of the other states.
Queensland gives us a run for our money. Victoria is probably one of the busiest states for offices, but I know that there’s hundreds

Michael Furlong: How early do you start preparing for the Awards? Is it just the Ray White Awards, or do you have an Award culture in your office?

Jess Davidson: Definitely an Award based culture. I like to emulate and surround myself with Award winners. People I can see value in learning from.

I have always believed that you are very much a reflection of the people you associate yourself with, the people you want to be in business with. That’s why I love working where I am.

Ashley, our Managing Director has won countless Awards; I can’t even tell you how many Awards there have been. He’s been Internationally recognised, as well as Statewide recognised, he is among one of the top 3% of Agents Internationally.

So, when I had the opportunity to work alongside him, I thought well why not? That’s where I see myself in the future. When you start preparing for Awards, State level, International level, or whatever it might be, you do start to prepare for these quite early.

At the end of the Awards last year, I sat down and thought “How do I get up on stage next year. How do I make that me?”
So, you start thinking about it then, and you try and put into your business the one percenters that are going to set you apart from the rest, and so it starts the next day.

Michael Furlong: Have you ever been a finalist and not won the Award?

Jess Davidson: No! This was my first crack at Property Manager of the Year.

Michael Furlong: And you snagged it. You’ve come out with the Gong.

Jess Davidson: I have yes. Yes, that was amazing. And when I won the Team Leader of the Year Award, that was my first run at it as well, so I was very, very wrapped to get that.

Like I said, I start preparing for these a long time in advance. Start collating stats, collating information, collating reviews, social proof to support my submissions.

Michael Furlong: I have been involved in the LPMA network for 10 years plus, so Awards were really important. When I had my Agency, we were independent, so there wasn’t an Award process.
I can remember going to my very first Awards and watching…. we didn’t submit, but watching other Agencies and looking at them and going….

“I think I could do that.” And then we submitted. So, from the Awards night, from an office point of view, we said “12 months from here, we want to be up on stage”, which is very similar to you were just saying.

Jess Davidson: You have to have an Award-winning mindset. It’s not just an individual effort. The whole team got behind my nomination this year.

The whole team supported me in achieving those goals to get the key benchmarks that I needed to hit, to be in the running for it.

It’s amazing to work with a fantastic group of people, both from a Leadership Level, and a Team-based level. They’re all behind me 110%, and that means more to me that any Award.

Michael Furlong: I have been with you for 10 minutes and I can see that there’s an aura about you which is team focused. We have been talking for 10 minutes and I can see that already.

I am sure that it wasn’t you that won, it was the team, you’ll say that it was the team, and rightfully so that it was. One of the things I talk about a lot when I am consulting with clients, is that I talk to them about the Awards process.

It’s not about the Awards night, it’s not about winning, it’s about developing the culture. Have you always worked in an environment which has had that culture, which says we are going to put ourselves out there for Awards?

The benefit is what you end up with, not the Award, you end up with the benefit of a better business

Jess Davidson: I have been very fortunate that I have worked in some brilliant businesses in my years. And a lot of teams have had that fire in the belly to want to be better. They want to be those one percenters, they want to be the top of their industry.

That collaboration, the ideas that come from the team when you’re looking to be that one step better each year, are invaluable.

They are those little one percenters that will continue to take the team from step to step throughout their careers rather than becoming stagnant, falling behind the wayside, or not going for the Awards for the right reasons.

If everyone is onboard and there is 100% buy in, in achieving these goals, it makes it so much easier, and so much more satisfying at the end of it, when you have achieved those goals

Michael Furlong: I wasn’t there, but I am excited for you

Jess Davidson: We will have to get you an invite one year

Michael Furlong: How do the Awards arrive, because obviously they can’t deliver them? What happens there?

Jess Davidson: I have been told that after lockdown has finished, that they will be hand delivered by our Corporate representatives. So, I am waiting for that day that I get the Award brought down to me. In usual circumstances we have some fantastic parties.

Ray White are known for their fantastic Awards nights at Crown Palladium, and usually you get to go up on stage and you have your photo taken, and Dan White hands you your Award, shakes your hand.

For that 30 seconds, every eye in Crown Palladium is on you. So, it was a little bit different this year, we were zooming in and out, live streaming into people’s lounge rooms

Michael Furlong: Did you frock up?

Jess Davidson: I did. Yes. What a great excuse to frock up. I think we have all been living in track suit pants for a good solid 6 months. It was a good excuse to put a face on. Put some nice clothes on, get dressed up and have a glass champagne

Michael Furlong: I saw Adam Joske from Belle. From here on up he was in a Tux, from there on down he was in boardshorts & Ugg boots, and he was running the Awards

Jess Davidson: I may or may not be wearing Ugg boots now

Michael Furlong: Tell me a little about Ray White, Frankston. Tell me about your office, your team, you sound very proud of them as well. How many properties do you have, PMs, tell me about the office

Jess Davidson: I have an amazing team of PMs, and I have worked with amazing PMs throughout my career. At the moment there are 4 Property Managers in the Department, including myself, I still manage a Portfolio of 165 properties.

Michael Furlong: I was going to ask that…. that’s decent!

Jess Davidson: Throughout the last 12 months as PMs have come & gone from our business, I have actually adopted more. At one stage I was managing up to 350 properties for a 2-month stint there.

It was 2 and a bit Portfolios, that were amalgamated into 1, and I babysat those until we could find the right person, to fit into our team. It’s never been about just recruiting anyone into the business, it’s very much been about finding the right cultural fit, to fit in with the business.

It is a family-based business. Viv & John started the business over 15 years ago. Their Son, their Daughters have all come through and are all working in the business now, and they created this culture of family.

Even if you are not a direct member of the family, they treat you like a direct member of the family. You may as well be another Daughter or another Son. So, that culture has always been what drives the comradery & the team-based environment.

We have recruited a few PMs into the Department, there are 4 of us like I said at the moment, including myself. We have 2 in the New Business Team, and we have a Leasing Consultant, and we are very heavily supported by our Accounts Manager, as well as our Receptionist who used to be a PM in the team as well.

So, administratively we are quite heavily supported, and new business is not a core function of our Property Managers role. My part of the business is to ensure that we are not losing properties in the back-end.

The New Business Team ensure that they’re bringing the new properties in so that we continue to have that growth

Michael Furlong: I would love to find out how you do that because with most Principals, their number 1 goal is to grow a rent roll.
What I find after sitting down and talking with them is, that you don’t want to grow a rent roll before fixing up, to make sure that the hole in the bucket is plugged before you put more in the top and they keep falling out the bottom.

I would love to chat with you a little bit more, we are going to wrap it up for now, but I just wanted to Congratulate You. You are a Star!

It’s very rare to find a PM, particularly during Covid, that’s actually passionate, and is happy…. but I think it’s because you are on holidays at the moment

Jess Davidson: No, I am always like this. I might have the odd day where I am feeling a little bit blue, but who doesn’t?

The stress of the job can take its toll on anyone, but it is identifying when that happens, and knowing when to take a step back and have that glass of wine

Discover the 20 Best Questions & Property Management KPI’s, that SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT their Rent Roll Growth

Work through this easy to follow checklist, and compare it against your New Business Strategy to identify the gaps

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