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KEY LEADERS OF INFLUENCE | INTERVIEW SERIES | MARIA & MANOS FINDIKAKIS

By August 13, 2017 No Comments

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Tanja: Hi, Tanja here and welcome to TMJ TV, a weekly video series aimed at real estate leaders that would love more time to grow their people and their business. Did you know that leaders spend up to 80% of their time navigating the people, performance, and productivity issues within the business? Now this means their focus is of recruiting for results, delivering strategies for success, and gaining the market share that they desire.I’d love to help. Every single week, I’m going to share insights and free downloadable tools to help you and your people achieve your success in the least amount of time. I hope you enjoy this next episode of TMJ TV.

Hi, Tanja here and welcome to TMJ TV, a weekly video series for real estate leaders and teams who wanna grow themselves and their business in the least amount of time and a couple of days ago, I caught up with these two, Maria and Manos on their couch, and I think it’s time they sat on the AREC couch, welcome guys.

Maria: It’s so good,

Manos: Thanks for having us Tanj, it’s great to be with you.

Tanja: Maria and Manos, of course the directors of the Eview Group, a fabulous national real estate brand that is building leaders and this is what we are here to talk about, leadership.

Maria: Yes, absolutely

Tanja: So, we are sitting here at AREC, how’s your AREC experience been so far?

Manos: It’s been phenomenal

Maria: Amazing two days,

Manos: Certainly has, really key performances

Maria: One of the best

Manos: One of the best, certainly Bob Wolff has been an absolute highlight

Tanja: Yeah

Maria: He always is

Manos: So congratulations to the TRET team and John for putting on a fantastic show again.

Tanja: Yeah, it’s pretty phenomenal

Manos: It really is

Tanja: So we are here, specifically talking about leaders and this is something that is really important to you and your brand and your ethos, why is that, why is leadership and creating a platform for leaders important to you.

Manos: Personally I believe it’s all about, we as leaders need to amplify other people in our business and give them the tools and guidance to excel in where they want to go and obviously surround themselves with great people to get them to where they want to go. So it’s a cascade process.

Tanja: There’s a ripple effect

Manos: It is, it is

Maria: I think for us it was the reason why we started Eview, it’s been in our DNA, we’ve always worked for ourselves, and we wanted to surround ourselves with like-minded people. We didn’t want to micro manage people we wanted people who wanted to lead to join us and we wanted to help them create really amazing businesses. So that’s why I think leadership is important to us.

Manos: It’s key

Tanja: It’s critical, and you have both been agents, and I know you went in

Maria and Manos: Kicking and screaming, Yeah

Tanja: Kicking and screaming in your denim suit, which I know we have talked about and one of your philosophies is to create an opportunity for, to be in the business um for yourself but also have that support

Manos: Be in the business for yourself but not by yourself

Maria: Yeah

Tanja: But not by yourself and because one of the things that leaders find is that dance between being in the business and on the business. So all that dollar productive stuff and people productive stuff, so what is it about you and the Eview brand that provides that environment for them to just focus servicing their team and their clients and then all that other stuff can be taken care of.

Maria: Yeah

Tanja: Cause that’s a big one

Maria: I think, first of all it’s speaking to each individual what they’re good at and helping each individual stick to their lane, what they’re good at,

Tanja: Yeah

Maria: and letting go of all the other stuff, so we can do that for them, they’ll have a really successful business. I think that is one of the key things.

Manos: Absolutely

Maria: To begin with

Manos: As a business leader, you’re wearing multiple hats and you need to be really efficient in all of them but not perfect.

Tanja: Yeah

Manos: Does that make sense?

Tanja: Yeah

Manos: So, electing where your strengths are and looking at where you’re a bit weak on and seeing where you can outsource that. That’s what our role is.

Maria: and letting go

Manos: Letting go

Maria: You know, allowing them to actually have faith and trust in us that we are going to look after those parts of their business they are going to keep running and running and more efficient while they’re out there, doing what they do best, which is listing and selling.

Tanja: Which is listing and selling and that is where we make the greatest difference

Manos: and mentoring their teams. If they are too busy worrying about administration, if you look, I think the beauty about us is we took a helicopter view of the business, pulled it all apart and said what are all the components that are absolutely critical for a leader to be involve in the business and that is being in the field, talking to their client base

Maria: face to face

Manos: leading their team, administration is not a necessary component of a leader, as long as you have the confidence that you have someone in the background doing that for you, it’s a hat you don’t have to wear. You need to be aware of the process.

Tanja: Of course

Manos: So, to make sure it is being conducted correctly, but apart from that, give it to someone else, outsource it and make sure you can focus on your dollar productive and your core focus.

Tanja: To achieve macro growth you don’t want to be focussed on the micro movement

Manos: No

Tanja: I see admin teams as the glue that makes everything stick together

Maria: Of course, it’s a very important job, but most sales people don’t enjoy it

Tanja: Yes

Maria: Or most leaders don’t enjoy that part of it either

Manos: Whereas I love it

Tanja: You do yeah

Manos: I love it the administration side of it, and pulling it apart and putting it back together and seeing how we can make it more efficient

Tanja: More cost effective

Manos: More cost effective and making it a bit more fun as well and getting the right people in those roles. There are people that don’t want to be sales agents that are really good at process

Maria: Love process

Manos: As opposed to being out there in the field and chasing for new business

Tanja: So what would you say to sales agents that are sitting there who, like many are thinking, I reckon I could do it, I reckon, I want to do my own thing, you know, I’ve earnt my stripes, I’ve been working for this great brand but there is something inside of me that wants to go and do my own thing.

Maria: Yeah

Tanja: Cause it’s a big leap

Manos: It is, it is

Tanja: and there are many thing to consider, what are some of the key considerations that you can see from when people walk through the door, that if they had of known, it would be helpful for them to be prepared for.

Manos: Yeah, great question, great question.

Maria: It is a good question there are so many

Manos: There are so many aspects to it but if you really distilled it to a couple of things it is one, the desire to be on your own, is there something is there a bit of a spark in you to say, you know I want to create something for myself that’s number one, number two, have you got the capacity, so capacity is in a number of ways, it’s financial, that’s a really important aspect of it, so we say to people, if you aspire to be a leader and you’ve been in the sales trenches, are you writing at least 300k in GCI, $500k to really take that next step

Maria: To go on your own

Manos: In business leadership

Tanja: Because there’s many liabilities that you’ve got to factor in

Manos: There is

Tanja: Which has lots of potential but you’ve got to enter it with eyes wide open

Maria: I was going to say the first thing you should do is ask why, why do you want to do it, before you do anything and really work out what that is, because if it’s for making more money, you’ve just got to work it out because sometimes what you think it’s going to be it’s not.

Manos: Not necessarily

Maria: It’s not

Tanja: Yeah, seeing your name on the office building is nice but keeping it there is a big responsibility to keep it there

Manos: It does

Maria: Most people think that opening up my own business I’ll be able to keep the majority of my commission or make more money, only to find out when going into business they have heaps of bills to pay

Tanja: Yeah

Maria: They’ve got a team to mentor, so there for their time of listing and selling is cut in half, so the income coming in is actually reduced, so

Tanja: Yeah, so you’re working harder and the pockets are

Manos: The law of diminishing returns

Maria: So actually, I think yeah, why, why is the most important thing that they have got to work out. Why they want to do it.

Manos: and I guess that’s why we created Eview, so there is a platform that is already established, if you are thinking of taking that next step a lot of the hard work is already done

Maria: There is an easier way of doing it

Manos: There is an easier way of doing it

Tanja: and you’ve got the support of the whole team

Manos: Corporate team

Tanja: Now you have some pretty phenomenal leaders in your business who have created super teams

Maria: Very blessed

Tanja: and who are leaders in their own right, travelling the nation and also internationally speaking and sharing their wisdom, how does that make you feel?

Maria and Manos: Extremely proud

Maria: We love it

Manos: We’ve always envisioned, for us it has never been about being up on stage, as a leader, it’s about your people,

Tanja: Yeah

Manos: and sometimes you believe more in them then they do in themselves

Tanja: Yeah, I’ve heard you say that before

Manos: and when you see them step up

Maria: It’s a great feeling

Manos: and reach their goals, and for us it’s not about writing a million dollars or writing two hundred thousand it’s about their personal goals in family life, in business, it’s all those levels. Success to us is not about how many transactions you actually made in the year,

Maria: Success for everybody is different. For us it’s helping them achieve what they want

Tanja: Whatever theirs is

Maria: Whatever theirs is

Tanja: and what are the, what would you say, if you were to distil it down to three qualities, if you think about

Maria: The leader

Tanja: You know, the guys and the girls in your team that are really setting the benchmark and being a great example for other to follow, whatever it is that you want to realise. What are the three characteristics or attributes that stand out?

Maria: I think they know what they are good at and they stay in their lane, that would be number one.

Manos: Self-Awareness

Maria: Self-Awareness, they lead by example, they lead their teams by example, they don’t people do things that they wouldn’t ask themselves, so definitely leading by example and just believing in themselves, believing that they can do whatever it is they want to do

Manos: and I would add one more to that, they have good DNA,

Tanja: and what does that mean?

Manos: They are just nice, good people, they really are sacrificing of themselves

Tanja: So, of service to others

Maria: Of service

Manos: Of service to others and they’ve just got that good DNA, they’re just nice people and who are willing to take action as well and as Maria said

Maria: Action is main

Manos: stay in their lane, they believe in their people

Maria: They’re authentic, that’s another one

Manos: they are willing to help

Maria: There’s a few, there’s more than three

Manos: Yeah

Tanja: Yeah but you can see there is a similarity and I’m hearing this in all the conversations we are having there is definitely that servanthood leadership, you’ve got, I mean, listen, if it’s good for Richard Branson it’s good for us. You know, if you treat your people like your clients, then they’ll treat your clients as gold.

Maria: Yes

Tanja: We have, as you know, I’ve recently partnered with Core Logic Australia and we’ve done a survey to find out, well, what is the current state of leadership within the Australian real estate industry and we have released an Executive Summary, so big thanks to my partner in crime, the data queen Kylie Davis

Maria: Kylie

Tanja: So, I asked you to have a look at some of the top key findings and read us the one that you have picked and why you think it’s of interest.

Manos: The first one Tanja, 21% of real estate agents say the quality of leadership in their organisation is excellent, 45% say it’s good, so really what it’s actually saying is 80% are saying it good or not excellent

Tanja: or something else

Maria and Manos: Or something else

Tanja: What’s missing?

Manos: So that’s really four in five are saying that leadership is not really all that great. Is there a lack of leadership? Is there a lack of training out there in the market place or is there a lack of belief? Leadership takes a lot of courage. It takes courage to really step up and actually put yourself out there for what is, at many times a thankless

Maria: It is, most of the time

Manos: A thankless position and a lot of people, sometimes can’t handle that. They’re thinking, oh okay, can I? Should I? How come I’m not getting the pat on the back, and if that’s the reason

Tanja: Where’s mine?

Manos: and if that’s one of the reasons you aspire to be a leader, it’s probably the wrong reason to enter leadership, so I guess looking at that stat, apart from that, really, if you want to be a good leader the amount of tools that are available for people, the amount of information and people to actually model yourself from and to learn from, just like we learned in sales

Maria: I don’t think anyone steps into that role to be a bad leader though

Tanja: No of course not

Manos: No

Maria: Everybody’s intentions are really good, but maybe they don’t have the tools and they don’t know how to and they become really overwhelmed with everything that they have to do within their business and that’s why that’s the feedback. So I think, you know, partner yourself with a group or you know there are so many groups out there that you can become a part of, you know, seek advice, bring in a coach, get guidance because if you’re a good person you can become a really good leader but you’ve got to know how sometimes.

Tanja: Yeah

Manos: It says there, agents say the quality of leadership in their organisation is excellent, 21% so are they saying it, so are people in the organisation saying this to their leader and having a bit of an accountability session

Maria: Yeah

Manos: I’m expecting a little bit or maybe some suggestions

Tanja: Because, it says here 82% of principals feels qualified to actually lead their business and so perception is reality

Maria: Yeah, they’re thinking they are doing a good job

Tanja: So even though…

Manos: A great job

Tanja: and they are and they are working with the best intentions

Maria: Yeah

Tanja: but then if you were to ask the team, or get some 360 degree feedback to check on what matters most, and what are we doing really well and what are the opportunities to improve and do I feel like there is a safe space for me to even give feedback because there are many different leadership styles, some are more open and affiliative and coachable and then others kind of like the my way or the highway approach which statistics show, it doesn’t work.

Maria: Yes

Tanja: How would you describe your leadership style?

Manos: Look ours is definitely supportive, we walk the talk, we certainly, or like to think we lead by example. We certainly wouldn’t ask of our team to do something that we aren’t prepared to do ourselves

Tanja: Well I know, I know, because I know your brand fairly well, there is a great culture, I’ve seen even on your private Facebook page of someone needs a hand at an OFI or an auction, you know, there’s no shortage of, no matter what office you work in or what team you’re on…

Maria: People willing to help, the culture is amazing

Tanja: You just jump in and help the collective which, you know, kind of begins at the top really.

Maria: Yeah

Tanja: Who in any industry, as far as a leader is concerned do you, are you inspired by? Maria, I’ll ask you first. Which leader, it doesn’t have to be real estate

Maria: It doesn’t have to be real estate

Tanja: No

Maria: Oh, look, Richard Branson is one of them

Tanja: Yeah, and why?

Maria: Absolutely love what he does, he’s a people person

Tanja: Yep

Maria: He recognises that people are the key, people are the key in business but in real estate I have to give a shout out to John McGrath only because we are in his venue today and not just for that but he has been amazing in the real estate industry, he’s done some really, really good things and AREC is one of them.

Tanja: and here we are, twenty years’ in

Maria: 4,500 people together listening to some amazing speakers and all for, you know, helping the industry to become better by learning and by teaching. So, yeah, big shout out to John.

Tanja: Yeah, well said, and Manos, who inspires you, cause I know you devour books and podcasts and your always keen to get innovation and elevate your own thought leadership,

Manos: Yeah, look there’s many and I wouldn’t single out any one particular person outside of real estate but inside of real estate one particular person that has had a massive impact on our organisation and that would be Chris Roles

Tanja: A huh

Manos: Chris Roles, from the former Rental Express, so we met Chris six, seven years ago and he put some processes in place and showed us the abundance mentality, how to work with teams and we really learnt a lot from that and apart from that from the sales point of view, Mr Lee Woodward, he’s been fantastic for us

Maria: He is

Tanja: He’s been a part of your fabric for a long time

Manos: Without question

Maria: Since the beginning, hey Lee

Manos: So really fortunate to have met and of obviously collaborate

Maria: and still working with them, both of them

Manos: Absolutely, there are many many

Tanja: Of course and there is no shortage of what we can all learn around leadership but I think if we break it down to, there is the skills component and then there is the willingness, so as a final question, you’ve both said, you can modify and learn and elevate your skills what do you think leaders need to focus on as far as willingness is concerned, because having the skills and not being willing to use them or use them consistently is where a lot of things fall apart. What do you think is important as far as the willingness to lead? The willingness to go past when things get tough and you’re not getting thanked, what does that take?

Maria: They have to know their why

Manos: That’s it

Tanja: So always come back to why

Maria: Why are they doing it?

Manos: To why

Maria: It has to be that, if you don’t know why you are doing it, how can you get up every morning

Manos: Yeah

Maria: at 5am in the morning and keep going back the day after and the day after and the day after, I mean there are some days that we have some challenges and Manos will say

Manos: Challenges

Maria: Challenges and Manos will say “This is what we signed up for”, you know

Manos: It’s true

Maria: and you’ve got to remember this is what you signed up for, so I think knowing your why and also just looking after yourself, you know, every day so you know that you can cope with all that.

Tanja: Yeah, because when emotions are high, intelligence is low and

Maria: emotionally…

Tanja: and we can maybe make the wrong decisions which can affect the ecology of the business

Maria: The whole group

Tanja: So what’s your why?

Manos and Maria: Oh

Tanja: How long have we got

Manos: To inspire and help people build fun and profitable businesses and live extraordinary lives

Maria: We just love it

Manos: Going back to Maria’s why and so forth, it’s about being passionate about what you do, you really have got to fall in love with it, you’re not going to fall in love with every aspect, you’re going to have those down days, but, it’s about the journey as opposed to the destination. We all know that we’d love to do certain things, travel a bit more, buy things, etc., but really drilling down to your why

Maria: It’s helping people

Manos and Maria: It’s helping people

Maria: You know, we’ve had different positions within the industry, we started out as sales people, I started out as a sales person within a year and a half we had our own business, we became business people, so it doesn’t matter what we’ve done throughout the years, if it’s helping a vendor, helping a landlord, or helping a sales person start you know, in their career

Manos: Or a property manager start their own business

Maria: Yes, or a business owner, a franchisee, it’s helping people achieve actually achieve what they want to achieve

Tanja: and that’s what fuels you

Manos: and that’s what fuels you, exactly

Tanja: Great

Maria: 100%

Tanja: and you know, that old saying goes, you don’t believe the message unless you believe the messenger and one thing that is very congruent with the two of you is you are your values and we are sitting here at AREC and you guys are about to get on a plane and go home and pack for Crete because you have forty of your team

Maria and Manos: Yes

Tanja: heading off to live the values live the why in reality

Maria: So excited about that

Tanja: So it’s not something that’s just on a vision statement or in collateral, you’re actually about to do it

Manos: and that was a goal of ours, it was mentioned, Bob Wolff said it, he goes, “Write down your goals” and that was one of ours, to have an Eview Group conference

Maria and Manos: In Crete

Maria: It’s our second home

Manos: and now it’s becoming a reality in two weeks’ time

Tanja: and you get to go to your beautiful new home

Manos: Yes

Tanja: So, good on you…

Maria: Thank you

Tanja: for being a living breathing example of creating something out of nothing and for providing an opportunity for other people to lead people and feel like they can be supported in the process and go and travel internationally and have fun.

Maria and Manos: Yeah

Tanja: cause you know, where here for a good time and a long time so, Maria and Manos

Maria: Thank you so much

Tanja: from the Eview Group, thank you so much for being on my couch at AREC today

Manos: Thank you

Maria: Thank you beautiful, thanks for having us

Manos: Awesome

Tanja Jones

Author Tanja Jones

With a core belief that people buy people, not products, I am fundamentally dedicated to having real estate professionals achieve their desired results in the least amount of time, with the least amount of suffering and the most amount of fun.

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