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 I am with the founder, director, CEO, real estate agent, woman of everything, Monika Tu from Black Diamondz. Welcome and thank you so much for spending some time.
Monika: Thank you so much, Tanja, for having me.
Tanja: You’re welcome. So we are here at the 20th anniversary of AREC, and we’re talking a lot about leadership particularly because Core Logic Australia and myself have just released the executive summary of the report of findings of the landscape of leadership. And you are no stranger to leadership. You are really leading the way, inviting certainly a big portion of the Chinese community to come and experience our beautiful country. What’s been the inspiration behind your brand and what you’re doing?
Monika: I think the inspiration behind my brand is, like, I really want to build a business which stand out which actually give the people service. And it’s not just about selling real estate. I give them lifestyle guidance. You know, being a bridge between the two different cultures, I’m very fortunate to be a Chinese myself and of course I’ve been here for, like, almost 30 years now and am more Australian than Chinese. So, it’s like a trusted advisor, a bridge, helping people…of course, you know, I wanna have a great product which is real estate which will open a door for me to reach this very wealthy, highly wealthy Chinese clients just coming here helping them, finding them a home, and give them a lifestyle.
Tanja: And, you know, what I love about you Monika is whenever we see footage of you, it’s very fancy, and beautifully produced, and you’re doing such incredible work showcasing our country, our real estate, our, you know, brands, fashion, pearls, cars yet you are so grounded and so focused on customer service. You don’t get carried away with all the thrills and glamor of it all. That is such a beautiful quality. How do you maintain living in both worlds?
Monika: I think it’s quite simple. You know, from AREC 2017, so you’re talking about, you know, the value of the business, a value of the person. So, the value of my business is about more, like, you know, keeping grounded and what’s the purpose of my business is really building a brand which embrace both cultures and give some people like something solid and stand out from others. So, I have to keep telling myself, “It doesn’t matter how high you fly. I have to keep my feet on the ground.” Yeah, I…
Tanja: Yeah, so that’s something you value.
Monika: Absolutely. It’s a value for my company personally and also for my team.
Tanja: So you have a team of 35, and Black Diamondz is eight years young, a very fortuitous number. What is your leadership ethos? What is your philosophy around leadership? How do you lead this amazing brand of yours?
Monika: I think leadership for me is actually very personal. So, I can talk underwater, right? So, I think it’s, you know, stuff like, “Talk the talk, and walk the walk.” I set the example for my team. So, of course we have procedures and policies, and, you know, everybody have to understand the core value, you know, integrity of this business. But, again, I set example, so I work the hardest and, like you said, you know, people see me… You know, I can have everything in the world, and I’m very successful, but you know what? I do the basics so that AREC, again, we’re talking about basics. So I get up, you know, in the morning. I do exercise.
Tanja: What time do you get up?
Monika: Actually I’m a late person, so all my team get up at 5 and I get up at 7 but I sleep at about 1:00am, you know, because of our time difference.
Tanja: So you’re more of a night owl.
Monika: Yeah. it’s more about time difference in China, my buyers you know… Like, 24/7, I really have to answer the questions. So, I, you know, get up and I have open houses. I do the listing presentation with myself and with my team. So, I think setting the example for the team so they follow. So, you know, I tell my team, “I don’t give you guys pressure?” I say, “No, no, no, by not giving the pressure is the pressure.”
Tanja: Oh, okay. So not giving the pressure is the pressure, but you’re clear on your standards.
Monika: I’m very clear on my standards.
Tanja: And you’ve got policies and procedures so people know where their boundaries and parameters are, and you lead by example. So you’re not sort of asking them to do something that you wouldn’t do. So they kinda know what the temperature gauge is for Black Diamondz.
Monika: Absolutely. I think, you know, real estate is different from the other business I’ve built. First, you’re running your own business on our platform. So you’re running your own business in our business. So I’m running my business over at Black Diamondz, and you are running your, you know, ABC brand in my business. So, you know, if I do set example, “This is what I believe in,” hopefully they will follow.
Tanja: What’s your favorite thing about leadership?
Monika: Ah, favourite thing about leadership, again, is I think just being part of them. I love my team. Let them feel like you’re not…you might be a leader, but you’re not really authority.
Tanja: Not the boss.
Monika: Not the boss. You’re just one of them.
Tanja: And it looks like you guys have a lot of fun from what I see you doing on social media and on Facebook. And the other thing I love about you is, yes, you live what many of us would think would be a high-flying life yet you’re also willing to sleep in a cardboard box on the street.
Monika: Yes. Thank you for noticing that.
Tanja: Well, of course. Tell us a little bit about that, because that in itself is leadership. You know, that is an example of using your profile, using your energy, using who you are to raise awareness of something else. And I think this is something that, if we will have a bit of a walk and talk, why have you chosen to do and what’s the organisation that you do it for?
Monika: Okay, actually I thank you Tanja for asking that. You know, another thing we do is that…because I’m not just a real estate agent. I’m a real estate agent, I’m a business woman, I’m also a philanthropist. So what I would do is I set example for the Chinese newcomers. You know, we have a very famous thing that we don’t make them just a wealthy member in the community, make them a valuable member. So by setting example is by influence them.
Tanja: Nice, WOW
Monika: You know, Australia is a beautiful country, great lifestyle, beautiful people, but you know one thing? We still have homeless. So there are 125,000 homeless every day in Australia. So, you know, I go out sleeping in a cardboard box, and by raising awareness… And I’m very happy. At the moment, top five CEOs in the country, top one female CEOs, and top two CEOs have raised the money and awareness. And that awareness goes to China’s community. I’ve got people from, you know…they don’t give a name. They donate $10,000, like, in one go to help this homeless people. I think I’m really proud of it.
Tanja: Yes, you are.And we are really so proud of you because, as I said, you really are such a beautiful ambassador for our country, for the industry, for women, for business owners, and you’re also really willing to use your light to shine upon something like to help the 120 people that don’t have a home which is such a paradigm…
Monika: A hundred twenty-five thousand.
Tanja: Thousands, sorry, hundred twenty-five thousand which is such a paradigm shift, you know, to the world that you live in. what do you hope that your team learn from your example that they can apply in their own intra-business?
Monika: I think one thing… Because everybody in my team is in real estate. So by having a listing and servicing your vendors, it’s not just been smooth talking and, you know, of course you have the basic door knockings and cold callings. But I think I really believe, like, if you do something good… Like, we say that, you know, at the stage, “You give first, so other things will come.” So by just, you know, giving, and giving, and giving…and, you know, because we’re working in the high-end market, so all our vendors are very sophisticated.
Tanja: High expectations.
Monika: Very high expectations and highly successful. So there’s always a reason behind the success. I think these people are giving us well. So by giving them service, giving them what you believe in, and, you know, giving them, like, you know, what do you call that? you know, like, giving back to the community, and people actually are watching you. So I believe, you know… I never have expectation.
Tanja: That’s another thing that’s been happening…
Monika: Never, So I’m just giving and giving and giving, and God bless, hopefully the business will come back. So, I’m a living proving. You know, so I’ve been real estate only eight years. See what we have achieved.
Tanja: Just share with the viewers your last month, because this doesn’t happen by chance. This definitely happens by choice. And every day leaders have the opportunity and teams to choose who they are in the world.
Monika: So another thing for me, Tanja, I don’t really have a secret, right? So if I do have a success, I’m gonna share and inspire others.
Tanja: Which is great leadership.
Monika: So our last month, everybody knows, is, you know, half of the month is holidays, Easter. So my team did, within 19 days, we did $100 million.
Tanja: Nineteen days, one hundred million dollars.
Monika: Yes, 23 days, we did $123 million.
Tanja: In 23 days, $123 million dollars.
Monika: Yes. I think it’s amazing achievement where everybody’s on holidays, so my team’s working really hard. And again, I didn’t take a holiday.
Tanja: Oh, yeah, I can’t imagine.
Monika: So, yeah, I think this is just evidence about hard-working, do whatever you believe in, and as a leader, I lead by example. So, I didn’t stop so there’s no reason you should be stopping. But, of course, we’re having holidays in other months. So, yeah, I think that was a record for us.
Monika: Thank you so much.
Tanja: On the path to that incredible success and with making $123 million in 23 days, there’s bound to be…
Monika: Oh, not making, selling.
Monika: I wish.
Tanja: Selling, yes. Well, that’s the next month.
Monika: I hope so.
Tanja: Selling $123 million in 23 days. Biggest challenge?, like, because you play a big game. You play an international game. You have a team of 35, many moving parts, as you know, running a business. What’s the biggest challenge in your business as a leader? And how do you rise above it on a daily basis?
Monika: I think there’s a lot of challenges. I really loved the challenge. So, you know, people say, “Oh, what’s the problem?” I say, “There’s no prob.” Those challenges are really good, right? So the challenge is probably have the right people in your team. So I think it’s not hard for me. Just go out there and get the business. But how can you get a team really believe what you do? So after eight years of time, I think to recruit the right people is really, really difficult, but we’re getting there. So people are watching me, and I hope, you know, people really believe what I believe in. And, you know, I think build the trust of the team member takes a bit of time.
Tanja: And do you have core values that your business stands for that helps you recruit the right people?
Monika: Our core value, you know, is it’s not about me. So it’s all about you, okay?
Tanja: Right. If I work for you, it’s all about me.
Monika: It’s all about you. So if you believe what the Black Diamondz is giving, you’re probably part of it. And, again, the core value is about value, interpreting, and I think you’re only as good as the company you keep. So, you know, if you believe this is the right platform, you’ll do well but never forget about basics, right? So that’s why we have all the trainings, you know, with our great trainers here. That’s why we come to AREC, you know, just to listen to others, so basics is everything.
Tanja: So, if you were to give all the leaders and teams that are watching this and, you know, tip around one thing that you’ve done inside of leadership that you think if they applied would make the biggest difference to their team and therefore the service that their clients receive, what would it be?
Monika: I think I don’t really… I know a lot of people actually in the business much longer than me, right? So I don’t have the right to tell them, you know, how to, but I think, for me…
Tanja: Yeah. From what you’ve learned in your journey, what would you share?
Monika: My journey is that be humble.
Tanja: Be humble.
Monika: Be humble. I think real estate is just such a great…you know, the industry is just so…the market is so big for everybody. So, like, you know, yesterday, you know, they’re talking about, you know, it’s a healthy competition. You know, this a market for everybody. Just be humble. You know, don’t take yourself too serious, and you have to decide you want to be a real estate agent or you want to be entrepreneur, right? So, this is a big difference. You know, so, for me, I would love my team to take all my listing to sell it, right? So helping them, helping the team, and maybe just enjoy a couple listings for myself, but I really want my team to be successful.
Tanja: So you lead by example. You’re are willing to shine a light on the course to make a difference for something…
Monika: Not at all.
Tanja: …bigger than yourself. You like to recruit to have people that share the vision so they’re part of co-creating it. You stand for your people being fulfilled in what they do. It’s more about them than it is about you. And you have an attitude of gratitude and abundance. And your fundamental foundation is be humble. And you can be humble and glamorous at the same time. So, you know, Monika, on behalf of everyone watching and all of us that witnessed what you and your team are doing, and the contribution you’re being to the Australian economy, and also, you know, great Australian brands, and restaurants, and baristas, and people out there, we’re really, really grateful. And you’re such a great sport and great energy, and thanks for spending some time with us today.
Monika: Thank you so much for having me.
Tanja: You’re welcome.
Monika: Thank you, thank you.
Tanja: I hope you found that useful. If so, please like it and share it. And if you’d like access to the free downloadable tool, just click on the available link. If you also have any questions or challenges specifically in the area of leadership or mindset, just write it in the comments below and where possible, I’ll provide solutions to your requests. Remember let love lead, then you can turn your workforce in the life source of your business. I’ll see you next week for more TMJ TV.