Hi, Tanja here and welcome to TMJ TV, a weekly video series dedicated to leaders and teams that wanna grow themselves and their business in the least amount of time. I’m really excited to have a chat with our next guest. He has over 30 years experience in the industry. He is a director of a brand that has around 15 offices. He’s got 40 in his team, multi-award-winning operator, and I reckon he’s got the biggest florist and 40 merchandise line item in his accounting report. Please give it up for one of the directors of RT Edgar, Glen Coutinho. Thank you so much for being here today.
Glen: Thank you. Thanks for that warm welcome, very nice of you. Thank you.
Tanja: Thank you for your colourful tie.
Glen: Yes, yes, just for you.
Tanja: It suits your personality.
Tanja: I said multi-award-winning, Glen, because, far out, you have had an extraordinary level of nominations and award winning. You were number one in Victoria, number three in Australia for client service this year with the REB Awards. I’ve seen you speak many times. I know you travel the country and for me your biggest message that I get is, “Wow, love people up. Like, really, no kidding, have them feel loved and appreciated and valued.” I have a suspicion that maybe one of your languages of appreciation is gifts because you have…you know, it’s one of the things that you’re known for. Talk us through that, because you’re known as that guy that delivers great service, that can be untouchable in some ways.
Glen: Yeah, look, I think I’ve built a business that’s strong enough based on loyalty with clients and you don’t give gifts out to get your business back. But I’ve just always done it, for 30 years I’ve always… like, a client of mine, this morning was her daughter’s birthday. She’s 19, and she’s had a gift from the day she was born, 19 years in a row, never missed. I suppose…
Tanja: Now, you have a lot of clients.
Glen: Yeah, my database is over 35,000 people.
Tanja: So when I say you have probably the highest, like florists, and footy merchandise expense accounts, I’m not lying there, right? Like, it’s something you believe in. It’s from your heart, it’s not a strategy.
Glen: No, no. Look, I invest in my customers and a long-term future with them. Look, I’ve sent clients flowers for 20 years for their birthdays and still didn’t get their house, that’s okay. That’s not what it’s about.
Tanja: Yeah, yeah. It’s who you are.
Glen: It’s not what it’s about. I like doing it anyway, you know? I think, you know, you’ve got to invest money. It’s a self-business, self-marketing business and I like to do it. It’s a great way to bring your children up, too. They think the same way. My kids think the same way as I do with customer service.
Tanja: Yeah, I’m not surprised. I mean, we were talking before we started shooting about your son. I actually would love you to give him a plug because we were talking about his recent achievements from a musical perspective. He’s a 12-year-old boy who has now written his own album and he’s about to… I don’t know how much I can say so I’m gonna leave that to you.
Glen: That’s okay.
Tanja: But what I love is, just before we started shooting, Glen, you played me a song which…can I say was called?
Glen: It’s called “Loser,” yeah.
Tanja: It’s called “Loser.”
Glen: Hopefully, it’s not about me.
Tanja: No, no, no. The lyrics were, you know, encouraging young girls, you know, 12-year-old, 13-year-old girls to, you know, make better decisions. Like, “He’s a loser. He didn’t treat you right.” As a mother of two teenage girls, you know, I think, “Well, how refreshing, how inspiring to have a young man spending time thinking about, writing about and recording and putting himself out there to inspire young women and young guys to be better human beings.” So I shared that because the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Glen: Well, look, Mason has got 70,000 followers on his Instagram now. I’ve only got 2,000. So that kills me.
Tanja: He has, off the perch.
Glen: But we have instilled in him, and I’ve got four boys, but we have instilled in them respect for women from the day they were born. That’s a really…that’s a quality you have…really, you can’t…
Tanja: High-five for that.
Glen: Well, you can’t teach it. So, you know, that’s an important thing for us. The rest of it, they can work out. But that’s the most important one.
Tanja: So, that’s leadership, you know, and here we are inside of “The Key Leaders Of Influence” interview series. So you’re not only a great leader in your business with your team of 40, but you, you know, and your wife are also instilling great leadership qualities in your four sons.
Glen: Yeah, I think leadership starts at home because it’s pointless being a great leader at work and a poor leader at home. So, to me, the family comes first. So all my kids have got their goals written with me, which we write once a year, they sign off. They’ve all got a commitment to respect for women and attitude. Even my wife and I, we spend quality time, you know, we’ve been together 30 years as well, so that’s a long time. We’ve never argued in front of them, in 25, 30 years, we’ve never argued. So…
Tanja: Never argued in front of them or never argued?
Glen: At all. No, never argued at all.
Tanja: Okay, now, that’s a whole other conversation.
Glen: There’s a whole another long… Look, she’s never yelled at me and I’ve never yelled at her. So that teaches the kids. It’s not reality but it can happen.
Tanja: No. Well, how is that your reality? How do you be in a relationship with different opinions for 30 years and never have been…?
Glen: Because she’s always right. Simple, right?
Tanja: Interview over. Happy wife, happy life, as they say.
Glen: Right. Then the mindset, too, for your clients has to be the same at home. So there’s no point running around, buying your clients flowers and not buying your wife flowers. I’ve bought my wife flowers once every three weeks for three decades. Done the same for my customers. Same person at work as home.
Tanja: Yeah, so…
Glen: So young Mason got himself on the front page of Target recently, sent the girl flowers. Well, he got in four more times. Simple, right? Friendly customer service, it’s fine.
Tanja: I mean, I really, I love all of these philosophies and that congruency of who you are in the office is who you are at home. So we were talking about Mason, so just do a quick shout out for… Because, really, no kidding, watch this space. I’ve had a listen to his music. He has…how many, 70,000?
Glen: He’s got 70,000 followers. He’s about to go to Los Angeles to book and complete his album and then he’s hopefully gonna get picked up by a record company. Then he’ll probably get rid of me, probably.
Tanja: You were saying you’ll be there as his rock just to keep his feet on the ground but it sounds like he’s doing all right already. So, shout out… What’s his Instagram account?
Glen: It’s Mason Coutinho. Coutinho Brothers, yeah.
Tanja: Coutinho Brothers?
Glen: Yeah, yeah because he sings with his other brother, the two of them, and one of them plays the guitar and yeah they’re all…
Tanja: I saw a recent video of them together. So the other brother is the younger one, right?
Glen: Yeah, that’s right.
Tanja: Great. Well, well done. Mason, if you’re watching this, we wish you very well, and I got goosebumps listening to your song. So I have a vision of you going great places, mate, so anyway we can support you. I ask the real estate community to get behind a young man that’s making a stand to be passionate and treat, particularly treat women and young girls well, which is a great message.
Glen: He’s worked at…he’s making more money out of music than real estate. So I’ve lost a good salesman.
Tanja: Well, he’s an entrepreneur, right? Like, off he goes and good luck to him. So are you familiar with the five languages of appreciation?
Glen: Yeah, most of them, I think, yeah.
Tanja: So it comes from a book, “The 5 Love Languages.”Doctor Garry Chapman wrote the book and then looked at how to use it organisations. Quickly, the languages are: quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, and physical touch and affection. It seems to me like gifts is one of your love languages.
Glen: I’ve got four out of five, I don’t do much physical touch and affection.
Tanja: Not at work, that’s not very appropriate. So is that your predominant love language, do you love receiving gifts or do you love the gift of giving?
Glen: I’m an awkward receiver. I really don’t like getting gifts, but I love giving. I just like giving to people all the time and that’s an important part for me, so.
Tanja: Was that how you were brought up, Glen, or is it something you just thought, “I value that.”?
Glen: No, just picked it somewhere along the way, and probably started in my late teens. I’ve been doing it ever since for customers, friends, clients. It doesn’t have to be expensive gifts but it’s the thought and it’s the timing which is critical.
Tanja: Of course. You travel around the country, nationally and internationally and you speak about this. So, you know, it’s one thing to get booked to speak about this, what do you hope that the audience does and implements as a result of hearing you share what you do?
Glen: Look, I think that I’ve done the talk to a lot of groups and I’ve had people say it changed their life because they’ve changed their mindset towards people. They’ve stopped to acknowledge the receptionist. They’ve stopped and given a gift to somebody who’s given them great service. I was in Tasmania recently. I wrote a really nice letter to the concierge, she got a promotion. So, you know, that would encourage her to go and do the same thing. It’s the same in your business. Practice those things, it works really well.
Tanja: So you remind me of my favourite quote, Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” and “This moment is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” So you, Glen, take the time to make the moment matter. If you can do that when you meet a vendor, in the moment of meeting them, then they get an insight as to what you would be like if you were the partner the sale of the biggest asset.
Tanja: Talk to us about leadership, so you lead a team of 40. So you have one office and about…
Glen: Yes, one office in we’re about to open one in Carlton, so that’s about five weeks off.
Tanja: Great, congratulations.
Glen: Leadership is a pretty important thing for me.I think there…you know, I get to the office every morning, the first thing I do is I walk around and I put a hand on the shoulder of every single person.
Tanja: So that’s physical connection, there you go.
Glen: There’s no touch, just the shoulder.
Tanja: Yeah yeah, just a little touch.
Glen: We had our sales meeting this morning, 40 people in the room. I went and shook hands with every guy in the office, I kissed every girl on the cheek, and then I did the sales meeting.
Tanja: You’re a bit old-fashioned aren’t you, Glen?
Glen: A little bit, yeah.
Tanja: I like that. Good old-fashioned service.
Glen: But the hand on the shoulder is important. I wouldn’t walk in the office, sit in my office, close the door. Door is always open. I never close my door unless it’s really important. So it’s open, which welcomes the staff in. I like to go out, I just, “Gidday, how are you,” just to each person, just about every time I’m in the office. Then I just get on with my job.
Tanja: Talk to me about the open door. Because, A, it can be great because people get you’re approachable and you’re attainable and you’re there for them. B, from a time management perspective and an interruption of flow perspective, it can mean a lot of interruptions. I see it where it works well, and, mostly, I see where it doesn’t, where the leader is left working, you know, extra hours or just not completing tasks. Tell me how you manage your open-door policy.
Glen: So, door is open, but headphones on, and I’m one after the other, after the other, after the other.
Tanja: Yeah, calling.
Glen: So when the guys come up to talk to me, then I’m on the phone, I’ll pause, “Hi,” and then I’ll just get back on my job. But I make…
Tanja: So you give them cues if you’re in the call, and they just go, “I’ll be back.”
Glen: Yeah. Just, you know, “Two seconds, I’ll be with you in a sec.”
Tanja: Got it.
Glen: You know, I always say, you know, “Get to the point. What do you need?”
Tanja: Yeah, yeah. Be intentional.
Glen: Yeah, yeah. I’m not there for waffle. Now, I don’t stop for lunch, coffee or anything. I just do my job, go, and then, you know. I work, I get in at about…
Tanja: I was gonna say talk us through your day.
Glen: Well, my day is up at 6:00, in the car by about quarter to 7 with the kids, off to work. The kids get on my social media, Facebook and Instagram. Their job is to say, “Happy birthday,” to all my customers, so they do. My son, Billy, posted this morning to 15 of my clients to wish them happy birthday, happy wedding…I mean, that’s his job, otherwise, he can walk to school. Right? So by the time I get to…
Tanja: When you say that’s his job…
Glen: In the car.
Tanja: …he gets paid to do that job?
Glen: Not for that, no, no. He gets a lift to school.
Tanja: Good, so you are instilling values because…
Glen: It’s a good mindset for him because after he’s done my accounts, he does his own friends because he doesn’t forget them either because he knows I do.
Tanja: So you’re just teaching him life skills?
Glen: Yeah. So the kids do that, they do my posting. By the time I drop them off at school, I’ve been in…my face has been in front of a couple of thousand people with the Facebook posts and all that. Then I get to the office by about 8:15, 8:30, on the phone pretty solid for…to my vendors and clients till about 12:00pm, pretty hard at it till 12:00pm. Then at 12:15pm, I’m down at the…well, 1:00pm today, but down at the botanical. I meet my wife, I strip off in the car, we do a lap around the botanical…
Tanja: I’m glad you added that last bit on there.
Glen: Yes, now those days are gone. So we do a five-kilometre walk around the…
Tanja: Every day?
Glen: Every day, botanical, down at…yeah, 30 days straight. Then we have a quick bite to eat, get dressed again, and back to work. That’s really good time for us, really important.
Tanja: So five days a week?
Tanja: Seven days a week.
Glen: Sundays, the kids come with us. Saturday morning, I do it before my auctions.
Tanja: So you’ve got a really tight… I mean, I know, I’ve seen on social media and I remember we were at “Jets Revive Roundtable” event in Victoria, and I noticed you opened your compendium and there was, you know, a photo of you and your wife kissing, a photo of you and your family, and you know. So what I love about you is you are congruent with what you say. You’re not preaching some top ten tips for building great client engagement and then not doing it. You’ve got your kids in the back of the car getting a lift to school, you’re walking around the tan with your wife seven days a week, the kids are joining you on Sunday. Discipline and consistency obviously are great qualities of yours. How did you get those? Because…were you born that way or did you adopt them?
Glen: No, I think I wasn’t born that way, but I adopted them somewhere along the way, I picked up that this is what you need to do to be successful. So I thought, “Well, okay,” you know? This is just a mindset and I wanted my kids to follow the same discipline. So, generally, they just follow their parents. So if your kid’s an idiot, it’s because you’re an idiot, right? If you drink at home, they drink, you know?
Glen: We don’t drink at home at all, you know? Just don’t. Just don’t want them to be that kid that grabs a beer for dad. It’s not me, so, not that there’s anything wrong with it, just not my cup of tea.
Tanja: It’s just not your flavor.
Glen: But, you know, my son, one of the boys, they’re up at 5:30am in the morning practicing the guitar, in the gym at 6:00am. They’re doing discipline…
Tanja: They’re replicating their dad, yeah.
Glen: Consistency all the time. I’m consistent, you know? That’s what they see. They see success from being consistent.
Tanja: Are there days you don’t feel like doing something?
Glen: No. No, because the returns are great financially and people uplifting people. You know, we were in a restaurant recently where we had ordinary food and ordinary service and I still wrote a beautiful letter to the guy to say, “Thanks for talking to us.” Three days later, the boys with me, and three or four days later, the owner rang me, thanked me for the letter. Turned out the bloke I wrote to was his son and he listed his house with me for five million. Right? So my kids were like…
Tanja: Go out and eat and write great letters. But it…
Glen: My kids were like, “Wow, that’s why you don’t complain.” I don’t complain about anything. You could spill wine on me, run into my car, whatever, fine.
Tanja: So you’ve mentioned the word mindset at least four times in, like, 10, 12 minutes. Talk to me about that because you are from…I mean, I do leadership and mindset coaching. You are in a different percentile of human beings. Many human beings are often in that reactive, hanging out our their circle of concern versus our circle of influence. For me, it seems obvious that you choose to just hang out in your circle of influence and not sweat the small stuff. Talk to me about the mindset for you. What does it mean and what do you do personally to elevate your state of mind?
Glen: My state of mind is really simple. I never worry about anything I cannot change or fix. So if it’s got nothing to do with me, I can’t help it. Someone passes away but I, really, I have nothing to do with it, nothing, I feel sorry for them but I can’t let it drag me down. So I stay in the positive space. I can compartmentalise things that don’t worry me. I figure, “What’s the point of worrying? I’m not gonna change it.”
Tanja: It’s a waste of energy.
Glen: I’ll just get on with staying positive. My goal is to make 10 people, normally, feel amazing every day. If I do that seven days a week, business is great. If it’s a staff member, it’s friend , it’s someone…
Tanja: The barista.
Tanja: The cameraman.
Glen: Cameraman, anything. Just do something nice, shake hands, talk to them, ask them a bit about them. Those sort of things can make a difference. You know, I was in Tasmania recently. I saw this girl on the corner really stressing out, I said, “What are you worried about?” She said, “I’ve got a job interview.” I said, “All right. Well, sit down for a minute. I’ll give you two minutes, right? Practice on me. Now, look straight, look me in the eye. Try again”. I helped her and she was great after that. She got the job. Wrote me a little nice letter, I obviously gave her card. That, you know, most people just walk past.
Tanja: That’s true.
Glen: Stop for a minute.
Tanja: Yeah, or we’re like this, swiping through life, you know, trying to build friends we’ve never met, yet really not connecting with the person in front of us.
Glen: If I sit with somebody, I wanna know about them. What do they do for a living? What’s their passion? Then connect.
Tanja: Sure. So clearly, you’re doing a great job of that, leading by example at home. Talk to me about what you’re doing in your office and you’re about to open a second office really soon.
Glen: So the same thing at work is lead by example at work. You can tell people what to do or you just do it. So generally, if I’m, you know, engaged to sell somebody’s house, they’ll get flowers virtually an hour later. Their kids will all get a gift. A client listed a house with me the other day, he’s a Richmond fanatic. He got a Richmond scarf delivered to him, wrote me a beautiful letter. You know…
Tanja: He would have been happy with the match recently Oh, my gosh, yeah.
Glen: He was happy with the win. But my staff see that and they see that translate into business. So they think, “Okay, if I spoil my client like Glen, it will come back to me.”
Tanja: Do they automatically replicate or do you actually not only lead by example, but you sit down and talk about it or…?
Glen: No, I just get up and say, “This is how I got the house.”
Tanja: You just do it?
Glen: I just do it and they work out it works and they copy” So one of my staff listed a house two days ago and automatically sent flowers because he just knows it works. I don’t force them, it’s totally their decision, but they know that it works. If they see my sales figures three or four times anyone else, they think, “Well, why?” I said, “This is why. Did you wish all your clients happy birthday this morning? Have you done something amazing for somebody? Did you buy your wife flowers? Today your wedding anniversary, don’t forget.” You know, those little things, if they fire that mindset, it cannot fail. There’s not a person in the world that will knock you back on the flowers. There’s not a woman in the world that doesn’t want flowers, correct?
Glen: No one.
Tanja: Yeah. When flowers are in my house, my heart’s happy.
Glen: Perfect, yeah. Even for…you know, I encourage them to send flowers to the people that don’t want to use us.
Tanja: Of course.
Glen: Say, “You don’t wanna use me, here’s some flowers. Thanks for the opportunity. Have an amazing day.”
Tanja: Yeah, “Wish you well. I hope you get the results you’re looking for.”
Glen: Yeah, “I’m sorry it wasn’t me but on to the next, hope well.”
Tanja: Exactly. You know, the perceptions of buyers and vendors, according to the CoreLogic 2015 and 2016 data, demonstrates, from the moment of signing the authority to when the house is sold, their level of confidence drops by 47%. So if you are that agent that didn’t get the listing but you’re, like, sending them flowers saying, “Hey, I saw you made a decision. Wish you well. You know, I look forward to seeing how it goes,” and you stay sticky with them while their chosen agent doesn’t, who are they gonna remember?
Glen: Well, I met a guy recently who has called three agencies, I’ve known him for a long time, three agencies to sell two houses. I said, “I don’t talk to you about the houses, can I talk to you?” I sat down, he said, “Look, we’re separating.” I said, “Okay. Let me give you a one-hour session, a compelling reason why you shouldn’t separate.” I went, walked him through goals for his children, flowers for his wife, quality time with his family, and I walked him through that whole process. I said, “You’re probably not gonna give me the houses, and I don’t want them. But I’d rather you rebuild.” I wrote him a list of things he should do, and he wrote back to me. He said to me, “Thank you, that was amazing.” He said, “I don’t know if it’s gonna work but I’ll give it a go.” He said, “If I ever do sell, I’ll only come to you.” I said, “I’d rather you don’t sell.” Because, actually, would…
Tanja: You want him…
Glen: He’s got little children. They’ve been together a decade. He goes I am looking for extra-eternal happiness. I said, “There’s no such thing.”
Tanja: It’s something you generate.
Glen: It’s not out there. Same shit, different day, right? Just stick with what you got and make it work.
Tanja: True, true. You know, when two out of three Australian marriages are ending in divorce, you know, yes, it’s a lot of homes being sold, but what I can hear is… You can hear your number value there, right?
Glen: Yeah, absolutely.
Tanja: It’s clear family is number one.
Glen: Yeah. Not many people would go and have that conversation. They would just try and pitch for the house.
Tanja: Of course. So one of the things that’s obvious about you then, which is music to my ears and one of the reasons why I wanted to spend some time speaking with you and, you know, sharing your philosophy and your ethos, is for me real estate agent…you can be a real estate agent or you can be a change agent. You’re a change agent.
Glen: Change agent, absolutely.
Tanja: You really stand for people living great lives. And if you’re there…you know that old saying, “Whether it’s a reason, a season or a lifetime…”? You have chosen to be in people’s lives for a lifetime.
Glen: Yeah, absolutely.
Tanja: If you get the opportunity to sell their home also…
Glen: Business comes naturally.
Tanja: Business comes naturally.
Glen: I just had a client who was just sitting in Queensland and sat down for their dinner with his wife for their wedding anniversary, and I had two glasses of champagne waiting at the restaurant. Right? Just blew his mind away.
Tanja: Yes, simple things.
Glen: Client for life. Posted it on Facebook, he shared it with all his friends. He told a thousand people about it. Some don’t. But to me, I think that’s fun. I like it, it’s good fun, you know?
Tanja: Yeah, yeah and you’re in their life.
Glen: “How did you find out I was going there?” Their kids told me, you know? Just good fun.
Tanja: Well, I have my ways.
Glen: I have my ways. I’ll track you down. Yeah, yeah.
Tanja: So Glen you said, “I don’t worry, I don’t worry.” Now, I love that and I absolutely see the benefit in that. It would be unrealistic to say that there weren’t challenges and opportunities to solve problems in the business.
Tanja: So talk us through your approach to effectively solving problems or handling different opinions. So not worrying is a choice, tell us the difference for you.
Glen: Okay. The difference is it’s never done by email, letter, or writing. It’s always face-to-face, one-on-one, away from everyone else. If there’s a problem with someone, “Hey, let’s go and have a coffee.”
Tanja: Yeah. Someone in your team.
Glen: In my team.
Tanja: Like an opportunity to…
Glen: Don’t agree, whatever. Let’s go and talk away, out of the office. Just like you never tell your kid off in front of another kid, same process. Out of the office, cup of coffee, “So, look, I know we don’t agree on a couple of things. What do we agree on? Okay, let’s agree to disagree on these three things.”
Tanja: So you build a common ground?
Glen: Yeah, “Let’s work on the ones we can agree. I’ll give a little bit, you give a little bit.” Shake hands, hug and kiss, and get out of there. Dont’ make a big deal out of it. You know what I mean?
Tanja: Yeah. How does that work for you?
Glen: Great. Always works well.
Tanja: What’s the feedback been?
Glen: Feedback’s always amazing. It’s only complicated when you write an email saying, “I don’t agree,” or, “This is a problem,” or you send a text.
Tanja: Yeah, do you know the amount of, not only leaders, but people that… You know, it’s really simple, email for confirmation, phone call or face-to-face for conversation.
Glen: That’s it.
Tanja: So many people, though, because we’re…our bums are stuck on the seats, we’re just, like, typing because it’s easy. “I’ve got to get this communication out,” but we’re forgetting there’s a heartbeat on the end of the keyboard.
Glen: Well I say to my boys, “You never allowed to breakup with your girlfriend over the phone. Face-to-face.”
Tanja: A text. Yeah. Maybe write a good song, right, afterwards and become like Adele.
Glen: Yeah, yeah. Face-to-face, always face-to-face with anything even a touch quickly because I want to read your body language. I say something and you start shaking, I know I have offended you. I can’t see that on a phone.
Tanja: Yeah, and you can’t see whether it’s landed, whether they agree.
Glen: No, no. Yeah, I wanna know.
Tanja: Because you lose all that physiology and tonality in black and white words.
Glen: It’s terrible, yeah. So that’s…leadership is drop the emails, drop, you know, even Facebook, social media, nothing negative. If it’s not positive, don’t post it, no strong views on there. Just use it for what it is, it’s fun and…
Tanja: Keep it light.
Glen: Keep it light, keep things light.
Tanja: What else? Leadership, just, for you, I just wanna popcorn this. So I wanna know in Glen Coutinho’s practical magic, bag of leadership, what matter…
Glen: So bag of leadership. So with my sales team, for example, to build a strong sales culture. Firstly, ethics are critical, right. They cannot see you compromising your ethics. You know, someone said, “I don’t know if I should tell the owner this”. I said, “Look, tell them the truth.” If you tell them the truth, you’re safe. The third one is, like, with my sales staff, I try to recognise all their children’s birthdays, all their wives’ birthdays, all their wedding anniversaries. If I do that to them, they do it to their clients.
Tanja: Like you’ve done with your boys, they all have their goals in a really clear why.
Glen: Even down to the seven-year-old. Because I recognise her birthday and their mom’s birthday, she recognises them now. Still the same with my sales guys, and especially sales people’s wives or husbands.
Tanja: Well, yeah, because they’re the ones sharing these people with you and your business and the clients.
Glen: Yeah, one of my staff goes to their husband and says, “I’m gonna leave Glen.” He’d say “You’re crazy, you’re mad, you’ll never get looked after like that again.”
Glen: That’s it. Just, I like people. You know? It’s a people business.
Tanja: It’s a no-brainer. So talk us through your leadership structure and how you partner your people achieving their full potential. So you know their why, how do you build this skill levels?
Glen: Well, we do a sales meeting once a week. We do a lot of one-on-one coaching, a lot of training with the guys, but it’s always on the job. So we’re going to see a client together, we pitch together, we walk out ahead and just say, “Look, maybe we could have done this better,” or “This is what we did wrong. This is what we did right.” Just get on with it, shake hands, done, hug, go. Simple. Don’t complicate it. No big formal training sessions, it’s mainly one-on-one with the crew and it’s very honest, very honest assessment, “What can I do better first? What do you think I could have done better?”
Tanja: You ask that?
Glen: I ask that first, yeah.
Glen: If they bag me, I cop it even if I don’t agree, “Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
Tanja: Because it’s true from their perspective.
Glen: Right, absolutely.
Tanja: Right, they saw it from their filter like the vendor would have seen it from their filter.
Glen: Yeah. So, you know, we go into a house and I’ve got my foot and their foot next to each other, and step on each other’s toe if we’re saying something stupid.
Tanja: Physically in the room?
Tanja: Yeah. So it’s like, “Don’t go down that path.”
Glen: Yeah. Step, it means, “Shut up.” Or you might be going down a path and someone’s getting really sensitive, and the other person hasn’t picked it up, you know, sitting with a couple that are divorcing or something’s going on. So, you know, you always get a kick under the table, you know it’s time to shut up. I’m happy for them to kick me because it’s gotta be both ways. But I think as a leader, you just have to lead by example. I try to be first in the office every morning, make my calls. I don’t hang around the office gossiping and I say to guys, “If it’s not positive, don’t wanna know about it.”
Tanja: So what do you do to performance manage? Because people are people, not everyone operates at the level that you choose to operate in.
Glen: Real estate’s easy because it’s commission-only. So your paycheck at the end of the month is gonna be zero, that’s pretty…
Tanja: So you’re really clear?
Glen: Very clear.
Tanja: So it’s like zero tolerance?
Glen: If you don’t sell, you get nothing. So our business is self-regulating in a way.
Tanja: Of course. But if someone’s selling and they’re not demonstrating the values that you hold near and dear to your heart, and they are talking negatively about either another team member or a client, how do you manage that?
Glen: Just a quiet one-on-one
Tanja: So you just take them out for that coffee and…
Glen: We’ve got a couple of staff that don’t get along. I say, “Look, I’ll do anything for you. It’s important for me to rebuild that relationship. I’d like the two of you to work out some common ground and get back together.”
Tanja: They work it out?
Glen: Well, otherwise, I’ll get a really great house and I’ll put them both on it together. They have to work together.
Glen: Force them into the going together.
Tanja: Nice. What has that experience shown you?
Glen: It always works. They always become mates because they’re back on a really good house. It’s gonna pay them really good money.
Tanja: There’s a positive outcome.
Glen: I’ve said, “Listen, you’ll both get paid really well at the end of it as long as you’re best mates by the time the campaign is finished. If you’re not, I’m keeping all the money.” Simple.
Tanja: So what are your core values? I mean, I can hear them, but do you have clear values for your business?
Glen: Absolutely. Yeah.
Tanja: What are they?
Glen: Respect for people is number one, absolute love of people is a critical one. I always like the rotary, there’s a couple in rotary that are pretty important which are affects everyone. How does your decision affect everyone in the queue?
Tanja: Yes, so this is what I call…
Glen: Is it the truth?
Tanja: Is it the truth, like an ecology check. So if I make this decision, how does it affect me, my wife, my kids, the client, the brand, the business, the community, the industry? Check in before you make a decision.
Glen: Yeah. It’s the same mindset to the kids, right? The kids are taking a day off school because he’s gonna go and sing a song somewhere. He says, “I’ll just tell the teacher I had a dental appointment.” I said, “No. You tell the teacher you had a singing appointment. Tell the truth.”
Tanja: Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.
Glen: Well, otherwise, you’d corrupt them at a young age.
Glen: So you get them right and you do the same at work. The same mindset.
Tanja: So you’re about to open a second office. Congratulations again. What did you see that you needed to line up and get right before you took that step to have a second office?
Glen: Okay. So I think we needed to have 35 to 40 sales people with the same values as us, the same…
Tanja: Why that number?
Glen: Well, that’s just the number that we had. But we’re gonna have eight or nine people in Carlton.
Tanja: Okay. Yep.
Glen: But we’ve grown to stage we can’t fit anyone else in the office.
Tanja: So it’s physical now?
Glen: Physical, one. Also, Carlton is a really good market. We’re also very loyal to the Carlton Football Club, so we’re gonna co-brand with those guys at Carlton, which is great.
Tanja: I can see it now, yeah.
Glen: Same colours, too, same colours. We support the Carlton Football Club women’s side,
Glen: So they’re gonna help do the launch with us. You know, I think we’ve got 11 or 12 female selling agents, one of the highest in Melbourne, and a couple of female auctioneers. So it’s not a glass in our office. It’s fantastic for women.
Tanja: We love that. Good to hear. So is it literally cut and paste with…just in a little bit of a different market?
Glen: Exactly the same. Yeah.
Tanja: So same values, same…
Glen: Yep, same.
Tanja: How will you manage your time?
Glen: I will just step back and forth between the two and we’ll have a couple of staff over there. But most of our business is done in coffee shops now. We don’t spend a lot of time in the office. In the office, do your job, get out and it’s in Lygon St so great coffee.
Tanja: Hello! Yeah, and good pasta and all of that sort of stuff.
Glen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s fantastic. Yeah.
Tanja: So we’ve talked about…
Glen: Sorry. Very flexible hours for the staff. So I always say to guys, “Look, your family and children have to come first. I wanna come second but don’t come to work and you miss kids’ school sports.” “I got school sports today with one of the girls.” “I don’t wanna see you at work. You need to be there. Take your family, your badge, but you need to be there, come to work later.” “Wow, that’s terrific.”
Tanja: It’s foreign, yeah. That starts from the top because that’s your value. So if you are a sales agent that isn’t family-first and it’s all about the businesses, and that’s okay too if that’s your truth, then maybe, you know…
Glen: That job is not for them.
Tanja: Not a different environment…
Glen: In my interview, I never ask them how much money they’re gonna make. I wanna know, “Just tell me about your wife and your children. How long have you been married? How long is your relationship gone? Is it a good relationship?” I wanna know about that relationship because if they’ve got a great relationship with their partner, you know, “I’ve been married 20 years,” then you’re gonna be loyal, loyal straightaway. “I’ve been on my third wife.” “Okay, not gonna be that great,” you know? Easy.
Tanja: Yeah, true.
Tanja: So, again, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Glen: Mindset, it’s my favorite word, isn’t it?
Tanja: It is. What do you do? So I know it’s a choice, you don’t worry, you get over things quickly, you focus on your visions and what you’re there to do, you have clear goals, you’re consistent. Who inspires you as far as mindset or what…you know, someone that represents mindset, philosophies, teachings? What do you do to educate yourself? Or is it more not stuff in, I like to take stuff out? How do you keep that state of mind?
Glen: Any time I hear something that I think is amazing, I’ll remember it and copy it if I think I see something. But, no, I just…I learn from kids. I learn from my wife who’s a really great inspiration because she doesn’t crack the shits about anything, ever. Fantastic, smile and get on with it, you know…
Tanja: Must be pretty peaceful in your home?
Glen: Extremely. Well, five kids is noisy but you have a peaceful….
Tanja: But peaceful chaos, yeah?
Glen: No yelling no screaming. No, none of that. Yeah, it’s peaceful.
Tanja: So let’s talk industry leadership now. You know, you’ve had no shortage of awards. You know, we’ve had number one in Victoria, number three in Australia for customer service. Nominated as principle as the year finalist, agent of the year finalist, sales campaign of the year finalist, so demonstrating excellence consistently. What do you believe the industry and leaders in the industry really need to focus on today to be more relevant to the consumer tomorrow?
Glen: I think they have to be lovers of people because, you know, I only get as a salesperson… So you’re selling your house, right. I get in your life once and I’m gone for 10 years. What makes you come back to me 10 years later?
Glen: So you have to do something that’s really memorable…
Glen: …that can last a decade. Because you can get forgotten.
Tanja: You can.
Glen: You can become not relevant. So it’s important that I do something amazing with you, not just the sale and the result, but then I keep in touch with you. So a really good salesperson in real estate needs to make 30, 40 calls a day just to talk to people. He needs to be seen, needs to be up doing great community things, and needs to be consistent every day. It’s not a short game. If you wanna come to real estate and make money in a year, you’re not gonna work. It’s a 30, 40-year business where you have to go the long haul.
Tanja: You have been in it for 30 years now.
Glen: 30 years, yeah. Yeah.
Tanja: Three decades now.
Glen: Yeah. I’ll do it till I’m dead because what else would I do? I like to do it.
Tanja: It’s who you are it’s not what you do, right? It’s who you are.
Glen: Yeah. I actually don’t really like houses that much. I just like the people.
Tanja: You like people. It’s funny, you know, you can hear when some people wanna get into the industry you say, you know, “What do you love?” “Oh, I love property. I love real estate.” Okay, well, that’s…
Glen: Yeah, It’s not gonna work. It’s not gonna work.
Tanja: It’s not actually about that.
Glen: Yeah it’s nothing to do with property. It sounds like it is, but it’s actually not.
Tanja: It’s not, it’s all about the people. So, you know, for either, you know, new leaders that are watching this or, you know, even agents that are watching this, you’re saying the number one thing is you gotta love people.
Tanja: The people in your home…
Glen: Look, you have to be a chaser. I mean, it’s not a business where… You’ve got to be a chaser but you gotta love people at the same time and…
Tanja: So love people in your home, love people in your team…
Tanja: …and love people you have the privilege to serve, and love people in the community.
Glen: Love the enemy. You know, I mean all my competitors…
Tanja: Love the enemy.
Glen: …they may not like me, but I like them all for some reason or another.
Tanja: Sure, yeah. You look for the good.
Glen: I’m always friendly, yeah.
Tanja: Chaser, define chaser.
Glen: So chaser is if you want me to sell your house, I might have to ring you 12 times in a year to get you. I gotta chase you. I don’t wait for you to come to me.
Tanja: Yeah, so be persistent.
Glen: Absolutely, in a friendly way.
Tanja: What I was gonna say, how do you chase without, excuse the French…
Glen: Being a pain in the ass.
Tanja: …but piss people off?
Glen: Easy. That’s easy because I went to a house the other day and then turns out the lady’s got a bookshop. So I just went to the bookshop and bought some books and we spoke about the book and she likes me already because I went and bought some stuff in the shop. Simple, right?
Tanja: Yeah it is. So you don’t focus on the sell, you focus on the connection.
Glen: No. What I wanna know is what does that person do for a living?
Tanja: Yeah, what do they love? and..
Glen: Yeah. Then become, you know…
Tanja: It’s like when you were kids and you’re in the schoolyard, and you go, “What’s your favourite colour? What’s your favourite colour?”
Glen: Mine, black.
Tanja: Okay. That’s a shade. No, but, “What’s your favourite?” “Black.” “Okay, mine too. We’re best friends.”
Glen: Yeah, absolutely. Easy. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tanja: Let’s find a simple common ground and just nurture that and trust that something will come.
Glen: Yeah, a client of mine is selling a house, involved in the Gold Coast Suns so I sent a photo of me wearing a hat, a Gold Coast hat, just kind of, just to connect. It’s a little…
Tanja: Even if it’s silly little things or something…
Glen: Yeah. I’ve got a guy that’s got a restaurant in Camberwell, wants to sell a house. I took my staff there for lunch and we had a good lunch there at his restaurant. I wrote him a thank you letter and… Yes, he knows I came there because I want his house but I’m using his service. Just, you know, connect.
Tanja: Of course. Yeah. So when you have a look at the top six points of the key findings from the Executive Summary of The Real Estate of Leadership, you’ve said love people. Love people, whether in your home, in your business, in the community.
Glen: Even the ones that don’t like you.
Tanja: Of course, like love your enemy..
Glen: We get people that hate us, right? It’s just…
Tanja: It’s normal.
Glen: You know, I’m selling for somebody, it’s a divorce and it’s always my fault right, right, divorce or financial sale and they wanna scream at the agent, that’s fine. I understand. You would never get me to yell back at you.
Tanja: No matter what?
Glen: No, no matter what, no way.
Tanja: It’s a pretty amazing quality to have, right?
Glen: Impossible. I’ve never used the horn of my car yet in 40 years, never, ever touched it. That’s just my mindset. Run into me, doesn’t matter, crash my car, fine.
Tanja: It’s okay.
Glenn: It’s good. It’s great.
Tanja: I wanna ask you a really personal question.
Glenn: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tanja: What’s your faith? Is it a faith?
Glen: No, I’m Catholic.
Glen: Catholic, five children. I’m not a Sunday church Catholic person.
Tanja: Yeah, but does that hold you true to something bigger than yourself that trust it doesn’t matter? Like, because kind of you strike me as someone that would have a faith.
Glen: Well, my brothers reckon I’m the devil. But I’m Catholic. I was an altar boy when I was young. I believe in parts of it.
Tanja: You believe in parts, yeah.
Glen: Parts of it, as in, you know, doing the right thing, doing the right thing…
Tanja: Love thy neighbour.
Glen: …by your friends, family, love thy neighbour, all that stuff.
Tanja: Yeah. All the good parts that are loving and open and build connection rather than separate.
Tanja: Okay, great. I just wanted to know.
Glen: Yeah. My children are confirmed and baptised and all those sorts of things. So we do that and we, you know, weddings and funerals, churches and Easter and Christmas. That’s about it. But, you know, I respect it.
Tanja: But there’s a faith, something bigger than you that…and that’s…
Glen: Absolutely, yeah. Well, I don’t know how I got here so, I must have got here from something, so…
Tanja: Yeah. So thank you for answering that question. So if you look at those top six points as far as the key insights for leadership, you’ve said love people as your key message. If you look at those insights, which one do you…?
Glen: Well, the one that resonated for me was the last one, which 26% of leaders spend half their time navigating people and performance. I think navigating people is the key. Because, to me as a leader, you have to knit your team together somehow, find the ones that need to be put together, take them to the football together. I’ve sent three of them to the footy that aren’t absolutely best mates, but I send them to the footy together, now they’re really good mates. So you find and tie them all in because then the team runs itself when they’ all backing each other up. You’ve gotta trust the bloke that’s next to you. I tell you, it doesn’t happen overnight. But if the leaders absolutely get honest and straight, then the rest kind of follow.
Tanja: So the key messages there are don’t sweat the small stuff.
Glen: Well, you can’t change it, right?
Tanja: You can’t. It’s a waste of energy.
Glen: Waste of energy.
Tanja: I would absolutely partner you in that because there’s two circles, a circle of concern and a circle of influence. You clearly have had the growth, the loyalty, the market share because you just do not pay attention to anything outside of your sphere of influence.
Glen: Well, it’s impossible to change.
Tanja: It’s true.
Glen: You know, somebody’s just walked up and says their car just got stolen. Okay. So?
Glen: Well, I had my car towed a couple of weeks ago. “Fine,” I walked in that shop and everyone was yelling at the bloke and I thought, “I’m not gonna be his best customer.” I walked in and go, “Hey, man. Here’s my card, mate. Thanks for looking after my car. Where is it?” He goes, “Are you gonna yell at me? Everyone else has yelled at me.” What for? “Well done.”
Tanja: It’s not gonna change anything.
Glen: It’s not gonna change anything.
Tanja: But it’s interesting then because if you hang out in your circle of concern, you have justified reasons why you don’t have the results. When you play in your circle of influence, when you don’t sweat the small stuff, when you love your people, when you’re clear in your goals, when you’re consistent out there in the community working in cafes and, you know, coffee shops, and as a leader, when you don’t step over stuff and you create opportunities to bring your people to come together to work for a common good and an outcome beyond the stuff, that’s when you have results.
Glen: Absolutely. Attitude is a choice, total choice.
Glen: Mindset is you wake up and think, “Am I gonna be positive today? Yes, I am.”
Tanja: As we said before we started shooting, your attitude determines your altitude.
Tanja: So thank you so much, really, for, A, your energy. B, just the stand that you are, not only in real estate, but just, for me, just humanity, just a way that we can treat each other. You know, there’s a beautiful invitation for people. Do you wanna be someone that uplifts and elevates people because of your presence or has them have a worse a day than they started out with?
Glen: Absolutely, yeah.
Tanja: So what would be your final message to anyone that wants to have greater results in their business?
Glen: Before you start, you have to lead your family and your children with the right mindset to be leaders.
Glen: If you lead them first, right, lead them first, and then you lead your team. You want them to have an impact in everyone’s life that they meet, positive impact.
Tanja: And if you don’t have a family and children?
Glen: Find one, get one.
Tanja: Make one.
Glen: You’ve got to make one, right?
Tanja: Or your friends.
Glen: Be in someone else’s. But, eventually, you’re gonna have to have a family. That’s part of it, right?
Tanja: Yeah. So remember, right, love the people you’re with. Glen Coutinho, it’s been really beautiful to sit with you…
Glen: Thank you very much. Thank for having us.
Tanja: …and unpack what you do to create a great business, a great culture, family, and, for me, just a great world to live in.
Glen: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Glen: Thanks for having me.
Tanja: Glen Coutinho.
Glen: Thank you.
I hope you found that useful. If so, please like it and share it. 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 and you can turn your workforce into the life source of your business. I’ll see you next week for more TMJ TV.