Ray White Queensland’s pursuit of leadership

RAY White Queensland’s driving recruitment ambition is the pursuit of leadership across the Sunshine State.
A great network understands it must have coverage for its real estate community to be effective.
But Ray White Queensland chief executive Tony Warland says he will never allow offices to open for the sake of it.
The CEO who has been at Ray White for 29 years said there were 41 locations left in all of Queensland that his network wasn’t covering.
The suburbs are not a secret, they are published on the Ray White website and include blue ribbon inner Brisbane city areas and the Gold Coast all the way to Proserpine and Palm Cove in far north Queensland.
“Yes we are the biggest network in Queensland with over 200 offices but we no longer focus on market share and number of offices, we focus on leaders. If we find great leaders, then we’ll make the room for them. It is as simple as that,” Mr Warland said.
“There is real freedom when you just seek leadership. I am definitely in the pursuit of leadership.”

In 2017, Ray White Queensland added 17 new offices to its network, including four existing offices that saw a change in ownership. There are also three new offices opening in January 2018.
Mr Warland said the very nature of things in life and business meant the network, that has just recorded its all-time personal best result in November 2017, was always evolving and never still.
“There are people who wish to retire and sell down, some have health issues and there are always changes to business structures and there’s always succession,” he said.
“We are always looking to the future. It’s the same in any family, how do you carry the name?”
Ray White offers people who may be curious about business ownership to join its Next Leaders group. This group is a simple opportunity to refine people’s ambitions.
“But Next Leaders is filled with so much truth that it can show people it’s not the best course for them,” Mr Warland said.
“The ambition of being a business owner comes back to the want for leadership.
“The first thing we look for in our business owners is their ambition to be leaders because if you cannot lead people you are just buying yourself a job.”
Ray White is blessed with many great examples of highly productive salespeople who yearn to be owners.
“A lot of people get inspired by the people they work for. But the best leaders are the ones who recognise people with aspirations and who encourage them and support them and bring them through.”
Mr Warland said there was a common trait among all business owners and that was “restlessness”.
“People have to want it so bad that it is almost hurting. We would like to think the value that we offer enhances their opportunity to be successful,” Mr Warland said.
“There is a certain level of success that people have in them but we believe with our help they have more opportunity to improve.”
On the Sunshine Coast, new business owner Rebecca Osenton was a great example of this as her principal at Ray White Caloundra Andrew Garland “lifted her up, instead of holding her back”.
Ms Osenton has just transitioned from an elite sales position at Ray White Caloundra to opening her own business in Pelican Waters within three years.
It was a similar story for Ray White Carina principal Andrew McSweeny who rebranded this year.
He agonised over his decision to rebrand his office in Queensland to Ray White for a full eight months.
“I had sleepless nights over the decision simply because I wanted my team to be comfortable as well as I didn’t want to make this move on my own,” said the 43-year-old who had already rebranded twice before during his career.
At Ray White West End principal Luke O’Kelly has been open since September.
The O’Kelly family had been an integral part of the West End neighbourhood since 1985, when Luke’s parents Clive and Sandra O’Kelly opened their first real estate office there.
Luke O’Kelly has followed in his father’s footsteps and managed their own investment and property management business before rebranding as Ray White West End.
“I have seen Ray White grow in leaps and bounds in the last three years. A lot of other brands are in decline and Ray White is bucking the trend,” Luke said.
Likewise Ray White Sunnybank Hills principal Eric Li has been open for a year in the heart of the Chinese community in Brisbane.
“Everything is different at Ray White because Ray White is truly a family business and family is important to me,” he said.
“All of the members at Ray White help each other, just like a family. Even Sydney and Melbourne offices send me referrals.
When he opened his business he had three staff and now he has a team of 21 and he has plans to open more offices.
And Ray White Bracken Ridge principal Roxanne Paterson has been open 18 months after she left for previous agency abruptly.
“My transition to Ray White has been incredible. I have only been in real estate for four years, and I have learned so much,” she said.
“Ray White is so far ahead of its competitors in everything. Tony Warland is such a fair leader.
“He picks the right people. He’s a leader looking for leaders. He’s not in it for the quick fix, trying to fill a space. He’s strategic and I respect him.”