A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tell me your secret!!

“Tell me your secret!!” said the text message from a former staff member after I wished her a happy birthday for her daughter. It came after I’d also wished her husband and son a happy birthday in the past few weeks.

She knew she must have told me her family member’s birthdays but couldn’t remember how. I reminded her of the “magic form” she’d filled in for me when she first started working for us which told me the important birthdays and anniversaries in her life as well as her favourite flowers, restaurant, chocolate etc.

Most people write down that information on day one of working with us and then, in amongst the wave of other information they get exposed to that day, promptly forget.

Then all I have to do is refer to a trusty little excel spreadsheet once a week that I keep on my desktop and I suddenly look like I have a magic crystal ball (and a fabulous memory).

Thanks to Rick Deluca for the idea and for making me look like a memory superhero.

(And don’t feel like you can only do this for new team members – I had all my staff fill it in as soon as Rick taught me the idea – there’s no time like NOW!)

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where do you come from?

Some years ago I went with two girlfriends to spend a week at a health retreat. The three of us stayed in exactly the same accommodation, ate the same meals and had the same opportunities in terms of what fitness experiences or treatments we chose to partake in – and yet, each of us had a completely different week.
One friend, heavily pregnant at the time took the week to relax and rest indulging in morning tai chi, long naps and hours spent recharging. The other friend had a very emotionally introspective week with treatments and other reflective sessions. I spent the week working out till I nearly passed out, reading heaps of books and forming a growing obsession with the customer service flaws in the retreat.
Same opportunities, completely different experience because of where we each were in our lives at that time.
This week I read some feedback about a real estate agency that has now closed down stating “XXX Real Estate were the best agency I ever dealt with and it’s a shame they’re no longer in business”. Yet, I’ve had other people tell me how furious they are at this company.
Same company, two different experiences. So who’s right about what it was like to deal with that company?
Probably both parties. It may have been the different person they dealt with, but I also think it could also have been what they brought to the experience.
A person with an investment property who has had a terrible experience with a previous property manager is very likely to form a different kind of relationship with their new real estate agent (one that is less trusting, more jaded, more suspicious) than an investor who has had good previous dealings or has been referred to that agency by a fan.
A divorcing couple in the middle of a nasty break up are likely going to have a different relationship with their sales agent than a couple looking to upgrade to start a family.
What are your clients bringing to the relationship before you even have a chance to impact on them? How can you work to form relationships with them even in the most trying of situations?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pizzazz or Perfection?

I recently did a cupcake decorating class in preparation for my little girl’s
first birthday. We learned how to decorate three cupcakes, a face, a car on a
road and simple stripes.

As the fabulous instructor Sally showed us how to craft the intricate
decorations, 11 of the 12 people in the class, with the exception of a few
differing colours recreated in excruciating detail the cupcake they were being
shown how to create.
Me – I went a bit off course. Instead of stripes I had a go at a plaid pattern
(with limited success). Instead of a classic 2 box car design, I had a go at a
sportscar with a middle aged driver with a comb-over. Instead of a bun on the
head of my face, my cupcake chick had pony tails and a cheeky grin.

I laughed when I got home thinking that my performance in this cupcake class is
pretty indicative of my work attitude as well. If you want something done
exactly the same way over and over again “perfectly”. I’m not your girl. I’ll
improvise, I’ll test new ways, I’ll get stuff wrong and sometimes I’ll come up
with something brilliant.

Would I want an entire team of “me” working at my company? Not in the least.
It’d be bedlam. We need perfectionists and pizzazers (sure it’s a word)-
what’s your style?

Now… if only I could find a way to incorporate a cupcake decorating class into
my recruitment process…

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Out of Office or Out of Your Mind?

Each week when we send out our weekly newsletter we're inundated with replies detailing that people are "out of office".Now don't get me wrong, I love a good out of office reply, but we see some shockers here on a weekly basis.

Here's some of my least favourites.

1. The grammatically incorrect / spelled incorrectly reply. With spell check there's really no excuse.

2. The too brief reply. We got one simply saying "On leave <> - cheers". There's no space limit on most out of office systems - give a little more.

3. The reply that only lists a phone contact. If someone's chosen to email you, please, give them an alternate email contact (it's clearly their preferred method of contact).

4. The expired date. This one kills me. Joe is out of the office until 21 December (only it's 24 December now!) If you're going to put an out of office on - diarise to take it back off again!

5. The no end date. "I'm out of the office from 4.30pm Thursday". Until???

Out of offices I've loved:

Greetings and I hope you are well.

Just letting you know that I will be away on leave for the next few weeks and that my dedicated Finance Manager <> will continue to manage all matters during this time.

<> is fully across and briefed on all current and potential client needs so please feel free to call him on <> or email him on <> should you require any assistance.

My fellow Directors <> and <> will also be supporting <> during this time with any new or additional property investment finance or home loan needs.

Thanks for your continued support and I will be in touch on my return.


Hi there,

I trust that you are well!

I am currently on Annual Leave until the 20th June.

I will be clearing my inbox every 3 days. However if there is any urgent issue please call my mobile on +61 418 878 901

Take care and we will chat soon!

Many Thanks

and my favourite for sales people that I've been mentioning in talks for years (and yes, I still love seeing it come across our inbox)


As a salesperson I'm away from my desk for much of the day showing properties, dealing with clients and signing contracts.

It's my policy to check emails twice a day, but if you need me more urgently, please feel free to call me on my mobile <>.

I look forward to talking with you soon!

best wishes,

Will your out of office be forgettable or useful? Embarrassing or memorable? Helpful or painful?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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