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)...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Over and Above or Over and Out?

A girlfriend of mine recently stayed with me and we discussed, among other things, what she'd been up to while abroad recently. In between businesses and career opportunities she'd recently transitioned from being the CEO of a well respected business organisation to taking a time out as full time carer for her one year old niece for 6 weeks.

Many people might have seen this as an opportunity to either:
a) chill out
b) freak out (because my friend is not a parent herself)

Instead, my friend showed up at my house after this 6 week stint with a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for little ones (very helpful as I have a 15 month old myself). Rather than take the easy road out during these 6 weeks, she'd done her research on what children of this age should be doing and she'd even networked with nannies for further information.

In finding out her niece should be working on shape sorting she'd organised a shape sorter, but while waiting for that to come had also hand made one. She's been wowing me for the past few days with statistics on kids, recipe ideas and suggestions for new activities we can be trying with my daughter.

In short, she took her role seriously. She treated it like she would any job and thrown herself into it. She went above and beyond.

Is it likely she'll ever return to this sort of work or pursue it as a career? I very much doubt it, but she went into it with all she had. I feel she'd do the same if she was selling hot dogs or running Vogue!

This is the sort of attitude I always look to hire for. I want to hire the person who approaches the small tasks (and we all have them in every role) with vigour and does them to the best of their ability. I want someone who is not only capable, but is also enthusiastic.

What do you hire for?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don’t forget to write a review!

As I checked out of Ford House in Bridgetown, WA just recently they softly called out to us as we were leaving “don’t forget to write a review on TripAdvisor!”

It was a soft request, not pushy at all. We’d just told them what a delight we’d had staying there, so it was in fact the ideal time for them to make the request.

As someone who uses TripAdvisor religiously to “scan” future accommodation places I do feel the need to give back and leave my own reviews. Only – I don’t always do it!

I’ve had a great time (and voiced my opinion to the owners / staff) so many times at accommodation places and I’ve sporadically left reviews on TripAdvisor, but I’ve only ever been asked to do so twice. I absolutely left reviews for both those places. The others, it’s hit and miss as to whether I remember to do so.

How simple is it to say to guests leaving “don’t forget to write a review on TripAdvisor!” How simple is it to survey your clients to get a testimonial? How simple is it to ask a happy client to “tell a friend” or offer them an insentive to do so.

Simple. And yet, I’ve stayed at hundreds of hotels and visited hundreds of tourist destinations and been asked to leave a review twice.

When was the last time you asked for a review?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Little things get noticed

I had a conversation with a staff member just recently where I assured her that little things get noticed.

When she starts early, when she asks for something in a certain way, when she does good work, when her attention to detail is lacking.

It all gets noticed.

Whether your manager wants to admit it or not, it all not only gets noticed, but it all goes onto a virtual scorecard.

The tally on that scorecard then gets called into play the next time you ask for something that pushes the boundaries of usual flexibility. If you’ve accumulated enough good work karma, the answer will likely be yes. If you’re low on good work karma points, you may struggle.

Just today, before leaving the office for 2 days in our satellite office, Catherine made sure she went around and emptied all the office bins, she did a great handover interview with me and she thanked me for the opportunity to go and work in the other office! Karma points high.

Little things, all noticed.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hair today… gone tomorrow?

Would you be able to pick a coke can out of the fridge as easily if the colour of the can was green? Would you be able to spot a Shell service station as easily from the road if overnight they changed their logo to a giant love heart? What about recognising your well-known local real estate agent if they went from a brunette to a blonde?

I got to wondering about this very topic as I drove past a sign board today, it had a prominent photo of the agent selling the house and I was puzzled. I didn’t have a clue who the agent was. Now, bear in mind this is my local market where I have been in real estate for nearly 20 years now – I know my agents! The reason I couldn’t place the face was that this female agent had undergone a dramatic hair change. As I zoomed past, her hair was different and it made her almost completely unrecognizable. Her brand had been significantly altered.

Now – don’t get me wrong, I love a good hair change as much as the next person (and am planning on channeling my inner-Pink when I chop my hair off to donate it next year), but when your face (and by extension) your hair, is part of your brand – a dramatic change can lead to loss of identity.

Picture Donald Trump – you see (for better or worse), that hair. Or for example US media and real estate darling Barbara Corcoran, if you know who I’m talking about, you don’t expect to see her with flowing long black hair, you expect the short grey crop. Aussie real estate guru John McGrath is unlikely to rock up at his next media event with a blonde mullet.

Food for thought for those of us who rely on recognisability as part of our trade.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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