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Growth agency identifies staff well-being as a priority

A Brisbane real estate agency which has undergone significant expansion has made team welfare a key part of its team development strategy.

LJ Hooker Cleveland has become the Redlands area’s largest operator following an astute recruitment drive and mergers. Between August and February, the team:

  • increased its sales division from 22 to 28 agents;
  • added 4 portfolios to its rental department, taking the division to 10 portfolios with additional property managers and support staff;
  • increased the number of properties under management from 900 to 1400.

At a team development day recently, the agency sourced key speakers in leadership, culture and market analytics to discuss the latest innovations with the team.

Managing Director Iain Carmichael said the management team acknowledged the need to also assist team members in managing their own personal wellbeing.

“Real estate is one of the most stressful, customer-facing industries around,” he said. “We’ve gone through exponential growth and it can be a challenge juggling additional administrative and management duties with the personal wellbeing of each team member.

“We have always had an open-door policy at LJ Hooker Cleveland, and will continue to. But we knew it was the right move to educate the team on how they can self-manage their own workplace pressures, for a double-layered approach to wellbeing.”

As a result, LJ Hooker Cleveland engaged respected speaker and wellbeing coach Sandra Larkin to outline to team members how to best manage health in the workplace.

“I’ve worked in real estate for 18 years, in every aspect of the industry,” said Ms Larkin. “I know the challenges of every role.

“I’ve seen and identified over time that the amount of stress endured in the industry has an impact on every part of our lives; it can cause depression, end relationships and affect health.

“Our bodies react to stress in different ways, and how we acknowledge that is key to managing it. If we can change our mind about stress we can change our bodies’ responses to stress.”

Ms Larkin emphasised to the group that recognising the initial signs of stress, work-related anxiety and other conditions was essential to stopping it becoming a long-term, debilitating issue.

“In an industry such as real estate, stress is often seen as a badge of honour: if our managers and colleagues see how stressed we are, they’ll recognise how busy we are and that will represent how hard we’re working. That’s a perception that has unfortunately become normalised. But stress shouldn’t be what defines our efforts.

“It’s often those quiet achievers that are the true winners as they can deal with the stress their jobs create, while getting to go home at a decent hour and sleeping well at night. Stress shouldn’t be seen as a by-product of greater GCI or less arrears.

“Stress is always going to be in our lives, in one way or another. But those that can learn to manage it successfully will be those that achieve their professional ambitions and enjoy a fruitful personal life at the same time.”

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