Top 5 with Monika Tu #AREC16

I’m live-blogging #AREC16 from the Gold Coast. Here are my top learnings from Monika Tu: Chinese Takeaway.

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Monika is the “$200 million dollar real estate agent” – founder of Black Diamondz, and the Michael Jordan of selling Australian homes for Chinese buyers. Monika is a property conceirge – and I love the use of video to do all of that prestige positioning.

  1. Monika is “a real estate agent AND a business owner”. I talk to too many Principals and Directors who forget that they’re a business owner, in the business of real estate. They continue to think of themselves as agents, and that means not focusing on the business strategies they need to grow. Monika clearly understands this point – and it’s working!As Monika shares her story (as best she can in only 20 minutes), it’s clear that she’s a natural entrepreneur. Sales is a necessary skill for entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship isn’t necessary to be great at Sales. That’s why some real estate agents are incredibly successful and still ‘working for’ someone else; and it’s also why some real estate principals aren’t successful – they thought being successful at sales was all they needed, without realising how varied the rest of the business skills are.
  2. What is a property concierge? It’s not carrying bags – but it includes finding schools, and even identifying philanthropic services that match the new residents’ personal values.
  3. Premium Service delivers a Premium Result for the client and therefore Premium Revenue for the business. A great example of a clear Brand and aligned market position – and the harder Monika works, the luckier she gets!What characteristic is your MOST defining or MOST valuable asset in today’s real estate climate? Are you using it?!Has your company partnered with the correct suppliers? Do you have in place strategic relationships that will take your business forward?

    Do you analyse your wins. not just celebrating them? Do you focus on your losses or learn from your mistakes? Are you continuing to grow … bigger, bolder, better?

    “Everything in life is negotiable except my honesty, integrity and my 2.2% commission.”

  4. She’s also a Portfolio Entrepreneur! She grew a recordable CD distribution business to become Kodak’s largest global distributor – it now has 500 products, offices in China, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland. And after 25 years, she recognised the need to ‘Let Go to Grow’, bringing in other shareholders and managers. Importantly (and this is the difference between a Seriel Entrepreneur and a Portfolio Entrepreneur) she kept the business … and after getting bored with retirement really quickly, went looking for the next opportunity.The topic of the talk is Chinese Takeaway – that’s not just lessons from the presentation … she also owns a Chinese Restaurant!
  5. Monika’s first client was a personal referral, looking to buy a $12 million waterfront property in Sydney. Only problem … she had no listings, and just 24 hours to find a property to show him! She hustled – “make every second count, and every minute earn”, and through the power of teamwork and relationships managed to make her first sale … for $13,500,000.Not a bad start! And it kicked off the Chinese-buyer focus. Honesty and Trust were key, she shares, and as the business grew so too did her team. Does being Chinese – Chinglish! – help? Sure, but her team have a variety of ethnicities, backgrounds and languages. The core focus is service.

As I shared with a few people yesterday, if I had one criticism of AREC 2016 Day 1 it was the focus on sales performers not growing your real estate business. That reflects the audience, of course, but I’ve found today has addressed my concerns and then some. Loads of contextual frameworks for combining all the contentual tips, and several speakers (like Monika Tu, right now) delivering a brilliant presentation that comes from a genuine business ownership space.

Our next speaker is Ricky Cave – live blogged here.

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Fancy a coffee?

Jacob Aldridge is a co-founder and business coach at Real Estate Grow.

If you’re a real estate Principal looking for fresh ways to help you work on your business, let’s chat. Contact me on either 0427 151 181 or

Not ready for that level of commitment? Follow me on Twitter @jacobaldridge

Monika Tu
Monika Tu

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