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Annual Kick Start Conference Lays Foundation for Another Year of Excellence

The Barry Plant Group’s Annual Kick Start Conference just keeps gaining momentum. Now in its eleventh consecutive year, the event engaged over 450 delegates from across the Group’s 80-office network in an inspiring, information-packed day.

Held recently at The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, attendees enjoyed a program covering all aspects of the business, and presentations from industry specialists, sales and property management experts, and motivational speakers. Kick Start is the biggest real estate event of its kind in Victoria, providing an opportunity for delegates to come together as a group and ‘kick start’ the calendar year with fresh ideas, inspiration and motivation. It is one of 87 training and development opportunities the Group holds throughout the year.

“Kick Start underlines our ongoing commitment to professional development and education across the Barry Plant Group,” said CEO Mike McCarthy. “It’s a great opportunity for our group to celebrate what has been a record year, with overall sales up 22% in 2015.”

To open the event, Mike McCarthy welcomed guests with a brief presentation on the Group’s achievements over the past 12 months. The figures are impressive: the Barry Plant Group now claims 13.2% market share in Melbourne, and 10.7% across Victoria; they have sold 11,657 properties sold at a total value of $6.646 billion, and managed 29,179 properties. The Group has also opened 5 new offices, including its first in South Australia, since last year’s Kick Start Conference, and plans to add up to 4 more in the Melbourne area over the next 2 months.

Mike said, “Kick Start is a terrific opportunity to welcome our new offices to the group – in particular our first South Australian office in Norwood, which we look forward to being a springboard for further growth into Adelaide over the next few months.” Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of the Resilience project, spoke about gratitude and mindfulness, and offered tips on practicing both to improve efficiency and mental health. Spiro Drossos, one of the Group’s leading agents and Director of top-performing Doncaster East office, shared his tips on building client rapport to improve customer experience, striving to take Barry Plant’s trademark Red Carpet Experience to the next level. One of Australasia’s top business coaches, Peter Gilchrist, spoke of the importance of having the right people in the right roles to maximise efficiency.

Landlord Q&A was delivered via a landlord panel, giving insight from the clients’ perspective on where the Group was performing well, and where there was room for improvement. Closing speaker, Matina Jewell, held the audience with her powerfully emotional story about courage, leadership and stepping up to help others. During Matina’s 15-year military career, she earned 8 war medals, completed the gruelling Navy divers’ course, served on operations with the elite US Navy Seals, and was posted as a peacekeeper with the United Nations in Syria and Lebanon.

During breaks in the conference, attendees were able to spend time with more than 25 valued sponsors who had set up a trade show to showcase their latest product offerings.

At the conclusion of the day, a cocktail party gave delegates the chance to network and review the day in a relaxed environment. “Kick Start is still one of the largest real estate events in country,” Mike said. “It’s a great testimony to the quality of the event and speakers, and to support that has been shown by our group over more than a decade.”