The focus of Barry Plant's Leadership Conference was developing culture and strong relationships among franchise directors, as well as planning for the coming year.
The conference was a new experience for newly appointed Barry Plant CEO Lisa Pennell, who has been involved in the industry for 23 years.
“I observed early on that the leaders in this network form a tight-knit tribe and now it’s quite clear to me that the Barry Plant leadership conferences are a big part of why the culture is so strong,” she said.
“For more than two decades the directors of each office have effectively been going away on retreat with their partners and children, having unique experiences in exotic locations together and making shared memories for life.”
Conferences have been held across the globe, from Cannes to Greece, Hawaii to Dubai and ‘everything in between, with new directors each year effectively being inducted into the tribe’.
Ms Pennell said the trips also make for an exceptional environment for learning.
“During the conference sessions this year, we debated, laughed, listened, challenged, unlearned and learned again - but most importantly, the tribe gained consensus on our way forward,” she said.
During one of the compelling conference sessions, Realestate.com.au (REA) and Domain representatives shared the same stage, for the first time in history.
Pennel said REA Group chief customer officer Kul Singh and Domain sales director Ray Van Veenendaal, discussed the challenges around building trust within the industry and their personal leadership journeys.
While the two brands have their similarities and differences in terms of strategies, there were ‘huge’ opportunities to build trust based on data, products and services, according to Mr Van Veenendaal.
“Domain can play a really important role in data, products and services to assist agents and directors in building trust for the industry and profession. This will ultimately lead to more listings and transactions occurring quicker, which is great for everyone,” he said.
Both brands had established ‘positive momentum’ in strengthening faith in the industry over the past few years, REA Group’s Mr Singh agreed.
“There is also a big opportunity to build trust with consumers,” he said.
“We need to continue to collaborate with our customers and work hard to put a spotlight on the amazing work the industry does to service local communities.”
The Barry Plant Group has a strong emphasis on less technology and more human interaction, according to Mr Singh.
“At the Barry Plant conference, there was a sense of warmth and a welcoming feeling at every opportunity, while also maintaining a strong legacy and desire for continuous improvement.”
Michelle Kerr from the hugely successful Duet Property in WA, was the conference keynote speaker, presenting her views on leadership, marketing and the customer journey.
“I feel like I just made 100 new best friends,” said Ms Kerr.
“This is an incredible group of leaders genuinely focussed on reshaping the face of real estate in Australia.”
Unlike most real estate or corporate conferences, families of the Barry Plant Group are not only invited to the annual event but are encouraged to attend.
A total of 138 people were present at the conference this year, including 47 children.
With a combination of learning sessions, workshops and group/family activities, the main focus which revolved around the family culture of the network was very well received.
From local foodie tours and learning to make samosas, to touring the historic sights of KL and creating eco-funding artwork on calico handbags, the group immersed itself in local culture while creating lasting relationships and memories.
The Barry Plant Group has confirmed its 2024 conference in Barcelona, and is currently discussing locations for 2025.