Peter Brewer – Teaching old dogs new tricks [Transcript]

Kylie Davis: (00:02)

Welcome to The Proptech Podcast. It's Kylie Davis here, and I'm delighted to be your host as we explore the brave new world where technology and real estate collide. I passionately believe we need to create and grow a sense of community between the innovators and real estate agents, and sharing our stories is a great way to do that. So, the aim of each episode is to introduce listeners to a Proptech innovator, who is pushing the boundaries of what's possible, and to explore the issues and challenges raised by the tech, and how they can create amazing property experiences.

Kylie Davis: (00:34)

My guest in this episode is Peter Brewer, president of the Real Estate Institute Queensland, a real estate trainer, and a longtime Inman Ambassador. Now, Peter has been a longtime advocate for agents to get better at embracing technology, and the need for real estate to become more consumer friendly. For over a decade, he has brought home what he's learned from overseas conferences like Inman, and shared new techniques for marketing, social media, and adopting tech. He's also been extremely generous with his time to Proptech startups, waving the flag for Aussie innovation at Inman, and connecting a lot of people behind the scenes, over a beer and a yarn.

Kylie Davis: (01:14)

Now, Peter is a champion of equality and diversity in the industry, and together with REIQ CEO Antonio Mercorella, has been instrumental in shaking up not just the REIQ, but REI's generally. This year, with COVID-19 forcing all conferences to go online, Peter's been working hard to increase the Australian content and influence at Inman.

Kylie Davis: (01:36)

Peter Brewer, welcome to The Proptech Podcast.

Peter Brewer: (01:39)

Hey, what an honour to be here, Kylie. Thank you for the opportunity.

Kylie Davis: (01:43)

I'm looking forward to our chat.

Peter Brewer: (01:45)

Me too, I can't wait to hear what I've got to say!

Kylie Davis: (01:49)

Might surprise both of us.

Peter Brewer: (01:49)


Kylie Davis: (01:52)

So look, Pete, we always start with your elevator pitch, so what is that Peter Brewer elevator pitch?

Peter Brewer: (02:00)

Oh my goodness, Kylie Davis, I can't remember the last time I actually had to pitch for something. What's my pitch?

Peter Brewer: (02:05)

I reckon I am one of those lucky old dinosaurs that was lucky enough to inhale this whole new world in about 2008/2009. So I've been able to blend lots of the old, and lots of the new, and sometimes the old crusties like me think well, if that old fat fella can do it, we can do it as well, so that's what we want this... [crosstalk 00:02:25].

Kylie Davis: (02:25)

You're allowed to swear on this.

Peter Brewer: (02:28)

Yeah. Well, I think I've got that benefit that I can bring. A wise old head whose got lots and lots of years of real estate experience, into this brave new world of opportunity, and lots of people look at that and go, "Yeah, well if he can do it, it makes sense to me, too."

Kylie Davis: (02:39)

Yeah. Tell me a little bit about your back story. How did you get into real estate? And, how did a boy from the bush become the president of REIQ?

Peter Brewer: (02:51)

That's a really good question. How many hours have we got for this? Grab yourselves a pillow, and let's get talking.

Peter Brewer: (02:58)

Kylie, I started my real estate career in about, roughly, 1980. From a real estate family, on the bay side in Brisbane. Family's always had a passion for real estate, and once you're in it, it's really hard to get out of that.

Peter Brewer: (03:10)

In fact, when I first applied, I was actually working in a Ray White office. It's where I started my apprenticeship. Dad had a professional's office on the bay side, we were competing. I said to Dad, "Look, any chances of a job with you?" He said, "Oh, you can come over, and apply." So, I went over, and mind you I was living with mom and dad at that stage, but he said, "You can apply for a job." So, I went over and applied for the job, and filled out all the paperwork. He said, "Ring me tomorrow, and I'll let you know how you went."

Peter Brewer: (03:40)

So I rang him the next day, I said, "Dad, how'd I go?" And he said, "Well, had you had any attention to detail, you would have seen that on the back of that application form was the requirement for three references, and you didn't complete the references. So, should you like to come back and complete the paperwork correctly, I'll have a look at your application again." What he was saying to me was dotting the Is, and crossing the Ts is really, really important.

Peter Brewer: (04:05)

So, I dutifully went back, and filled in the application form correctly that next day. He's 24 hours, sat on it. All of a sudden, I was the proud new salesperson in a real estate office in Manley and Brisbane.

Kylie Davis: (04:17)

Fantastic. I hope you put him down as a referee.

Peter Brewer: (04:21)

Yeah, we worked together, then, for the next, I'm going to say, roughly 30 odd years. It was an amazing relationship, and working with dad, and finally taking [inaudible 00:04:31]. In fact, buying the business he said, "Well, I'm going to sell the business," and I thought, of course, I'll take it over. He said, "No, no, I'm going to sell the business."

Kylie Davis: (04:37)

Sell the business.

Peter Brewer: (04:39)

"Here's the valuation," pointed me towards the Commonwealth Bank and said, "Good luck with your loan."

Peter Brewer: (04:47)

Then, I'd been spoiled, that was after about 15 years working together. I then bought the business, we tripled in size, and loved every minute of it, until about 2008. After 30 odd years of real estate, I became, Kylie, that grumpy, cranky old man that you walked into that real estate office and went, "Who is that venomous old bugger?" I thought, it's time to get out, when you're looking at people cynically. So, I jumped out, retired, sold the business, planned to put my feet up on the teat, to spend my ill-gotten gains.

Peter Brewer: (05:17)

Along came this thing called the GFC, and a few other life changes, and the next thing, I was back into real estate. But this time, in the technology piece. Instead of being the practising real estate agent, I then went on and spent a bit of time in the States, where I met my lovely partner, Tara, and looked at the web, and the early days of Facebook, and video, and all that stuff and went, "Here is such a magnificent opportunity for the real estate industry to embrace this stuff because if they don't, they're going to get run over." I'll let history determine whether they got run over, or they embraced it.

Peter Brewer: (05:47)

But, I've spent the last 12 years of my time, running around Australia, New Zealand, a little bit of the United States, educating the real estate industry on effective use of technology. That's me.

Kylie Davis: (05:58)

Yeah, fantastic. How did you become an Inman Ambassador? And, how did that affect your career from the tech side?

Peter Brewer: (06:06)

Great question. When I became an Inman Ambassador, I went to an Inman in 2011 in San Francisco. Now, prior to that, I'd been to several NIR conferences, and they were great, but they were conferences of 22,000/25,000 people.

Kylie Davis: (06:22)


Peter Brewer: (06:22)

And while still good events, I felt that there was not enough in the way of new technology, new things for us to look at. Then, I heard of Inman, so went along, and I just clicked, it was just I found my tribe. I found the people that I wanted to be with, people that looked at a new way of doing business, a new way of real estate, and it just clicked for me. I met Brad and the team, and I think within 18 months, I was an Inman Ambassador, and have been ever since, very proud to carry that banner.

Peter Brewer: (06:48)

How was it affect my real estate career, or my business career? Enormously, enormously. The partner I'm with now, Tara, is a byproduct of that, most of my great relationships with are Inman people from across the globe. Yeah, so it's been magnificent for me.

Peter Brewer: (07:06)

You know, Kylie, what it's done is it's kept me, I think, in my perspective, probably a couple years ahead of the pack, in terms of what I see going on in the industry. I kind of chuckle a bit when I hear people saying, "Well, video's the next big thing."

Kylie Davis: (07:20)

You know, they have been talking about video for 100 years.

Peter Brewer: (07:22)

Facebook ads are new, but really? Ah, that's fascinating.

Peter Brewer: (07:26)

Here's this thing, and it's a really interesting piece is our industry is so slow on the uptake, and we bitch, and moan, and groan about all these disruptors taking our market, but we don't listen to the people who are saying, "This is where you should be." We get stuck in that old world of, "That's the way we've always done it around here." That's the biggest challenge that you and I have seen, I think, for the real estate industry is embracing change, and being prepared to have a crack at new things. I absolutely delight in having a crack at doing new things.

Kylie Davis: (08:01)

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Kylie Davis: (09:14)

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Kylie Davis: (09:40)

So, we know that there's a bell curve of change, and that there are people who are early adopters, and innovators, and then there's the big majority in the middle. What are you seeing at the moment, that the majority are getting their brains around? Like you said before with video, what is the technology that is becoming mainstream now?

Peter Brewer: (10:03)

Oh, I think it's the 360s and the VRs, virtual reality stuff, videos. It was fascinating, in that now, it was the second or third week of COVID, when REI opened the doors for property more so, and said, "We're going to put more emphasis on video. We're going to make it easier for people to engage." In that first week Kylie, there were just short of 40,000 videos uploaded by the real estate industry to realestate.com.au.

Peter Brewer: (10:29)

Now, here's an industry, that for the last nine years have been coming up all of the soft excuses on why they're not going to use video. All of a sudden, when there was no other choice, jumped on board and said, "We're going to do video."

Kylie Davis: (10:41)

Yeah, yeah.

Peter Brewer: (10:42)

I was talking to our mutual good friend, Steve Carroll, a few weeks ago. Steve said, and wisely so, he said, "Peter, by the end of 2020, we're going to be where we probably would have been by 2025, if COVID hadn't come along." The industry was forced into change if it wanted to be relevant, I guess, to what consumers have been crying out for a long, long period of time.

Kylie Davis: (11:07)

Because a lot of these changes like video, like virtual tours, that we're seeing online. Auctions are online negotiations platforms. These are things that have fantastic consumer benefit, aren't they? These are things that make life easier for buyers and sellers, yeah?

Peter Brewer: (11:24)

Absolutely. If there's one lesson that will come out of this, and I was talking to a good colleague this morning, saying, Winston Churchill ... and I heard this three times last week, "Never waste a good crisis." Here's this opportunity. My greatest fear, it's true, here's this crisis that were in is all of a sudden forced us to change. My only prayer is that we don't go back to the bad old ways again. We seen how consumers and what the stats are like 400% growth in the used of video and the appreciation by consumers of video. It's massive.

Peter Brewer: (11:59)

We're going to start understanding if that's what the consumers get their rocks off about, then we got to feed that greed, we got to feed that want and not go back to "oh, I'm not going to do video, because the camera puts on 20 pounds. I'm not doing video because then, I've got to ..."

Peter Brewer: (12:12)

You know? Cut the crap. Let's look after what the bloody consumer wants. You actually might sell some more real estate and be a whole lot better and more attractive to the consumer base that's out there.

Peter Brewer: (12:26)

I'm really excited that there's this opportunity for us all to go, "Well, that was a wake up call." Now, let's catch up and keep going. Not just "Fine, this is a little short term thing where we change what we did for a few weeks, yeah?"

Kylie Davis: (12:38)

Yeah. Absolutely. I've been quite surprised at how resilient the industry has been through all of this and how when push came to shove, they did actually embrace a whole pile of things they were previously uncomfortable about. I was talking to Anton Babkov before from Rex, and he was telling me about the extraordinary uptake of their training during the first round of COVID, and how suddenly agents were open to the idea of we need to do things differently and now is the time to embrace it.

Kylie Davis: (13:18)

What do you think ...

Peter Brewer: (13:22)

The interesting point about Anton and the take off of that training, because I witnessed some of that stuff that Rex were doing, and I think there's a couple of things. Number one, there's three things. In our industry are great survivors, so we're always looking for ways to create a deal. Number two, we had more time. Number three, when threatened with potentially being run out of town, we say, "Holy Hell, we need to get back to those basics and learn how that bloody CRM works."

Kylie Davis: (13:48)


Peter Brewer: (13:48)

Everyone's sitting there, and I've said of most CRMs, from an agent's perspective, most of them are just a really, really expensive uploader to realestate.com. Most CRMs by most agencies, up until recent times, are only to be used as an uploader. No one ever, or very few agents rarely ever used them for all the bits and pieces that are in them. All the bits and pieces. It's like a Microsoft Word Subscription. You know? We only ever use 5% of the tool. We don't use all those other things that are in the drop down lists. I think faced with saying, "How do we survive this?" Agents, and I had time said, "Well, we better understand more about it."

Peter Brewer: (14:25)

What Rex had done had tailored that training over seven or eight days with some really good content, and people went, "Holy hell." A few things there. When survival is what you're going to focus on, then you go out and learn the tools, or you disappear.

Kylie Davis: (14:42)

Yeah. It's interesting to see how that's affected the market. I've got my train of thought back now. Anton and I were talking about what the experience for Rex had been like with their clients in the UK versus what the experience had been like for their clients in Australia. He was saying that the difference between the Australian and the UK market was in the UK, they shut down everything completely in real estate. There was no transactions. All in-process transactions had been put on hold. There was absolutely no way to do any kind of inspection. Everybody's staff were furloughed. That's it. Shut down until this week, basically.

Kylie Davis: (15:20)

I guess what the real estate industry has shown is that, in Australia, is that by behaving the way that we did, by embracing the technology, and not being stupid and pushing against it, and showing that we could adapt and could adopt, we were able to keep transacting through it. Even though transaction volumes have fallen off considerably, they're not completely disastrous. We haven't just turned off the tap for a period which, would have been completely disastrous.

Peter Brewer: (15:52)

It's interesting, Kylie, talking. I think Anton's right. There are some differences obviously between the way business is transacted in the UK and here, of course. I think it's interesting. Talking to Jason Rose last week, and Jason said, "Pete, I'm seeing two tribes. I'm seeing the tribes where the business owner or manager has kept the staff's head in the game." They've been there every day saying, "What are we doing? What are we doing?" Getting the focus on where at. They're not letting the brain cells go outside all the other negativity. They're saying, "What prospecting? What closing? What offers? What are we doing?" As opposed to the others who've gone, "Oh well, game stuffed. Put the queue on the rack. Game over. I better go on and get my job keeper." I think there are those two schools of thought, and those two mindsets.

Peter Brewer: (16:38)

Certainly what I've said, and Jason was saying the same thing. Those that have been fortunate enough to either have had a good mindset or a good business manager absolutely saying "Keep going, keep going, keep going. No problem during. I'll stay out of this."

Kylie Davis: (16:52)

Yeah. What do you think we should be taking out of it into the future? Or, into our transactions going forward?

Kylie Davis: (17:00)

It's got to be more than just virtual tours and videos, don't you reckon?

Peter Brewer: (17:03)

Absolutely. Look, consumers want a simpler, smarter, better way to do business. We've been given all those things. It's now about ...

Kylie Davis: (17:09)

It's less stressful.

Peter Brewer: (17:11)

Absolutely. It's so for each of us to sit down and probably, as an industry, to sit down and say, "How do we make that stuff happen?" You know, I've just been through the process of selling my Dad's house. I have to say, the agent I used was magnificent, but the legal process was a frigging nightmare. Just absolute bureaucratic bullshit that just shouldn't be anywhere near what what is a simple experience. I think there's a whole range of things that we as an industry should, whether it's working with the Law Society, whether it's working with other players. How do we get all that stuff on the dashboard that just makes it a simpler thing?

Peter Brewer: (17:42)

Why is it that I can go on to Wallet Wizard, on an app, and make an application out of $10,000 cash in my bank this afternoon? I haven't, but you could do that. Then, there's all this crap that we go through in the real estate space. Whether it's for applying for a tenancy, or listing a property, or whatever. Yeah.

Peter Brewer: (18:02)

What do we do? I think we probably get together as a collective across the industry and say what worked, what didn't and probably show some genuine leadership on it. But again, the challenge will be for the real estate practitioners to say, "Yep, I'm prepared to do that as an ongoing commitment rather than just something that got them out of trouble for six weeks, or six months.

Kylie Davis: (18:23)

Yeah. What are the role of the REI's in that? As president of the REIQ, what do you think the REIs should be doing in this space?

Peter Brewer: (18:32)

I'm thinking exactly that. I think it is exactly that. I think it's been fascinating for me watching how the various real estate institutes have stood up really, really well through this. You know? I think everyone's had a really good crack in showing leadership around. Whether it's been around technology, the stuff we've done with Hutly or Igloo. We've taken leadership there with one touch execution. That's been embraced well. I think there's all sorts of opportunities for us to keep the conversation going, and to work with the technology people that are putting their hands up to say, "I've got something I can solve."

Peter Brewer: (19:04)

I think there's two ways for us to win with that. One is the technology people probably should sit down and have a genuine conversation and not work as a threat. Work with us, because we can open so many doors rather than competing and working against each other. Here's the moment in time for that to happen. Work with the REIs and the technology providers.

Kylie Davis: (19:24)

Yeah. REIQ has a different approach to technology than some of the other REIs. Talk us through some of the tech that you guys are working with.

Peter Brewer: (19:33)

Oh, all the trade secrets here?

Kylie Davis: (19:39)

Well, you mentioned the glue before. That's what gave me the idea for the question.

Peter Brewer: (19:42)

No, that's fine. You know? Look, we probably started the lead on this stuff and it's been exciting to see what Rich had done inside Australia. They certainly had the dollars, the influence, and the resources to get out a hit on us with that. We're absolutely fine with that. We think what Rich are doing is working proactively, putting technologists together with real estate people is superb. We'd love to be deeper involved in that and we probably will be over time.

Peter Brewer: (20:09)

What's our role? Is that the question? What's our role in it, or what are we doing with it? We continue to ...[crosstalk 00:20:14]. Yeah. Our door is open to talk to people who have got a logical business case. We're happy to work with them whether that's through equity, whether it's through introductions, whether it's working with focus groups. With roughly six, seven, 8,000 members, something like that across Queensland, we have the opportunity to introduce technology to people into a great cross-section of the real estate industry if they've got a product that stacks up to something that's competitive, something that's intelligent, and something that we can actually, I guess, put a proper practitioner's spin on it. If that makes sense.

Peter Brewer: (20:49)

We see, Kyle, so many people are coming with the next big thing that's crap. If they'd thought about it in a different perspective, or spend some time talking to us or some practitioners, they would have gone, "Wow, that's magnificent!" We've got a very open mind to looking at what technology is being explored. Some of it goes close and some of it misses. Some of it like Hutly or Igloo as it was initially called, has been a runway best sellar. You know, that one touch execution for property management, which will eventually go into sales, has been an absolute winner in our member offices of London

Kylie Davis: (21:25)

Yeah. What are the problems that you want the tech to solve next? What are the pain points in real estate that you think technologists should be looking at to support agents?

Peter Brewer: (21:40)

Anything that makes it a more streamlined transaction. I know that's cliché and doesn't say too much, but anything that makes the transaction a lot more streamlined. I think one of the things I'm really excited about and we've done it pretty well so far compared to most of the other REIs, and it's not a competition, but I love the leadership we've taken in the digital space around, educational offices, around the effective use of Facebook, working with people like myself and working with people like John Hillerby, and others. Opening it up and actually making our practitioners have a better understanding of what the tech is available, what it can do from a marketing perspective, and then arming sales people with the right script and dialogue that can turn up a listing presentation and say, "This is the reason I want to market your property in the digital space. Because I can target people between 22 and 32 that live there, there, and there."

Peter Brewer: (22:31)

It's kind of scary that we've got all this available tech, yet so many sales people nationally, internationally, really still can't explain to the seller the value proposition or why they would do it. They're simply saying, "I'll spend 200 bucks on Facebook and cross my fingers and hope like hell that it works." Well, that's not a logical reason. Show me exactly why I should do that and how you're going to get ahead of the pack, and how it's going to benefit the seller buying property? I'm really proud of what we've done both educating how to do it, and then the words to use to effectively market that stuff. For me, that's a really, really important pice.

Peter Brewer: (23:06)

It's fine to have the tech, but unless someone can actually put it in place and use it effectively, then what was the point of the tech?

Kylie Davis: (23:12)

Yeah. True. Very true. This year, sadly, we won't be hanging out at Inman in Vegas, and I'm not even sure if we'll be in New York in January at this state. Instead, we've got Inman Connect Now, which is an online conference, but because it's in the US, it's going to be happening in the middle of the night. What's got you excited though about that event and what should Aussies and Kiwis ... why should we go?

Peter Brewer: (23:42)

First up. First up, congratulations on your appointment as being an Inman ambassador as well.

Kylie Davis: (23:46)

Oh, thank you. I am quietly chuffed.

Peter Brewer: (23:50)

You know? It's one where its great recognition. You've graced the stage at Inman two or three times now and have done an absolute cracking job representing Australia. It's been magnificent. To see you've had the acknowledgement to join the ambassador team here, is superb. So, one that is well deserved, and an honour to it. I mean that sincerely. You know I do.

Kylie Davis: (24:08)

Thank you.

Peter Brewer: (24:08)

What excites me about it[inaudible 00:24:10]. I'm going to miss being in Vegas. Whether it's Vegas or New York, because they are the two highlights for me each year going to either Inman New York, or Inman Las Vegas. But, we won't get to do that.

Kylie Davis: (24:17)

Me too.

Peter Brewer: (24:19)

You know, it's amazing how we start to brace new stuff, and the fact that we can actually get some of those guys in our time zone. It's fascinating. For the last, I don't know, let's say last nine or 10 years, we've been going over there pinching their stuff and bringing it back. I'm excited that you and I and Tara are going to be hosting an Australian version of Inman that allows us to showcase some of the best of ours into the U.S. I know there'll be plenty of Americans tuning in for our session to learn just what we Aussies are up to. That excites me a bit.

Peter Brewer: (24:52)

That I realise that we're just not a bunch of cowboys that hang around a beach. We've actually got some really cool stuff and they've seen it.

Kylie Davis: (24:59)

Entry piece.

Peter Brewer: (25:02)

Well, no. That's pretty close, but seriously. When you look at some of our really proud exploits like Rate My Agent and like Box Brownie and like Real Satisfied. [crosstalk 00:25:12]. Active Pot. We have exported some amazing products over there, and that's certainly has created lots of fascination with what's happening down here. The ability now to showcase ourselves from the Australian perspective, between June 2, 3, 4, with both you and I and Tara hosting a bit of local content to broadcast to the U.S., I think, is simply quite exciting, and anyone who's in real estate technology in Australia needs to get on board and use some of that platform too to maximise out of there as well.

Kylie Davis: (25:42)

Who are some of the speakers that are going to be presenting at the Inman main stage that you're really looking forward to hearing from and why?

Peter Brewer: (25:49)

I always love Michael Prait. He's just the best.

Kylie Davis: (25:52)

Oh, my God. Major fan girl. Sorry Mike. I know I've been stalking you.

Peter Brewer: (25:56)

That's crazy. Yeah. But, his daughter is good. You know? It's still living the no BS kind of way. Really looking forward to seeing Mike. He's worth getting up at 3AM for. It takes a bit to get me up at 3AM. He's outstanding. You know, there's one that one not may Aussies would've heard of is a very good friend of mine from Nashville. A guy called Brian Copeland. Brian will be an heir apparent as one of the soon to be national presence of REI. He's just an outstanding real estate agent and an outstanding human being, and knows how to work his community and his real estate business together. For those that aren't technology focused who just want to know how to be a better bloody human being, then don't miss Nashville Brian or Brian Copeland as he's called.

Peter Brewer: (26:42)

Then I'll say that Gary Keller has been announced as a speaker as well.

Kylie Davis: (26:46)

Yes. How did you find that interview last time? I kind of sat there feeling I was watching a bit of a train wreck. Then afterwards, I did admire how Brad handled it. I was putting myself in his position as an interviewer and thinking oh, my God.

Peter Brewer: (27:04)

It was him. I know we can't say pissing contest, but it was a bit of a pissing contest between two boys from [inaudible 00:27:09]. You know? They both are very wise men with lots of wisdom. I thought it was just interesting to watch two blokes go for it. Was there lots of information? No. Did Brad challenge him around whether they were a technology company? Yes. But, I look at anyone that's built the empire that he's built. A killer, and the things that he's written and sit back and say, "I have something to learn from this man."

Peter Brewer: (27:37)

When you get those kind of people, of course then, I'm really keen. I'm not sure who's speaking from Compass. I don't know whose up from Compass, but they are a fascinating business to watch and that could be for good reasons and for bad reasons, but it's just a fascinating business to watch how their growth has been. I look at them and go, they've grown rapidly, but I'm a big believer in culture. I know that you can't buy culture. Watch them grinding numbers, I'm not sure that the culture is strong in the business. To survive, you've got to be a great culture. All right. That could just be just where they're at in their journey several years on.

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Kylie Davis: (29:03)

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Kylie Davis: (29:22)

Look before we talked about where the majority of the bell curve we're at. What are you seeing at the moment that is at that leading, bleeding edge right now?

Peter Brewer: (29:32)

Whoa. What am I seeing at the leading, bleeding edge right now?

Peter Brewer: (29:36)

I know this is going to sound really corny, the people that aren't doing videos that are doing movies. Here you go. I think that's going ...

Kylie Davis: (29:43)

Oh, okay. The full feature?

Peter Brewer: (29:45)

Yeah. They gone next level. Is that crazy? No, it's not. I think the days for the franchises, they're not numbered, but by crikey, there are so many top operators who are now looking at their franchises and going, "Are you giving me anything other than just average?" Those genuine entrepreneurs are going out and creating some really cool experiences. They're creating great movies. They're providing seven star service experiences for people. They're doing the stuff that makes people go "Wow". If you want to get top dollar in this business, you got to be "Wow." It's the movie stuff. It's the seven star experiences. It's the concierge. It's the seamless process.

Peter Brewer: (30:28)

I'm also excited to see a few companies around. I won't mention them because they probably want me to keep this quiet. Some that are changing their business model dramatically and saying, "My sales people are really, really good at presenting and negotiating, and they're crap at prospecting and all the other stuff." They're now putting prospecting teams in place who done all that hard slop. They're doing the seduction. They're doing the maintenance. They're doing the networking. They're doing all the nurturing and then handing qualified leads across so the people are really good at presenting and negotiating and just doing those bits on a vastly changed business model.

Peter Brewer: (31:08)

Kylie, I'm not sure how sustainable our current business model is where more and more sales people are asking for 50, 60, 70, 80, 90% and whatever. It's simply not sustainable. The model needs to change as it comes back to paying people to doing basic prospecting stuff, nurturing stuff, and we'll pay a different fee that won't be anywhere near like 70, 80, or 90% to those that sell it high. I think that'll be really fascinating to see just how that plays. But, I'm seeing more and more do that kind of stuff. Being really clear about what people do rather than assign a real estate person or one who can just do everything. We know, the facts of life are, we can see it, they don't.

Kylie Davis: (31:46)

Yeah, and I think that is one of the trends that I'm seeing in this space at the moment now, is that we're moving away from even the technology. Well, the technology is no longer generalist. It's becoming more and more specific, so you know that the technology is becoming an inch wide and a mile deep at being really great at what it does. At the same time, we're seeing job descriptions and the roles that we need people to do to becoming more focused and more structured. Not just a jack of all trades inside an office. We are seeing that specialisation. When you take that approach to your business, then things like AI become easier to introduce because you're starting to really support people to do what they're great at.

Peter Brewer: (32:35)

It takes a certain level of bravery for business owners to actually take control of their business back and say, "This is what we're going to do." It's a whole range of things. I've looked at our industry, obviously, for 30, 40 years now of anyone that veers slightly left or right of the main line, is crazy. They get poo-pooed and lambasted, and "you're a clown," and "you're an outrigger." All this stuff goes on. We tend to keep to the swim lane and not change or not do too much different.

Peter Brewer: (33:04)

You got to have a crack, you know? All this time, don't worry about what everyone else says. If you want to go slightly to another lane or do things differently. Just bloody well do it. If those people don't want to stay with you in your business, then let them go and find other people that want to be with your tribes. The tribes are where it's at. People who follow your path is where it's at. You got to be brave enough to say, "Stuff them all. I'm going to do it my way. This is what I think adds up. This is the considered advice that I've had and these are the reasons I'm going to do it." If people are enjoying it, fantastic. If they don't fantastic, but get gone. Do not get stuck in this rut of just saying, "I'm not going to do it any other way because they might poo-poo me on Facebook and tell me I'm silly." Just have a crack.

Peter Brewer: (33:47)

Purple Bricks is a great example. I'm no proponent of purple bricks, but look at the crap that they copped when they came in. They're just a different model. Let's have a crap at doing some things differently, because a big percentage of offices, some are really just bought themselves the job rather than bought themselves a business. Do you want to have a job or are you crafting yourself a business or a company? If that's the case, then do it your way.

Kylie Davis: (34:12)

Yes. Yeah. Fantastic advice. Pete, one last question. What do you think the future looks like for the real estate institutes?

Peter Brewer: (34:21)

Oh, I actually think it's really, really good.

Kylie Davis: (34:23)

How are they going to modernise themselves?

Peter Brewer: (34:26)

No, no. I keep looking around the country, obviously, to see what the others are up to and let me just talk from a Queensland perspective. We have a changing of the guard. That's to no disrespect to those that've been before us up here. We are simply having a change of the guard. There are a change of people coming into our industry. I think something like better than 52% of our membership here in Queensland is female. Why wouldn't you make sure that we've actually got proper representation of females on our board. We changed our constitution to ensure that was the case. Look at all these young people who are, these days, and most people don't get excited about being part of associations. Whether it's [inaudible 00:35:05] club. People generally don't feel inclined to join those associations or clubs or institutes like ours.

Peter Brewer: (35:12)

We got to make them interesting for those people, so we made sure we've got on our third B-5's represented on our board. We are a 102 year old organisation that has to think like a start up.

Kylie Davis: (35:21)

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Peter Brewer: (35:22)

The things that we're doing with Facebook Live, being stronger at advocacy, there are more online events. We've all but ditched our face-to-face training in favour of online training. The feedback has been superb and people love that stuff. I think the future is rosy if you're prepared to listen to what people want. If you're an institute that sits and says, "That's the way we've always done it around here, old boy." Then, you're in serious trouble. It doesn't matter whether it's Australia or New Zealand or the United States.

Peter Brewer: (35:50)

You can sit back and wax lyrical about the good old days, or you can say stuff has changed, and change with it. Look at where we're at. We stir things up a bit here. I don't wear a tie. I won't wear a suit or rarely wear a suit. We're a bit different in what we do, but that's what the market likes. That's what the market's responding to. During the COVID crisis, that work there, I think when we grew in one week by our $100 members who said, "I love what you're about. I love what you're doing. I love how you represent the industry. We're on board." To actually grow membership at a time where we thought we might actually lose membership through people not being able to afford pay their bills, we're pretty excited about what the future is for us.

Kylie Davis: (36:30)

That's fantastic. Well done. I think that's great advice too, for not just for REIs, but even for anyone in the real estate business. If you think that no, we don't need to change. It's not the way we've always done it, that's also a pretty good sign that absolutely everything needs to change. Probably sooner rather than later.

Peter Brewer: (36:46)

No, no. They are the most dangerous words in any business. They are, in fact, it is slide number four on my most recent deck, is "What are the nine most dangerous words you hear in a business?" That's the way we've always done it around here. Whether that's the crap we shove in people's letter boxes and call it modern marketing, please leave me alone. But people are still out there and saying, "When's the last time that someone came racing in your door with that bit of crap that you shoved in the letter box and saying, 'oh my God, I can't wait to list with you. You're going to be on my street next Thursday offering free appraisals.'" It just doesn't freaking happen, or if it does, it certainly doesn't justify the $1000 spend that gets put into that kind of marketing.

Peter Brewer: (37:24)

When I ask why do you do it, and they say, "Because that's the way we've always done it around here." Guys! Consumers want stuff differently. They respond to stuff differently. They aren't your vintage anymore. So, get on board with what modern marketing is. Change, change, change. Love it. It's exciting. Please. If you're listening to this now, don't waste this crisis. Don't waste this opportunity to learn. Don't waste this time to sit down with your consumers and your people and say, "What have we learned from this? What are we going to change straight away?" Throw out the rule book and bring in a new one.

Kylie Davis: (37:59)

Yeah. What are we going to keep that we just learnt how to do differently? What are we going to take with us as we go into all back to normal, but whatever the new normal is.

Peter Brewer: (38:10)

As my kids would say, "Totes."

Kylie Davis: (38:15)

Totes. Thanks so much for your time, Peter Brewer. It's been fabulous to have you on the show.

Peter Brewer: (38:19)

Anytime, Kylie. Thanks for the opportunity. It's been a blast as always, love, catching up with you.

Kylie Davis: (38:24)

No, it's my pleasure.

Peter Brewer: (38:25)

For those that's listening. Hey, make sure you tune into Kylie and Tara and I during Inman. It's June 2, 3, and 4, and we will have a blast talking about some of the cool stuff happening in Aus and the U.S.

Kylie Davis: (38:38)

Fantastic. Speak to you soon. Thanks so much, Peter.

Kylie Davis: (38:40)

That was Peter Brewer, president of the REIQ, real estate trainer, Inman ambassador, and all around great guy. Peter has been hugely influential in my career. We first met when I was at Core Logic and we plotted to encourage more Aussies to attend Inman and use the Core Logic marketing budget rather liberally, as I recall, to deliver some fantastic networking events that created a real sense of community. The Aussies at Inman is still a banner proudly waved by the Box Brownie crew boys.

Kylie Davis: (39:12)

I've always admired Peter's determination to replicate the inclusive sense of community back here in Australia and to challenge old stereotypes. He is truly a great listener. Having a yarn with Peter and Tara, his partner, is one of my favourite reasons to visit Brisbane. He's a living embodiement as he, himself admits, that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Kylie Davis: (39:34)

The three of us, Tara, Peter, and I are very excited to be putting an Australian flavour to the Inman Connect Now conference. We'd love you to join us on June 2, 3, and 4. Don't worry, you don't need to wake up at 3AM to take part. Everything will be available on demand in our time zone. Tara, Peter, and I will be summarising and doing some special interviews with key guests to provide local content to what's happening on the main stage. We'd love you to join us. A special link to tickets is connected in the show notes.

Kylie Davis: (40:05)

If you have enjoyed this episode of the Proptech Podcast, I'd love you to tell your friends. I'd love you to drop me a line via email. Kyle@realcontent.guru or reach out on LinkedIn or on my Facebook page. You can follow this podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, and Apple iTunes, or at KylieDavis.com.au.

Kylie Davis: (40:25)

I'd like to thank my audio support, Charlie Hollins and the fabulous Jill Escudero, and our sponsors, Smidge Wines. Proud the be the official wine of Australian Proptech. My new sponsor, Direct Connect, making moving connections easy, and Homeprezzo, of course, turning your data into amazing marketing content. Which, has never been more important than in these days of social isolation.

Kylie Davis: (40:47)

Thanks everyone. Until next week, stay safe, and keep on Propteching.