Helen HuntlyBarratt came to First National Byron Bay with a wealth of experience behind her. She had previously worked for some of the industry’s biggest names in Sydney, with a resume that included establishing new offices and training agents.
“That’s how I met Chris,” she says. “I walked into the First National office and could see it was by far a standout business. Basically, I doorknocked him and he’s never forgotten it.”
Helen took time off to travel overseas, but when she returned knew it was time to “get back on the tools”.
“I was about to sign a contract with another brand. Chris said, ‘Don’t sign anything yet. Have a coffee with me and just give it 20 minutes’.”
Two hours later, Helen was an agent for the First National brand.
“At the time I didn’t know anyone here. It was the support of the team around me that gave me the confidence, tenacity and determination to kick some goals in a community I didn’t know.” And kick some goals she did, working tirelessly to establish a presence in the tight-knit community.
Twelve years later, Helen is a director of First National Byron Bay and has just appointed an assistant. The decision to bring in help comes off the back of one of her best years to date.
“It’s just not sustainable. We all talk about real estate being the long game, but how many agents consistently write $800k to $900k on their own? I did it once, but I was exhausted. You have to have people to step into the role if you need them to.”
Helen’s team member is Jasmin McClymont, who came to her through the “Chris Hanley recruitment filter – which is one of the best recruitment filters I’ve ever seen,” she adds. “He has this knack and feeling for it.”
Now Helen is looking to employ similar leadership tactics as she takes her business to the next level.
“It’s about listening, trusting, and caring, rather than just talking. People need to trust you and see you doing everything in their best interest. Great leadership is just that.”
Meanwhile, Helen notes, agents may get the focus but behind the scenes there’s a wealth of invaluable support. “We have so many resources in our business, it’s like a jigsaw. When it’s working beautifully it’s just a beautiful thing to watch.”
"It was the support of the team around me that gave me the confidence, tenacity and determination to kick some goals in a community I didn't know.”