Hay­ley Van de Ven


AS A KID WHO WAS at school just to play sport, Hay­ley Van de Ven could never have imag­ined her­self own­ing and run­ning her own busi­ness in Bris­bane's in­ner suburbs. Suc­cess wasn't au­to­matic to Hay­ley; she's worked hard, taken ev­ery op­por­tu­nity handed to her and come out the other side as the con­fi­dent and suc­cess­ful leader of RE/MAX Re­sults.

En­ter­ing the real es­tate in­dus­try straight out of high school, Hay­ley Van de Ven was a suc­cess­ful sales agent by the age of 18 – some­thing she can barely be­lieve now.

“When I think about it now, I won­der who would have taken me se­ri­ously at 18,” laughs Hay­ley.

She ini­tially en­tered into a youth train­ing pro­gram run by Ray White and moved on a year later to be­come a fully qual­i­fied sales agent. An­other five years sell­ing with the net­work gave her a pas­sion for real es­tate and a hunger to move on to big­ger and bet­ter things.

“I needed a change. I'd been sell­ing for six years; I was get­ting re­ally good trac­tion in the area and was re­ally en­joy­ing it, but I needed some­thing new be­cause I was at that point where I could feel the glass ceil­ing.”

She ap­proached her prin­ci­pal, who ran three of­fices – one of which didn’t have a li­censee at the helm – and asked for a chance. But he didn’t feel she was ready, so he turned her down. Hay­ley was frus­trated with the re­sponse, and when a fran­chise owner from LJ Hooker ap­proached her about tak­ing over at one of his agen­cies she leapt at the chance.

“At 24 I didn't re­ally know my value. I ac­cepted the role be­cause it was a chal­lenge; there was no mon­e­tary ben­e­fit to it. It was just some­thing that was go­ing to give me the feel­ing of prov­ing to the boss who’d said I couldn't do it that I could. We grew that of­fice to an amaz­ing mar­ket share – it was phe­nom­e­nal. I re­ally loved that place; I treated it as if it was my own.”

The right op­por­tu­nity

Within a few months with the net­work, Hay­ley made it into the Cap­tains Club and her star con­tin­ued to rise. A move to Mackay dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time in the mar­ket didn’t dampen her spir­its, but by the time RE/MAX ap­proached her she was


ready for a change again.

“It was right time right place. I was go­ing through a divorce when they rang me and said, ‘What would it take for you to come to RE/MAX head of­fice?’. I was like, ‘When can I start?’ I packed up my car, left ev­ery­thing be­hind and moved to Bris­bane.

“I spent two years in the head of­fice do­ing fran­chis­ing for Queens­land, and I fell in love with the brand, the mes­sage and ev­ery­thing. It meant that I was very pas­sion­ate when I was sell­ing the brand through­out Queens­land. It was an easy sell for me, be­cause I re­ally be­lieved in the prod­uct and the ser­vice that they had.”

Next up for Hay­ley was the move to RE/ MAX Re­sults, where Deb­o­rah Evans had been run­ning the busi­ness for 18 years. Ready to move back into a sales­per­son role, Deb­o­rah was look­ing to sell the of­fice, and Hay­ley took the reins as prin­ci­pal in April 2016.

“Af­ter the pur­chase, we de­cided to rein­vig­o­rate the busi­ness; I've worked hard for two years to turn it around. We went from 14 staff to 42. The prop­erty man­age­ment de­part­ment has grown in two years by, like, 200 per cent. We've forged this crazy path, and in the mean­time I've re­mar­ried and had two kids.”

Fam­ily val­ues

Her fam­ily is some­thing Hay­ley is in­cred­i­bly pas­sion­ate about. Her role as a busi­ness owner has been a steep learn­ing curve and it’s meant ded­i­cat­ing a lot of time and en­ergy to grow­ing the of­fice she loves, but she’s de­ter­mined to have it all. From spend­ing the week­ends with her kids, now that she isn’t work­ing in sales, to tak­ing her fam­ily on hol­i­days when­ever she can, she’s the first to ad­mit the jour­ney hasn’t been easy – but it has been worth it.

“Not for a sec­ond can you ever say that it's easy, but it's also okay to be­lieve that you can have it all. That's the big­gest thing that I've strug­gled [with]; for ev­ery per­son that says ‘Good on you’, there are just as many peo­ple that make you feel bad that you aren't at home with your chil­dren. I don't know any of my friends in busi­ness that don't suf­fer from mother's guilt. I don't know any of my friends who haven't had to deal with the strug­gle of drop­ping their kids off at day­care and hav­ing them say, ‘Mummy, please don't go’.

“But, ul­ti­mately, that's ev­ery work­ing mother; you can al­low that to hold you back, or you can look at it as, ‘Be­cause I'm work­ing I can have qual­ity time with them and we can go on great hol­i­days’. And, be­cause I'm not a sell­ing prin­ci­pal, it means that I don't work Satur­days and Sun­days any more, so I can have two days of awe­some qual­ity time.”

Learn­ing new skills

Tak­ing over the busi­ness at RE/MAX Re­sults has pre­sented a whole host of new chal­lenges for Hay­ley. The re­quire­ments of be­ing a busi­ness owner are far dif­fer­ent to those of a sales agent, which is how she found her­self in­volved with the Ac­celer8 pro­gram. The pro­gram, de­signed for women in busi­ness, aims to ed­u­cate, in­spire and em­power women by im­prov­ing their fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy.

“I went to school to play sports. I was a com­pet­i­tive net­baller. That prob­a­bly helped make me the com­pet­i­tive sales­per­son that I am, but it didn't give me any hope of be­ing a busi­ness owner. I was a sales­per­son through and through, and the skill set you need to be a busi­ness owner is just com­pletely dif­fer­ent.”

Hay­ley has grad­u­ated from the Ac­celer8 pro­gram and is now tack­ling the Elite Pro­gram. In ad­di­tion, 2018 saw her give birth to her sec­ond child and achieve recog­ni­tion as an ‘Awardee of Merit’ through the Women in Busi­ness Awards of Aus­tralia. With her learn­ings from Ac­celer8 be­hind her, she’s ready to con­tinue the im­pres­sive growth of RE/MAX Re­sults in 2019.

“We grew by over a mil­lion dol­lars’ turnover in 2018, and I want us to grow by an­other 50 per cent in 2019. On the prop­erty man­age­ment side, we’ve made some huge changes and we’re im­ple­ment­ing more next year.

“I just want to en­cour­age all the women out there who are hold­ing off hav­ing a fam­ily or fol­low­ing their dreams be­cause they don't think they can do it; they ab­so­lutely can. There are so many great move­ments, dif­fer­ent re­sources for sup­port, and other peo­ple, men­tors and pro­grams they can en­gage in which are full of women just like them. They don’t have to do it alone.”


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