I joined Peter Rollings, David Pollock and Karl Tatler, three of the estate agency industry’s most highly regarded business owners, on the panel at EA LIVE and answered questions from TV and Radio presenter, Penny Smith, as well as those posed by the audience.


My answer to the final question was the one that many people have commented on, posted on twitter and facebook, etc. “What do you believe to be the key to your success?” and my reply came very easily.

First, let me state an obvious bias, I own the Property Academy and principally we’re in the coaching business, so if you’re thinking “well he’s bound to say that” then fine, I’m guilty as charged. But it’s perhaps the reason I’m in the coaching business that underpins my belief that the key to success is to always be learning.

My school record wasn’t that clever, 6 O levels and 1 A level – I wasn’t going to trouble the examiners at university and hence why, at 17 years and 11 months, with no other qualifications, I became an estate agent.

And then, after several years working for Samuel Rains & Son, (now Reeds Rains), Barratt Homes and my final “job” at Jackson Property Services, whilst I’d learned a lot from some brilliant people I had received very little formal training at all and certainly none about business – it was all “on the job”.

So when I set up my first business, in November 1989 at 28, I was ignorant of many things but had a huge appetite to learn. And this hunger has continued to grow every day, indeed it’s insatiable.

I’ve studied and met some of the most successful business people, sportsmen and women, politicians and leaders from many sectors from all over the world and find that the very best all have one trait – they’re coachable. What I mean by this is they’re not just prepared to learn but actively seek to do so, constantly asking questions, reading, listening, pursuing new ideas to give them an edge no matter how small or fleeting.

Take Roger Federer for example. In 2009 he rented my house in Wimbledon for three weeks, (he won the championship that year by the way) and what impressed me most was his travelling companions were all coaches. Fitness coach, mindset coach, skills coach – my house was full of people on the payroll of the undisputed number one male tennis player in the world, possibly the best ever, and yet he still sought to improve every day. A good friend of mine used to manage Nick Faldo who I met several times and found him, let’s be kind here, singularly focussed, (aka boring!). His conversation was golf, golf and more golf. Similarly Colin Montgomerie – I sat next him at dinner and asked, “away from the golf course Colin, what do you like to do?” He mumbled something about flying and then said, “do you play golf?” and that’s what we talked about for the next two hours!

I’m very lucky to have many good friends from the estate agency world and yes, we do discuss other things as well as business, but over lunch, dinner or on a three day ski trip, I can guarantee that Dale Norton, Peter Rollings and David Pollock will spend at least 2/3’s of the time talking shop. And that’s because we all love it and want to learn from each other, even at our age!

I’m thrilled that these three legends have joined the Property Academy as Trusted Advisors to work with our members to help then fulfil their potential and profitably grow their business. We have three types of membership starting from just £87+VAT per month, so buy yourself a Christmas present now and set up for 2017 to be your best year yet. Full info here.

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