Episode 93 – Mark Kentwell | Leadership, Mindset & Real Estate

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In this episode I chat with Mark Kentwell, an award-winning founder, thought leader, advisor and entrepreneur specialising in real estate, property development, business systems and property technology sectors. We explore leadership, business, entrepreneurship, mindset, personal growth and a whole lot more!

Mark has started or helped build more than 20 Australian companies and trusts with the majority reaching sector leading positions and growth figures of several times industry benchmarks. He is co-founder of PRD Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Central Coast Group, which he built from start-up into a very successful 8 figure business.

In 2020 Mark was named Australian Principal of the Year for the third time in the Real Estate Business (REB) Awards, as well as a finalist as Industry Thought Leader of the Year three times. In the same year, Mark was ranked the top real estate agent in the Hunter Region and number 26th in the country out of 40,000 agents (across all brands) in the REB annual Top 100 agents list.

Mark has his own particular leadership style that helps gear a business and its organisation structure around having each individual perform at their highest and best use, meaning spending the majority of their time doing things that they are good at, things that they like and that make their heart sing.

To read more about Mark...

Mark has been recognised as a contributor to industry forums and white papers to influence government policy, he is a sought-after advisor amongst the community, media and real estate industry, as well as a regular keynote speaker nationally for his cutting-edge methods of achieving consistently better results in the marketplace, including at the AREC – Australian Real Estate Conference. He is a member of the Advisory Board of PieLab Venture Partners alongside some of the country’s best mentors, coaches, marketing experts, finance gurus and strategists who helps businesses with a turnover of $5M to $50M to grow. As well as owning his own video production company, Know Media, Mark has also recently created RBE – Real Business Engine with his own signature methodology for database categorisation and other systems designed to help other principals to do what they do best, which is listing and selling.

Married to Natalie, Mark has two beautiful daughters Zadie and Chella and he loves his fitness, having created FitPit which is a free workout session open to anyone each morning by Newcastle beach.

We speak about energy and the dance between input and output, the importance of rituals at the beginning and end of your day, and unpack the Be Do Have model which Mark lives by. Our modernised version of work life balance is discussed as well as systems and procedures, and where to automate or humanise these processes.

Key episode highlights include…

  • Your purpose may have an ROI on itself, but if you look at the secondary and tertiary and other ongoing benefits from it, you can have multiplication in almost everything that you do.
  • As a leader you always need to remember, what is the best use of my time right now? 
  • There were processes being done by humans that didn’t need to be done by humans. And there were things that weren’t being done because the humans didn’t have time to do them in a human way. Take the time to review and re-engineer your processes and procedures.
  • Legacy is all about living your flow state as you go, in a way that contributes to people beyond your imagination.

To connect further with Mark you can find him on Instagram and LinkedIn, or check out his work in the world over at PRD Newcastle.

Resources/recommendations mentioned in this episode:
Rawlyn Jones – Raw Success Academy 
Atomic Habits by James Clear 
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday 
TKO Procedures 
Dr Fred Grosse
Chris Voss – negotiation coach

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Murray Guest  00:00

Here I am with Mark Kentwell on the Inspired Energy podcast. And I’ve been looking forward Mark to this chat for ages, I’ve known you, ah jeez mate, for must be six years or so. And you are a leader, not just in real estate, but in the community. And today we’re going to talk about your leadership brand and your, your insights around leadership. But one thing that stands out to me, every time we catch up, you’ve got energy. And you’ve got energy that you bring to the work you do and the people around you, and you bring that to your clients. How do you do that? How do you bring that energy to what you do?


Mark Kentwell  00:35

So thank you for the intro. I think one of the things that I’ve realised is that it’s always been there, that it’s guiding it in a way that I’m keeping the energy in a sphere around me so that I can put some out, get some back, put some back, get some back, rather than going in these stints where it’s kind of like if I’ve done a presentation on on stage or something like that, and then come off and you have a come down. Because like you don’t know when the next expulsion of energy is going to be, and I need to be able to grab that back. And that comes back to something that you and I were just talking about, in our last conversation, the quadrant model I’ve developed for just it’s basically a living your life model. It’s not necessarily just a business model, but it’s still the into the business, and it’s the things that we’re not willing to do. Example would be, I don’t want to deal with aggressive people, or, you know, I’m gonna be cleaning up vomit off the street or whatever it might be. And then there’s things that you’re willing to do, but only because you need to do it as a platform, but not for long, or that the boss wants you to do it kind of thing. And then there’s things that you like, and you generally are good at things you like, and you like things you’re good at. Now, a lot of people think that that’s the pinnacle, whereas I see beyond that, is things that make your heart sing. 


Murray Guest  02:00

Yeah. And in my world, I’m good at Excel. You know, from years in corporate roles. I’m good at Excel. But that doesn’t light me up. That doesn’t make my heart sing.


Mark Kentwell  02:07

Yeah, yeah. So yeah. And because you’re good at it, you’re proficient at it, you’re sort of like, Okay, I’m humming through this. Look at me go on top 1% in the world on Excel, that, yeah you’re not gonna just sit down and do that on your time off just for joy…


Murray Guest  02:21

Yeah, but in this fourth quadrant, what, what’s all that about?


Mark Kentwell  02:24

So yeah, so heart sing is kind of like if you’ve heard that you’ve heard the term, but for anyone listening if you’ve heard the term flow state. And I think, in the work I’ve done with Dr. Fred Grosse, and, and, you know, Tony Robbins and his tribe, it’s, it’s kind of like a destiny path. And I like to, you know, liken it to leaving a legacy as you go, leaving a legacy while you’re still doing it. And when you’re in flow state time is not relevant.


Murray Guest  02:54

Yeah. And I even think about in that flow state, there’s like you crave to do more of it. You do it and you leave it more energised. And I crave to do that bit again, because of not just the energy but the, the fulfilment you get from doing it as well.


Mark Kentwell  03:10

Yes, I feel it’s a great term for because it’s, it feels whole, it feels complete, you know, that you can do more of it because abundance comes in and, you know, gratitude is the gateway to abundance. When I’ve got that flow state for a decent percentage of my day, and I’m talking majority, I, when I’m coming towards, you know, downtime at night, which is, you know, for me quite late, sort of I, I start moving away from devices at about 10:45pm, 11. And I’ve got to bring the plane down, because I’m like, I’m almost sad to bring the day down, but sad in a grateful way. And then I’m like, it’s okay, I’ve got this in the morning. And, and so that’s what that flow feels like. And then the routines and rituals installed throughout the day, particularly at the start and the end of the day, are absolutely vital to that because what you don’t realise when they when you’re about to get into this world of operating and flow or heartsing is that you start vibrating in a frequency where all the things that you have subconsciously and consciously chosen to be in and around you are coming at you at exponential rates. So it’s the the abundance and the and the joy and just fulfilment that comes from that. It’s just you grabbing but not in a greedy way. And then there needs to be a way to bring you back down so that when you experience it again, you feel the upsurge.


Murray Guest  04:40

And the thing that I’m thinking about is the way that you show up as a leader and even as a person throughout the day. When you’re in that heartsing flow state. There’s a ripple effect to the team that you lead. And to your clients. What does that look like for you during the day then?


Mark Kentwell  04:56

So yeah, in just learning more about myself through you know, I’ve done a practitioner course now for Roland Jones, his amazing Raw Success Academy, giving him a plug here, in becoming a practitioner in NLP, now I haven’t done that so that I can just do it for an hourly rate. It’s more so I can understand more about myself and the world around me and others. And so, I suppose I want to start the day with, like, there’s a routine at the start of the day, I don’t wake up and just jump out of bed. I wake up tired. Yeah, like I wake up sleepy, you know, like, it’s just, it’s just natural, except that period for me is like eight minutes. Whereas it used to be 45 minutes, an hour, 90 minutes. And it was the same at the end of the day. It’s just fatigue, to just like burden of what I haven’t done for the day and didn’t call that person back. So my day is six days a week, I’m down at Newcastle beach. When I’m in Newcastle. I travel a bit these days, but I’ve got routines in other areas. And I’m down there at 5:18am. I’m running a group called Fit Here. We’ve been doing that on and off since 2014 but I really ramped it up during COVID when the gyms closed. And that gets me vibrating. On the way there the music in the car and the thoughts of seeing these happy people and lifting others and feeding off others and then jumping in the salt water, getting that negative ion discharge and having a coffee watching the sunrise. Like that’s, that’s so stimulating. So if I start my day like that, and then I end my day with gratitude and ritual. And I’ve got a Shakti Mat where I sort of get the acupuncture therapy, and bring myself down with some meditation breaths and some gratitude, sort of things that I sort of say to myself, I start thinking about that again, and it gives me permission to switch off and I go back to neutral. So when my head hits the pillow, I’m asleep within minutes. And it’s about eight minutes down, it’s about eight minutes up. And I really noticed that when I’m doing like things, like I said, the 100 day stints of no booze or toxins. And I noticed like the real self in that time. And I really do sense when the energy is rolling up and rolling in that zone.


Murray Guest  07:17

So what stands out to me there is the habits you’ve got to bookend your day to start the day and end the day set you for success in that energy. If the leaders that are listening on the podcast in this episode are thinking, Hang on. That sounds like a lot to start with. What would be your number one tip if you wanted to start to implement some of those really helpful habits to raise that energy, raise that vibration, where would you start?


Mark Kentwell  07:45

I’d start by if you’re auditory like I am, which is only 7% of the population that learn really fast by auditory, I’ll listen to books at x 2.0. Or if you are a reader, Atomic Habits by James Clear, it is THE book, it is a life changer. I’ve got three books that are life changing. So James Clear – Atomic Habits. The other one is The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday and the other one is The Daily Stoic, which is again a Ryan Holiday book, but it’s just one page a day. Those three things are life changing, but Atomic Habits is such an easy listen. And he talks about habit stacking. So like, out of bed, again I’m human and I’m tired. And I sleep like four and a half hours. So I’m already living more life than most. I’m not that big on birthdays, because it’s a lap around the sun for me. I’ve already done three hours a day more than everyone else. I’m literally 30% older than everyone else. Because I’ve lived more conscious hours. But they’ve been really four awesome hours. Getting that 90 minutes extra at the start of the day and that 90 minutes extra at the end of the day. It’s so amazing. Like imagine being on your, you know, your final hours you’re passing away, however that might be whether it’s traumatic or with family and friends or whatever, and then someone comes up and goes, How would you like another 20 years? Like I’m getting that every day. I’m actually forward booking that, I’m on afterpay. So, yeah, I don’t, it’s not actually a lot when you look at ROI.


Murray Guest  09:13

Yeah. So what stood out, okay, for the listeners there, check out those three books. Here’s some ways to start to look at some really healthy habits on a daily basis and even those one degree shifts you can make in your life to start to build the energy. You didn’t mention what makes your heart sing, what is it for you?


Mark Kentwell  09:32

So I’ve been sort of crystallising sort of my destiny path, legacy, sort of how we show up in the world and something that resonates with me and we’ve done some work on this together and I did a lot of work on it with Richard Ford is Be Do Have, as opposed to Have Do Be. So for the listeners, the typical model and this is probably come out you know post industrial era of working in a factory job or for the man or whatever it might be, however you might want to say that. And that’s like, when I have this amount of money, then I’ll do things that I want with my time and I’ll be happy. Whereas like, the way I look at it is like, if you’re not in the state that you want to be, then you take the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, whatever, to visualise what the ultimate self is. And if you need help with it, you can get a guided meditation to take you through, it’s about 20 minutes. Dr. Fred Grosse and Victoria Sinclair do an amazing version of it, like tears run down your face when you’re doing it. You imagine yourself at 120 years of age, walking down the hill and meeting your current self. And they talk to you about, like, the things you’ve accomplished, your kids and your grandkids and you know, the things that you did, the places you went and experiences you had and the pain that you went through, and then you realise how much that developed you, it’s like muscle tearing and getting stronger. And, and when you go to that state of Be, it’s like I want to be this person, I want to show up as this person and then I’ll be doing those things, and I’ll have anything I want because one will come as a result of the being. So, you know, I was having a little, uh, I’m doing an I.P. swap with a friend of mine Jackie Allanson who’s an exercise physiologist at Transcend. She’s amazing. So she’s been my running coach, and I’m not a runner. I’m 90kgs, I’m a crossfitter, I’m into movement. And I’ve decided to do a couple half marathons recently, and stuff like that, just a little life hack challenge. And I’ve enjoyed the experience, she’s kept me on track so that my muscles don’t rip apart in the wrong spot. And I’m doing a little bit of an IP swap with her where we catch up, you know, whether it’s dinner or whatever. And we did this like questions challenge the other day, and it’s from some sort of survey, and it’s like, 30 something questions, get to know people better. And one of the things they say is, what do you want to be known as? Like before, during, after your life, and I’m like, I sort of liked the idea. It’s not age related, but being the sort of the tribal elder, without age being the theme. Right. So because the wisdom that you’ve got at the end of life is actually already in you, you just haven’t unlocked it yet. And, and it doesn’t mean that you’re just getting a lot of lost people that feed off you, because that’s charity, and I’ve got a lot of charity in my life, but it’s, it’s done in a matrix. Whereas like, being the tribal elder, it’s like it’s, it’s sort of by being authentically you, and the you that you’ve chosen, not the you in your present state, like, you know, present mind state. It emanates, and, and you see others start to be it as well. And I think in the last 12 months in particular, I’ve really just acknowledged that, you know, Western world or on the plains of the Sahara, work life balance, I don’t believe in the concept. I think that concept came out, when people started working in the industrial era, farming, agriculture, manufacturing, whatever, and they were doing it because they sort of that was the shift of where we need to go and do that. So we can have this over the other side.


Murray Guest  13:18

Yeah, and I think it’s in complete contrast to what we’re talking about earlier the you know, Thank God It’s Friday, work life balance, I have to go to work and I don’t like it and I do some job I hate and then I get to go and enjoy my life. Whereas let’s do those things that make your heart sing during the day. 


Mark Kentwell  13:35

Like it’s if you think about it, if someone said to me that by the time you leave home as a teenager, you’ve spent 90% of the hours you’re going to spend with your parents for their whole life by then. Right so they’ve shaped you, and then your peer group comes in, and then your values are getting established and your belief structures get established, then you’re in this like discovery phase that you know you sort of a bit like a piece of coral like getting washed around in the whitewash. And some people cling on to something like a log and then they go in the direction and some people grab to the ground and some people flourish and develop like a whole sort of community on the bottom of the ocean or become something, right, and and that’s them, and then other people jump on board with that. And I look at work, which is another term for this conversation, like of our waking hours we don’t do anything more than work, like if you live to 80 or 90 there’s no single activity you do more of. Like not even just in the Western world, in the world. You know, we talk about this work life balance thing and us western people and we’re working too hard, but the same people say oh you know, lazy slobs and entitled or whatever, like if, if you’re in a tribe in Africa, like working seven days you get up with the sun and you go hunt for the day or you gather or you make stuff or you make huts or you look after the young ones, like they’re all working for someone.


Murray Guest  14:57

So I was talking to a coach years ago, 15 years ago, and we’re having this chat. And he threw this question at me and I’m gonna throw it at you now, which is, do you do the work you love or love the work you do? Because I think there’s a real link here around the B part. What we’ve been talking about, huh?


Mark Kentwell  15:12

So I, yeah, well, at the moment, I’m fairly neutral on that question because I haven’t pondered on it. But what I will say is that I have chosen orb structure and a tribe around me of trusting people. And if I look at it from a players on the sports field analogy, the players have it covered like, they’ve each got each other’s backs, they can overlap if they need to, but they’re playing to their strengths, which I’ve done a lot of work with strengths with you, you help bring that into our business, not just strength-based selling but the whole Gallup thing. And the call surveys that we knock those out regularly. And we’ve got so many of them with your Strength Finders, with Shelly Don’s amazing work, you know, she’s such a big part of our business now. We did our reach profiles as well. And we’ve just got the sports field covered. Now I’m such high D on that reach profile. Such a high driver. Now I can go into any of the others. I can even be counsellor, which is so not me. Like you know, I don’t really, Chris Voss negotiation coach talks about it. I’m doing one of these masterclasses at the moment. And, you know, like empathy and sympathy are not the same thing. Counsellors often are sympathetic by nature. Empathy is understanding what they’re saying and hearing them and then seeing it from their view so that they can communicate on the same level. I can go into that quadrant, but it’s energetically draining for me. And then I’m not going to be able to give as much as CVO, chief vision officer, in the business. So I love looking ahead and capturing real time stuff. I love it when on working from a place of IP, not a place of grunt work or out down, task based activity that anyone could do.


Murray Guest  17:00

And what you’re also explaining here is around when we know our preferences, we know our strengths, know what makes our heart sing. Want to do more of that. But it’s also not an excuse, because sometimes I got to slip into some of those other areas, at times, because that’s what’s needed. But let’s create a culture and a team around me which helps me and everyone else play to their strengths and be at their best.


Mark Kentwell  17:20

Yeah, it wasn’t practical.


Murray Guest  17:22

You said something there though, that we’ve got to explore which is the chief vision officer, the CVO.


Mark Kentwell  17:28

Yeah, I got this from Simon Sinek. I did a couple of like, Justin Doyle, my accountant, Doyle Partners, gave me Start With Why very early. He wasn’t my accountant then, this is just a guy, we’re operating in parallel. He was growing his accounting business he opened that the same time we opened our real estate business. And you can see we’re making waves and we just resonated well, you know, someone’s energy like, yeah, I don’t know what it’s gonna be but our paths are going to intercept and then probably end up going together. He gave me Start With Why, it turned up, I remember the red writing. And I read that book and I’m a mega slow reader, because what I do is I say to myself in my head, because I’m auditory, I can read it to myself. So I’m listening to like, you know, myself narrating the book, and then I go into visualisation, takes me forever. I read that book, and I looked at the apple analogies. And then I went on to watch Simon Sinek, you know, Ted Talks, and all of his YouTube stuff, which was early YouTube days. And I started going, Wow, like, this is this is me. But for a long time, I had guilt about extracting myself from daily activities that were high dollar productive activities that were revenue raising for the business. And accepting the norms that were sort of thrust upon me by other people who are fearful, they could never do what I had in mind. And so what I love is vision, I not only love imagining the future and creating it, and then coming back and building a path there. But I love having things come at me in hyperspeed. And taking it on with a knowing sensor and knowing filter, like we talked about how our eyes or our brain processes, 15,000-16,000 bits of information a second or whatever, and then we rationalise 110 of them, or whatever the numbers are. And I think well, you know, I’m in pilo now, which has been a real game changer for me. That’s the first of two venture capital funds I’m in and I had done some seed and angel investing and some first round investing prior to that with mixed results. But when I got into that business, we’ve looked at 550-600 businesses and we bought about seven, and and by seeing those 550 or 600, you can see the patterns and the echoes and the ripples. And then I can have a look at what’s coming. I’ve done study tours overseas, not knowing where I’m going yet, but I know I need to be on that plane. I went spoke in South Korea for the CCIM which is like a commercial real estate organisation. It’s worldwide. It’s a membership base, and I got invited to speak on the Australian real estate market to the world. I didn’t know when I was there. But I got learnings from that and I take pieces of that and it comes up in combo. I went to the states a couple of times and one of the times I just wanted business expense sole trip. Dr. Fred talks about it as a hundreds where there are life changing experience, but they’re also tax deductible you know, and, and, and I was going to propose to Natalie over there in Central Park, which I did. But we flew in and we went to Anaheim, first in Orange County, where Disneyland is, we went to Disneyland, I went to NAR National Association of Realtors. And that was in 2011, post GFC. And I I watched him talking about the overflow effect from, you know, escrow for mortgages, foreclosed because the different system over there. And I learned that there was somewhere between 1.5-2 million agents in American, most of them were buyer’s agents making less than three sales a year, and a standard and all that, and I’m looking at and I’m learning about buyer’s agency, I’m looking at how they can use auctions as the first method of sale and I was taking all these bits of information in and now I’m involved in an advisory position and, and scaling arguably what is going to be the number one buyer’s agent advocacy organisation in Australia. But in our minds it already is, Henderson advocacy. And why is that? It’s because I started looking at it, you know, in 2007, 2008, I went over there in 2011 and went back in 2013, and 2014. And I didn’t know I was there for that reason. But I was taking it in. And so this is where that kind of being willing and open to accept what is available to you that something inside you already know, is required and it’s not being a leaf in the wind and just Oh, just go here. There’s got to be intent behind it. And this is the habit stacking works quite well. Because if you’ve got a purpose to be there, so for me Fit in the morning, the purpose is I want routine fitness in my life. The better purpose is starting my day strong and in great energy. There is also the negative ion discharge that happen from going into salt water and sand. And then having the sun go in your eyeballs, which helps melatonin levels at night, bring me down to sleep. It’s the tribe that I’m building there, which some of them end up working for me. Some of them end up friends, some of them end up my exercise physiologist, whatever. It’s supporting a local business. It’s it’s me learning about communities and building a social media following, it’s me showing the world how I show up and you look at how many things are coming out of that one thing? It’s fitness. So it’s like, sometimes you’ve got a purpose. And the purpose needs an ROI on itself. But if you look at the secondary and the tertiary, and then all the ongoing benefits that come from it, I think you can have multiplication in almost everything that you do. And you see the Buddhist monks and stuff like that they get around, they look at a glass of water, and they’re just sitting there looking at an amazement, like they can see the bubbles vibrating and you know, all the stuff that Eckhart Tolle talks about. And it’s like, they’ve got that in a different level. I think I’ve got it in a in a now day and age sense. And I like to show other people they can have that too, instead of just existing and waiting for their big break. It’s like this is it. You’re in it.


Murray Guest  23:14

So something which you talked before about sports teams, and I think about a sport team, let’s say every Monday morning, they’re going to do a review on how they’ve gone on the weekend. What worked, what didn’t, did they play their game plan, how’s our attack our defence, whatever code we’re talking doesn’t matter. Anything sports people at the top level, you know, surfers, golfers, whatever it is, what does that look like in your life, in that review process to keep you on track with what you’re working towards? 


Mark Kentwell  23:43

So that’s a really great one you bring up because it’s not natural. It’s a willing to do things for me, to be having team huddle at the start on a day or a weekly meeting or review meeting because I just see that as 99% of the stuff you’ve talked about there could have been put into a better process or system so that you wouldn’t need that meeting. So I see that meeting as being about connection and contribution and showing each other you’re important to each other. But then people rushing in and chicks are still putting their makeup on, someone’s dropped their kids off and vomited in the car and someone’s come in on the phone. You’re sitting down, like ughh right what we got to talk about? And for me that that is it’s vibrating in the wrong energy right from the start. Now, my team do those meetings, but they’ve run the process so efficiently that I’m then only brought in if my IP is required. But I’ll do a company wide one where we’ve got all the zoom and all the WebEx cameras on and I’m addressing the whole company about things that are happening and life of PRD right now all the other organisations I’m part of, and my reviews are done with people like Dr. Fred Grosse, where I’ll be sitting down with him and we’re talking about what I’m manifesting.


Murray Guest  24:59

So at a personal level you’re doing that with Fred to keep you on track. And then as a business sense, you’re coming and doing that as a whole business when you need to do that.


Mark Kentwell  25:08

Yeah, like I’m in so many sectors like I keep getting Shirley, she’s amazing and putting things in a graphical format. And like mind maps and the like, and my personal orb structure, like does not fit on an A4, A3 page, it’s this big, long thing with all these little things coming off it, and they’re sort of feeding over each other. But that doesn’t mean it’s too much. I look at that, and I go, I’m not even looking at that like it’s too much, that page could go forever. And then I jump on Instagram, and I follow a couple of people that or I just look at a couple of posts and like, you know, this person is involved in 350 successful JV’s. And he was involved in this many and this person owns this many companies. And I’m like, well, there’s no way they’re sitting down and doing team review meetings with all their team, it’s not what they’re bringing to the table. See when I get involved in a venture now like I have with Henderson, like I sat there with Benny Hemler from buyers agency institute, he is a weapon I love him and Jack. And I see guys like why do you want me involved in this because if it’s just about like collaboration and helping your business grow in Newcastle, you can get that from any agent. I mean, we might accelerate it more, it might be a better outcome. But I don’t want to be easily replicatable or disruptable because that’s a model that’ll break as soon as we have our first challenge.


Murray Guest  26:24

And I reckon there’s something that you do as a leader, which I think more leaders could do. And that’s, let’s just call it, what’s happening right now, be courageous in a respectful way. But also in the courageous way of saying, hey, do you need me right now? Or do you need something else? Do you need me at this meeting or somewhere else better served? So that you are, I would say, thinking about what’s the best use of my time right now?


Mark Kentwell  26:47

So that’s one of our values, you’re aware of that, we’ve got five values. Vision, which works really well. I’m the head of the company, I’m responsible for it. Abundance, so gratitude is a gateway to abundance. But there’s enough out there for everyone in every sector at any given time, and it’s already right in front of us and we’ve just got to choose whether we’re willing to accept it and see the gift in it. Courage. Okay, so courage can be just having a courageous conversation like we’re talking about here. And I’ll use the term in a minute we’ll talk about when we get the agendas on the table in meetings. And then we’ve got Respect. And I think respect is a word that’s a bit overused or a bit misinterpreted. It’s sort of like how I was saying before, empathy, people confuse empathy and sympathy. You don’t have to be sympathetic to someone’s needs at all to have empathy for them. Respect to me, is in a lot of different ways. We are in a position, and each of us has respect for the role that we’re serving, the opportunity that we’ve got, why are we here, it’s basically the opposite of entitlement is what I’m getting at.


Murray Guest  27:50

And what I want to recognise here is the culture at PRD, we’ve got respect for the different people’s roles, which support each other’s success. So I respect you as a person, I respect your beliefs, respect who you are, as, as a person, but I also respect what you bring to the business to help my success. So a great example is as a sales agent, or let’s say, you’re out there and you’re trying to get the listings. We need people in the back office to support me and I respect that and respect it goes both ways. I think that’s something that you’ve really developed in the company.


Mark Kentwell  28:25

Thank you. And to add to that, like, the animal kingdom has rats and mice that has alligators, it’s got badgers. It’s got animals that don’t seem like they serve a purpose. And it’s got lions and tigers and sharks and humans, right. So, like, the Badger is not saying ‘I’m equal to a lion’. And the lion is not actually giving a shit about what the Badger thinks. The lion doesn’t look at the Badger and go, you’re beneath me and I’m gonna belittle you. Okay. So there’s definitely roles that are more unique, but with great power comes great responsibility. And the respect part is also really, really important with people that are ascending quickly, because the entitlement comes at a very rapid rate for people that are acsending quickly. 


Murray Guest  29:17

So how do we check our ego? 


Mark Kentwell  29:20

It’s a challenge. And I think a lot of it comes down to the inoculation that it’s coming. So the person needs to understand that it’s coming. And a self assessment process is going to be required. So to have some mantras about that things don’t exist in isolation. And, you know, for we’ve got two clients, we’ve got consumer clients, but our main clients are our people, by them choosing to be part of our tribe, the people that get the attitude that they could have done it without the tribe behind them, without the Formula One team behind them, they rattle off, and they leave. And they leave usually, because they’ve been kind of managed out due to being checked on a regular basis. And I realised that in later days where, you know, I think I have a little bit of a victim mentality around, I’m taking the high road, I’m not going to bag them out on the way out, I’m not even going to tell people the reason that they’ve left is because we’ve been managing them. And then they go out and due to their, you know, small mindedness with that they sort of broadcasting that. And I’m like, Well, that doesn’t matter, that blah, blah, blah, but really, it does matter to you. And realistically, like the culture is the predominant behaviour of a group of people. And the idea is that if you take on, say, 10% of the culture that’s not your culture, they will then become your culture, or they’ll rattle off. Like a little bit of mud on the side of a wheel. That, you know, sometimes the stowaway has a journey to go on, and they get on your train, and then they jump off. And it’s no hard feelings. And that’s totally fine. I think that’s the way we’re becoming now, we’re detached about whether the journey is going to continue as long as everyone’s been given the opportunity to participate in that culture, the people who don’t participate, are missing out big time.


Murray Guest  31:10

So and again, linking back to if you’re clear on your vision, your purpose, then how that aligns with someone else’s vision and purpose. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay. But if it does come on board with us.


Mark Kentwell  31:25

Yes, and repeating that mantra, like I look at that some of the oldest cultures in the world right here in Australasia and Torres Straight Islander, the people are the Aboriginal people. And you know, we’re on their grounds today. And I look at dreamtime stories and how things have been passed down like, this is where this elder thing is coming from. It’s not a significance thing. It’s not like the tribal elder in a tribe in Africa, or the Aboriginal culture is not saying I’m King shit, kiss my feet. It’s not like Tutankhamun. You know, it’s the opposite of that.


Murray Guest  32:00

I pictured you earlier sitting around a campfire telling stories.


Mark Kentwell  32:06

So I think about that the vision part, I’ve got to recite it that many times, it’s so crystal to me, I don’t need to think about what I’m saying. Every time I do one of these, I’m habit stacking like nothing else. I’m loving having time with you. I’m feeling it flow right now. I know it’s going to broadcast our brands for each other. I know our team are going to get to see some of the stuff on our induction. And but what it’s doing also is I’m repeating my mantras. And I’m refining them as I go. So when I stand in front of someone in the elevator, which is bloody slow here, they say so what are you guys all about, I can just go bang, because I’ve been reciting it. It’s like lyrics to a song or you know, a poem or anything like that. The more times that you do it, the clearer it becomes. But you can also adjust for the things as you sort of evolve.


Murray Guest  32:54

I want to ask something around it’s May 2021. The last year, you know, it’s been, you know, the word that’s thrown around so many times is it’s been unprecedented. Tell me, what do you reckon this pandemic and what life’s been like the last 12 months has shown you as a leader, and what have you taken out of it, you’re taking forward.


Mark Kentwell  33:19

It’s shown me myself, and it’s given me an opportunity to lead that I’m so grateful for. I know, there’s been a lot of, I think a lot of people are saying, you know, there’s a lot of people hurting around the world, and it’s sometimes like they gotta say it. I totally acknowledge that there’s a lot of people as well that have been torn upside down. I don’t have control over that. So that’s with the stoic philosophy I read every day. I’m just focusing on things I can control. And a lot of that has to do with my reason, choice and how I show up in the world. And it has a really important part of my life. So my sense of being, my state of being now has become an energetic attraction to every tribe I’m part of, or a founder of, and you know, I’m crystallising, every, you know, my goal, my goal, my, my, I suppose my mission is to help everyone that becomes part of our tribe, whether working for us or being a client of ours, or have been touched by us in some way, not necessarily physically, but through the interactions that we had, their lives become better in every dimension, even if they haven’t realised it. And that might even mean there’s some confrontational stuff that they then go and rip and heal over. So I just yeah, it’s just been a phenomenal 12 months I was in Thailand on a charity ride, for ride to provide, digital live ride with Steve Carell and the crew and an amazing group of people over there. We went Southern this time, and that time and time before that we were in northern Thailand and we raised a lot of money and we built some great relationships. And it was breaking as we were over there, and on the last two days, we heard that Trump was starting to close some borders and some airports. And I’m like, I just had a knowing I’m going straight back to Australia. So I went to home hub and one of the orphanages that we sponsored and I, you know, gave some gifts and saw some of the kids, I didn’t see my kid that I had my picture of, that’s not really the point. The day after that is a celebration, they put on a parade for you. And then everyone goes and gets pissed and hangs out and relaxes because you don’t have to ride another 120kms that next day. And you’re at a really nice resort when all the other times have been really roadside places. And, and people are like nah we will be fine. And I’m like, you know what I’m not worried about whether we’ll be fine. I feel I feel a knowing stance I’ve gotta move now. So I actually upped my pedal rate real substantially. I was organising with my P.A. to move these business class flights and all this stuff. And I’m not worried about the points, I’m not worried about the refunds, book the flights, please. And we booked flight through Phuket and I could choose Brisbane or Melbourne. I have luggage in the QT hotel permanently in Melbourne. I’m like, I’ll just get back to Melbourne and I got back there that day they announced the 14 day rule. Some people from the UK were forced to stay in Bangkok. I never went back to that main part of Thailand. I came from Phuket, which is a much quieter airport. Um, and I did seven days of what I call distancing, where I worked from the hotel, I was recording videos, I was reminding the team that we’ve got this like we’re already set up for this and a lot of the stuff we had I wasn’t able to use because there’s no need. And then I came back to Newcastle, did another seven days of case distancing at Novotel, and I didn’t have the 14 day rule. But I had, I had competitors actually who dobbed me into the police saying that they’d see me on socials, and I wasn’t isolating whereas I didn’t legally need to so funny. Anyway, I didn’t get in trouble or anything. But um, you know, and I was clear I was I didn’t have a virus, you know, got to see my kids again. And it was amazing. But then, you know, we didn’t come back into the office sneakily like we did the whole thing remote. We did a lot of team stuff. And I went too hard initially on performance monitoring and installing all these things, because I was on a mission to show that I’ve got this. And I think I got a little bit too out in front and well guys, you just got to go with me. But they weren’t ready to just give it all over at that point, they were still scared, they were still unsure. They’d say what about the mortgage I’ve just taken off. And I think I’ve developed a lot then I had some coaches, Charles Bainey was a real help for me. He’s like, okay, like, I know, you’ve got this, but you need to slow down. Like you need to slow down, like you’re implementing things at a rapid rate, and people are scared, and they don’t know where this is going. And I’ll look at that two months later. And transformed.


Murray Guest  37:42

And I think the bit there that the frequency of communication when I’ve been talking to my clients about through COVID, that frequency of communication, that reassurance to people about again, what’s in our control, what can we do about it has been so important. And you were doing that, but great reflection as leader of, you know, my, my confidence we’ve got this was higher than everyone else’s so slow down, make sure everyone’s got that confidence as well. What are you taking out of it as a business moving forward? Like what have you there’s some practices or ways of working or being that you think is, you’ve continued out of this process or what we’ve been through?


Mark Kentwell  38:18

So much, like so much. Conversations with really important people in my life, that probably wouldn’t have happened without a catalyst. So Shula who has been in our business for a really significant period there from like, 2013 until end of last year, December 31. She was a co director with me. So you know, you know, from a fiduciary point of view, and looking out for us point of view, she brought in a lot of the corporate procedures, all the HR and governance, because she’d come from a very high interrogation sector sort of government level and Employment Services work, where she brought that corporate edge to us, because we’re scaling quite rapidly. But like, you know, it was a very cottage kinda business doing a bit of revenue. But we were on different paths. And it became really clear, like I was ready to go, my foots going down. And it was only it was less than two years prior, I’d given the business a two year promise that I was going to stick around and decide at that point, whether I was going to put the foot down, keep going, or I was gonna start passively exiting, and look for other things in my journey. And I had decided, I’m in, I’m all in, and Shula still had some legacy stuff that she wanted to do, like, she’s really good at national staff and policy influence, and she’s a leader in her own right, a different kind of leader. So she’s now head of education for REI, New South Wales. She’s on their board of directors and she’s really empowered and just, it’s so good to see and our relationship has changed dramatically in a positive way. And I’ve caught up with Shula, and I love the energy that you two have now for what you’re doing. Like I’m craving to hang out with her again, you know, whereas before was like, you know, we’re seeing each other all the time. And most of the things we’re talking about, we knew there’s got to be some kind of debate. And then we come to a resolution. Um, the other thing is like we had, we had humans in our business, and I say the word humans because like, there was processes being done by humans that didn’t need to be by humans. And there were things that weren’t being done because the humans didn’t have time to do them in a human way. So I brought tech and automation and systemization in that I’ve been talking about for years, but I didn’t have a system for implementing it. So I bought Shirley Dalton into our business and she’s doing like a million hours a week now but she thrives on it like it’s her thing. Her and Ross are just tight as and they they are nomads like and they want to be, like she’s got some goals and I’ll let her share that with you if you ever have a podcast with her, I’m pretty sure you will. Like, Shirley gets me, wholeheartedly gets me. And we have, like I I’ve probably developed in joint venture or, or new businesses like four or five, brand new ventures that are all just absolutely scaling in the time that she’s been involved. Now, I’ve been saying for a long time, we need someone like Shirley to do our procedures. And we’re trying to make someone within our business that person and make it part of the job title, but it’s not their heart sing. Whereas for her she’s good at doing the systems work that we’ve realised that we can get someone else to do the work and she’s good at doing the bit that inspires the leadership and the flow. And we’ve got a system now for me rapid firing new systems, putting in the TKO, which is a great system, I’d encourage anyone to get it. It’s a WordPress based system that allows you to have your procedures to the point of graphic detail like McDonalds. It’s so good that someone brand new, who’s never done the job before, can do it to 100% accuracy the first time without tuition outside of the system. The only difference is it will take them longer.


Murray Guest  42:03

Yeah, so we’ll make sure there’s links to that plus the books that you’ve mentioned in the show notes.


Mark Kentwell  42:07

I love giving plugs, but I’m not doing it for financial gain. It’s because like, I want to help people hack this journey in a good way.


Murray Guest  42:14

So I asked the question about what have you done, or have continued doing out of this period in business last 12 months. And what I’m hearing is it’s really drove some things that you are exploring, maybe pondering or maybe going to get to. Right. It’s driven action, driven some sustainable change. Which is then the business has been able to leverage and keep growing from.


Mark Kentwell  42:34

100% and as you know, stop, start continue. Michael Sheargold talks about that. I’ve heard you talk about it. And it’s um, you know, I outplay some people out of business that shouldn’t have been here. Now, that’s not that they’re bad people know, they were just different, vibrating at a different frequency. I don’t have receptionists in any of our offices now. Because reception to me in real estate, it’s a service activity, but it could be done by someone who’s developing their real estate career and habit stacking. So I’ve now got sales associates on the main lines that are taking inbound inquiry, I’ve re engineered the inquiry so that the consumer on the other end of the phone is getting a better level of service, a quicker response time, an enthusiastic person who’s got access to the info and legally allowed to answer it. And will go beyond the contract to get it done and even impressing beyond that.


Murray Guest  43:23

And there’s a great example of you know, if you think about lean and removing waste out of a process, and if real estate is all about relationships, we’re building that relationship at the very first conversation.


Mark Kentwell  43:35

And we’ve got an incubater now. More greatness in the in the sales team. So what I do is even if I think I’ve got it in mind to work on someone’s team, I don’t know everything about them during the interview process. I put them in, I put them on the company phones, they learn our CRM, they learn how to talk to people, they learn multitasking, they learn culture and showing up well and then they get drafted sort of like a college basketball player, someone will go man, can I have that person? Well, you can’t have them but we can trial you doing some work with them. It gives me a wider recruitment funnel. Now we are literally starving for more candidates. But when I say starving, we get a lot of applications. But you know, Vern Harnish, Fortune 500 writer, and the guy that wrote Scaling Up, you know, he talks about a 20 to one ratio companies like Apple and Patagonia. 20 applications won’t hire. And and our ratio a the moment is probably 10. I want that at like 30. You know, so sales associates are the gateway to agents, future office owners, maybe they’re going to go into buyers advocacy maybe gonna be property management people. We want more of them so that we can have them on the front line and then they can get drafted into teams and we can build these businesses off the back of that property management. We were taking like hundreds and hundreds of calls on three questions. Is it still available? Can I book an inspection? How’s my application going? Who do you think those enquiries are coming from? Is it still available, can I book an inspection, how’s my application. They were prospective tenants and we want to service them, but most of that is on the website and the application process we can re engineer so they are getting automatic updates. And we were getting people that wanted to actually list their properties and sell with us or they want to buy a property or they wanted to talk to me about one of our people, and they couldn’t get through because between 300 inquiries a day through our main lines to a receptionist that wasn’t that passionate, right, so our property managers are getting the overflow inquiry not doing their job properly. Soon as we removed that out of the process, putting tech in, put some call waterfalls in, I put one of my cloud staff team members offshore into taking the really basic generic inquiries and typing it into the web contact form for the person which they’re grateful for. Our business has just gone crazy.


Murray Guest  45:47

Yeah, another great example there of look at the system. Look at the people, as you said, the human element, how do we make that more efficient? And everyone that that you just talked about has a job which makes their heart sing, whether it’s an internal employee, team member or someone external that you’re bring in, and you talk about Shirley, Shirley’s doing work that makes her heart sing as well. Okay. We’re getting toward the end of the conversation. I’m gonna go rapid fire, you ready? These are short answers.


Mark Kentwell  46:15

That’s hard for me. I like to articulate things.


Murray Guest  46:20

So we’re gonna go two or three words, okay. You can frame it up. You ready? Leadership is…


Mark Kentwell  46:29



Murray Guest  46:31

Say it again?


Mark Kentwell  46:31



Murray Guest  46:32

Authenticity, love it. Culture is… 


Mark Kentwell  46:38

The predominant behaviour of a group of people.


Murray Guest  46:40

Okay. Legacy is all about..


Mark Kentwell  46:49

Living your flow state as you go in a way that contributes to people beyond you’re imagining.


Murray Guest  46:57

Well, I’ll let that one go. Because that’s a bloody good one. Newcastle is what, what would say Newcastle is for those listeners are thinking, what is it about this fantastic town we live in? How would you describe it? Newcastle is what…


Mark Kentwell  47:12

Abundant in so many dimensions.


Murray Guest  47:15

I’m with you on that one. Being uncomfortable is… 


Mark Kentwell  47:22

Required for growth. 


Murray Guest  47:23

Oh, yeah. I’ve seen what you’re doing recently underwater.


Mark Kentwell  47:27

Yeah. Freediving. 


Murray Guest  47:29

Awesome. Oh, here’s one for you. Futuristic, one of your top strengths, I love that you think about the future. See how this goes. 2030 will be…


Mark Kentwell  47:42

A great time to be alive.


Murray Guest  47:48

Last one, if I gave you a billboard, on the side of the road, and everyone in the world would see that billboard, they’re gonna drive past it. Imagine everyone drives on one road, they’ll drive past and see this billboard, and there’s a message on the billboard. And that’s just what they’re gonna see. So you’re gonna have to shorten it to fit the bloody thing on a billboard. But what’s your message that you want everyone to see on that billboard?


Mark Kentwell  48:14

Be do have.


Murray Guest  48:15

That’s it. We don’t want any subtext. Or that’s it?


Mark Kentwell  48:20

They’ll know how to contact me…


Murray Guest  48:22

Be do have and a little little signature down the bottom…


Mark Kentwell  48:25

At Mark Kentwell PRD.


Murray Guest  48:29

Awesome. I think maybe we highlight or enlarge the BE part in that. Yeah. Cause it’s all about the be. Mate, this is the Inspired Energy podcast.


Mark Kentwell  48:44

I’m inspired and I’ve got my energy, I can actually hear my energy right now. My ears are ringing.


Murray Guest  48:50

Well, I’m gonna leave here and I could go and run a marathon with what you’ve been talking about. What is inspired energy?


Mark Kentwell  48:59

Inspired energy is vibrating at a frequency where your cells are dancing. You’ve got an infectious gravitational pull towards you, and you’re happy to give at a disproportionate rate and you’re receiving because it feels natural.


Murray Guest  49:19

Mate that is such a fantastic definition. I love that. And I think, well sorry, I don’t think I know that that’s what you bring with the ripple effect of the people you lead and the people that you serve and the people that you interact with. And I’ve got that inspiration in today’s conversation, I really appreciate your time. I know you’re a busy man.


Mark Kentwell  49:40

This is this is long, but it’s stuff that makes my heart sing. So thank you for having me on I’m very grateful.


Murray Guest  49:45

It’s been great. For those listeners out there. I’m sure you got something out of this conversation, Mark is a wealth of wisdom around leadership, culture, and obviously real estate. So please share on social media what you got on Instagram or LinkedIn from this conversation. Make sure you tag Mark and myself, check out the show notes with links of all those awesome resources that Mark mentioned. And check those out. And Mark we’re gonna do this again soon I’m sure.


Mark Kentwell  50:10

I can’t wait. Well, yeah, I’m thinking that a micro episode for number 100 for ya. Thank you, cheers.


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