As written by Nik Leigh, Real Property Photography founder & CEO
Well, where to begin! What a massive two days it was. I swear each year they are just getting bigger and better. It feels like just yesterday that myself, Lauren (RPP’s COO) and a handful of early partners were sitting around a lounge room on the Gold Coast for the first Annual RPP Partners conference. Whilst I love the intimacy of a tight knit group, it is evident in our ever-growing franchise network, that we still have those very same “family” values that we started with. For those looking for an insight into what an RPP Conference is like, please continue reading.
It all started and ended at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast. The weather could not have been better and definitely made up for the years that the weather was not overly cooperative. As standard format, I opened the conference with my famous but lengthy ‘Year in Review’; – a time where I can reflect on the wins, the challenges and the hard work that was endured by all and share this all with the entire group. Following this, Lauren shared some exciting some new initiatives that will be implemented to assist RPP franchise partners with both client acquisition and retention.
After a delicious morning tea break, it was the perfect time to introduce our newest member of the Head Office team, our very talented in-house Marketing Manager, Candice who not only unveiled our fantastic new Marketing Hub, but also worked through a basic but essential LAM (Local Area Marketing) task. Candice discussed at length as to the importance of a diversified LAM marketing strategy and spoke to the group about ways that each franchise partner can create and execute their very own strategies moving forward.
The afternoon was set aside for the partners to unwind and have a bit of fun! Kat; Head Office Photographer & Trainer, led the group into a fun but challenging game of trivia all based around the history of photography, cameras, property photography & much more. This was the perfect segue into our first team challenge; build a survival tripod! This was perhaps the most entertaining event (especially for Head Office) as we watched the various teams use the limited resources they had to build some absolute works of art! See below for yourselves:
What better way to wrap up day 1 of the conference & to get everyone into the “party” mood before our “terrible-tee” event that getting to the bar… and for some, behind it! The team ventured into the stylish Stingray bar for a dedicated cocktail making course. I know what you’re thinking, “what does this have to do with photography and running a business?” – absolutely nothing! But that was the beauty of it! The group was paired off and given all the necessary tools & ingredients to then make their own cocktails – with the guidance and instruction from the bar manager. It was a priceless moment watching both Andrew Cockroft (Real Property Photography Geelong) & Emily Gale (Real Property Photography Toowoomba) go head-to-head as they competed on making the most delicious cocktail they could. Think “invention test” but for cocktails! Andrew walked away with the victory by just a single point, but both their concoctions were absolutely delicious.
With a small break, the partners used this time wisely to get fitted out with their best versions of a “terrible tee” that they could find. Ahh, what a creative bunch we have! I mean, I know that we are known as creators of beautiful property photographs, but the lengths some went to was nothing short of amazing. Held in the “Baywatch Room” on the 22nd floor, it was the perfect opportunity to mingle, meet the families behind each of our talented partners and of course, to award; perhaps my favourite part of the year. I would like to take this opportunity to share our award recipients and congratulate the following partners on their achievements and shine the light on these incredible people:
1. Franchisee of the Year – Joel Adamson (Central Coast)
2. Franchisee Fast Starters – Martyn & Tracey Wilson (Logan, QLD)
3. Best in LAM Initiatives – Darren Clayworth (Auckland Northshore)
4. Best in Customer Service & Satisfaction – Bryan & Noely (Cardinia, VIC).
After the formal awards were done, we weren’t quiet done with winners just yet. Who can forget our “terrible tee” (yes, the objective was to wear the worlds ugliest ‘tee’) prize winners:
First: Alicia Harvey (Real Property Photography Rockhampton) with her priceless “UGG-LEIGH” shirt and a great picture of me on the back.
Second: Emily Gale (Real Property Photography Toowoomba) with her hilarious (but not at all offensive) “Donald Trump” shirt.
Third: Greg & Simone Harvey (Real Property Photography Brisbane Outer North) with another Donald Trump, brilliantly created by hand!
It was also a very humbling moment for me to say the least, as I was awarded with my very own recognition. However as I then proceeded to give a very lengthy (& emotional) speech of gratitude, the growth of Real Property Photography can only be put down to our amazing team in Head Office along with the dedication and hard work of each and every franchise partner.
With a few sore heads the next morning, the majority of our partners braved the early start to get down by the water for an early morning sunrise photography session. Whilst we had intended for this to be a “master-class” style I think after the nights activities, left a few with very few words to carry this forward. It was amazing to see some of the beautiful imagery that was captured by our partners and there are few better places to shoot the sunrise than Gold Coast’s beautiful coast line. Further to this, we also had a group of ladies enjoy an early morning yoga/ meditation session on the beach – perhaps the best way to get prepared for another busy and action packed day ahead!
It was time to get cracking with Day 2. This was kickstarted with our fantastic guest speaker Tracey Leak, who took the partners on a whirlwind of a session! From games designed to provoke “out of the box” thinking, to leadership, teamwork, self confidence and everything in between, Tracey’s value is something that can only be witnessed by attending. Perhaps one of the highlights from her session was having our franchise partners create a set of core values that Real Property Photography will become known for. After some internal debates, some ready to throw a chair or two and a few close ‘punch-up’s’, the entire group finally decided on the below:
Having been carefully selected by our very own partners, we know that the above four words well and truly reflect each and every one of us in different ways. I absolutely loved this session and I think this was a very necessary activity to ensure we are constantly thinking about these 4 pillars that underpin our success.
As we headed toward the closing of the conference, Aaron RDP Chief Pilot, spoke at brief about the changing landscape in the drone space, the increase in demand and also what steps you can take in order to add this to your very own suite of services.
It was now time for our formal closing of this year’s fantastic RPP Partners conference. In my closing, I reminded all partners to focus on what matters most and to never be afraid to celebrate all the wins- big and small, and to only ever be the very best version of you that you can be.
On behalf of the Head Office team, and our Franchise Partners, we look forward to meeting some new faces at the 2019 Real Property Photography Franchise conference. If you think this sounds good, wait until next year’s!