The industry gives back – Leanne Pilkington

Young budding auctioneers compete in a state wide competition and at the same time raise money for charity.  This is the industry giving back and the President of the REINSW, Leanne Pilkington, could not be prouder.
Kevin:   We hear a lot about industries giving back to the community, and I guess I’m probably a bit biassed here coming from the real estate industry, but I think the real estate industry has been very aware of that, even at a local level with lots of agents giving back to their local communities. But it’s great to see the industry bodies, as in the institutes, doing a lot to give back to the community, and even some of the franchise groups.
Kevin:   I’m joined now by Leanne Pilkington from the Real Estate Institute in New South Wales. Leanne, thank you very much for your time.
Leanne:  Thanks so much for having me, Kevin.
Kevin:   I want to talk specifically here about fundraising, what the industry’s doing, but you’ve got a unique approach in New South Wales to how you get your trainee auctioneers coming through to actually raise some money. Tell me how you’re doing that.
Leanne:  Yeah, absolutely. So every year the president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales chooses a charity that they’re going to support throughout the year. This year it is Domestic Violence New South Wales. And we made that decision because there’s been a lot of changes as you would be aware around the domestic violence provisions in the real estate, in the Tenancies Act, Residential Tenancies Act. So we thought it was a good idea to shine the light on that charity and everything that they can do for domestic violence victims.
Leanne:  And we have an auction competition, a novice auction competition that we run in seven different locations throughout New South Wales, and what the auctioneers do is actually get an item that is usually donated. They auction it off, and the proceeds go to Domestic Violence New South Wales.
Kevin:   Brilliant. It’s going to roll between the middle of March through until May, so it’s in different locations.
Leanne:  That’s right. Yes.
Kevin:   Are these competitions open to the public to go and have a look at? Can they watch them?
Leanne:  Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales website has got all of the dates and the various locations, and we do do them in the regional areas as well because as you would be aware, there’s some incredible auctioneers that come out of the country, so we like to encourage everyone across New South Wales to participate if they’ve got any interest in being an auctioneer. So you don’t have to be a real estate agent to compete.
Leanne:  But obviously a lot of our, a lot of our contestants are out of the real estate industry.
Kevin:   Okay. If you want to check it out, Yep. Leanne, can I take you in another direction, still talking about auctions for a moment?
Leanne:  Sure. Yes.
Kevin:   Having just come back from New York and going to the Inman Conference, I’m very aware now of how much esteem the Australian auctioneers are held worldwide because of their skills. And this is highlighting, you’re bringing auctioneers through.
Kevin:   The Institute in particular in New South Wales must have great confidence in the auction concept going forward to be training all these young auctioneers to come through.
Leanne:  Absolutely, no doubt. We still are very firm believers that auction is in most situations the best way to actually sell property. It’s the way that you get competition. It’s the way that you get a deadline for the auction, for the actual sale to happen. But obviously, agents need to be very well versed in both sides, both auctions and private treaty. And then be able to deliver both options to their potential vendors, to decide what’s right for them. But, yeah, absolutely, we believe in auctions moving forward.
Kevin:   Brokers in groups in the states are actually looking to Australian auctioneers to train them, to tell them how they do it. We’ve experienced this in our own company, being approached by Americans. Are there any Australians that you’re aware of who are actually running auction businesses in the states?
Leanne:  Yeah. I actually caught up with Charles Bailey from the Real Success Group just last week, and he was telling me that his business, he’s got an auction business in California, and he was commenting on how busy it’s getting over there. So obviously there’s a lot more interest than there has been in the past because previously in the U.S., it was sort of a bit of a fire sale mentality for auctions, yeah.
Kevin:   And the same in the U.K. And I believe they’re swinging their understanding a little bit more as well.
Leanne:  Is that right?
Kevin:   It’s very interesting. Of course, as well as Leanne Pilkington being the New South Wales Real Estate Institute president, you are also the head of Laing & Simmons, and you’re doing a similar exercise to raise funds for, tell me about that.
Leanne:  We are, actually. Yeah, we’ve got a campaign that’s running right now called Real Heroes, and what we’re doing is we’re asking for nominations from the public on people that they know of that are doing extraordinary things in the community. So it might be a carer, it might be a volunteer. We’ve had young people nominated that are the first in their family to actually be going to university, and the support that they’re giving to their indigenous community.
Leanne:  There’s other people who’s next-door neighbours have been looking after their children before and after school for the last two years since a family tragedy. Some amazing stories are coming in, and what we’re doing is we’ve got five 10,000, sorry, ten 5,000 prizes. So $50,000 all up to give to ten of those real heroes.
Leanne:  We’ve got a website if you’re interested.
Kevin:   Please tell us.
Leanne: And you can nominate anybody that you would like.
Kevin:   Okay. So put it up about Laing & Simmons. And I’ve been talking to Leanne Pilkington, who heads that organisation up, as well as being the president of Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. All the best with that auction competition, too. Leanne, thank you for sharing your time with us.
Leanne:  Absolute pleasure. Thanks for having me, Kevin.

Leave a Reply