Chris Watkin: Employing millennials in Estate Agency. Do you have the same issue that an awful lot of people in the UK have employing them in Australia?
Tom Panos: Yeah. The challenge that we've got is, and I don't know who it is, Christopher, but someone has lied to a big group of people and told them, "You don't have to work hard. You've just got to work smart." So there's this group of people who are millennials, who have been told, "Don't worry about the hustle, don't worry about the grind. You can use technology to cut through all of that and you won't have to work hard." That is an absolute lie because technology is there to complement, not substitute.
Tom Panos: What I find is this — that a lot of the millennials struggle with the concept that you've got to put in a decade of solid work to build a career that is going to far outweigh being a footballer, which is only going to last 15 years and you can get a 40-year career in property.
Chris Watkin: Is that their parents? Is it the way they've been brought up? Is it society? Is it medals for eighth place?
Tom Panos: I think it's a possibility that ... look, it's a difficult one to say because I'm pleasantly surprised sometimes because sometimes people come along that are young that have got that look in their eye that says, "I won't go to sleep til I win," and there is plenty of those. Like I look at my own business and I look a lot of the young people like, you know Josh Tesolin that, you know, I recently interviewed, 23 years of age write a million dollars in fees. You know, a lot of these people have decided that they're not going to go work for a corporation and slave nine to five but they'd rather hustle and grind 24/7, build their own real estate career, have upcapped in earnings, have control of their life, be able to show their own creativity. So there is a group of people, so-
Chris Watkin: What did he do? What makes him so different? Is it upbringing?
Tom Panos: His parents, his parents ... what's his story? His parents were self-employed business people. He went to university, off my top of my head, he dropped out of university and looked around at what are the options that he could use. I think I love it. It's got, you know, I was talking to Sanjay today over lunch and I'm very mindful of it myself because I've got ... I come from a background where my parents, from a financial perspective, had very little, right? But we had unbelievable love, but we had very little money. What that created is this unmet need in me wanting money, because I saw money as being something that would give me freedom.
Tom Panos: Ironically, it hasn't worked out exactly that way because you know, one of the things I've learned is when you build a business that's based on your brands, freedom is something that you might lose because everyone wants you. Because you're the product.
Chris Watkin: Yes.
Tom Panos: Right, I'm not an Apple shop, right? I'm the product. So what actually happens is ironically, the goal that I wanted, which is freedom, is something that is still elusive to me, but I look-
Chris Watkin: Well it's a nice freedom, I mean you're on Park Lane here in the Fine and Country offices in London.
Tom Panos: Yeah, I mean ...
Chris Watkin: Do you and like the adulation?
Tom Panos: I used to like it a lot more than before. Now ... look, because you have to understand, there's haters as well as admirers, and what I've learned is this, people are going to judge you ... so you just do your own thing.
Tom Panos: I never look at it ... I haven't looked at a feedback sheet on a conference event for a decade.
Chris Watkin: Okay, so let's bring you back to millennials. Do you think millennials are looking for that affirmation and that pat on the back? I mean, is the responsibility, if they'd been brought up appalling me by that parents and being given, you know, medals for coming eighth place and they can get what they want because their parents ring up the headmaster and shout at them until they get what they want, do we have responsibility as bosses to sort that rubbish out and motivate these guys and give them what they want?
Tom Panos: Well, I think if you're a boss and you want to have a profit and loss statement that looks pretty good every month, you have a responsibility to either get them to a standard that meets your needs or remove them out of your business.
Chris Watkin: Because we've got to employ them, because of the nature of the, the age.
Tom Panos: You don't have the responsibility to actually replace what their parents may or may not have done, right. You don't have that responsibility, but you know, Chris, here's the deal. The deal is this. If you've told the kid that everything is good, everything is fine and they are brought up that way and then all of a sudden they're 25, 30 and they're being smashed in the marketplace and that start thinking, "You know what, I'm the problem." I could see why they're the problem. They start thinking to themselves, "Hey, I always thought I was right. My parents told me I was right, but it appears that I'm not right. I'm being smashed by other people."
Tom Panos: I think that if you're an employer, what you do is that you prospect like your estate agents of prospecting for listings. If you're an employer, what you're doing is you're prospecting for that young estate agent, that young guy or girl that has that look in the eye that basically says, "I might not win today. I might not win tomorrow, but I will win." That you are out on the hustle, hunting and prospecting for that group of people. That's what you should do. It's a lot easier to actually find someone that's got high motivation, low skill, train them, than actually finding someone that's got low motivation and high skill.