First National Real Estate’s highest achievers

  • Written by First National


First National Real Estate’s highest achievers were presented with their General Excellence and Marketing Awards at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa last Friday night. The awards dinner brought recognition to Australia’s top 2016 salespeople, property managers and administrators, and attracted more than 385 delegates from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The peak event on First National’s awards calendar capped a year of strong growth, technological achievement, and dedication to providing the best advice and communication in the profession, which according to First National Real Estate’s chairman, David Nitschke, contributed to First National Real Estate winning Canstar Blue’s award for ‘Overall Customer Satisfaction’ award nationally for 2016/17.

‘First National is focused on a standard of excellence that puts customers’ interests first. We strive to deliver the things that customers most value in real estate such as quality communication and advice, marketing, value for money, problem resolution and contract handling. When agents bring these things together effectively, our customers get the results they seek’ said Mr Nitschke.

On the night the Top 10 Sales Offices for the network in Australia were named:

1.    First National Real Estate Byron Bay (NSW) Sales Office of the Year
2.    First National Real Estate Hunters Hill, Gladesville, Ryde (Gladesville, NSW)
3.    First National Real Estate Surfers Paradise (Qld)                       
4.    First National Real Estate Tweed Sutherland (Bendigo, Vic)
5.    First National Real Estate Collie & Tierney (Mildura, Vic)
6.    First National Real Estate Waverley City (Glen Waverley, Vic) 
7.    First National Real Estate Rayner (Bacchus Marsh, NSW)
8.    First National Real Estate Port Macquarie (NSW)
9.    First National Real Estate Daystar (Padstow, NSW)
10.    First National Real Estate Epping Central (Epping, NSW)

Queensland office First National Real Estate Brassall won Residential Property Management Department of the Year and First National Real Estate Pope Nitschke (Mt. Barker, SA) won Commercial Property Management Department of the Year.

Individual salespeople were also recognised on the night, with the Top 10 Salespeople taking home Chairman’s Circle GEM Awards:

1.    George Rafty, First National Real Estate Newcastle City (The Junction, NSW) Salesperson of the Year
2.    Michael Sleiman, First National Real Estate Daystar (Padstow, NSW)
3.    Allison Mifsud, First National Real Estate Epping Central (Epping, NSW)
4.    Ruma Mundi, First National Real Estate Hills Direct (The Ponds, NSW)
5.    Ryan McCann, First National Real Estate Cleveland (QLD)
6.    Catherine Murphy, First National Real Estate Epping Central (Epping, NSW)
7.    Huss Alsalemi, First National Real Estate Macarthur (Minto, NSW) 
8.    Michael Alexander, First National Real Estate Michael Alexander (Harrington Park, NSW)
9.    Benjamin Mulae, First National Real Estate Hunters Hill, Gladesville, Ryde (NSW)
10.    Russell Rollington, First National Real Estate Surfers Paradise (QLD)

Kathy Smart of First National Real Estate O’Donoghues (Darwin, NT) was named Property Manager of the Year and Ashleigh Lambert-Bignell of First National Real Estate North Haven (NSW) Property Manager Rookie of the Year.  Tiago Neves from First National Real Estate Bonnici & Associates (Wodonga, Vic) was named Sales Rookie of the Year.

Kylie Sharp of First National Real Estate Nick van Vliet (Willunga, SA) was named Administrator of the Year and Jessica Atkins of First National Real Estate Cleveland (QLD) was named Receptionist of the Year.  

Russell Burton from First National Real Estate Burton Groves (Tea Tree Gully, SA) received the network’s highest honour, the Kaye Heath Memorial Award, in recognition of his dedication to helping other members and his contribution to the network’s ongoing success through his former role as National Chairman.

Hollywood approach a blockbuster for businesses

  • Written by SCC

Treating your small business like a Hollywood movie project will help attract the best talent, increase staff engagement and boost your company’s bottom line, according to a leading business consultant.

Anthony Mitchell, director and co-founder of inner-Sydney business Bendelta, will share his staff leadership insights at the next City of Sydney City Thought Leaders seminar, No ‘i’ in team: understanding how staff are vital.

“Businesses need to assemble the best team. The ‘Hollywood approach’ is about getting the right team in place by hiring the equivalent of the best writer, producer, star and director – smart people who will work together towards a common goal,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Investing time and energy in recruitment will see you hire people that are team orientated and ‘stayers’.Continuity is good for your business bottom line, so it’s important to hire people who want to make your business their professional home.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the free Thought Leaders seminars were a good way for up-and-coming business owners to get first-hand guidance from those who had already built successful enterprises.

“Attracting and retaining talented and dedicated staff who share your vision and values is important, no matter what business you’re in. I’m sure this seminar will inspire people to think about their own businesses in a new light and look for opportunities to grow,” the Lord Mayor said.

Mark Lincoln, retail director of Lush Australasia, will also share his business expertise at the 31 May seminar. He says that after a chequered early history, the beauty product company’s staff-led approach saw a dramatic increase in profits.

“The company’s ethos has evolved to focus on building strong partnerships within the business and to being people-focused,” Mr Lincoln said.

“We are an ethical-based company with a commitment to environmental and social issues, and that fair trade approach extends to our staff.

“We have an open style, two-way communication where staff are encouraged to give feedback in a safe environment. The success of Lush in Australia was all about getting the right people on the bus, and we did this by creating a culture that makes us a great place to work.”


Mr Mitchell believes it is “deceptively simple” to create a great workplace that is collaborative and productive. His top tips are:

  • give staff a high sense of autonomy
  • play to people’s individual strengths
  • stretch yourself and others professionally
  • ensure that work has a sense of purpose
  • have meaningful connections with your staff.

“If you focus on how to get your staff to turn the ‘me’ into ‘we’, you will have staff that are happy to effectively collaborate with others, and this will make a world of difference to your business,” Mr Mitchell said.

“I believe deeply in human potential, and when people are developing that potential into skills and behaviours and feeling highly motivated, they can achieve amazing results together.”

The free City Thought Leaders seminars featuring Sydney’s experts in their field are held at Customs House on the last Wednesday of the month until November.

Seminar: No ‘i’ in team: understanding how staff are vital. 

Date: Wednesday 31 May 

Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm 

Cost: free, but bookings are essential 

Bookings and event information:

Future seminars are:

  • Sydney’s tech startup revolution – 28 June
  • Sustainable business practices – 26 July
  • How innovation is changing the face of business – 30 August
  • Creative enterprises – 27 September
  • Women led businesses – 25 October
  • How important brand is to business – 29 November

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