Leighton Walters – Business Devp Manager – True Property
Leighton Walters has a passion for people and service. He found that his role in property management enabled him to establish a charity and help less fortunate people. He is now urging other property management professionals to do the same.
Leighton, how has your career led you to your current role in property management?
Ever since I was young, I was exposed to the exciting real estate industry through my father, Bob Walters who worked for my Godfather, Robert R Andrew. My passion is people, service and relationships; property is just a great conversation starter.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It is definitely watching the smiles and excitement of our clients when we achieve a successful result. In my job, there are a lot of first time investors that crave information. Mixed in with passion, a genuine smile and understanding of their situation ignites a special client relationship which sets a stable foundation of honesty to come.
You are the founder of Heart for the Homeless – tell us about this charity and what motivated you to initiate it.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where it has become increasingly easy and acceptable to turn a blind eye to people in need. I believe our generation is desperate for compassion, and not just the feeling, but the action. Heart for the Homeless is focused on empowering industries to be active in reducing poverty by utilising technology. We have launched an efficient initiative into the real estate industry named the Moving Cities Initiative. This initiative is an internet-based system where owners and tenants moving home can ‘register their move’ online. Prompted by the local real estate agency, what our system does is automatically communicate and synchronise these details with the local not-for-profit service provider in the area such as OzHarvest or The Salvation Army. The tenant or owner is then contacted by the local charity in the area to arrange the collection of any leftover furniture, clothing or non-perishable food. This effectively turns off the tap of wastage and dumping when people move home, and rather turns someone else’s trash into another person’s treasure. If we are going to get serious in helping the environment, we are going to need to minimise wastage at the source.
What is your long term vision for Heart for the Homeless?
We are definitely a vision led and inspired organisation. If we only believed what our eyes saw, we would never be able to see dreams become a reality. My long term vision for Heart for the Homeless is to see an organisational network of industries and businesses being hands-on in aiding those in need. In the real estate industry, I would love to see an internationally operating system that is saving billions of tons of resources to aid those in need. The exciting part is, it all begins at the feet of Australia’s real estate agencies.
How can other real estate agents and property managers become involved with Heart for the smokeless electronic cigarette Homeless?
We have different opportunities for agencies to become a part of our organisation. We operate a tiered membership program which aids in motivating our members to proactively seek more resources. Heart for the Homeless is a practical way that an agency can become more hands-on in their community and also help be a part of the bigger picture. Anyone interested should visit our website www.heartforthehomeless.org
Which skills and attributes do you rate as most important in a successful property manager?
Patience, performance and professionalism. In property management, we know that we work in an industry that is highly emotional and is no stranger to conflict. More often than not, if you stop, listen and be patient, eventually the underlying problem will emerge. If you approach the problem with professionalism and understanding, your tenants or owners will learn to trust you as the professional. However, it is very important we perform and act on what we say. When we deliver on what we say we build a solid foundation for a trustworthy relationship, just like if we spend all our time focusing on the people who let us down, we will never appreciate the people who deliver.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Obstacles are only seen when you take your eyes off your goals”. My dad told me once about the metaphor of a magnifying glass. If we see ourselves as a magnifying glass and focus and concentrate all of our energy on one passion, we are going to make a difference. Just like holding a magnifying glass over some dried leaves and concentrating the light from the sun will burn the leaf and start a fire, we too should aim to be the best we can be at what we are good at. We are not created to be the best at everything. Once we accept we are not born perfect, and that life is a gradual daily journey full of lessons and challenges, this will help give the freedom of understanding it’s okay if we fail, just as long as we get better.
What are some of the challenges in your job and how do you address them?
Naturally, there are challenges in every job. Unfortunately, people are not perfect and you will get let down or mislead every now and again. However, understanding that you also are not perfect will help you as a person humble yourself to approach every single client with a sense of honesty, integrity and sincerity that I feel is what both our clients and tenants need to see. People might expect us to be perfect, but never pretend to be. What shows a person’s character is not how many times we face rejection or miss out on a listing, but how we react to it and how we get back up. No one ever counts how many times we fail, only how many times we win.
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