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James is an award-winning film professional and former three-time Australian Auctioneer of the Year winner, he is the recipient of various international awards including, Australia’s Top 5 under 35, • Best Director at the Cannes Film Awards, Best Actor, at the Beyond Hollywood Int’l film festival and in a finalist for Australian Thought Leader of the Year. In April 2019 he conducted the world’s first auctioneer-based real estate crypto-currency auction using Binance and Bitcoin.
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Table of Contents
2021 and 2022 has been a tough year for business around the globe. In your experience can you share how businesses prosper in 2023?
Businesses that can identify, adopt and implement new technology, in particular, AI to their business will be the ones who see stronger results and higher growth. The reality is, we have at present across the world, high inflation, less consumer spending and rising interest rates so it’s about being able to do more with less money now and technology assists with exactly that.
A key lesson learnt through 2021 and 2022 was –
) Always take time to research technology and implement new ways to scale. When the real estate market is booming franchise groups will be complacent to change because it’s easy money, transactions flow easier, and staff are making money. Reminding yourself of what always follows a hot market in a cold market.
Now in 2023, we have the opposite conditions across cities like New York, Los Angeles, Sydney Toronto, then in 2021 and 2022 so if your business adopted new automation processes in 2021/2022 you are well ahead of the rest of the pack right now.
The economy has been turned on it’s head in the wake of the pandemic. What should businesses focus on in 2023?
Keep your top performers happy – you want consistent cash flow coming into the business so make sure your top sales staff are happy. This will also be the time rival companies will try and steal top talent to make up for less revenue.
Hiring new staff and investing in training is going to be a slow burn in this market.
Communicating with your employees about what they are noticing may be hurting their bottom line and taking action on it.
Diversify -Creating new and innovative services is essential to business growth. Diversifying your product or service will also protect against supply chain issues hitting a specific service you’re providing.
Be Bold – This is a time to strike out and take back market share because your rival companies will be weaker.
What are the pro’s & con’s of working from home and have you any first hand experience?
My preference would still be working in person, mainly due to the nature of luxury homes still needing an in-person and personal approach. The other side is I think a good salesperson can achieve a much higher price when selling a house if they are negotiating in person rather than online. However I can understand the Pro’s working from home,
It saves commute time and costs, Increased flexibility with your work schedule, and wider reach for meetings and potential clients, it also suits employees needing flexibility or a personality that is introverted so often you get better productivity from your employees.
How can business owners combat the rise of inflation and what have you done that you can share?
I would start by saying, “Be open to changing the current business model and look closer at some of these.
Eliminate work: because labor costs are ballooning, eliminating the work itself has the greatest impact. After eliminating work, the final tactic is to automate. Technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), workflow, and intelligent document processing can free up workers and make each person much more effective at creating value. In relation to real estate, looking to AI to provide services such as lead gen, database entry, auctions and marketing will start saving your business.
Analyze profit margins. -“re-evaluate your costs and then analyze what margins you’re facing in today’s economy. From there, start looking into solutions to increase those margins, while continuing to ensure quality products and services.
Raise prices appropriately-
While raising prices isn’t ideal, it may be helpful in combatting inflation’s effect on your business. Avoid turning off customers with dramatic across-the-board price increases. Instead, raise prices slowly in modest increments and be strategic. Choose areas where customers are less likely to notice.
In the last 5 years we have seen the rise to Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, NFT’s, Digital Marketing and many more! What do you think will impact the world most in regards to online selling?
In 2019 James Pratt auctions group was fortunate to conduct the world’s first Real Estate auctioneer cryptocurrency auction involving a live auctioneer. The property we auctioned was a 4-million-dollar house on the Gold Coast in Australia. I refer to this because my main takeaway from this experience in 2019 was cryptocurrency if done correctly opens up a brand-new buyer pool not currently available to sellers in the Real Estate market. This is an enormous benefit to the seller but it also gives the buyer more options to be able to transact real estate. Other key takeaways from this key auction were, the property marketing averaged 180,000 views per week on the real estate agents portal ( 170k more than the average ) and at auction we offered the property bidding in Binance, Bitcoin and cash ( allowing three separate types of buyers from around the world to bid on the property ). This auction had five registered parties two bidding in cash – two people bidding in bitcoin and one buyer bidding in Binance. If we didn’t offer the cryptocurrency option then the auction would only have had 2 cash bidders and the property would have passed in.
The main advantage for buyers in real estate is the speed of transferring money, no exchange rate or bank fee’s and the opportunity for people to transact around the world faster. While the seller if they combine with the traditional method of cash or cheque now has access to a new buyer pool.
On a more subtle note. If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive who would it be and why?
Reading is still one of the most popular ways to learn anything. What is your most recommended book(s) by who and what did you learn from them?
Atomic Habits by James Clear – This is a really good book for traveling on a plane. It’s easy to read quickly and reminds you of how it’s your habits that turn into your goals.
Mel Churcher – A Screen Acting Workshop. This is still one of my all-time favourite books when I finished high school I attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts and read this at the same time. Even if you’re not an actor I would recommend reading it, it dives into things such as sense memory, emotional recall, body language and how to get the power in the room. Overall it’s a terrific read for anyone in business looking to grow stronger and will certainly help with sales pitches and media interviews.
Losing My Virginity -Richard Branson
Easy to read and provides some entertainment mixed with motivation.
What is your purpose for getting out of bed each day and what do you aim to achieve in the future?
One of my all-time favourite quotes was given to me by an NFL player, he said” You put $10 in you get $10 out, you put $1000 in you get $1000. It’s simple but often this is the reason to get out of bed – if you stay in bed at the end of that day you can only expect to get $10 worth of results.
My aim for the future is to continue to learn and improve and help share whatever I can.
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