Channel 7’s The Mentor – Mark Bouris Overhauls Small Sales Agency


On Monday night, Channel 7 aired it’s new prime-time show “The Mentor” starring Mark Bouris, which featured the founder of Wizard Home Loans overhauling a small agency in Deception Bay, Queensland (Ubiquitous Realty).

The agency posted only a $40,000 profit in the previous year, and needed help, so they applied to be mentored by Bouris on the show.

If you missed it, here’s a “sneak peek”:

The Mentor Sneak Peek – Channel 7

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It was interesting that Channel 7 decided to pilot it’s newest show with an episode devoted to embarrassing a real estate agency (because the public loves agent-bashing), and especially poking fun at the agency’s most passionate team member Stephanie Wimpenny for her impassioned attempts at video marketing her properties.

But the show featured several valuable insights that agents could learn from, which we’ve noted here:

You’ve got to train hard & look the part

Mark Bouris took the sales team to meet Ray White’s top salesperson in Queensland who spoke to them about having 4 training sessions per week, including videoing listing appointments to be reviewed by the whole team.

The team before their rebrand Image:

Don’t wing it just because you can – Always have a plan

The filmed listing appointment highlighted that agents should always have a plan before entering a home on what the process will be, how the conversation will run, and if multiple agents are attending – who has which role and what they will do in that appointment.

“You’re a real estate agency – not a marketing firm”

This quote from Mark Bouris was made as he attempted to educate the team on the importance of sticking to your job and your skills. In this instance, he was talking about the agency’s efforts to market properties using video, by creating tacky marketing videos.

(Think SA’s favourite Andrew Kyriacou style, but without the professionalism or flair).

Below: The infamous “crocodile video” that was featured in advertising for “The Mentor”.

Bouris also detested the branding of the agency, and the name “Ubiquitous Realty”, and convinced them to rebrand and become “Moreton Bay Property”.

The team’s re-branded website Image:

The importance of strong leadership and teamwork

Mark’s ultimate take-away was the importance of the leadership in the business. Young and inexperienced Wimpenny had taken the reigns of the business and was pointing all her effort in the wrong directions. Meanwhile, business principal Sharon Lisch watched as the agency slowly descended into chaos and didn’t take control, despite being the only experienced team member and the business principal.

But was the show “good”?

Well according to ratings, no. Not even a little bit.

Coming in at 18 out of 20 aired prime-time programs according to Tv Tonight, the show only netted 489,000 viewers, a far cry from the 1,330,000 viewers for My Kitchen Rules aired by the same station.

And while there were lessons for agents to learn from, the show gave an unrealistically simplified insight into running a real estate agency and the struggles business owners and agents alike face.

The mentorship of Bouris was likely run by analysts who would have spent weeks with the team dissecting the business and it’s largest flaws, then handing over to Bouris for the filmed segments alone.

Bouris’ mentorship lasted only 5 days, according to what was aired, and while any agency would benefit immensely from 5 days with one of Australia’s leading business minds. It is unlikely that a 5 day course (if Bouris did indeed spend a full 5 days with the team), would result in a complete and total overhaul of the business.

And finally, agent-bashing does very little for our industry. Channel 7 ridiculed a small agency for their inexperience and honest but misguided attempts at running a business. A business operating in a competitive market with low barriers to entry and shrinking revenues due to an increasing number of “disruptors”.

While agents in the industry could take plenty out of the show, don’t forget the “transformation” likely occurred over a period of weeks rather than in 5 days thanks to the magic of television.

Below: The team after their re-brand.

The team page post rebrand Image: