Entrepreneur Member in Focus: EMMA SLAPE


Emma Slape:  CEO, Turner Real Estate (Adelaide SA)

It’s 9am on a Monday morning as Emma Slape sits down at the café on Greenhill Road. “Sorry I’m a few minutes late. My son woke up with a bloody nose!”

As the CEO of Turner Real Estate where she manages a team of 50 high performance real estate agents and property managers, Emma knows how to handle an emergency. But she says keeping everyone on track comes down to hiring well, and maintaining emphasis on culture.

“In our industry, there are often big personalities to deal with, but we’re very focussed on good culture. We have a buddy system and our staff look out for each other and support each other in their workloads. And we always make sure everyone has training for their roles. It’s rare that people leave our team.”

Sipping on a latte, it’s clear she’s ready to hit the ground running for the week ahead.

As the former General Manager of the Real Estate Institute of SA, and having worked in politics, Emma has a near-perfect fit for her current role.

“People think real estate is about property, but it’s not – it’s about people. We realise that at the end of the day we’re dealing with people’s safety, and fundamental security. Sometimes it’s quite stressful. But I like that we help people… I like that we help grow wealth for people. So I guess it’s the outcome, when you see that you have helped people through a time of change. People generally move for a reason – sometimes it’s not a positive reason, so if we can make it a better experience then we’ve done our job.”

Emma’s customer focus means she has to have the right people on her team to deliver.

“We’re slow to hire, we want the best people. So we provide a great workplace… we celebrate wins, and significant birthdays with great lunches. We’re very inclusive, and we encourage open communication.”

Emma has always regarded professional development as a key component to her career success. She completed a journalism degree earlier in life, and later attained an MBA and a Diploma of Property before joining Turner Real Estate six years ago.  But it’s her membership at Behind Closed Doors that Emma says has made the difference to her coping with increasing workloads:

“The structure of the real estate business is quite lonely. You’ve got a lot of people in the team, but not a lot of capacity for management support. I’ve been in the BCD Entrepreneurs group for a year, and prior to that I was in an Executive group for 18 months. It’s a supportive group of people that want to see you succeed. It’s always a positive 3 hours each month!”

“Right now we have some high performers in our group; one has won the Telstra Business Woman of the Year award, so seeing some of the members flourish is really rewarding. That often delivers a subconscious message to motivate us!”

Having been a member for almost three years, Emma says the value of a BCD membership is priceless:

“It’s such a valuable experience to broaden your horizons. It’s great for networking, but more than that, it forces you to analyse how you do things. It’s about a team effort, and thinking of things in a different way.”

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