Sophie Lyon takes on a new role at Real+

Leadership and property management expert Sophie Lyon has joined national training and consulting platform Real+, with a goal of helping leaders take the next step in their career.

Ms Lyon, who has more than 30 years of experience with some of Melbourne’s biggest real estate brands, including Jellis Craig, Philip Webb and Kay & Burton, has been appointed as partner.

She said her role would focus on providing training and support in the property management and leadership space, and particularly helping PMs take the next step in their careers when becoming a head of property management or a business development manager.

“We have identified over the years, and I’ve seen it personally, that there are people who get moved into management roles because they’ve been identified as having potential, but then there isn’t a lot of training and support available to help them evolve,” Ms Lyon said.

“A lot of us, who have moved into such roles, have just figured it out as we’ve gone along but we want people to be able to step up and step into those new roles confidently.”

Ms Lyon said one area she looked forward to supporting clients in, was the “delicate balance” between technology-drive efficiency and the importance of building strong client relationships. 

She said sometimes people swayed too much in favour of one or the other.

“I’ve been in the industry for such a long time and I’ve seen it evolve into what it is now,” Ms Lyon said.

“There is still a lot of the old school ideology around the way things used to be done and I want to help others marry that with the technological advancement that has occurred in recent years. 

“I’m also really looking forward to having robust conversations with clients and helping them build relationships with their clients as opposed to relying 100 per cent on technology.

“I want to help people have the skillset to have really good, fruitful conversations with their clients so they can build trust with them as I think that’s something we’re in danger of losing.”

Real+ Chief Executive Officer Fiona Blayney said she was ecstatic to have Ms Lyon join the team.

“Sophie has a plethora of experience, both on the tools, as well as in a range of senior positions in a business, all the way through to being a director,” she said.

“She understands what it’s like at the coalface and she understands what it’s like when the buck stops with you.

“She has been a part of business acquisitions along the way, and organic growth as well, in some of the key markets, and the challenging markets, in Victoria.

“That kind of experience brings a level of expertise that we’re excited to be able to tap into.

“She’s also just a great human.”

Ms Lyon said she had been contemplating starting her own training and consulting business but, after talking with her longtime friend Ms Blayney, they decided to join forces.

“It just seemed like a really good fit,” she said.

“We are good friends but we can also work as a business relationship and I wanted to work with someone who was going to challenge my thinking. 

“We fit that criteria for each other as well. 

“It just made too much sense not to do it.”

Ms Blayney said Real+ had operated in Victoria for many years, but it would be good to have someone with Ms Lyon’s experience and reputation “on the ground” in the state.

But she stressed that national clients would also have access to her expertise. 

She said Real+ now had a team of 20 and, while growth was always on her mind, any increase in team numbers always came down to hiring the right person at the right time.

“Sophie was definitely the right person at the right time,” Ms Blayney said. 

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