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Philip Horan has spent most of his working life purchasing, renovating, renting and on selling commercial and residential properties. He has developed and sold numerous properties throughout his career including 3000 square meters of commercial space on King Street Wharf in Sydney.

After many years of dealing with real estate agents, Philip realised that there had to be a better way of selling his properties. This is how the idea came about to develop the business of Hello Real Estate, a company that helps people, like you, to sell their own properties. Philip is passionate about sharing his experiences and knowledge with others to help them achieve their real estate goals.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The importance of being hands-on when mentoring clients
  • How to engage people in conversation
  • The importance of  building business slowly
  • How to attract smart people
  • Choosing the right person for your business
  • Phil’s scariest moment in business
  • The difficulty of getting business finance in Australia
  • The importance of managing cash flow
  • The benefits of business partnerships 
  • The top six people he’d like to share dinner with and have a good conversation
  • The importance of balancing what we achieve for ourselves, for the community and for our family

 

Where to find Phil Horan

Website: http://www.philiphoran.com.au;  http://www.hello.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helloyourhouse

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/helloyourhouse

Linkedin:   https://au.linkedin.com/in/philiphoran

Transcript

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Jesse Green:      

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the program. Today we are in for a real treat. We are speaking to a really good friend of mine and someone who I have admired and respected for an enormous amount of time. I met Phil Horan who is the founder of Hello Real Estate probably a couple of years ago. I’ve been watching his journey with enormous interest. He’s put together an amazing business. Hello Real Estate is really shaking up the way that real estate is sold in Australia. In fact, it’s shaking it up so much so that there’s been numerous news articles likening Hello Real Estate to Uber in terms of the disruption that they’re causing to the industry. Phil’s also the author of a fabulous book called If You Love Your Real Estate Agent, Don’t Buy This Book. That’s a really interesting read. I’ve read it and I can certainly commend it to the audience. Phil, how you going mate? Welcome to the show.

Phil Horan:          

I’m fine, Jesse. Thank you for having me on the show.

Jesse Green:      

Mate, it’s absolute pleasure. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to have a chat to us. Mate, Hello Real Estate is really kicking some goals. You must be completely stoked with the way it’s going.

Phil Horan:          

We sure are Jesse. We started it just over two years ago now. We now have thirty licensees in Australia. We are licensed in south Australia, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Queensland, and western Australia. Our foot print is really growing. We’re about to launch with six licensees in western Australia by the first of May. Things are going fantastically. There’s been great uptake of the service and quite a lot of interest from the business community to join Hello Real Estate.

Jesse Green:      

Mate, that’s fantastic. I’m really curious Phil, because Hello Real Estate, obviously you’ve been around real estate for a long time. Before we get into the Hello story, I’m wondering if we can dive a little deeper into the Phil Horan story. What’s your background, mate? How did you get to this point?

Phil Horan:          

My background Jesse is I owned my first house when I was twenty-one years old. I’m now sixty-two, so that was a long time ago and not many people at twenty-one owned their first house then.

Jesse Green:      

Not many do now.

Phil Horan:          

I’ve always had a great interest in real estate. Although I’ve been in various different businesses, whatever money I’ve made I’ve always pointed the investment towards real estate. I’ve done everything from renovating and selling housing right through to major commercial developments. I did quite a big one on King Street Wharf in Sydney which was a pre-Olympic development. I syndicated through some partnerships that I had in the UAE. Real estate has always been a passion of mine. In late 2010 I decided not to travel as much and not do work overseas so I then came to the conclusion I needed to do something quite different and, again, real estate popped up. I thought the business was ripe for disruption. With my property development background, I’ve dealt with every real estate agent on the planet I tell some people. I’ve bought and sold under every different guise that you could think of, vendor finance, rent to buy, cash, all sorts of different ways. I’ve had a lot of experience with real estate agents.

Interestingly Jesse, one particular event happened. This was high on my mind, one event happened that really, really encouraged me to move ahead with Hello. I was selling my own house in Adelaide Hills. I had a beautiful property there Mary and I owned. We decided we’re going to change our lifestyle and do some different things. Around two million dollar mark. One day the agent sat down with me and he described in detail the five groups of people who had just been through my house at an open inspection. He went into detail. There was a lady who was a teacher from Walla who was moving to Adelaide. The house is in Adelaide. It was fascinating because what he didn’t know is I had been sitting down the road in my car and not a single person went to the open inspection.

Jesse Green:      

Oh, you’re kidding me.

Phil Horan:          

No, it’s true. Instead of hitting him over the head with a chair, I was just fascinated and thought it is quite amazing that a person can so convincingly paint these word pictures of people. I’m sure they were people who had been to other opens and he just drew from his memory to describe people that he’d met either that weekend or whatever. That was the defining moment when I thought this is an industry that A, is deluding itself and B, I think I could do a great job in disrupting it. That’s really the background and that’s how I came about to do Hello Real Estate.

Jesse Green:      

Cool. My understanding of Hello Real Estate Phil, and we’ve obviously had some discussions throughout our friendship together, but Hello Real Estate it’s a fixed fee real estate brokerage. There’s other fixed fee agencies out there. What is it about the Hello model that really sets it apart?

Phil Horan:          

Jesse, the industry’s really divided into two parts. One is the franchise operators and the independents. The independents now, by the way, outnumber franchise operators almost three to one.

Jesse Green:      

Wow.

Phil Horan:          

There’s been a huge exodus from the franchise operators. Then there’s the section of the market which is called, in industry terms I refer to them as FSBO’s, which really means for sale by owner. Those companies are focused on getting you listed on realestate.com on domain. They can give you some online assistance. You can download some cheat sheets. You can do all sorts of things. The problem with FSBO’s is they have a sixty percent revision rate. Sixty percent of the people who list like that actually go back to a real estate agent. They find it so difficult.

What I thought is we need a really nice bridge between the two. We certainly are not a do it yourself real estate agent. We’re very hands on, all of our people are licensed, the company’s licensed. We provide to every client a mentor. The mentor is really our secret to success. There’s a person who comes along, a licensed person, who works with you through the whole journey, from the moment you decide to sell right through the when you bank your check. That is a really important part of our business. That personal, hands on, we call it high tech, high touch, cause we use a lot of technology, is the real secret to the difference that Hello offers the clients.

Jesse Green:      

Phil, clearly Hello’s gained a lot of traction and there’s been, as I said in the introduction, quite a few news stories about Hello Real Estate indicating that it’s set to shake up the industry, set to change the way that we do business, and as I also indicated has been likened to such giants as Uber and Airbnb. What I’m curious to know is as you’re going through this process clearly you had that experience in your Adelaide Hills home when you’re looking to sell it, and obviously the agent had told you a few for fees. At one point as you’re thinking up a new way of doing things and you’re thinking there’s got to be a better way of doing this. How can we change things? How can we do it better? At one point when you’re considering this, how do you know when you’re sitting on a really good idea that’s worth pursuing as opposed to something that’s just a little bit left field and frankly a little bit kooky? At what point do you kind of go I know that I’m on a winner? How did you take that leap of faith?

Phil Horan:          

Jesse, we were advised by all and sundry to get market research and do focus groups and do all sorts of things. I actually didn’t do any of that. What I did was I booked two shopping center courts back to back for two weeks, once again in south Australia where we did our proof of concept. We went to Two Tree Plaza which is in the north, lower property prices, slightly lower social economic, and we went to the shopping centre down south closer to the sea, higher property prices… We literally stood there for a week with some of my staff. We put some of our branded cars there. We had loungers for people to sit on. We had nothing for them to sign. We made no attempt to hard sell anyone. We simply engaged people in conversation. Those two weeks were a very, very valuable part of the decision because people went, “Absolutely I would do it, as long as someone is there to help me I’ll be more than happy to do it.” That message kept coming through and through. I need someone to help me. On my own I wouldn’t have a go at it. With someone, I would definitely have a go at it.

That two weeks was the defining moment. I used the information we got as feedback, plus the fact we were already selling houses in south Australia quite successfully, to make the decision to relocate to New South Wales. I’m from Sydney originally. I’ve spent a little bit of time in Adelaide and I decided I want to go back to New South Wales and really launch the business which we did in the beginning of 2013.

Jesse Green:      

Mate, that’s fantastic. Just for the audience members listening who might be thinking about how they can do things differently in their business, what I’m hearing you say is you’ve gone to test the market essentially?

Phil Horan:          

You’ve got to test the market. You must test the market, yeah.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah, so you’ve gone to the market. You’ve asked them for feedback. In essence, you’ve run a survey is what I’m hearing you say. You’ve basically surveyed the market.

Phil Horan:          

Yeah, it doesn’t come under the true survey parameters like the whole idea of focus groups, et cetera. It just doesn’t come under that. Talking to people, and also in developing the business I did mentoring myself. I went and helped people sell their own homes. That was a very valuable experience.

Jesse Green:      

Fabulous.

Phil Horan:          

First hand, see their reaction to buyers, see buyers reactions to speaking direct to the vendor or the owner of the house, was an outstanding experience. That really galvanized the whole decision to really move forward.

Jesse Green:      

At that point Phil, you’ve gone and you’ve spoken to the market, you’ve tested it, you’ve poked and prodded, so to speak. At that point, you’ve got this knowledge now that you think okay, I’ve got a good idea. I know that there’s a market for this. I know that there’s an appetite for it. Clearly, that’s going to still require a leap of faith. I’m assuming that you had to take a leap of faith somewhere and put some money to it or take that bit of a punt. How did that go?

Phil Horan:          

Absolutely. I actually sold my house to develop Hello Real Estate, so yes that was a big leap of faith. Also it was a leap of faith that involved my wife Mary. We had to make it as a mutual family decision. Leaps of faith need to be tempered with real information. You see many people who develop inventions and patents and who just so passionately believe in it when they’ve got no evidence to say it’s even going to work. That’s not a leap of faith. That’s folly.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah.

Phil Horan:          

You need to temper it with … I built the business quite slowly. I didn’t rush into it. I took my time. I acquired some quite amazing assets quite early. For instance, I got the domain name hello.com.au very early in the development of the business. That was a huge coup. It’s a matter of balancing it out. If you don’t absolutely love what it is you’re about to do my advice is don’t do it.

Jesse Green:      

That’s a fabulous piece of advice. For anyone listening here, one of the key things I think just to take out of that is taking that leap of faith without testing the market beforehand, as Phil said, is really potentially foolish and you can end up getting caught in a bit of strife there. Clearly, you’ve taken the time to do that. That’s fabulous.

One of the things Phil, as we’ve been talking over the last couple of years and I’ve been observing Hello Real Estate’s progress and growth is I’ve been really impressed by the amount of good people you surround yourself with. What I know for all businesses really is that there comes a point where the founder or the owner just can’t do everything themselves. One of the things that I know as dentists we often get caught up with is we tend to be … We can be control freaks, to be candid. We tend to like to do things ourselves. We like to be in control of the operation. My observation is the people who manage to scale the business and to build something that’s enduring and long lasting inevitably build a team around them. I’m curious, how did that go for you? You’ve surrounded yourself with some really high calibre people I’m aware. How has that process been?

Phil Horan:          

It’s essential Jesse. If you’re going to build a business, particularly at the rate that Hello is building and also in a market, we’re in a very competitive market, you have to get people that are smarter than you. That’s really important. The moment you sit down at the head of the table and think I’m the smartest person in the room, your business is probably doomed. You need to get specialists in various areas. Everything’s a horses for courses approach. You need to get people who have some marketing experience. You need to get people who are experienced in business.

For instance, I’ve just had a gentlemen join the board, his name is Darren Cole. Darren has a massive CV in the real estate industry. He was the person tasked with doing the joint venture between Landmark and Harcourts in Victoria. He headed up Landmark Harcourts for three years in Victoria. He’s had big stints with LJ Hooker, big stints with Elders. He’s very experienced. He’s a lot younger than me, but he’s very experienced in the industry. I’m not intimidated by those sorts of people. I embrace and I enjoy having those sorts of people with me. Darren had an amazing amount of experience in his business and guidance, particularly moving to the next stage which we’re about to do. We’re about to open up in two other countries before the end of this year. Choosing those people is really important.

I’ve been reading a book recently called The Virgin Way, one of Richard Branson’s, I think his latest book. What he says in there is you really should never have to fire anybody, the reason being is you should choose them correctly in the first place. You need to take a lot of time. You need to think about who the person is that you’re going to get to do a certain job within your business or become a certain level of partner within the business. You need to be really balanced about that. Last year I had a few disasters in that area. You know I’ve had quite a big health issue and I did have to hand the reins over in some areas that I wasn’t happy to. I obviously paid a price for that. However, that’s also a great learning curve. I’ve got an amazing team with me. The lady who started with me day one, Trish Millwood is still with me. She’s on our board. She’s one of our licensees. There’s a fantastic depth within Hello of people that have been loyal and are also very smart and committed.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah. Just to touch on a point, Phil, one of the things I just wanted to drill down a little deeper in, you indicated to me obviously hiring smart, intelligent, capable people is essential. I couldn’t agree more with that. I always like to surround myself with smart people too and just soak it up, really. The interesting thing that you mentioned was having specialist knowledge. One of the things that, again, I think is really pertinent is I’m gathering and I’m assuming, so correct me if I’m wrong, that across your team though is quite balanced. You’ve got a balanced array of talent across the team, even though you’ll have specialists in individual roles. Is that a fair assessment?

Phil Horan:          

Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. Unless you’re a big multinational, duplication isn’t very smart. You need people who have got a particular talent in a particular area and then try and get others to come in who complement those people. Darren Cole for instance, is bringing with him a person who has been the general manager in Darren’s businesses for the last fourteen years.

Jesse Green:      

Oh, wow.

Phil Horan:          

He will head up, he’ll become our national general manager in the middle of this month. It’s important that you get that really nice mix of people who have got different skill sets, different personalities, but are happy to integrate into a team approach. They must be team players. If people aren’t team players you can’t build a business.

Jesse Green:      

Cool, fantastic. Again, you’re putting people in roles where they’re playing to their natural strengths and abilities. They’re bringing all that to the table as opposed to trying to compensate for a weakness you just put someone in a role where they’re naturally going to shine.

Phil Horan:          

That’s correct.

Jesse Green:      

Cool, lovely. Just from Hello Real Estate’s perspective, how much has that contributed to the acceleration of your growth? You guys have had some significant and rapid growth. I was smiling to myself when you said you thought you’d grown the business fairly slowly. The thing I know about you Phil is you’re a very quick implementer. You take knowledge, you implement it really quickly. How’s it been bringing that team on board and what’s been the contributions of that team to Hello’s rather meteoric rise?

Phil Horan:          

Getting the team together has been the essential part of this. It took a while. When I say grew the business slowly, it took a while to get the right team. Now that we have a great team in place the business is growing month on month. We’re currently up to thirty licensees in Australia. We’ve got probably another thirty applications that are live at this minute. We expect to have by the end of this year we’ll have more than a hundred. We will grow the business too within the next three years to probably around seven to eight hundred.

Jesse Green:      

Wow.

Phil Horan:          

That’s pretty amazing when you think that Ray Watt in Australia only have seven hundred and fifty or so. Yeah, there’s a balancing act to it. Can’t grow too quick, but if you’ve got the right team in place you can obviously move with a speed that’s determined.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah, cool, which is fantastic. I kind of liken that to managing growth is a bit like driving a car. If you take the corner too quickly you’re liable to wipe out.

Phil Horan:          

Absolutely.

Jesse Green:      

Which is a deliberate segue. I have to confess, that was a very deliberate segue because Phil, I know you have a passion for rally car driving. Not only a passion, you’re very good at it. Walk me through that. How did you get into rally car driving? What’s been the story behind that?

Phil Horan:          

Okay. I got into it probably because I lost my mind.

Jesse Green:      

I reckon.

Phil Horan:          

From a little boy, I loved the whole idea of motor sport. My mom and dad lived within ear shot of Warwick Farm Racecourse in Sydney. I used to climb over the fence, swim across the river to watch were the Tasman cars in those days or the equivalent of Formula One. I saw Brabham and Hume and Clark and all these guys race at Warwick Farm. It was in my blood. Back around 1979 I decided look, I want to do something that will really be doable in terms, because motor sports are expensive, so I went rallying. I had a pretty fast rise. You start off as a grade four rally driver. It takes you some years to get to grade one. I went from four to one in the first year.

Jesse Green:      

Oh, wow.

Phil Horan:          

Then went on very quickly to be given one of the Nissan Works cars, the Datsun Stanza. I got an amazing navigator, lady called Suzie Wiseman who was then the PR lady for Mercedes-Benz Australia.

Jesse Green:      

Oh, wow.

Phil Horan:          

Suzie is still a wonderful friend and supporter to this day. In fact, she’s an investor in Hello.

Jesse Green:      

That’s funny how it’s come full circle, isn’t it?

Phil Horan:          

Yeah, it’s a lifetime friendship. I loved my rallying. I did it for fourteen years. Strangely enough, the car that I had was quite a special car. Someone’s bought that car, a gentlemen in Victoria. He’s rebuilding it. He and I are in some discussions for me to drive the car this year in October or November, I think it might be November, in the rerun of the Southern Cross Rally. Suzie, who lives in Texas now, is thinking of coming out to navigate. There’s a big circle coming around in terms of my motor sport career. I would love to do it if some of the stars align we will definitely be there. If the car gets finished in time, so I’m about to put an application in or an entry in for the Southern Cross Rally this year. I loved rallying.

It’s all about teamwork and it’s one of the things that you can take a little bit of a leaf out of the rally book in terms of business. If you’re sitting in a car with somebody, particularly at the higher end of the sport which I competed at, for those who don’t know we used to drive on pace notes. Pace notes are the largest leap of faith that anyone can have in a team member. When someone says that crest ahead is flat and I mean just go flat, you don’t even flex your accelerator foot, that’s a leap of faith. There’s a lot to be learnt from rallying. Recently …

Jesse Green:      

You must have … I mean the trust you’re placing in that person, Phil. You’re literally putting your life in their hands.

Phil Horan:          

It’s a life and death trust, life and death trust. We recently had a seminar with Hello and I invited a mystery guest speaker. This young lady was sitting in the front row at the seminar. No one knew who she was. She was impeccably dressed. She’s a very beautiful young lady. I made the analogy that saying that only a real estate agent can sell your house is almost like saying women can’t drive cars. I introduced Molly Taylor. Molly Taylor is European ladies rally champion. She’s very young lady. She’s twenty-eight years old. She lives in Sydney. Her mom’s in Canberra. Her mom’s a friend of the family. Molly gave this amazing presentation about how teamwork is essentially to rallying, from the service crew through to the navigator through to the manager through to the sponsors. That sporting nucleus is really important and it does have a lot of parallels for business. I have used a lot of those parallels for business.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah, and of course you’re all engaged in the same goal and everyone’s got their role to play, of course, but ultimately it’s that common alignment of purpose really, isn’t it?

Phil Horan:          

That’s correct.

Jesse Green:      

Fantastic. Mate, what was the scariest moment you’ve either had in rallying or in business? What’s been one of those moments where you’ve just had to kind of hold on for dear life?

Phil Horan:          

All right, the scariest moment in business, as you know Jesse I spent fifteen years in the middle east. I actually got arrested in Beirut. I got arrested for taking photos of some soldiers in battle dress who obviously weren’t supposed to be where they were. It was not only scariest, but it was also very embarrassing because I was with a client. I didn’t think. I should have thought about it. I was for, not for long, twenty or thirty minutes, detained by soldiers in battle dress with rocket grenade launchers strapped to them whilst they dismembered my camera which was all that happened about it. That was very scary because at those days, that was 1997, the war had just ended, it was a very dangerous place to be and I was there establishing some businesses. In rallying I’m quite fortunate I had one really bad accident early in my career. No one got hurt. The car was a basket case but no one got hurt. It’s one of those things that I’ve been very lucky with so far.

Jesse Green:      

Fantastic. I just want to come back to Hello for a second and thinking about the business journey and your … This ties into the rally car journey as well. As you’ve gone through this particular journey, what challenges have you come up constantly that you think would be applicable to pretty much any business? Obviously there will be some nuances as it applies to real estate versus particularly dentistry, but what would be some of the challenges that you think you’ve come up against? I guess following on from that, what would you do differently if you had your time over?

Phil Horan:          

The biggest challenge that anyone, particularly in this country, is going to find with developing their business is getting finance. Getting finance is very difficult in Australia. The banks are not at all attuned to any sort of real venture capital. Private equity operators are very greedy. As you’ve seen what’s happened with Dick Smith, there’s a whole lot of real serious hurdles and problems with finance in Australia. It’s probably the biggest hurdle.

The other hurdle that I’ve found in the real estate industry, people are so willing to just simply tell misleading and false statements about you and your business. Couple of interviews that I had they were tagged, the Channel Nine interviewer was tagged by a guy from the real estate Institute of New South Wales who simply turned around and said, “Look, these people spend fifteen minutes mentoring their clients.” Well, that’s absolutely false and misleading. We spend the whole time, from the moment they decide to sell their house until they bank their check mentoring them. Industries can be very cruel. They don’t care what they say. You need to be very, very careful. Be cautious of people bearing gifts. If you go into a certain industry be cautious about the other players in that industry because many of them will make out they’ll try and help you. They have no intention of helping you.

Jesse Green:      

Wow, that’s interesting isn’t it? Okay. In terms of things you might do differently if you were to start your Hello Real Estate journey again from scratch, what would be the things you might do a little differently?

Phil Horan:          

Jesse, there’s not a lot I would do differently. From a financing point of view I would have probably put a different financing system in place before I launched in the eastern states. In a way I underestimated what the real cost would be. Although we’ve surmounted all that now, but I would certainly … It’s always the utopian view of anyone starting a business. You’ve got to have enough finance. You’ve got to have enough capital behind you. The problem is unless you’ve proven your system or proven your business, you’re just not going to attract any capital. It’s a bit cart before the horse. You’ve just got to somehow balance that out.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah, so for you guys listening in the audience there it’s about managing cash really well, isn’t it?

Phil Horan:          

You must manage your cash, yeah.

Jesse Green:      

Like all good businesses Phil, one of the things that dentists I think need to do is not just manage their cash but to have projections, have forecasts, be tracking that year month in month out, see where they are against their forecasts and the like. I’m assuming that’s just pretty standard good business practice really. Sometimes it’s not as common as it might otherwise seem.

Phil Horan:          

That’s absolutely Jesse. In this day and age you really need to manage your cash. You need to have a great accounting system. We actually use Zero throughout our business plus all the licensees all work on Zero. We use a lot of very high tech platforms. We’ve backed into some amazing partnerships. We have a great partnership with RP Data and Core Logic. We are now on their platform for the customer relationship management system. We’ve got some really fantastic partnerships. That’s another thing I like to say, partnerships are a way to build a business, particularly in the era that we now work in. You can’t be everything to everybody. The quickest way to the target is to get yourself a really good partner and do a really sound business arrangement with that partner and work together and have as much interest in helping them build their business as they are to having building your business. You can expand very quickly.

Jesse Green:      

Mate, that’s, for anyone listening there’s just a couple of really terrific gold nuggets of wisdom that have just come out of Phil’s mouth there. I just want to make sure I highlight these, lest they be not captured. The first thing I just want to mention is you can’t be all things to all people. That’s a really critical thing. One of the things that I see in our profession is that as dentists we sometimes want to please everyone. I think when it comes to understanding your ideal customer, or in our case your ideal patient, you need to understand that’s like throwing your dart at the bullseye on the dart board. When it comes to marketing and all those things it’s about zeroing in on who you try to help. The second thing Phil that you said which was incredibly powerful, was harnessing the use of partnerships and using that to accelerate your business. We’ve certainly done some good things with partners as well and it’s been massive. Thanks, mate. That is absolute twenty-four karat gold there. Thank you, pal.

Phil Horan:          

Thank you.

Jesse Green:      

Good. Mate, I wanted just to go on to a slightly different tack now and talk a little bit about your health, if that’s cool. You did indicate you’d had some challenges there. I don’t want to dive into the personal stuff, but I know from some of our conversations that you’ve had with me over the little period of time, you’ve been actually able to take those business skills that you’ve been developing and apply them to help a lot of other people who have had some health challenges as well. I’m wondering if you can give us a bit of an overview of some of that.

Phil Horan:          

I’m happy to share that with you, Jesse. In February 2015 I was diagnosed with very high level aggressive cancer. The prognosis was really quite devastating. The worst thing about it was I didn’t even know I had it.

Jesse Green:      

Yeah.

Phil Horan:          

I asked my surgeon what he would do if he was in my position. He actually said to me the first thing that I would do is I would go to the Netherlands and see Professor Morentz. I asked more about this, what’s the story of Professor Morentz. Turns out that the Nimergan Medical Institute in the Netherlands had developed a special scanning system for detecting cancers and in particular detecting secondary cancers which I was diagnosed as having. At Easter Tim Time I whisked off to Nimergan I went to the medical centre. I had the testing. It’s a product called Comidex. It’s a system called Comidex, which in effect, most MRI’s cut you into five or eight millimetre slices for the images. This one cuts you into one millimetre slices.

Jesse Green:      

Oh, wow.

Phil Horan:          

They can detect very small cancers, very early stage secondaries, a whole lot of things they can do with this particular system that can’t be done with other traditional MRI scanning. The great thing about it is the material or the infusion that they put into your body to do this is actually a bio product. All that happens is two days after you’ve had it you have a heightened iron level in your blood. Anyway, cut a long story short, that was very, very beneficial for me. The images that were taken in the Netherlands were used to actually do my planning at the Mater Hospital. The radio therapy that I had to have was all done as a result, very targeted, high level radio therapy using the Comidex system.

Jesse Green:      

Wow.

Phil Horan:

I got in further discussions with my surgeon Professor Phillip Stricker who’s also on the Garvan Institute board and I won’t bore everyone with the whole story, but it turned out that I was able to convince the gentleman from the Netherlands to visit Australia and negotiate with Professor Stricker in respect to how we could bring this whole system to Australia. The end result of that was that in January of this year they started clinical trials with Comidex in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. I feel really proud of that.

I’m happy with that cause it’s not just for prostate cancer and some of the bone cancer I had, it’s for any type of cancer. It’s here in Australia now. The Ramsey Foundation I think put about over one and a half million dollars into the clinical trial system. It’s very real. It’s happening. It will be available for people I believe through Medibank sometime later this year. That I feel very happy about. I saw an opportunity. I didn’t benefit in any way financially. I’m not involved in any way with the project, but I was happy to in a way facilitate the arrangements with the Garvan and St. Vincent’s, et cetera. Yeah, I was very proud of that.

Jesse Green:      

Firstly, Phil, I think you should be enormously proud of that. That’s a wonderful contribution, not just to the Sydney siders, but to I think Australian health in general. Firstly, I think on behalf of everyone listening I would say thank you. I think that’s just a wonderful example of how taking some skills that you’ve learned throughout your life in so many different areas and applying them to a situation that doesn’t ordinarily kind of … You don’t necessarily think you would have to apply those skills to that situation, but certainly you’ve been able to negotiate things and get things in place. Now as a consequence of that not only thankfully your health is in good shape, but the health of many other people as well, so terrific work, mate. I really commend you for that. That’s wonderful.

Phil Horan:          

Thank you, Jesse.

Jesse Green:      

Mate, we’re going to wrap up in a little minute, but I just wanted to ask you a question which I’ve been meaning to ask you this for … It’s not since I’ve known you. It’s not long after, anyway. It’s a question that I always find intriguing. If you were going have a dinner party and you could invite half a dozen or so guests to sit around the table and have a meal with and have a good conversation with, I’m curious to know who would be your top six or so people you’d like to share a meal with, break bread with, have a conversation with, and really get to know and understand them and how they do things?

Phil Horan:          

Jesse, the first person I’d invite’s you. That’s all very self-serving, but we’ve had a great relationship and I mean that quite sincerely. The buddy system through KPR was fantastic. I’m honoured to have met you.

Jesse Green:      

Thank you, mate.

Phil Horan:          

Then the sort of people that I would have, I think a lot of Richard Branson. I think that the way he goes about his businesses he has his wonderful mix of intense casual. In other words, he’s able to remain calm but also disrupt industries and do all sorts of things. I would now, in view of my experience with cancer, I would definitely invite Professor Phillip Stricker. He’s leading the way in some amazing advances in medical science. He also is very open, which is strange for a surgeon, to alternative medics. I have, sounds posh, but I have a wellness doctor. Doctor Daniel Weber who looks after a whole lot of issues to do with my treatment and Phillip Stricker has been in direct contact with him. He’s happy to talk to him. Most people write off alternative medicine as adversarial towards medical science, whereas Professor Stricker hasn’t done that. They’re the types of people that I would invite.

Also some of the outstanding women who have done some amazing things for business. There’s lots of them. Naomi Simpson with Red Balloon. Janine Alice with Boost Juice. There’s some amazing women who have done great things in business that I think have not only contributed greatly to business in this country, but they’ve also contributed greatly to the social fabric. I think that’s the thing that gets missed all the time. Everyone goes, “Oh, this person made a lot of money,” or, “This person’s highly successful,” but my question always is well, what have they done with it? What have they actually done to help somebody or do something worthwhile to the whole social fabric of the community? I think there the balance is. People like Richard Branson have done that. Professor Stricker’s doing that all the time. I know Naomi Simpson and Janine Alice are involved in some really great work in that respect.

They’re the types of people that I would want to have at my dinner party because I think that that balance is important. Making money is not that important. What is important is what you can do with it, what you can actually achieve for yourself, your community, your family. There’s a whole lot of nuances that go with success in business.

Jesse Green:      

Phil, that’s a really wonderful way to round out the conversation because I tell you what, if the definition of success is to run a commercial enterprise that is A, successful and profitable, but also contributing really positively to the social fabric of the community, well, man, I think you tick all those boxes and then some. Congratulations to you, to Hello Real Estate and again, thank you for all the work you’ve done in the medical space. That’s terrific. I really commend you for it, mate. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Phil Horan:          

Thank you.

Jesse Green:      

It’s been wonderful to hear these words of wisdom. I’m really, really looking forward to seeing what the next chapter of Hello looks like and looking forward to catching up for a cup of coffee next time I’m driving past your place, mate.

Phil Horan:          

Thank you, Jesse. I look forward to it as well. Thank you for having me on the show.

Jesse Green:      

Thanks. Cheers, mate.

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