An excerpt from the Hall of Fame Induction, 27th May 2019
We have had the privilege to witness 34 exemplary people receive this award – all of them outstanding individuals who are brilliant examples of the qualities that we hold dear throughout Harcourts. They are people of purpose and conviction in both their personal and professional lives, and they have collectively left an indelible mark on this organisation.
I would like to ask those Hall of Fame members here tonight to join us on stage – Robert McCormick, Davinder Singh, Wendy Lenaghan, Brian King, Paul Wright, Alison Aitken, Stephen Dangerfield, Michael Brock, John and Lynette McFadden, Jo Clifford, Irene Green, Martin Cooper, Bob Wolff, Tony Jenkins, Tony Morrison, Steve Caradoc-Davies, Martin Millard, Kelvin Collins and Lisa & Ben Bernacki and Shaun Cosgrave
Thank you for your inspiration and the way you embody the words emblazed on the Hall of Fame crest – “deeds will surpass words”.
As we prepare to welcome the newest inductee into our Hall of Fame, let us pause to reflect on the qualities that personify our very special recipient.
Tonight, we celebrate passion, dedication, and fearlessness, as the person we will welcome into the Hall of Fame has been with Harcourts for over 20 years and is widely recognised throughout our Harcourts network.
During their time with Harcourts, they have acted as a mentor to many of our corporate team members and given their time freely to assist business owners, sales consultants and property managers wanting to achieve their own goals.
The inductee we celebrate tonight is a true friend in every sense of the word.
Without further ado, would you please be upstanding and put your hands together to congratulate our 2019 Harcourts Hall of Fame inductee Julianna Forsyth Baker.
Here from the UK to help celebrate Julianna’s induction into the Harcourts Hall of Fame is her husband Andrew Baker
(Wait for him to come on stage)
Julianna was a member of the Harcourts family for more than 20 years, before summing up a large dose of courage to move to the UK to follow her heart.
But let’s start from the beginning to truly understand the character of this fine individual.
Julianna grew up in Christchurch and attended St Margaret’s College, then went on to study at the University of Canterbury.
She arrived in Dunedin in her twenties. Although she was known to have caused some serious havoc in the southern town, she quickly earned the respect of the Tartan Mafia of Otago.
Julianna’s early days were spent alongside Peter Gilchrist in his burgeoning Harcourts real estate business.
Here to help celebrate please welcome special guest Peter Gilchrist to join Julianna on stage
(Wait for him to come on stage)
She was known as the go-to person in the office for personal and professional assistance, no matter the challenge. As a whirlwind of information, Julianna made it her mission to expand everyone’s – and I do mean everyone’s - ability to treat the client with the utmost professionalism.
As Peter describes the early days, 30 years ago, it is hard to imagine how revolutionary a client database was. They tracked client hobbies, their children and followed them up with a detailed knowledge that Julianna pushed for them to track. This was in a time where the computer was a PS64!
She created focus groups and became the expert that she is on customer service and systems today. And she did it with drive, high energy and really practical intelligence! In the end, in Dunedin, other businesses were asking her to come talk to them about customer service. And rightly so.
Peter calls her the “glue” of his company. IF he ever wanted to know what was going on with his 33 agents, property management portfolio, mortgage broking or valuation divisions, he went straight to Julianna.
Finally leaving the Gilchrist business in 2009 she joined Harcourts International, where Julianna took on the massive challenge of the property management division for Harcourts. Julianna put property management in front of Harcourts leaders over and over again until we were all trained to think “don’t forget property management”. She is the reason the property management focus exists at Harcourts. And why it is such a focus for our business owners today.
She won the respect and loyalty of everyone in the Harcourts group, and she modelled new standards for that team to work together toward a shared vision. When she’s right she is right, and she won’t let up until she achieves her goal.
Julianna connects herself to projects and missions that provide her with strong purpose that she can channel her passion and beliefs toward. We have been so lucky to have journeyed alongside this incredible lady.
As Irene Green says,
Julianna has so much talent. I refer to her as the chameleon as she can learn and adapt to any challenge you put in front of her.
For Julianna, her team is guarded fiercely, and she is quite protective of them, as those here will certainly attest.
She truly embodies ‘People First’, she has incredible integrity so doing the right thing comes naturally. Over the years, Julianna has had many challenges, some personal and some professional, and yet has continually shown real courage throughout.
To know her, Julianna always has a smile on her face and is ready for a laugh! Sometimes it us who laugh along at her million-miles-an-hour way of talking. As Mike Green shared, the day before their one-on-one monthly catch ups, Julianna would call and talk for 30 minutes. And when Mike asked why she was talking about all the things planned for the next day, she replied that she had too many words to use each day so she wanted to use some the day before so he would listen to her the next day!
Julianna is loved by everyone and lights up the room when she arrives.
Her heart is huge with such a capacity for love. Every organisation needs leaders like Julianna. Her strong sense of empathy made her the perfect champion for the client experience program – returning to where it all began in real estate. The client experience has always been her passion.
Julianna works hard with true commitment to what she is striving to achieve. Her tenacity and determination have seen her endure long hours and a crazy amount of flights. No matter how little sleep she has had, she will be focused and passionate. Perhaps a flaw, Julianna struggles to say no. She will often take on more than she should and cause herself stress and late nights, but she prefers that than to let anyone down.
When she’s not working, family time is spent with her darling husband Andrew and daughter Phoebe. Please look to the screen for a message from two special people.
Play video messages from Phoebe and Andrews mother
No one I know could have lasted the course of Julianna’s long distant love affair with Andrew. Like her work ethic – when Julianna knows it is right, she will never give up. Their marriage in early 2017 was a moment of joy for everyone who loves her. To see her so happy was such a gift.
Fierce in her protection of family and those friends and work colleagues whom she considers her family. She is fiercely loyal to Harcourts. Her loyalty perhaps her greatest strength. She loves this brand and she loves the people within it.
So, when she made the difficult decision to leave Harcourts, it was met with bittersweet tears by so many of us. We are extremely happy to see her move forward and follow her heart to a new life in the U.K. with Andrew and Phoebe, but so deeply sad to have lost her. They are so extremely fortunate to have her all to themselves now and no longer commuting thousands of kilometres to be together!
A shining example of everything great about Harcourts – passionate people person, focussed on the success of those around them, as well as a true personality within the Group.
Julianna, on behalf of everyone at Team Harcourts, we want to thank you for your leadership, your passion for this organisation and, most importantly, for being an inspiration to those around you.
Thank you for making such an important contribution to the success of the Harcourts group and congratulations Julianna on your induction into the prestigious Harcourts Hall of Fame.