A real estate business without core values is like travelling to a foreign country without a passport. Sure, you know who you are, but no one else does.
There are plenty of large real estate businesses nowadays that are financially successful, and you would think all of these big offices must have a clear set of written core values on what their business and people stand for, right? Wrong.
I recently met with the business owners of a small start-up agency in an inner-city suburb of Brisbane. They have spent a fair amount of time developing their core values and what they stand for. These values set the guideposts for how staff should behave, speak, act, listen and think. They were displayed on the desk of every employee, displayed on their website and shared with clients.
Soon after this agency opened the doors, to their surprise they found their core values being used by a large franchised agency in the area that had copied them word-for-word and displayed them on their own website. The fact that this office had tried to pass it off as their own is interesting to say the least but while some people may play the victim, our client only saw positives:
- Their competition sees them as a real threat
- Their “vision” has raised the bar in the area for competitors to pick up their game
- They have inspired others to provide a superior real estate experience
You can always copy how another company “does” real estate but you will never replicate why. My favourite quote from the Shirlaws Conference in October this year sums this up nicely:
It takes six minutes to copy a system, six months to copy the intellectual property but six years to copy a culture.
Any agency that enjoys real success small and large have a unique culture and set of core values that remain fixed, while their systems and procedures are the things that adjust to meet the changing expectations of consumers.
There are no rules or guidelines to follow when honing your own core values, they just simply have to represent the behaviours that your people believe in and how those behaviours ought to be carried out. In the modern world of real-time business every person in your agency is a representative of your brand and your purpose. They are shaping how it feels to be inside your agency walls and they are communicating to the public what it’s like to be a part of your company.
A clear set of core values that a company truly believes in will determine how a company is perceived by the public. They represent why people are hired, why people are fired and how the growth and retention of clients and staff is ultimately achieved.
What does your real estate company stand for?