It’s the proverbial question that crosses every business leader’s mind, “How do we take our business to the next level?” Best-selling author and Stanford business professor, Jim Collins, set out to discover just that when he wrote his book, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t”. This book focuses on what principles great companies have used to get there and are easily adapted for real estate professionals. Here are three principles, rooted in discipline, which can help real estate leaders make a breakthrough and go from good to great.
Step 1: Disciplined People. First it’s about who, then what. Recognize that strong people and leaders are the absolute foundation to running a successful company. Get the right people on board first that share your business vision and strategy and weed out the ones who don’t. Collins identifies five levels of leadership, which include the following types:
- Highly capable individual
- Contributing team member
- Competent manager
- Effective leader
Levels four and five are similar but the difference is that a level five executive can leave the company and his team will still be able to carry the torch and move ahead with the strategy that was set forth under his or her leadership.
Leaders have to find that balance to effectively manage various egos and personalities. Think of leaders like Steve Jobs, the mastermind of Apple, who left his legacy to a strong team that shared his vision. He had the foresight to make sure he had the right people on board to see that strategy through, maintain the brand and sustain, if not, improve their successes.
Step 2: Disciplined Thought. With this, we are advised to confront the brutal facts. Oftentimes, we focus on refining our strengths when we should also be improving our weaknesses. When we hit a roadblock, this theory tells us not to change our strategy, but to embrace the weakness and stay the course.
This principle introduces two concepts called the hedgehog and the fox. The Fox Concept is one in which we have the tendency to chase after many little ideas quickly. However, this often produces several dead ends and regrouping efforts. Conversely, the Hedgehog Concept is focused on moving toward one big clear idea and seeing it through despite the challenges.
Following the Hedgehog Concept, ask yourself these three basic questions:
- What am I passionate about? Besides real estate, define your deep-seated interests and learn how to do them better.
- What can we do well? Define your niche market. May be you specialize in waterfront properties, condominiums, military clientele, luxury properties, or foreclosures. Focus your marketing around that specialty and determine how to capitalize on it.
- What can we do to make a profit? This is the litmus for determining whether the Hedgehog Concept truly works. For example, Craig Proctor, one of the top RE/MAX agents in the world, was able to achieve this success because he specialized and focused primarily on three towns, which also strengthened his leadership skills, built his network and resulted in owning eighty percent of the market share.
Step 3: Disciplined Actions. Everyone has a to-do list, but this concept also refers to your “stop doing list.” Collins says, “good-to-great leaders set themselves apart by their unyielding discipline to stop doing anything and everything that doesn’t fit tightly within their Hedgehog Concept.” Here again, we should ask these questions – What we do well? What do we want to do? And, what we can be paid to do? For each of these, we need to learn how to monetize our objectives, say ‘no’ and do things better.
Another key to these principles is technology accelerators. The Good to Great Companies used technology to accelerate their businesses, not to create their businesses. Your business is built on relationships, outstanding service and strategy. Technology, when used in conjunction with these other principles, can enhance the outcome and give you an edge over your competition.
For instance, consumers searching for properties on their mobile devices want a prompt response when inquiring about a property. One way real estate professionals can meet this need, and take their real estate business from good to great is with Homes.com’s Local Ads. Homes.com’s Local Ads delivers mobile consumer inquiries straight to one’s mobile device, giving real estate professionals the ability to provide outstanding service to active consumers searching for properties on the go.