As business leaders, it can be extremely challenging (and stressful) to lay out strategies for the future, especially with the progressing whirlwind of technology and innovation around us. Making strategic decisions about a future we cannot predict not only seems counterintuitive, but can be detrimental to a business if things are left to chance.
Best-selling author Michael E. Raynor calls this the ‘Strategy Paradox.’ It’s the “collision between commitment and uncertainty.” Inevitably, a very small number of business leaders prosper while the unfortunate (but no less capable) find themselves on the wrong side of the equation. Raynor weighs in on this, “Realizing this, even if only intuitively, most shy away from the bold commitments that success seems to demand, choosing instead timid, unremarkable strategies, sacrificing any chance at greatness for a better chance at mere survival.”
Do you ever feel this way? If you have, believe me—you’re in good company.
In the context of a real estate brokerage, the dynamic relationship with agents, the challenges (and competition) with innovation and the unknown future, there are four things I urge business leaders to focus on when laying out strategies for the future. These things will help lower your risk profile, and mitigate uncertainty that will undoubtedly come your way:
Find one, and build on it. We’re all used to operating on platforms (iOS, Android, AppleTV, Slack, etc). Sometimes these platforms overlap, or integrate, which is even better! That said, you owe it to your agents to provide a platform that’s dedicated to their workflow, and ultimately their success. Furthermore, a platform provides flexibility, allowing seamless additions and enhancements to the peripheral while maintaining a familiar experience as you grow (and the future changes).
It is one of the most important, yet one of the biggest challenges that face brokers today. As a business leader, it’s vital to your organization to find ways to communicate effectively. Additionally, this must continue among your agents, and to their prospects and clients. Communication is the leading driver of trust and attention, which are two key elements in growing your business, and the business of your agents.
Let’s face it: it’s impossible to make perfect decisions. Find ways to make data-driven decisions. From agent behavior to market trends, there are effective ways to make sure you’re investing in the right places. With a strategy for evaluating meaningful data in place, you won’t get caught holding an empty bag.
Service (Not Products)
Jeff Bergstrom from Wynd Realty recently said, “A real estate brokerage is not a product; it’s a service. A service that, in all practicality, gives benefit to only those who are in sales.” I couldn’t possibly agree more. As you create your strategy for the future, don’t place priority on being a product agents want. Instead, focus on being the facilitator of products for one purpose: to help agents sell more. I’ve seen many business leaders aiming to become a ‘product company,’ who ended up losing ground in a ‘service company’ world.
If you can spend some time establishing a plan for each of these four key areas, you’ll go a long way to planning your own success, and the success of your agents.
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