Clarity is a powerful thing.
Getting clear on your value proposition will pay you, the broker/owner or team leader, dividends for years to come.
Over the last decade of coaching individual agents, team leaders and broker/owners I have come to realize that realtors will leave a team or brokerage for the same three reasons that they will join.
Before we get into that, though, if you are a team lead, brokerage owner, or manager, you need to ask yourself what separates you from every other brokerage and team in your region. What is it that makes you unique in your marketplace? What value do you bring to the table to enhance the experience of the realtor and, down the line, that of the consumer?
The unique sales proposition
If you are having difficulty articulating your unique sales proposition, you are not alone. A lot of team leaders and broker/owners lean heavily on what the brand can bring and use that to attract agents to the team or brokerage.
I certainly think brand recognition and the brand value prop are important, but that isn’t the only leverage you should have in your marketplace. I mean, how many other teams are there? How many other brokerages of the same brand in your city are there?
The differentiating factor is what YOU are willing to do for the agent.
Determine what makes your competition desirable for an agent to land and then measure that against what you offer. Take what they have that you don’t and improve on it. Innovate and bring something to your marketplace that no one else can claim.
I was one of the first teams in my market almost a decade ago to offer benefits to my team agents if they wanted them. No other team I knew of was offering that; no one was willing to go to those lengths to ensure their agents were taken care of.
Zero in on your mission, vision and values
This is one of my favourite topics when it comes to helping agents, team leaders, brokers, and owners build or rebuild their businesses. Understanding what your values are and never compromising will help you with every decision you make in business and life.
You will find yourself constantly measuring whether the decision you are about to make fits in with the values that you and your team espouse.
I typically recommend an eight-step discovery process that will help uncover your true values. It’s not an easy exercise and not something that can be done without a lot of thought and introspection.
I will break down the steps briefly in the interest of time:
- Make an extensive list of words that best describe who you are
- Write down a list of six people you admire, important role models, mentors or valued connections
- Look at your past experiences
- Categorize your values
- Write a sentence or two to describe the categories and what those words mean to you and your business
- Extract one word from each grouping
- Write a sentence about what that word means to you and your business
- Rank those words in a matter of importance
Step one is pretty self-explanatory, write down a list of words that you feel describe who you are, and feel free to ask your partner (business or otherwise) or friends to help you out.
Next, I want you to list at least six people you admire, important role models, mentors or valued connections. Write down why you admire them and what values they have that you feel are similar to your own.
Your past experience matters, and it’s time to pull from that past experience and put down on paper your past business and personal accomplishments, where you get fulfillment from in business and personally, and lastly, what the greatest challenges you faced in business and personally. You will find a correlation in how you dealt with each scenario; this will help you further identify the values by which you live your life by examining your experiences.
Now it’s time to take all of your values and begin grouping them together based on their similarities. For example, you might group family, loyalty, relationships and intimacy. Take those categories and write a sentence or two to describe the words in that grouping, why you chose them and what they mean to you.
Now take one word from each of those groups of words, you should have a minimum of five or six and write a sentence or two about why you chose those words out of all of the other ones that were there and how that word affects you, your family, your business and the world around you.
Take these five to seven words and rank them according to their importance to you and your business.
Crafting the vision statement
Whew, quite the process, right?
The next step is crafting your vision statement, which is defined as:
“An inspirational statement of an idealistic emotional future of a company or group. Vision describes the basic human emotion that a founder intends to be experienced by the people the organization interacts with; it grounds the group so it can actualize some existential impact on the world.”
Your vision statement will be:
- Future focused on internal
- Typically shared with your leadership team and your employees
- Should align with your values
Ask yourself these four questions when crafting your vision statement:
- Who is the product or service targeting?
- What is the product or service?
- Where does the product or service operate?
- Why does your product or service exist?
Your vision statement should encapsulate what the world or consumers’ lives will look like after your company’s vision has been realized.
Crafting the mission statement
The mission statement is the formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization or individual. Your mission statement is your reason for existing, what you do, and where you do it.
It is a guide for the owner of the company to refer back to regularly when it comes to
major decisions for the company.
It is also a reference for your employees to come back to understand not only why they work for you but also why the decisions they make can and will impact the business, good and bad.
There are six questions that a mission statement should answer:
1. What does your company do?
2. Who does it do those things for?
3. Where does your company serve?
4. What type of business is it?
5. How does it do that type of business?
6. Why does your company exist?
Ensure that your mission statement has these three components:
- Key market: Your Target Audience is crucial to ensure your eye is always on servicing that client/customer
- Contribution: What does the product or service do?
- Distinction: What makes your product or service unique, and why should people use it or buy it?
You should be thinking about your mission statement as the here and the now; it is external; it is to tell people what your business is about and why your company is in business.
Why will agents leave, and why will they join?
I left you a teaser at the beginning of this article; agents will leave your team or brokerage for the same three reasons they will join.
A realtor will leave you because of competition. If they feel like the broker, the manager, or the team leader is competing with them in any way, you will find that agent checked out and looking to move on. They will leave their current brokerage and join you because of the lack of competition.
An agent will leave you because of the lack of value that they are getting for the dollar spent. I mentioned earlier that the brand value proposition is important but can’t be the only thing. If you aren’t providing more or better than your nearest competitor, that agent is gone.
Lastly, an agent will leave due to the lack of culture at your company. They will also join because of the company culture, which should be one of cooperation and not one of competition.
If you harness the power of clarity in your mission, in articulating your vision to your future agent and attract based on values, you will begin to build an organization that you can and will be proud of. One that members (most importantly) will tell their colleagues about.
The value you bring to the marketplace will not only help you retain your Realtors but also help you recruit new agents based on the testimonials of the raving fan base you have created within your company.
I am a second generation REALTOR®, SUCCESS Certified real estate coach, a real estate trainer with a proven track record as well as an international speaker (which means I’ve spoken all over Canada and the US).
I knew early on in life that I was going to be an educator; I started with University thinking I was going to be a high school teacher. Life took me in another direction. However, my passion for learning and educating has never left. I am a student of history, business and of life. My passion lies in high-level discussions around business strategies and helping agents & brokers build a bigger, better, and highly profitable real estate business.
I have been married to my beautiful wife for over 16 years, and we have smart, athletic and articulate 14-year-old twins. We enjoy hiking through the Okanagan together, spending time at the beach and on the lake as well as traveling the continent and hopefully at some point, the globe. I love to play golf, work out in the gym, hang out with my friends, and am a huge Green Bay Packers football fan.