There Has to Be a Why.
When I sold my last office, I was keen to remain in sales. Let's face it, that's what I'm good at and I'm not really qualified or interested in doing anything else. So I started talking to people. I took many, many phone calls and some high-powered opportunities began to present themselves. If someone called me I was happy to chat to them and the offers were wide and varied. Everything from running franchised offices to working in training within corporate environments became an option.
The one thing that struck me after all of these meetings was the stark similarities between all the organisations. Sure they all claimed to be innovative and different and they all claimed to be on a path to revolutionising the real estate industry but to me the differences between the companies was tiny and sometimes the differences between them was imperceptible. So I started putting forward my own ideas. My ideas were shot down as too silly, too hard to implement and even on one memorable occasion I was told that the real estate industry had enough problems with their public profile and I was better off just shutting up and toeing the line.
To me, the ideas I put forward were far from radical, they were simply common sense and if I could've found a company that held substantially similar ideals then I would've quite happily joined forces with them and worked my long-held and well established client base and thought little more of it. Alas, that was not to be. Towards the end of these meetings I just sat quietly and listened. I no longer put forward any ideas and when questioned on what I wanted I simply said that my ideas were too different for mainstream real estate and left it at that.
So what is it I was looking for? In a nut shell I wanted a modern, comfortable and open office that I could use to complete contracts and meet clients in. I wanted the ability to come and go as I pleased and I wanted to be able to choose when I needed to work and use the rest of my available time to live my life. I was also very eager to use the latest in technology to allow a true mobile office experience where my time in the office was limited to when I had to be there for dollar producing activity.
I wanted the clients interests to be put first and I wanted the time I spent working to be geared towards getting the outcomes my clients were after. I wanted the marketing that we put in place on their behalf to actually benefit their sale and not just the office, I wanted an office that promoted the growth of their clients and business through integrity and honesty and I wanted that to be reflected in all of the company's day to day activities not just the ones the general public saw.
What I wasn't interested in was meetings, stock runs, retainers, set working hours, cubicles, daily activity sheets, compulsory prospecting or compulsory team building dinners and training. I certainly didn't want a Head Office and the thought of long-winded, verbose Managers meetings just makes my skin crawl.
I simply wanted an operations centre. A place where all my compliance issues and subscriptions could be found and sourced out of one place. I wanted to be paid more for what I did and I wanted to be left alone to do the work that I have doing for the last 15 years and I desperately wanted and needed for work to fit around my life and not force my life to fit in around my work as it had done for so many years.
The sacrifices my family and friends have had to endure due to the fact that I was simply always at work, whether I needed to be there or not, is a thing of the past. If there is money to be made and things that need doing then I will still drop everything and do the deal, my instinct for sales is still a very potent part of me but driving around all Tuesday morning to look at all the local offices listings as a PR stunt is just a waste of my time. There are countless hours in that one activity alone over the past years that I can never get back and I just will not repeat that mistake.
So my why is very simple. I could not find what I was looking for in an office so I decided to create it. Not for anyone else and not to change the industry. I am creating it simply because that is where I want to work. If it appeals to others then awesome but if not then that is ok too because I will have created my dream working environment where the focus of my day to day activities will be delivering exceptional real estate service to my clients and leaving all the other time wasting crap for the others.
When you break down what an agent does on any given day at least 75% of their time is spent doing stuff that is not even remotely effective in securing sales or generating listings. Take away the fluff and this business becomes very easy to navigate and very simple to make money from.
How do I know this? I have been doing it from home now for the last 6 months; it's just time now to do it on a bigger scale. For forward thinking and creative agents this could also be for you.
07th May, 2014