Well, I decided to break my dang "one re-post a week" rule and re-post this great one of Mike's. It is my rule, after all- so I figure I can break it if I please...accepting the consequences I might suffer from myself, that is...
There are a number of analogies and correlations between what happens in the real world and what happens in Realtor-land. One bad apple can indeed spoil the bunch- and in the workplace, that can be that one disgruntled employee that decides to stay on that can be a vicious cancer ravaging your organization.
Survival of the fittest comes into play as well. From the big cats competing for prey on the safari lands of Africa, to folks competing for the swankiest of listings in Manha...err...Beverly Hills, competition is fierce and often means the difference between feast and famine.
We're forced to think as the animals do, as well- even against our own natures and spirits. We have to be a bit heartless at times, a bit cold at times, a bit cut-throat at others.
And always remembering that we don't have to catch every gazelle in the pack to eat and sustain ourselves- often, that little scraggly gazelle that's a tad slower than the others will do just fine.
Throughout my whole childhood, Winchester, Virginia was known as the Apple Capital of the World. There were more apple orchards in our small community than any other place on earth. That honor has long passed as development has taken over the thousands of acres of apple trees, but those trees taught me a few things about life and business.
One thing I learned is that apple growing begins long before you see any apples. The trees need pruning before you see buds on the branches. Too many branches can make all of the branches less effective. Smaller branches can pull nutrients from larger longtime producing branches causing them to produce inferior fruit. Many of the smaller branches are pruned away.
Sometimes, older less productive branches are pruned away to make way for younger branches that hold the promise of fruit. When a branch becomes less productive, it brings the production for the whole tree down. It has to go in order for the tree to be as productive as possible.
Buds are no guarantee of fruit. In our area, one of the greatest concerns of apple production is a late Spring freeze. When the buds show up, it is a promise of good things to come, but one good freeze can destroy that promise overnight. It's the proverbial "don't count your chickens before they hatch." There are things that can be done to project the buds, but it is normally expensive and overwhelming.
When the fruit appears, new challenges appear. A good hail storm can take a tree full of potential and beat the fruit to pieces. Suddenly, what looked like a bumper crop becomes a crop of apples full of holes.
During the harvest season, pickers can become your best asset or your worst nightmare. If you don't have enough pickers you can leave good fruit on the tree to rot. It benefits no one. If you have too many pickers - the competition between them can cause them to pick carelessly. Apples end up bruised and less valuable. Good pickers can make a good harvest great. Apple lovers really like to see flawless fruit.
- Every employee / agent needs to constantly increase knowledge of his/her craft. The basics stay the same, like the harvest season, but many things are constantly evolving. That takes regular continuing education and learning to keep up.
- All trees get pruned. That might mean self-pruning by dropping bad habits, replacing inferior techniques, dropping attitudes that are counter-productive up to being let go from an office.
- Investments in younger visibly enthusiastic agents are a must. They can become major fruit producers as they learn and grow.
- Be willing to cut away buds that don't follow through on their promise. To many buds can weaken the whole tree.
- Keep an eye on new employees / agents to make sure they stay on course. There is always something unexpected that can get them off course. Communication and interaction can help keep them on track for a great harvest.
- Make sure you have the right number of workers to be the most productive without creating an environment of competition that becomes unproductive. A right balance can create enough competition to spur production without creating an inferior product.
It has been said that, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, that's something that has been recently confirmed as true, and if you handle your business like an orchardist, you might be surprise at how much healthier your business becomes.
Give me a call for all your real estate needs, and let's make something amazing happen.
Mike Cooper @ Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., 888-722-6029
Real Estate Sales and Property Management
(Disclaimer: All grammatical mistakes, punctuation breakdowns and misspellings are purely for your amusement and entertainment. Feel free to cackle.)