showing up

We've All Got A Team

Teams have been all the rage in the real estate industry for quite a few years now. They proudly boast about the higher level of service and satisfaction that consumers will receive due to their setup, their larger marketing budgets, etc. While I understand the argument, I have come to believe that we've all got a team. Whether it is real estate or any other area of our lives, we don't tackle things alone (or at least we shouldn't). 

Over the past few weeks, our leadership team here at Bamboo Realty has been tackling "sprint work". This style of work dictates following a 12-week process to take a project from idea to execution & roll out in 12-weeks. You spend three-weeks in each phase - planning, creating, shipping, and assessing - and ultimately end with a really refined vision and end product. The process, originally taken from our CEO's coaching club, 108 Collective, has been enlightening for all of us working together. We've grown as a company, but more importantly as a team. We've been able to truly uncover each other's strengths, compensate for each other's weaknesses, and trust our guts. 

In true Bamboo fashion, we decided that we didn't want to tackle one sprint, so instead, we opted for three sprints. No big deal, right? Now, the magic of the 12-week sprint is that it is long-enough to fully think through something, but short enough that you're unable to overthink any particular element. This is a fantastic perk for us creative types. We're analytical of the details, so rather than over think them, we focus on executing them with precision, yet we're still comforted that we can adjust the dials during the Assess phase of our sprint. Last week, on the brink of beginning the Create phase, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. As I shared my concerns with our VEEP, Zach, he said something that I have taken such comfort in. He told me, "Don't worry about the amount of tasks. That's why we're here." As supported as I felt in that moment, what struck me about his comment was the truth to the statement. We're here. Zach & Sarah care as deeply about the projects that I champion as I do about theirs. We all have different roles and responsibilities within the company, but we're after the same thing - making Bamboo the best version of itself. 

So I began to wonder, is it any different for agents? I'm not sure that it is. Explain that you too, have a team. No, a solo agent doesn't have a formal team per se, but they have a team just the same. They work with photographers, appraisers, lenders, home inspectors, attorneys - the list goes on! You have a group of professionals (that you probably think are the best at what they do) working to get the best results for your clients. If you ask me, that's pretty great. A team doesn't have to mean that your checks are signed by the same folks, it just means that you're working toward a common goal. More agents need to leverage this to consumers. 

When I reflect on the greatest moments of my life - my greatest achievements, my happiest memories, and the things that I am most proud of - they have one thing in common; I wasn't alone. So, perhaps I don't have a team, perhaps agents don't have teams either, but as the Beatles put it best, "I get by with a little help from my friends." I think we all do, don't we?

Beyond Showing Up

Last week, I headed off to the grocery store. It was a rather dreary day where everyone sort of had that weather related scowl on their face. As I walked in the store, I was greeted with a lovely smile and positive energy by Janice, one of the employees. Her smile was contagious and immediately changed my entire energy. As I shopped around the store, I kept smiling and thinking to myself, "wow, she really is a great brand ambassador with that kind of energy."

As I rolled my cart to the checkout, again Janice greeted me and helped me load the contents of my cart onto the counter. As we put the last item on, she handed me a bouquet of flowers, to which I replied "Thank you ma'am, but those weren't mine." Once again, Janice greeted me with her warm smile and replied, "Everyone needs a little sunshine in their day! They're from me to you!" 

I was floored. So much so, that I sent my fiance this photo as I wheeled my cart back out to the parking lot. In that small moment, Janice shifted my entire day. It wasn't what she said or did (although both were undeniably charming), it was what she did that was beyond my expectation. She surprised and delighted. She did more than just show up. Nothing that she did fell into Janice's job description, but her action that exceeded my expectations ensured my continued business. 

One of my favorite blog posts of all time is Beyond Showing Up by Seth Godin because he explains that merely showing up isn't enough anymore. It isn't enough to meet expectations, you must exceed them. Think about that for a moment. When you go to a deli and order a sandwich, it is your expectation that after a few minutes - the person behind the counter will slide over a sandwich. Sure, the taste may exceed your expectations. The service may delight you. The price might even make you want to come back. But what if you ordered a sandwich and nothing ever crossed the counter? That is the equivalent to a homebuyer or seller utilizing you and you not helping them buy or sell a home. Getting to the closing table doesn't exceed expectations. You're merely delivering the sandwich at that point. There is so much more that goes into exceeding expectations! 

Sure, half the battle is showing up, but you realize that is only half  the battle, right? You still must "surprise and delight" as Seth puts it. You still must prove the reason why they chose you. Why they love you. Why you matter beyond your presence. When we spend our days merely meeting expectations by closing transactions, we are doing nothing to ensure our growth or customer satisfaction.

What is funny about us as professionals is that we spend countless hours and thousands (maybe millions) of dollars seeking how to set ourselves apart when the answer is right in front of us. In fact, the answer is us! It is you. Your actions are what set you apart - not some shiny object or fancy software. Your ability to connect as a human. Your ability to surprise and to delight. Your ability to overdeliver. 

I ask you, how are you working to surprise and delight your customers each day? Are you leaving an impact? Are you meeting expectations or exceeding them? If you step back and look at your business, I think you will find that surprising and delighting your consumers is much easier than you think.