2015 Year of the Kitty
(If you missed last month's letter, Kitty Barrow is my business coach for this year, so I'm pretty much doing whatever she tells me to do)
Kitty Comes to Town
I finally had a chance to meet face to face with Kitty as she happened to be passing through town to meet another client. I'll admit I was a bit on edge as there is a certain amount of anxiety that Kitty represents in my life. It makes sense that the people in our lives that hold us accountable are rarely the same people we want to hang out with. Don't get me wrong, I greatly value the accountability she provides, I just don't LIKE it. There are parts of most careers that we enjoy, and there are parts that are just work. Kitty makes sure that I'm doing the part that is work because without that work, the fun parts tend to go away.
One of the best things we talked about during our time together is the importance of the user experience as we grow this business. How do we make sure that we help more people, and ensure those people are getting exactly what they need in the real estate transaction? In business you must grow or your business will die, trying to maintain your position is not a long term strategy if you plan on staying in business. But, if you grow and the clients suffer because the systems are not set up properly, that growth ends up drowning you.
As you know, our focus has always been client satisfaction as a way to build a spontaneous sales force (our past clients) throughout the marketplace. No advertising campaign, or pricing gimmick is more powerful that the testimonial of a satisfied customer that you know and trust. So far as a company we are up 44% over last year at this time, which is great, but how do we ensure that our clients remain so happy that they continue to refer us to their friends? The key is hiring great people and inserting them into our client process. There is no way that one agent can consistently grow AND do all the parts well, eventually things break down.
My focus now is less about “Patrick was great to work with,” and is more about, “Patrick's team was great to work with.” I'm confident that I've assembled a top notch group with each person taking a position that they are great at and enjoy doing. I'm still adding team members as we continue to grow, but thankfully I have a direct pipeline to highly skilled sales people through my connection with The Southwestern Company, it truly is the difference (if you don't know Southwestern, you need to www.southwestern.com).
I recently had a long time, successful agent in this market call me to ask how I was able to attract and hang on to so much young, skilled talent. She was telling me how hard it is to find good people that reflect her standard of excellence and retain them for the long term. Of course this is a challenge for any business, which is why I started Southwestern Real Estate and not Patrick Roach Real Estate, access to top talent, this is the greatest asset of Southwestern Real Estate.
This month I want to give special recognition to a great general contractor, Doug Neal. Doug has been a great resource for me as folks have been getting their homes ready to sell, or evaluating a home that a client knows they want to improve when they buy it. The great thing about his company is whether the job is small like a bathroom remodel, or larger like a kitchen remodel, or a whole house remodel, he can handle it. More importantly, if you put a high priority on craftsmanship, Doug delivers the high quality, beautiful end product you were hoping for. You can reach Doug at 630.344.3415. As always, mention my name when you make the appointment and follow up with me to let me know how it went.
Thanks to all of you for sending so many of your friends my direction this season. It has been a true blessing.