2014 is right around the corner, so it’s time for you to sit down and figure out what you can do to improve your business heading into the New Year. During Homes.com’s Secrets of Top Selling Agents Webinar “10 Ways to Grow Your Business in 2014, People First Not Technology”, Chris Smith and Austin Allison revealed 10 key business principles that are vital to any broker that is serious about growing their profits. Homes.com has broken down this presentation and today we will be covering five of these principles that you should consider in 2014!
Allison, CEO of dotloop, one of the most popular up and coming real estate tech companies, and Smith, co-founder of Curaytor.com, teamed up to create the book “Peoplework: How to Run a People-First Business in a Digital-First World,” which explains that putting people before technology, is an innovative way to succeed in the post-digital, people revolution.
Allison explains that the definition of Peoplework is simple, “putting people first in a digital first world in the way you run your business.”
“I was a real estate agent in Cincinnati and started selling for the first time and found the process to be inefficient and frustrating and there wasn’t enough people interaction in the experience,” he says. “The world around us was starting to shape and evolve as a result of the Internet- the digital revolution, and as we became more connected through the digital grid, it connected us but also disconnected us and put tech before people”.
The first step to utilizing Peoplework is that B2B and B2C should no longer exist, P2P should be your only focus. No longer should a transaction be about selling to a business or another consumer, it should be about a person selling to another person. According to Allison, “Peoplework businesses need to think of every single transaction as a person interacting with another person”.
The second principle is that “Human Companies Win”, maintaining the idea that when companies look at their customers as family or friends, they tend to be more successful. This tactic makes the consumer feel that they are doing business with someone that isn’t just out to make a profit.
“The way most businesses think is more robotic than human. The way you win in a Peoplework era is being a human company,” Allison says. “We think about things like revenue, profit, gross margin, lead conversion rates, but contrast that with how you as a human being would treat another human being. How would you treat friends and family?
Chris Smith cites the example of Tom’s shoes, which was founded by a former Amazing Race competitor, who noticed children in Africa weren’t wearing shoes. He set the business up in a way that with every pair of shoes purchased, a second pair would be sent to a child of that country.
“He doubled the cost of goods sold but connected with humanity and the brand went viral,” Smith says.
“Change requires a Blueprint” is the third idea of Peoplework. Allison refers to change as being “the new normal” and stresses that it is important to treat change the same way your treat profits and losses. Change is something that is inevitable and the better prepared for it that you are, the more you can use it to your advantage.
“Change can either make or break you,” he says.”If you become a human company, it will pay huge dividends. If you change in the wrong way, it can destroy you.”
“Putting Purpose before Technology” this is simple, any decision that you make should be one that can help your business and provide your buyers and sellers with an experience that will make them want to come back. Even if the technology is there, if it doesn’t make a better experience for your customers, why do it?
Smith mentioned an example of a QR code that was on a billboard and questioned whether the use of that technology really helped the company the way they wanted it to. “You should have clarity behind what your purpose is before implementing technology,” he says. “Put that purpose before any technology.”
Allison admits that “Quality Creates Quantity” is his favorite Peoplework concept. “We’ve always thought of growing our businesses by investing in more leads and marketing. In the Peoplework era, it’s the opposite,” he says. “The way to create quantity is to focus on a quality experience consistent every time you interact.”
Take Starbucks for instance. Smith says it became multi-billion dollar business under-spending competitors on traditional things like advertising, marketing and salespeople. “Its value is in creating a relationship with customers for a lifetime, “he says. “They generate lots of revenue from the customer and their friends and family over time”.
The lesson here isn’t so complicated; the truest way to create quantity is by first focusing on quality. Come back next week, for Homes.com’s wrap up of Smith and Allison’s business principles that will set brokers up for success in 2014 and every year after!
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