When we start a business in real estate, or any business – we start off with a plan (well generally!) which is more like a theory and go run out into the marketplace with that plan. After getting customer feedback we adjust that plan and keep going back to the customers getting more feedback called the “feedback loop” very aptly named by Eric Ries in his book the lean startup which is a must read for any business owner real estate or otherwise IMHO.
After using some industry best practices and armed with our customer feedback we settle upon some of the holy-grail elements in business called SYSTEMS (not always, but more on that in a future post!) which are what actually create freedom in business – sometimes we think that getting into business for ourselves in the first place is what creates freedom….wow is that ever wrong! I think that any veteran entrepreneur in real estate can attest to the fact that the business unto itself dos NOT create freedom, actually quite the opposite some days/weeks/months.
While the systems in the real estate business are being built/re-built and learned that takes up a massive amount of time, energy, and cash because a lot of that process (without expert guidance/coaching) is trial and error. That’s ok because that is the part of the trill of creating your own thing, testing and measuring to figure out how to create a better mouse-trap for yourself and your customers.
We have all heard the draconian phrase that “the customer is always right” correct? Well, in my past corporate world we often said in our meetings that in fact (well in operations anyway maybe not sales) the customer is often WRONG and they pay us to tell them that in a tactful way!!
This may be an avant-garde opinion, but before you start throwing stones I suggest to you that you consider the following question: Why does the customer come ask you for help? The most basic answer is that they have a problem that needs solving and the solution is your product or service correct?
Now, if we can agree the above is true – then would your systems not be the glue that hold your company together? Do you not wish to serve your customers all to the same level or better as consistently as possible? Well, if that is the case then your systems, methods, order of steps you take and the reasons why you take them is your special sauce that gives the customer what they want correct?
There will be customers that want to control the process or feel that they might know better than you (the expert that can solve their problem)….does that make any sense? That would be equivalent to asking the butcher to come into your kitchen and tell you how to fix a leaking tap! So when the customer asks you to change your proven, tried, tested, and approved systems that get results – respectfully tell them NO. Now, I am not suggesting that you be harsh or to not be accommodating to customers needs – I am suggesting that you can’t help everyone and not everyone is your ideal client.
When you consider the 80/20 rule that 20 % of your customers make up 80% of your revenue, and the rest cost a lot in cycles/money that focusing on the more delightful and profitable group just simply makes good sense for your bottom line and your sanity. Keep control of the wheel on your business, you wouldn’t let your passenger steer the car going 140K down the highway…I suggest you don’t let the customer steer your processes you know how to get the results they need.
To your success,