April 17, 2008

The Golden Rule?

Let's start exploring the 14 Business Principles that should help form our experiences, strengthen our beliefs and guide our actions. The first Business Principle is...

We consistently treat everyone with courtesy and respect

It's a great one to start with but it almost sounds too simple to put in writing, doesn't it? I mean, in the words of Rodney King, " why can't we all just get along?"

Before we look at how this principle should be interpreted and applied, let's look at some of examples of why it might have been written:

  • Agents show up late for showings (or sometimes they don't even show up at all).

  • Homeowners requests for all visitors to remove shoes during showings. "This doesn't apply to me," thinks the inconsiderate visitor.

  • Judging people by their appearance, clothing or vehicles. This could be customers, clients or fellow co-workers.

  • Yelling at hourly employees when the fax machine doesn't work, a file is missing or a phone call is mishandled.

The previous scenarios are examples only and do not represent specific actions of any particular agent or broker

I think the reason why this specific business principle is consistently applied every day in our offices, company and industry is because it isn't something new that people need to learn. For most, it's been a rule we have known since childhood. It is simply the Golden Rule written a different way, isn't it? ~ "Do unto others as you would have done to you."

We all want to feel like we apply this 100% of the time, regardless of our situations, positions or locations but we continuously need to ask ourselves if we do. Each day, simply ask yourself this question - "what can I do to make other people feel special or important?"

There is a sales associate in our Newark office with Coldwell Banker King Thompson who epitomizes this principle. Patrick Guanciale has been an agent for decades. His father is an agent and his son is now in the business following in his footsteps. Patrick knows his business inside and out. He is well known in his hometown of Newark by residents old and new and his is active in his community. Patrick is one of our top associates but I can tell you his success has little to do with his knowledge of how to write a contract or holding open houses. Patrick is successful because he makes everyone he encounters feel special.

I had the privilege of attending the wedding of Patrick's son Andrew. You couldn't help but be amazed at the reception that followed the wonderful ceremony. Sure, every person at that event was there to celebrate the marriage of Andrew and Jill Guanciale (and it was a great celebration) but everyone was also returning the courtesy and respect that Patrick and his family had given to them at one point or another.

Whether he knew these people from charity work in Licking County, supporting Andrew's school and sports teams, friends of Andrew and Jill's, assisting the Newark Fire Department or perhaps they were just one of the hundreds of families - many second and third generation clients have been helped by the Guanciale family - they all had one word that would describe Patrick Guanciale. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Aretha Franklin couldn't have said it better herself.

Patrick certainly isn't alone in our company as someone who demonstrates the qualities of principle #1. There's Michael Hinckley in Hyde Park, Mike Carruthers in Bexley, Randy Wax in the Marketing Department and Cheery Malone in Crestview Hills. Leaders like Joe Reis from NRT and rookies like Charity Foster in the Ohio/Indiana West Regional Office, we all can offer courtesy and respect.

  • Deliver your showing feedback before the co-op agent requests it. (So simple yet so seldom done)

  • Say please and thank you - especially to the office staff who often are taken for granted.
    Keep the negotiations between the Buyer and Seller. It may not turn out like you hoped but that's no reason to make it personal.

  • Answer each question like it was the first time it was asked. Even if it is really the fortieth time you've heard it. Remember...it probably was this person's first time asking.

  • Invite your office manager out for drinks after work. Yep - they can have bad days too.

  • Remember how sacred and nervous you were on that first day in the office? Remember it and welcome the new team member to the company. He or she will know they made the right choice.

  • And if nothing else comes to mind...smile.

We have a pretty cool job, don't we? We get to help people solve some of the biggest, most important problems they will face in their lives. Sure it can be tough at times but as the old saying goes - tough times don't last, tough people do. We'll make it through this changing market and we'll certainly enjoy it a whole lot more if we consistently treat everyone with courtesy and respect.

Next post we'll explore Business Principle #2 - We are Goodwill Ambassadors who always speak positively about our industry, our company and each other.

Until then, let me know of a specific time when you were able to apply B.P.#1 or maybe when it was applied on you?

Remember...Build relationships...Solve problems...Have fun.