Happy New Year!
Whenever a New Year rolls around, most of us make plans for what NEW stuff we’re going to implement into our lives. But I prefer to reflect on past lessons (the OLD stuff) and consider whether I can still apply those lessons today. Somehow it seems much easier.
At first, this message may seem like it’s got nothing to do with Real Estate, but I promise it does. In fact, it might be the most powerful lesson you can ever learn.
When I was 26, I started a wholesale motorcycle parts distribution company called Power Twins Performance Parts. 🏍️
All I could afford to rent was a 400 sq ft mezzanine in the back of a warehouse, so every time I got an order, I had to climb up a ladder and back down again, balancing a box on my shoulder. It’s a wonder I never smashed my skull on the concrete below.
I had no idea what I was doing, so I just straight-up asked the dealers across the country, “What do I need to do to earn your business?”
Their responses were remarkably consistent and straightforward:
“Have the parts in stock and deliver them fast!”
Based on this, I focused on two things:
First, I vowed to have the best fill-rate in the industry. It wasn’t easy since I had extremely minimal cash flow. But I was determined.
I watched the inventory like a hawk and placed smaller, more frequent orders with my suppliers. This often meant re-ordering on the very day I sold the ONE item I had in stock.
Of course, this was much more work and more costly, but I offset that by quickly improving my fill-rate to over 95%; a number that was unheard of in the industry.
My customers started to take notice. 🤔
Next, I established contract rates with the major national couriers and began delivering over 90% of my shipments OVERNIGHT for FREE. (This was years before that Bezos guy started flogging books out of his garage.)
Suddenly, my little company was a trend-setter. My customers were amazed at the new standard I was setting for super-fast, reliable delivery.
My much larger fat-cat competitors stirred in their sleep and blinked just a little bit. But they must have figured it was only a matter of time before I bankrupted myself. After all, how could I possibly afford to offer free overnight shipping?
Well, I had to run lean and mean, and I offset a portion of the extra cost with slightly higher prices.
But my customers were quite happy to pay a little more for fast, reliable service. After all, I was delivering exactly what they asked for.
My sales increased rapidly over the next few years, and I negotiated better and better rates with the couriers, so my profit margins steadily improved.
By the time my competitors finally woke up, it was too late for them. I was no longer the “little guy.” They scrambled to catch up, but I was always five steps ahead of them.
Out-Think, Out-Service, Out-Sell
Having the best fill-rate and providing the fastest delivery were two of the most important examples of how I out-serviced and out-sold my competitors, but there were many other programs I implemented over the years, all based on customer feedback.
By focusing on delivering a superior experience to my customers, I never had to worry about the bottom line. In fact, I grew my sales at an average rate of 55% every year for 14 years. From a tiny start-up, my business eventually became the national leader in the industry, and it’s still around today, operating as Parts Canada.
So, what does all this have to do with Real Estate? Only everything. 😃
In business (and life), it’s all about your attitude.
When I started in Real Estate—just as in my previous career—I asked people what they wanted, and once again, the answer was simple and straightforward:
“Better communication and guidance throughout the process” were the main answers I got. So, once again, I listened and figured out how to deliver.
Keep it Simple
My success in the motorcycle parts business was simple. I asked my customers what they wanted, and then I figured out how to deliver.
In Real Estate, it’s the same thing. Stop chasing commission cheques, and start figuring out how to deliver what people want.
“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” — Albert Einstein
My third major life venture (Agent Skills) is where I get to SHOW you how to become a person of value. When you achieve that, success naturally follows.
It really is that simple.
Agent Skills, Corp.