By Jack Jamison
Principle, RealtyLink USA, LLC
To maintain that blessing, we must stay focused on our customers, our team and our investors. It’s easy to get distracted by the wrong priorities in a growing company. Most successful companies achieve initial success by doing a better job at taking care of customers or clients than their competitors. They likely offered a greater overall value and understood what the customers’ needs were, both what the customer told them and what unspoken desires needed to be met. Over time, the founder or founders put together a team of intelligent and caring people that could understand their roles in taking care of the customers.
While it seems simple, it remains essential throughout the life of the company. Generally, when the focus remains on exceeding customer/client expectations, and opportunities to serve them continue to repeat, the company can make the economic model work. This provides the opportunity to achieve reasonable and sustainable margins for the products and services provided, keeping owners and investors happy with the financial results. We have been blessed to do this at RealtyLink.
Today’s highly technical world offers many opportunities to make the delivery of products and services faster and more cost efficient, but it doesn’t change the basic human condition of a costumer’s desire to feel like the priority and to be appreciated throughout the process. As we have grown our company and have added team members, the culture has remained in tune with doing each project with high quality standards, personal accountability, integrity and transparency to the customer.
Honest transparency is critically important to building and maintaining trust that leads to a strong bond with our clients. Mistakes happen, and when the customer sees you recognize, take ownership and pay for them, the trust strengthens. This is particularly true when all team members display this type of integrity. As business owners we build the culture by being open, honest, and completely truthful to our team members, while taking responsibility for our own mistakes as leaders of the organization. We praise and appreciate the efforts and accomplishments of “the team” and the individuals. We share in the responsibility for mistakes that are made, not to disregard personal responsibility, but to be part of solutions and procedures to make us a better company. Our team members are a huge blessing and our most valuable asset. We encourage communication and collaboration, and they embrace developing our newest team members.
Our business also requires the expertise and execution of our goals by a variety of third party consultants and partners: legal, architectural, engineering, financial and strategic. It is essential to align with partners that want to contribute to our goals and visions, as well as doing so with the culture and standards we operate our company by. When our consultants grow, their goals and visions can evolve, so we must make sure to stay engaged and when they get off our course, we help to get them back on track, or find new ones if necessary.
Our investors and other financial resources are essential to executing our goals. It is imperative they have a clear understanding of what we are doing with the money and how our team contributes to successful projects and maximizes their returns. Investors are provided accurate and complete information to assess risk. The same principles of transparency and integrity, along with accountability and communication of mistakes, apply to investors and lenders, just like our clients. We are diligent about doing what we have planned, but are up front about those instances when it doesn’t happen.
Growth can feel chaotic at times, and that can lead to anxiety and frustration if you make commitments beyond your capabilities. We must constantly assess what new business we are ready for, or not. It is a blessing to have an abundance of opportunities. Staying true to your culture and standards unfortunately sometimes requires a No to some business. The owners and key team members need to remind each other about healthy limitations, while developing the talents and systems for longer-term growth.
Finally, and of essential importance, the success of the company needs to be enjoyed, celebrated and shared at every level of ownership and employment. While the successes should be celebrated, none should be taken for granted. It is all a blessing! Whether it has been times of trial and difficulty, or tremendous opportunities and financial success, we have been greatly blessed in all circumstances.