Season's Readings - 10 jolts from 2009 to jump start your 2010
The secret to becoming #1 is simple: tap into the public consciousness and relentlessly deliver what it wants.
It helps to make your own list of the brands that accomplish that for you.
The Four Seasons Hotel
I won’t bore you with the details of my holiday vacation. It suffices to say I was long overdue for some personal time off.
My travels included stays at different hotels and visits to a dozen others (Vegas). For the most part all were pleasant places that went through the motions.
However, on New Year’s Eve we flew into San Francisco and checked into The Four Seasons Hotel. When I checked out, I left inspired.
Forget the interior decor, or thread count in the sheets â€“ things that could easily be cloned by any other hotel. It was in the nuances. The simple things that told me someone in corporate intuitively understands what people want. And cared enough to provide it.
These things include: The precise vocal timbre used by the staff – one tuned to place you at immediate ease. The elevator that remains open and ready for you when you arrive in the lobby. The food. The bottles of L’Occitane in the bathroom. The quality of hand towels in the public bathroom. The rollaway cot placed in our suite prior to arrival for our eight year-old.
Simple things. Attentive things. Thing your spouse does without asking that makes you love them above all others. Things that tap into your psyche and make you feel great about your decision to engage a brand.
If the Four Seasons were a real estate brokerage, they would rule the marketplace.
That got me thinking.
The last three years were the best years in the history of American real estate brokerage.
They forced you to face your demons and take stock of the sprites that mischievously toyed with your value and brand proposition.
You were inundated with new ways to market your company. Instead of ignoring these things, you inquired about them. Aggressively tackled them. As a result you have been forced to think harder, faster, deeper and more creatively than ever before. You are emerging better as a result.
I’ve noticed. As a fan of the American Brokerage, here in the bleachers where I sit, I’ve been watching the game and keeping track of your hits, RBI’s and sacrifices. That sound you sometimes hear but can’t place is my applause from afar.
But there is more work to be done. I’m sure most of you are meeting this week and setting agendas for the year. I’d like to help out by suggesting a few things you could think about and execute over the next four quarters to help get you to the top of your marketplace.
This list has been assembled from the many things I’ve seen and been a part of during 2009. Executing these things isn’t necessarily cheap, easy or simple. Then again, perfecting the simple things, the things that make the most difference, typically isn’t.
Arguably, The Four Seasons Hotel offers the very same things every other hotel does. But in every single instance, they present these things in a manner that is unique and understated. They need not boast or scream how great they are – this can be felt within seconds of approaching just about any touch point.
This is not impossible in real estate. But it does seem like it hadn’t really occurred to most brokerages, which makes it all the more exciting to watch the few companies go for it and the others working hard to improve upon it.
Your 2010 can be everything you decide it to be.
Smart industry takes and creative inspiration.