By Jason O’Neil
Last month I had the privilege of going to Nashville’s RE Bar Camp. The event was exciting, informative and inspirational. But beyond the unrestricted walls of the camp, I found more inspiration — in a real bar.
The night before the event, I took my brother out for a couple of rounds at one of Nashville’s most famous watering holes, Tootsie’s. If you don’t know Tootsie’s or have never been, let me start by saying it is one of the best places to watch or perform country music in Nashville, which itself is ground-zero for country music. The likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Bomshel, and countless other country legends have passed through Tootsie’s on their way to stardom.
The evening was about more than the music: It was about the talent, the untold stories, and roads less traveled of these up and coming musicians. Tootsie’s is but an intersection in the artists’ paths to stardom. The female lead singer of the band performing upstairs that Tuesday night had the audience in her grasp, belting out high and low notes, her band jamming to some of the most famous and difficult songs to sing and play. She was good, maybe one of the best I’ve heard. I wandered downstairs and that band was equally as good. I wondered, “How could such talent not have a label? Why play in bars for tips?”
Throngs of performers arrive in Nashville daily to become the next big thing, the next Taylor Swift or Garth Brooks. They quickly learn that good is not enough.
Often times in the real estate industry, salespeople advertise how “good” they are at their jobs. Salespeople and brokers profess their professionalism, their service, their reliability and their dependability. At a place like Tootsie’s, a great voice, impeccable guitar skills, range and chords don’t even get you on stage — they may not even get you the audition. What I am saying is that the standard level of service advertised and performed by most salespeople is not enough: it might get you an interview; it might even help you sell a home, but it won’t make you memorable.
The past few years have tested the mettle of our industry’s most seasoned veterans. Now is the time to get out your mission statement and reread it. Rewrite it if necessary. Look deep inside of yourself, your team, your processes and evaluate the good and the bad. Just because you are good at performing a CMA or conducting a seller interview doesn’t mean that you can’t get better. What one thing can you improve about your communication between the time you get the listing signed and your first showing?
Ours is not a business of perfection, it is a business of consistency. But you must consistently be doing the right things and consistently be willing to cannibalize your own systems and processes even your good systems and processes, for the sake of improvement.
Jim Collins wrote in Good to Great, “Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies (read REALTORS®) never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good — and that is their main problem.”
Jason O’Neil is an associate broker with Encore Sotheby’s International Realty in Indianapolis. Visit his Web site: www.oneilrealtors.com.