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  • Writer's pictureSimon Deen

Values, abilities and skills

“Starbucks is not profit driven. Starbucks is values driven, and as a result of those values, we have become very profitable. Not every business decision should be an economic one. And this is very important, I think, especially for young people to understand, is that you're going to make a series of decisions about your business, and if every decision goes through a very defined lens of how much money can you make as a result of this, it's not going to add up to much at the end. There has to be balance between the profit you're searching for and the values that will endure” - Howard Schultz

A discussion this week over coffee with an old friend (himself a commercial real estate agent) reminded me of the above quote, which was taken from a brilliant podcast episode with the two time CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. You can check it out here -

My friend was asking me why so few residential estate agents, big or small, talk about either their values or how the service they provide can make their customers' lives better.

It’s a really interesting question. As estate agents we are very good at talking about ourselves, how successful we are, how much property we’ve sold and how we’re doing better than our competitors. I’ve been guilty of it myself, in my last job I created and ran an advertising campaign talking about our market share. It was really good. Our market share at the time, not the idea for the advert.

Of course, relative success is important some of the time. If I had sold the last five houses on your road, it would be a pretty good reason to use my services.

However perhaps we should be spending more time talking about our values, what really drives us and how those things might help a client achieve their objectives. Or even, if our values are aligned with our potential customers in the first place. Relationships don't usually last long if values aren't shared, no matter how good a skillset you might have. After all, skills can be learned, values and abilities are less changeable.

I established Simon Deen Real Estate because I am determined to make the experience of using an estate agent better for those who rely on our services during a particularly stressful time of their life. A customer's needs, wants and desires should always be at the centre of any offering. It sounds intuitive, but quite often it’s forgotten because sometimes we’re too busy focusing on our competitors, or on ourselves.

Maybe if more members of the public believed that estate agents were actually trying to achieve their goals and not our own, we’d all enjoy a better reputation.


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