I’ve had the good fortune of spending business development time with Tony Robbins. Although he’s known as a personal development guru, he’s created some fantastic programs for business owners as well. A couple of years ago, I spent two weeks at his “University” on an island in Fiji dedicating the time to growing myself as a better leader. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience.

There was one specific “aha” moment that I will never forget and I’d like to share with anybody in the real estate brokerage business.

During one of the morning sessions, Tony asked the question, “What business are you in?”

After thinking for a quick moment, I said, “The real estate brokerage business.”

He quickly said, “Wrong!” but then continued by saying, “Let me give you an example about what I’m talking about.”

He went on to tell a story about his friend who owns a chain of car washes. However, these aren’t ordinary car washes. They are amongst the most productive and profitable car washes in the industry. While the competitors operate their business as being in the “car wash” business, his friend operates as being in the “self-esteem” business. He realized that the customer feels better about themselves (and their car) after getting it freshly cleaned. It really isn’t about washing the car, it’s about giving the car owner a boost of self-esteem.

With that small distinction, the entire nature of the business changed. Employees were given specific scripts to use when greeting a customer. License plate recognition software was implemented to help track customer orders and frequency. Facility cosmetics were adjusted to tell a different “story.” When you visit one of these car washes, you leave with more than just a clean car.

After hearing that example, I had a better understanding to the power of the question, “What business are you in?”

So I spent the next day and a half contemplating the best answer. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me. I went back to Tony and said, “I’m in the state management business.”

“Yes.” he said, “Yes, you are.”

As a brokerage owner, my main job is to put our agents in a state of productivity, instead of a state of procrastination. I need to facilitate a state of confidence, instead of doubt. I must create an environment necessary to elicit the state of excellence over mediocrity.

Since making that small distinction, we now design training, implement technology and make hiring decisions based on being in the state (or mood) management business. I interact with agents clearly knowing my role and conduct meetings always keeping that strategy in mind.

You want to know the best part? Your competitors won’t know how you’re doing it! They won’t be able to point to a specific technology or marketing piece and understand it. Even better, they won’t be able to duplicate it.

So ditch the thinking that you’re in the real estate brokerage business and embrace the suggestion that you’re in the “state management business.”

If you’d like to have a conversation or would like to give input about this strategy, post any comments below, or reach out to me anytime! I love meeting peers who embrace a different way of doing what we do.

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