Thursday, May 16, 2013

Where We Stand ... Today

A recent conversation among new professionals in our market place got me thinking a bit. I didn't hear the conversation, just a report of it.  As the new kid on the block, one normally faces a bit of bullying.  At Go we've had our share, and I am proud of how we have grown through it.  This latest incident got me thinking a bit about where we stand in the Triangle Market.  A few years ago we set a goal for our office in Cary to break into the top 16 offices in that town.  Thanks to tremendous effort from that brand new team, we did just that in 2011.  But where do we stand today?  What's our position in the Triangle

First, a few comments:  It's not about the numbers.  It is about the people and their experience with us.  Some companies, rightfully so, promote their sales numbers as the measure of their success and value to individual clients.  If you have the top spots, I can't really blame you for taking that approach.  From the beginning, we decided on a different path.  Our measure of success would be the experience of the client in the market place and the experience of our agents in the companionship of Go.  We figured if we did a great job in those two realms, success would follow.  

Second, Whenever the big dogs of the Triangle analyze the sales numbers, there's debate.  For example, what defines the Triangle?  Does one count the production for an office in Fayetteville, owned by a company that primarily operates in Raleigh? Second, what defines a company?  Strictly speaking, ownership or ownership groups define a singular unit.  In our market, that would eliminate two of the truly biggest organizations from contention for top-spot recognition.  They have separate ownership groups for each office, but they operate under a national brand name.  

So, for my analysis, I decided to think like a consumer:   If I see the same logo on two offices, I am going to assume they are the same company.  With that in mind, I spent about an hour today looking at the sales data for the past 12 months in the Triangle market.   There are three companies that are waaaaaaay out front in sales totals.  We won't catch them. Ever. That's not our goal.  There are others we probably will surpass in sales, one of them probably this year. 

What surprised me today is where we DO stand in the Triangle market.  Internally, we think of ourselves as a start-up company. We scratch and claw, we invent, we try new approaches, and we hope with fervor that it will work.  Apparently, it does.    We are now a major company in our market in terms of agent count, number of offices, and sales volume. We went from fighting the big boys to becoming one of them. We won't adopt their style of thinking, but we are with them in the arena of results.  We are the only major company in our market to double our sales volume last year. And the year before. Oh yeah, that was the Great Recession.  This year, everybody's growing; the market's up about 30%.  We are on pace to double again - currently we are pacing for 90% improvement. 

I simply want to say congratulations to our agents, our Angels, and our BICs.  You've done something  totally magnificent.  In 41 months, you've built the tenth most productive general brokerage brand in the Triangle.   The bullies are nervous.  We'll keep improving your experience.