Bigger Only If Better

One thing I have personally thought a lot about in the last year has been how to make sure as Knot 10 grows the perception of the buyer or seller is BETTER as opposed to bigger or too large. That concern stems from many examples of companies that lose their way and core values as they become larger and more diffuse. I had a great realization and example of how BIGGER can MEAN BETTER in a recent real estate experience when selling our home.

As we shopped 3 different realtors I was most impressed with the largest firm we interviewed. The pitch was right, the information correct & presented well, and the advertising simply better. As we signed the agreement with this firm my only concern was whether they were too large and we would be not given the personal service and handholding a smaller more focused realtor could give us. Within 1 week of listing this concern was GONE and I was so blown away by this companies organization that I knew I made the right decision. 59 days later we sold our home which of course we priced below market and went aggressive to get traffic but the experience with this firm was FIRST CLASS and one I will use to improve our company as we grow. What made the difference was execution, technology, and communication. They actually made being BIGGER being BETTER in my encounter with them and from this I found a clear path of how Knot 10 will strive for the same consistency and experience.

As we have grown from 1 office with 2 people into 3 locations with 7 full-time brokers and 200+ boats I worry about what you the customer perceives us to be. We know what core values have led to our success which have zero to do with a 7% commission. It has to do with the communication, advertising, and clear plan we lay out to sellers that attract the listings. For buyers we know by presenting quality listings with professional layouts, quick phone and email response, and lots of advertising in print that you shop our boats first. But as we grow I can assure you that the focus has to remain on BIGGER equating to BETTER and one way we can do that is to use technology to improve.

We have already invested in a server-based system which allow all of our offices to be networked together so that a broker in CT who knows he has a buyer for a specific boat can key that buyer into our system and match him to a boat a broker in MD may have incoming. We speak with so many buyers and sellers that the need to use this technology was easy to pay for. I have personally made it pay off with buyers we meet at a boat show looking for a boat that we don’t have that day. One month later that boat hits our office and we reach out to the buyer who immediately comes to see it. It pays for itself and as we grow the system works better.

The one place where we will be focusing on is follow-up and communication with our sellers. As a seller you want and deserve feedback. This is probably one of the more challenging aspects for us to improve on but one that I assure you we will get better by using tools that make it easier. I have been investigating and testing programs that allow us to give you automated feedback and history of your boat showings. Getting it right is tricky as no off the shelf systems exist catered to the boating world. There are plenty that exist for Realtors which is how I became exposed to them but getting something that translates to boats is taking a little bit of time and research.

The key point of this blog entry is that we realize that we have a built a company that has enjoyed a rapid rise, fueled only by perception of the customer and execution of the core values by the staff. We have every intent on improving that perception and making sure BIGGER MEANS BETTER today, tomorrow, and many years into the future.

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