What we’ve learnt from the Euros…
Like many of you, I have watched a lot of football recently and I’ve enjoyed every minute. It has been an opportunity to feel hopeful after a year of hopelessness. I’ve loved being part of the exciting live sport. But even when I am relaxing, I can’t help but think about estate agency and I am always looking to learn. Sport is a rich source of inspiration for me and it has guided me in much of how I run our business. I have studied sports organisations, leaders and how athletes prepare and compete to make Mr and Mrs Clarke better.
I’ve taken three keys learnings from The Euros and they are not what you would expect.
Roy Keane said that enthusiasm is vital to be a top footballer
I found this fascinating. You expect the Irish hard man to be a fan of tough tackling, tactical manoeuvring and aggressive leadership – but during one half time rant he said that without enthusiasm, a footballer will never be able to reach the top level. I whole heartedly agree. As an estate agent you have to be enthusiastic to win an instruction, show enthusiasm during viewings, be enthusiastic to advertise homes and enthuse other people to progress to a sale. Without enthusiasm you can’t be the best estate agent out there.
Some people misinterpret the word enthusiasm for a child like freneticism. They are wrong, enthusiasm is a state of believe for something and the ability to communicate that. We have all viewed properties when the agent has no issue with showing you that he would rather be somewhere else. In fact, I viewed a house with my family a coupe of days ago that we were very interested in buying, and the agent was so lacklustre and so miserable that it put us off. If he didn’t want to be there, or if he was bored of showing people around homes – because that is what he done for the past thirty years – then it puts doubt in a viewers head about the property.
Home sellers want an agent who shows excitement and passion for the home and the job. A buyer wants some fun and interest on a viewing. Solicitors need to think that the agent is excited about the home they are working on to get the job done quickly and well.
When I talk to agents who want to join Mr and Mrs Clarke as a self-employed agent I need to see enthusiasm, because without it, they will never succeed.
Risk Takers are required to win
Watch the football teams who do well and there will always be someone with a spark that lights up the game, a player that can single handedly transform a match with a trick or a burst of pace. Those players have had coaches who have allowed them to express themselves and try things out without the fear of failure. The same goes in business – you have to be prepared to take risks and face failure otherwise you will not succeed. The holding centre midfielders and the dependable centre backs are pivotal to a team, and they are the equivalent of the reliable valuers in estate agency. These people are vital for the team but they are not going to win you “best agency in the area” award. It is Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Christiano Ronaldo who win games.
Now don’t be fooled in thinking that Phil Foden or Marcus Rashford are just show ponies who produce flicks and tricks for the sake of it. Far from it. The sublime talent is built on the foundation of hard work, hours of practice, mastery of the basics and the willingness to work for the team.
In the fast growing “self-employed” part of the estate agency industry, it is the risk takers that will succeed. Those people who are prepared to seek a challenge and try things, even when the going is tough. There are people at Mr and Mrs Clarke who look very cool on social media and produce clever marketing and run their business in a different way, but behind that glamour and the big commissions there is a lot of hard work and hours of graft. Our top performing Partners at Mr and Mrs Clarke are willing to fail in something in order to learn, improve and ultimately succeed. Like a good football coach, we embrace risk and encourage our team to try new things because it is only when there is a culture that supports risk that you will truly grow.
The best team will win
This is the most obvious of my three observations, but we all need reminding of it in business. If you surround yourself with great people you will learn and you will succeed. Take Italy as an example in this tournament – not many people can name every player and there is no mega star, but the collective is great. They are led by a superb manager, they have experience in key positions and they have youthful flair in other areas of the pitch. The diversity is key to the groups’ success and the blending of the parts to make a winning team is why they have done well.
At Mr and Mrs Clarke we are one big team, all pulling together to succeed. The self-employed estate agency model has a reputation of being lonely and disparate. In our company we foster a community spidery where we support each other. There is the backroom staff of designers, social media experts and support staff who work to allow Partners to succeed. But it is the Partners themselves who all share knowledge with each other to help them run their own great business. It is the part of the company that I am most proud of – we have welcomed a team of great individuals into the team and they are all succeeding.
To become a Partner at Mr and Mrs Clarke, you have to be the best. Some of our team have come from other industries and some have years of experience in estate agency. But each Partner is a winner, a team player, a super star at something. We will only ever have the best on our team and that is why this company is a place that is attracting interest from some wonderful people.
At the time I write this England are still in the tournament and I very much hope by the time it is published that we remain. I will watch the rest of the Euros with one eye on the football and one eye on how it can aid Mr and Mrs Clarke be the winning estate agency in the UK. Of course, like many things, optimism helps and we at Mr and Mrs Clarke have a bucketload of it.