You don’t become the world’s largest private sale real estate franchise network by playing small. Industry disruptors PropertyGuys.com may have had humble beginnings back in 1998, but their explosive growth can be attributed to big picture vision, strategy and persistent execution. This New Brunswick success story makes us extra NB Proud.
123 locations (and a global presence) later and it's clear that PropertyGuys.com continues to deploy competitive intelligence to their advantage. Here are the 5 things that every company can learn from these industry disruptors:
1. They Focus On Solving Their Clients' Pain
When developing a product or service, your success is highly dependent on whether you’re solving your clients' pain. If the solution that you’re offering doesn’t relieve a significant pain for your target customer, your chances of long-term success are significantly diminished.
In a Fast Company article titled: "Why customer pain is your most important resource", the authors guide readers to understand that customer pain should be considered at every step of the product development and marketing journeys. They say: "Think of things that people find disturbing, frustrating, urgent or uncomfortable. Then, with the pain clearly recognized and in mind, switch gears and develop cures. Focus on healing. Let that be your guide as you try to invent a venture that will make the pain go away."
Despite 17 years of evolution, PropertyGuys.com has never wavered from the same client pain: high commissions typical of the real estate industry. The cure? The PropertyGuys.com system, tools and people available at a fraction of the cost of an average full-service agent.
2. They Take Inspiration From Outside Their Industry
"Thomas Edison, who was a methodical inventor, once said: “to invent you need an imagination and a pile of junk” (aka stimuli). One of the very best forms of stimuli comes from looking at other industries for ideas, relevant analogies, and problem solving." - Forbes, The Power of Benchmarking and Other Industries To Generate Breakthrough Innovation Ideas
Looking to industries that innovate or grow faster that yours can be a tremendous source of intelligence and information for your business strategy. What’s wrong with reinventing the wheel and using it in your own industry? That's exactly what PropertyGuys.com did.
According to Wikipedia, PropertyGuys.com founders took inspiration from the success of Hotmail back in 1998. At the time of their launch, homebuyers relied on their Realtors to provide printed listings and online home search was an idea of the future. Creating an online platform that connected buyers & sellers was completely revolutionary. Today, PropertyGuys.com looks to organizations like Uber and AirBnb for inspiration on mapping their next steps.
3. They Stay True To Their Unique Value Proposition
A company’s unique value proposition (UVP) tells customers exactly WHY they should use their service or product. While many organizations articulate a value proposition, too many fail to make it “unique.” How do you make a value proposition unique? By disrupting a widely-held industry stereotype.
According to Forbes, "Developing strong value propositions not only makes it easier to connect with target audiences but it establishes a foundation upon which a company’s marketing and sales activities can be built upon. It also provides employees with a consistent and cohesive way to talk about what they’re doing."
PropertyGuys.com has maintained their UVP, “Keep More Of Your Money”, by building online tools, systems and networks that empower homeowners to bypass traditional industry norms. The magic is in the fact that their unique value proposition is deeply imbedded in the culture and values of every person who works at PropertyGuys.com – it runs much deeper than a statement or sales pitch.
4. They Focus
Leveraging your strengths is not a new concept, yet many companies fail to execute this in their operations. “When employees feel that their company cares and encourages them to make the most of their strengths, they are more likely to respond with increased discretionary effort, a stronger work ethic, and more enthusiasm and commitment.” according to Fast Company.
The most successful leaders focus on what they’re best at and get out of the way of their people, who are busy focusing on what THEY’RE best at.
"We don't own a corporate location and that's intentional," says founder, Ken Leblanc. "Our focus is on supporting our franchisees and not running a local business, so we adapt quickly to trends and moves in the market." By choosing not to own corporate locations, PropertyGuys.com is able to maintain a cloud-level view of their industry to plan big picture strategy and help franchisees laser focus on tactical execution. The result is inevitable growth and progress.
5. They Never Stop Innovating
There is no shortage of organizations that have failed in the past decade due to lack of innovation. As the pace of innovation speeds up globally, organizations who rest on their laurels stance little chance of long-term sustainability. A culture of innovation is now a basic requirement of success.
To create an innovative culture, managers need to make sure that all employees know that innovation is a job requirement. It should be woven into the fabric of the business and given a prominent place in job descriptions, procedures, and performance evaluations. Innovation should be defined to include incremental as well as revolutionary improvements. - Business Insider
When you meet a member of the PropertyGuys.com team, you are always greeted with enthusiasm and a sense of excitement about “what’s new.” A solid commitment to understanding external factors allows the team at PropertyGuys.com to build strategy and deploy tactics that continue to reshape their entire industry, two steps ahead of everyone else. Initiatives like PropertyGuys.com University, the RealEstate Pro package, PG Direct and WelcomeMat are examples of PG’s commitment to innovation. With their insight and initiative, we can’t wait to see what’s coming next.
Interested in learning how to deploy competitive intelligence to your advantage like PropertyGuys.com does? There are still a few spots left in our upcoming Competitive Intelligence workshop series. Sign up today before they're all gone!