Idea Generation

Idea Generation

Idea Generation

The most terrifying part of opening a brokerage is idea generation. Some people tend to made of ideas while others can go their entire life without one good idea. The good news is that you don’t need to be naturally creative to come up with new ideas, you just need to know where to look. 

In developing ideas in a service based environment you are going to start out by creating incremental innovations where you focus on existing ideas while tuning them along the way (Olsen, et al, 2004). To do this, you will be copying your competition. This type of innovation will require that you copy the competition. Once you are stabilized, you’ll focus on long-term success through innovation. In this you’ll engage discontinuous innovation where you take a broader view of market trends and develop the necessary capabilities to capitalize on major market shifts (Olsen, et al, 2004). In this strategy you’ll attempt to capitalize on first-mover advantage by diagnosing and responding to customer needs (Olsen, et al, 2004). You’ll scan your current marketplace for customer pain points and then you’ll scan the marketplace to find innovative solutions.
Copy Your Competition
In “The Talent Code,” Daniel Coyle suggests that success often involves shamelessly adopting, adapting, and integrating ideas from others (Coyle, 2009). In the world of real estate this means scanning the competition adopting that which has already proven effective. If you are starting a brokerage from scratch then a great way to get started is to copy anything and everything you find.
Copying the competition has never been so easy, all one has to do is hire a conveyancer or marketing personnel who left a competing brokerage. They’ll come on board and tell you everything they know. They’ll do this because they are already trained in the systems at the previous organization and would often prefer to work with the systems they already know and like. The person leaving the brokerage likely feels little loyalty to their predecessor but feels a need to impress you. Because of this, you can pretty much learn everything you need to know about the competition and how to run the systems of the most efficient brokerage in town, simply by hiring a conveyancer, receptionist or marketing person who used to work there.
A Word of Warning About Copying the Competition
I’m sorry for the contradiction, I just told you to copy the competition and now we are going to talk about why it’s a bad idea. When we get stuck on copying each other we may also lose originality. We see the competition and the greatness they possess so we copy a few of their ideas and it works out for us. We develop the mindset that they are industry leaders and we set out copying everything they do. This is a problem, as while the company you are copying has some very good habits, it also has some terrible habits too.
A colleague of mine shared a recent experience where he had met with two very similar organizations, too similar to be an accident. This type of replication happens when one organization sets out to copy the other. The organization doing the copying engaged in a single loop learning style where they focused on adaptive learning, focusing on taking an industry standard and making incremental improvements while relying on the prevailing mental model. The brokerage they were copying was successful in many areas, recruitment in particular but they failed to consider their competitor’s retention. Should they have engaged in a double loop learning model also called generative learning, then they would have questioned the theories and mental models of the recruitment styles used in the overall industry. Using the double loop learning model would have required them to look at the models in use outside of the immediate industries for improvements, while looking at other mitigating factors such as turnover. In doing so they would’ve seen that while the organization they were copying has a core competence in recruitment, they are also experiencing a functional weakness in retention. Retention problems are often a result of errors in the recruitment process, meaning that by copying the other brokerage’s model, one can assume they will also be inheriting the problem of rapid turnover.

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