How can you tell a full-blown problem… from a sweet opportunity? When some competitor disrupts your industry, should you freak out, or see it as a blessing in disguise?
Well, part of the answer depends on the actual situation, and using your brain and knowledge to know whether or not the writing is on the wall.
For example, when high-end digital cameras started to go mainstream, you would have done well as a manufacturer in that space to see it as a real wake-up call. If you were going to thrive under the new model, you needed to make changes.
It’s All in Your Attitude
On the other hand, underneath all the analysis and decision-making, there’s an attitude that’s probably even more important than all the “thinking” stuff. It looks something like this…
I’m not looking to stay safe and “comfortable” in my business – I strive to be the best I can be at what I do and offer that excellence to my customers. So I’m always open to new and better ways of running my business.
I don’t view competition as a threat. Instead, competition is part of the lifeblood of my business. It shows me where I can improve… reminds me of what I do best… and keeps me from becoming lazy, complacent, and mediocre. So I like it when some new player enters the market – it’s a great opportunity for me to get better at my game.
I know that automation, virtual communication, and hi-tech solutions in general (as good as they are) are no substitute for cultivating real and meaningful relationships with flesh and blood people. That’s true for my employees and teams – and it’s true for my customers. I know that a combination of “High-Touch” and “Hi-Tech” is the way to go.
Do you see what’s going on here? This is an attitude that is fundamentally focused on and looking for opportunities: to grow, expand, learn, adapt, and overcome. It’s aware of risks – but not focused on them. It wants to stay ahead of the competition and on top of trends – but it’s not afraid of these things.
So, when major changes come down the pike, this mindset insures that whatever decision you make, it will be based on an emotional state of looking for opportunities and ways to move things forward… while using your brain to evaluate and tell the difference between a real threat, and a mere reminder to make some more or less minor changes. Or, maybe, completely re-tool your entire business! It just depends. (I’ve written about this particular mental state here.)
Let me give a couple of examples of how this works. First, let’s go back in history a bit…
Believe it or not, back in the 1950s and 60s, when most people in the U.S. thought about Japanese cars, what came to mind was: cheap, rustbuckets, flimsy, undependable. They were kind of a joke. How could a bunch of Japanese upstarts ever hope to even make a dent in the mighty U.S. automobile market?
Well, the rest is history. The Japanese didn’t just make a dent – they came to dominate the world market. And their high quality and innovative approaches to manufacturing and continuous improvement ultimately forced many in the U.S. auto industry to wake up and smell the antifreeze. We had gotten complacent. We needed someone to disrupt the industry! But first, we had to see the opportunity in disguise that the Japanese companies were actually offering us…
Next, looking at the real estate industry, let’s take the buyer-side lawsuit that’s in the news these days, involving some very powerful legal folks versus the NAR, various MLS’s, and others. (I go in depth on this in the Get Real Podcast, here.)
Now, I don’t know where this is headed, exactly. But I do know this: it’s going to be very difficult for us in the real estate world to respond wisely and profitably if we’re only thinking in terms of who’s a threat to whom… “us” versus “them”… and “Why can’t we just keep doing things the way we’ve always done them?” No. That won’t cut it. If we really want to separate the risks and dangers from the opportunities, we’ve absolutely got to cultivate the mindset I laid out above. Otherwise, it’s just too easy to react, instead of respond.
As Always… It’s Up to You
It’s pretty straightforward. In business we’re always going to face challenges, disruptions, and all the rest. The only question is: will we face them well, squeezing every bit of opportunity out of them? Or will we react, more concerned with playing it safe and avoiding discomfort, than with building our business by serving our clients.
When you’re ready to take full advantage of the possibilities of investing in real estate… give us a call at (801) 990-5109 or schedule your free appointment here to build a personalized Wealth Plan. We’ll help you invest in real estate the right way…