Look outside your industry for inspiration

Too often in business, we look to our industry for cues. We think too small and spend precious resources worrying about what those around us are doing. We wonder what competitors are doing, how much they’re charging, and how we’re different.

We all play in our little worlds and rarely look outside of them. There are moments where we get new perspectives, like when with friends and family – catching up and relaxed in conversation. Something they say might spark a new idea or solve a problem, far from where we’d usually look for answers.

When we transcend the ‘that’s not how we do things’? ‘that wouldn’t work for us’ limited thinking, there’s room for playfulness, experimentation and visionary leadership.

Some of my biggest business development wins have come from drawing inspiration outside of real estate. At Nitschke, our competitors aren’t just the other real estate agencies in the Adelaide Hills but every business in the region.

Coffee shops, architecture firms, accountants, bakeries, clothing stores, and builders – all these businesses service our clients, too. The experiences with other businesses inform how a client perceives us.

Real estate doesn’t exist in a silo.

By going outside of our world at Nitschke, I’ve been able to draw characteristics from other industries and bring them into real estate. I didn’t want to be like every other company where, by regurgitating the same-old in our industry, we wouldn’t be serving anyone – not us, our clients or the industry I love.

Real estate was missing intimacy. It’s always been there, but the industry loves to focus on record sales prices, luxury homes and energetic auctions. Missing the relationship part – supporting clients through the many life- stages and homes – does the industry a disservice.

The business growth and positioning framework we run today could work in any industry. Yes, we’ve created and curated it to work for us, but the guiding principles and processes are universal.

We’ve codified and gamified workflows, so much so that our performance improvement has become fun. Our quarterly goals and KPIs take inspiration from the start-up world. On the last business day of March 2023, our whole team rallied to help our sales team hit their quarterly goal. They were 25 contacts short at 3.00pm and by the end of the day, with the help of all departments, sales surpassed their KPI.

That kind of team spirit and support just doesn’t happen in real estate. In a sales industry that’s often ‘every man for himself’, we’re rewriting the rules. The same team building strategy can be applied to any industry.

Look for adjacent industries and reflect on what you love about them. Explore companies that have nothing in common with yours. Look where you normally wouldn’t. Open your mind to the possibilities. Venture into other ‘worlds’ and bring what you love back into your own, into the work that you do.

Surprise those you serve. Transcend business-as-usual. Innovate, in the smallest, simplest ways. Help realise and fulfil their desires – you’ll have a client, and business, for life.