What what can business owners learn from selling a house?
As I write this, my husband and I are selling our house – our home for the past 27 years. When I think back on the months of preparing our home for sale, I see a lot of parallels with owning a business and some lessons learned.
So, what can a business owner learn from selling a house?
The only thing that matters is the buyer’s point of view.
Staging your home before a showing is a good idea. Pretty tablescapes and throw pillows don’t appeal to my sense of style, but they make the house more attractive to buyers. And family photos may mean love to me, but, from the buyer’s POV, they’re clutter. In your business, every transaction, from initial contact through project wrap-up and beyond, should be considered from the client’s POV.
It’s the ongoing work that counts
The everyday acts make the biggest impression, and buyers know the difference between well-maintained and a last-minute clean-up (again, looking at their POV). In your business, delivering good work and keeping clients happy day in and day out works wonders for building your reputation and business success.
Fix what doesn’t work
Even with ongoing maintenance, there are always things that need repair. Home buyers – and the inspectors – expect that everything is in working order. In your business, there’s no inspector, so you become the watchdog. Notice your results, listen for cues, and ask the person who matters – the client.
Keep what’s important, and get rid of what’s not. It’s amazing what you can collect after living in a home for 27 years, and you eventually stop noticing. From the buyers’ view? Clutter, which, apparently translates into “not enough closets.” For your business, stop and look around every so often. Decide if something’s a relic or if it really benefits the client (from their point of view, of course!).
Make it frictionless
Make it easy for clients to like you! For the home sale, the sellers agent simplifies the process by using an app for scheduling appointments and more. In business this means making it easy for clients to work with you. Find out and use their communication preferences, promptly return phone calls, keep the payment process simple.
Listen and learn
Getting feedback after showings helped us adjust course, and our agent is a font of knowledge. In your business, listen so you can learn what your client needs before coming up with solutions. And, no matter how long you’ve been in business, you always have something to learn.
Expect the unexpected
Anything can change at a moment’s notice. Something as small as a home viewing appointment with just an hour’s notice, or something as big as a pandemic. Your business may never look the same, so, what else? Stay in touch with clients, and become an expert at spotting and adapting to change.
From first impressions and beyond. Look at your entire business – processes, results, and more – from the buyer’s point of view. Early and often. Then the rest is easy.