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Secret Sauce

As a culture that's endlessly fascinated with new and better tools, the past 20 years have given our minds plenty of material to fixate on. Disruption, automation…these words have dominated almost an entire generation of leadership meetings. Want to be able to serve your customers better? Surely the answer lies in finding the right software. Simple.

Not to take anything away from the miracle that is the modern internet, or any software that helps manage workflow during a global pandemic. But what isn't being talked about these days is as old as the hills: the relationship businesses have with their employees and their customers. Technology may help you operate better and faster remotely. But throughout 2020, consumers rallied around their favorite businesses…and it wasn't necessarily about who delivered them service better and faster. It was about the businesses they had special relationships with and felt real connection to. 

The old rules of capitalism are to make the best product for the lowest price. And these days, technology is often key to that equation. But rather predictably, the old math left out one thing you can't see or buy or easily quantify: the human connection. And as it turns out, the human connection is worth its weight in gold. Technology helps businesses make fewer mistakes. But when businesses do make them--and they will--it's the relationship they have with their consumers that determines whether they will be forgiven. Technology helps businesses support their employees. But when there's tension--as inevitably there will be--it is the relationship that a business has built with its employees that determines attrition.

The old rules of capitalism are to make the best product for the lowest price. And these days, technology is often key to that equation.

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One CEO who has made headlines lately in real estate publications and beyond is Kris Lindahl of Kris Lindahl Real Estate. Scaling from an independent brokerage in 2018 to a team of hundreds of agents netting over $1 billion in sales in just two years, Kris will readily admit that his company's rapid transformation was assisted by a few innovations in technology. But as each and every one of his agents would tell you, their success is more dependent on how they communicate with their consumers. The agents who produce the most transactions each month are the same ones who are always posting videos on social media, or reaching out to past clients to wish them a happy birthday…even posting silly pictures of trying to put up a For Sale sign in the deep, Minnesotan snow.

"I've seen it time and time again, that the most successful agents are the ones who pull back the curtain, and aren't afraid to let people see who they really are. They're posting at the gym, they're talking about a recent closing, they're willing to laugh at themselves…they're putting a human face on it, and having a one-on-one relationship with everyone in their feed." Lindahl explains.

As it turns out, simply humanizing what can feel like an intimidating process is a far quicker way to gain trust and confidence than saying you have better tech tools or more years of experience than the other guy. And at the end of the day, it's paying off, both on a granular, agent to agent level, as well as company-wide. In fact, recently Kris Lindahl Real Estate has expanded its borders past Minnesota to include Wisconsin and Colorado…and will add two more states shortly.

Real estate is a unique business in many ways, but in others, it's almost a universal test case. Each agent operates like their own small business, and their behavior, and the sales it produces, can be easily tracked. When you come across a certain behavior that can absolutely predict a significant increase in revenue, and it is demonstrated time and time again, those results are hard to dismiss. And as it turns out, equal agents with access to equal technology with equal levels of experience will have vastly different results. "The successful ones build one-on-one relationships with their clients. That's the secret sauce," Lindahl concludes.

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

Could the key to growing your business be the same thing that relationship coaches, personal therapists and your best friend have been saying all these years? You do you, just be yourself, and you'll attract more people and positivity than you ever thought possible.