Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today's lesson is about power. I could make it a really short lesson (and I should, since I need to motor soon) and sum it up by saying Power is only as strong as the people that give it to you.

So there's a new game in town, title-wise, and because it is being run by a very well-respected man, it's got the industry a little bit rattled. The big guns in the area have suffered a few casualties as a result of this new company, some WAY more than others (we've lost I think three people, pretty much nothing), and as of today, which I think is something like Day Eight or something, the new kid on the block is feeling pretty confident. Marketing-wise, they are doing all the things the other companies have been doing, only in a much more in-your-face way. Which isn't a bad thing, I mean, do what you gotta do. I just think it's kind of funny.

In the last few years, when the industry started to fall a little bit apart, two new-to-the-market companies came in and did their little dance, and then after two years or less promptly left. It's hard to compete. And I think they just maybe weren't doing it right. I don't know. I don't think anyone thought of them as any kind of threat, and they weren't. I do know that I spent a lot of time with one of the companies' marketing manager, and he was a cocky typical salesguy type - I loved him for that, though, because I like to be amused and also because I kind of think you need that - something to make you stand out. Camp worked for the guy.

We have an employee who was sort of manipulated into going to this most recent gig, but at the last minute she pulled back and stayed with us (which is awesome, because she rocks). She had an opportunity to be introduced to the staff, though, and reported back that things were maybe just a little TOO enthusiastic. Like forced. And even a little fake. And they can't do title work yet here in Oregon, and less than a week ago they still didn't have their escrow system developed. So, you know, there are issues. Which will happen anywhere, to anyone, and is pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things - they WILL get their stuff developed, and their letters written, and their systems in place. It will be rocky, but it always is at first. Clients will follow their favorite escrow personnel and we'll all lose a little business. But clients might be frustrated and come back, or they might be patient and stick it out. But the bottom line is this is just business, and it's nothing new.

And nothing to be really afraid of. Power is only as strong as the people who give it to you. If we worry and fret and think they are going to be somehow better, they will be. But if we act accordingly, get the word out that we are a strong, stable, consistent company, with integrity and phenomenal staff, with services far greater than what anyone else can offer, then we're fine. Never underestimate your competition, but at the same time, never give it so much power that it breaks you down.

In the meantime, good luck to my own ex-coworkers who have moved on to their own greener pasture. My green looks different. In this market, I'm sticking with a sure thing.


At 10:01 AM, May 15, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent analysis, Joycie. I could use this kind of thinking at my own company. Helen thinks you rock and you should immediately start writing a book today.

At 12:38 PM, May 16, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ditto on the post about writing a book! You are a natural born writer Joyce and I look forward to my almost daily readings from you!!! You make me smile.


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