- See your mission statement as your “why” and your vision as your what. Values are the sometimes hidden “rules” you follow that shape every decision.
You’ve probably seen a mission statement in your office. It goes up the wall, and if it’s really good, you can pause and think. Unfortunately, most mission statements are not memorable.
So why create one if it’s meant to be written down and forgotten?
When I first entered the real estate business, I didn’t see the need for a mission, vision or values statement. I would have laughed at this article because the mission was simple: to make money.
Over time, I quickly found that with no clear mission, I was adrift like a boat without an anchor or a rudder.
To save you that same misery, let’s take a look at how to create the perfect mission, vision, and value statements with advice from other agents and brokers.
Start with your “why”
A good mission statement has the power to turn your business from a business that can be successful to a business that can be important.
To craft the best mission statement, which will ultimately shape your vision for your business, you need to start with your big “why”.
In Simon Sinek’s popular Ted Talk (and later in his book) “Start with Why,he explains how big companies have a well-defined ‘why’ and how, in the end, customers want to to buy Why you are doing something against what. (Watch Simon Sinek’s talk at Inman Connect New York).
Let’s take a look at Steve Job’s mission statement for Apple when the company experienced its explosion of growth:
“Making a contribution to the world by creating tools for the mind that advance humanity. “
To note: When the company worked on this mission, it flourished, and when it took a start, it faltered. He doesn’t currently use it, so time will tell.
Let’s look at more mission statements:
“To inspire and nourish the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. ” – Starbucks
“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. “- Google
How about a popular real estate franchise:
“Building careers worth living, businesses worth owning, and lives worth living. – Keller Williams
Connect it to the lens
Vanessa Pollock, a New Jersey real estate agent who has a high performing team and also runs a nonprofit called Care Serve Give, said:
“New Agents need to dig deeper into three basic questions: How are they wired to be successful, what injustice in the world breaks their hearts that they would like to improve, and what character trait they want to be known for? When these three answers intersect, the purpose and mission are clear. “
Customers and team members love to know that what they’re doing has a bigger impact than just a transaction.
Make it portable
Andy Stanley, bestselling author, speaker, and mega-church pastor, said a mission statement should be portable.
In fact, when I went to write this I wanted to use Disney’s famous “Making People Happy”, but its new mission statement is hardly portable.
You should be able to remember it and take it with you.
“Ask what makes you unique and what do you plan to do better than anyone else,” suggested Chris LaGarde, Real Estate Team Leader in Pennsylvania.
Premium: Combine your personal mission and that of your clients.
It’s a subject that fascinates me quite a bit. When I was in real estate full time, our mission was to “move families forward”. This mission statement grew out of our purpose to help families in the days of short selling.
“I think the best way for officers to create their mission statement is to find out who they are, why they serve the people they serve, and what gets them out of bed in the morning,” said Wendy Foreman, Officer real estate in Oklahoma City.
- Write as many mission statements as you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full paragraph.
- Then get rid of any non-essential wording. Try to reduce it to one sentence.
- Ask key questions: is it memorable? Is it brandable? Does it turn you on?
Making a vision
If the mission is the reason the business exists, then the vision is the image of the future business.
If the mission is the “why” then the vision is the what.
“The importance of a vision, a mission and a composition of values for a company is that it provides the map and the compass of the company. The vision is or you are going (the destination), ”said Christopher Hart, real estate agent and coach.
Developing a vision does not have to be as artistic as creating a mission statement. In fact, I contend that those supposed mission statements that you find so forgettable are actually missionless vision statements.
For example, “be the real estate company of choice”. It’s hardly creative or inspiring, but when paired with the right mission and the right values, it’s enough.
The best vision statements are the ones that clarify your purpose.
So while the mission can really be about anything that you are passionate about, a vision is probably about what you do and where you go.
Reilly McGregor, of Harborview Realty in Marco Island, Fla., Said, “Make sure it’s something that you believe in yourself and practice on a daily basis. If you don’t believe it and live it, the public won’t believe you.
Starbucks’ vision statement is: “To establish Starbucks as the leading supplier of the best coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.” “
Chris LaGarde combined his mission and vision to “Dramatically Influence Lives Through Real Estate”.
His real estate company has for mission impact lives, and his vision is by real estate.
Finally, your vision will change over time. While your mission may or may not change, your vision will continually change.
“Your vision will evolve. When I started my vision was centered on me and my personal goals. Now that my wife has joined me and now that my children are interested in the family business, my vision is evolving to include their perspectives, ”explained Abraham Walker, an agent based in Virginia.
One thing that will probably never change is your values. In my opinion, you could easily start this process here, with values first. Values are the sometimes hidden “rules” you follow that shape every decision.
As a real estate agent, you must first understand that you are a business. Second, you need to define your values, or you run the risk of adhering to someone else’s values because yours have never been clearly defined.
Typically, values are words we all know like integrity, honesty, and growth. To better assist you in this exercise, let me walk you through a clarification exercise.
Value clarification exercise
- Write down any traits or values you subscribe to. It can be money, adventure, fun, growth, honesty – feel free to make this list for as long as you like.
- Now go through your list and select your top 10 to 12.
- Now go through that same list and pick your top five to eight.
- Bonus: if you really want to learn more about yourself, pick one.
There are no wrong answers here. Among your 10 to 12 tops, which ones define you, your real estate business, and if you really want to nail it, add the values of your potential clients.
Dr Rob McCleland, Former CEO of TEAM and Founder of LeaderTribe, said: “Integrity, Sincerity, Service”. These are just “permits to gamble” in today’s economy. Your values should be who you really are. What are you prepared to die for? Say that! So be prepared to prove it to your customers.
Creating a mission, vision and values (MVV) statement is not just a business exercise that you perform and archive. It becomes the driving force that gives your business (and sometimes your life) true purpose and ultimate uniqueness.
To put it another way, it can become the filter with which you process every decision. Lead generation, hiring, and customer service can all go through this new MVV filter.
So whether you are a brand new agent or a seasoned agent, taking the time to clearly define your mission, vision and values is time well spent.
Joshua Jarvis is a Digital Marketing Specialist at 4rd Marketing in Atlanta, Georgia. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.