It was nearly a year and a half ago that my business partner, Mark and I decided it was time to focus more attention on the growth of MacDoc Realty, our real estate brokerage. We felt that we had something special and with a change in direction we could take a small “mom and pop” brokerage and grow it into a regional and national presence.
What happened next was hard for most people to understand. In fact, this move towards growth looked more like a move of weakness.
Our first move towards growth was subtraction. That is correct. We knew what we wanted and we also knew what would keep us from getting there. Instead of trying to please everyone during the process of remodeling our business we simply changed policy and downsized our office space. We knew the change in policy could cause several agents to leave us but we felt like it was worth the risk in order to grow to the levels we envisioned.
After the dust settled we were left with half the agents we started with. We moved our office to a more efficient space and we had a period of 6-12 months of stagnant growth. However, we continued to see that sometimes the greatest addition is subtraction!
During this time we were able to implement policies and procedures that allowed us to grow systematically. We are system driven, not personality driven. We are agent focused, not brokerage focused. And, we have the most exciting programs in the industry for our current and future agents. Our volume and transactions are exceeding those before the subtraction and our growth has become hard to contain!
I am convinced that this could not have happened without subtraction! With subtraction we were able to control our cost, eliminate distractions and focus on systems that would bring us to greater levels.
This principle works in all areas of our lives and business. What do you need to subtract in your business or life in order to grow? What friends are you surrounding yourself with that need to be subtracted so you can grow personally? What employee needs to be subtracted so that others can be more productive? What habits, mindsets or attitudes must be subtracted in order that you may move onto greater things?