Well if I’ve heard it from our competitors once, I’ve heard it a hundred times… “Corporate owned is bad, Corporate owned is slow, etc. etc. etc.” For many years I believed the same thing and perpetuated that belief. Which unless we have been there, done that…bad on all of us to make such assumptions on anything, anyone, or any company, really without walking a day in those shoes. And then after nearly 20 years of working with several smaller independent brokerages and frankly loving many things about them, I made the move to the largest corporate owned Real Estate company in America. To say that I was a fish out of water would be an understatement! Almost immediately I was issued a “worldwide ID number”, given a list of usernames and passwords, and a 3 inch thick packet of orientation pamphlets, instruction sheets, and welcome letters. Of course, understand I was an employee and not an independent contractor…but I was certainly taken back regardless. Within a few weeks I was in a full day orientation meeting followed up with online ethics, anti-harassment, and, international commercial bribery classes. Not how to do it of course but what NOT to do! The look on my face when I got my tour of the enormous regional corporate office and support staff was reminiscent of the Clampetts when they arrived in Beverly Hills.
Now I’ll admit, I spent some time looking back early on in my corporate relationship and at times missing the simplicity and informality of my previous lives at the smaller independent highly personality driven firms. There was certainly some advantages to being small and nimble and I definitely admire the enormous personal investment an independent entrepreneurial owner brings to the equation when it comes to competing in a highly competitive industry like Real Estate, especially with the big brands at play in the sand box.
However, what I have learned in the past year and a half working within a very large corporation, would surprise many. The advantages FAR OUTWEIGH any of the perceived negatives. As a matter of fact, many of the things that I and others perceived as “negatives” are precisely what makes the company so great, so financially stable, and so professional. And when the perspective is changed to analyze the actual reasons behind many of the systems and processes, it becomes blindingly obvious that this is how any professional organization should be ran in America today.
Allow me to share some specific reasons a large public company offers so many more advantages and benefits to all of those affiliated with, employed by, or a customer of such a firm:
1. MAJOR DECISIONS ARE NOT MADE IN HASTE OR TOO QUICKLY – For a major decision to benefit an organization, it’s associates, employees, and the customers, time should be given to analyze and ensure that the decision can be announced, and executed upon in a clear and systematic approach. All departments involved have the opportunity to share input on their role and ability to deliver, a solid timeline is determined, and all front line employees are clearly directed on their specific roles, trained if necessary, and supported to deliver to the field. When time is given to properly and by the appropriate people, then once the decision is made, you can take it to the bank with a large company like Coldwell Banker. When a product is rolled out, it is here to stay and will not go away unless it is for an improved product/upgrade.
2. FROM THE FIELD TO THE BOARDROOM: I always though a corporate company leads from the board room down. Not here. It lives and breathes from the field to the boardroom. Input from the field is bigger than life in vison, philosophy and execution. Not only do employees and departments bring ideas, feedback and input but independent contractors and customers ideas and feedback is weighed heavily.
3. NO PERSONAL BIAS – In a large public company, decisions are made on the merit of the business objective. It is included in our education process and managed closely so that there is not a conflict of interest at any level. It’s really simple. We ask the right questions and evaluate the opportunities with full disclosures, proper checks and balances. Will it help grow the business, make the business more efficient, assist our independent contracts and customers, and reduce risk and liability exposure for all involved? It’s not about the person proposing it, or someones personal feelings or agendas. If the business and it’s people and customers will benefit, then it’s a no brainer and put into the queue to ensure a successful implementation at a strategically appropriate time. No… It doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens at the appropriate time and for the appropriate reasons. It happens right the first time and with no chaos.
4. LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP – While it’s great to say that “the buck stops here”, no one person in a large public company has the power to hurt the entire business unit. Certainly not for long before change is made. Everyone’s focused on delivering a positive result and outcome and having levels of leadership and approval processes ensure that everyone is protected with proper gate keepers that ensure the success of the organization as well as it’s longevity!
5. NO DRAMA – Just business! Drama serves no business purpose. Only personal agendas. It is unfair as well as unprofessional for drama to be brought into a professional organization at any level. Large corporations are able to manage this a lot more effectively than smaller mom/pop shops where personal dramas not only can interrupt business emotionally but financially.
6. SUCCESSES ARE REPEATED, FAILURES ARE NOT – Large public companies are held on high expectation and performance plans NOT to repeat them, especially in this day and age. Failures can make national headlines in large public companies as we have seen in past years. This scrutiny forces better decision making processes. This is good for all who are involved in and around corporate companies. Sign me up!
7. TRUE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT SUPPORT- The people make the business and in large public companies there is no higher priority than the fair and respectful treatment of its people. No one is above the law or the rules regardless of position in the company. Checks, balances, processes, and
experienced HR personnel are in place to ensure everyone is treated fairly and properly. Continuous training/education is in place to keep everyone abreast and up to date on all applicable laws, policies, and procedures. This creates a phenomenal work environment for everyone in the company leading to higher levels of productivity and service. Everyone knows exactly where they stand in the company at all times.
8. FINANCIAL RESOURCES – It goes without saying that with the extraordinarily large dollars in resources that better decisions are made, problems can be solved, and time and support can be given to realize bigger and better objectives for all. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage with its size and power is the only firm I know of that even offers their own legal assitance program vs just insurance which includes claims/disapprovals, large deductibles and probable delays and red tape. Coldwell Banker’s Legal Assistance program is the only one I have ever heard of that goes all the way to $20,000,000 per transaction in claim assistance with a NO Independent sales associate dollar participation – meaning that the independent sales associates are in good hands in the event of a legal challenge. On a good note, with large financial resources, it’s no wonder CB can offer so much more advertising, technology, branch and corporate staffing -including a marketing coordinators in each branch onsite, and world class facilities.
9. FINANCIAL STABILITY – A well ran large public company will do what is necessary, absent any ego, to ensure the longevity of the business for the good of the people within it and it’s customers and shareholders at all times.
In the past year and a half, I have learned to LOVE the large corporation from a business as well as a personal perspective. I have learned that good solid business principles with healthy accountability help to dramatically clear a path for employees, and independent sales associates to focus on and thrive in their jobs at work and their families at home while having the confidence that the business will be around for a very long time. With that said, I’d say that the biggest “aha” was in seeing all of the people who have affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage since I joined, fall in love with this organization and it’s immense professionalism with no complaints about it being too “corporate”. There’s no question that there are incredible smaller companies that are amazing places to work and do a phenomenal job so this article is not intended to take away from their amazing accomplishments but rather end/clarify the perception that large “corporate” is bad in comparison. Let’s just say that there are clear benefits to each and this article was to provide another perspective – mine, one I have personally lived through for over a year and half and feel quite qualified to comment on. These are my opinions and observations and should not even be construed or reflective as the view or opinion of Coldwell Banker or other corporate companies.
In closing I would challenge anyone who is still holding on to the belief that a big “corporate” organization is bad, to pick up the phone and call any of our independent sales associates who have joined us from a smaller or non-corporate run company and ask them what they think after affiliating. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised that the last thing they say is that “Corporate” is a bad thing or a bad word! Corporate to them is resources, stability and FUN!
If you’d like to come find out why Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is such a great place to work, then feel free to email or call me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or 714-782-2723 for a confidential appointment.
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