• Purposeful Growth
  • Recognized for Excellence
  • Successful Outcomes
  • Mentorship Matters
  • Values-Based Learning
  • Purposeful Growth
  • Recognized for Excellence
  • Successful Outcomes
  • Mentorship Matters
  • Values-Based Learning
  • Ribbon
  • Ribbon
  • Ribbon
  • Ribbon
Thoughts from Machu Picchu
After a week away high in the Andes Mountains and down in the Valle Segundo (Sacred Valley) of Peru I was able to have some needed me time, to refresh, recharge the batteries and gain some clarity for Mid-Year 2013. You have probably seen pictures of the famous Machu Picchu though nothing can compare to being there in some of the coolest original real estate on earth. The Quechua (now better known as the Incan) civilization was immensely advanced to have executed their engineering and it was in part through a deep collaborative effort that was pervasive in their society. Common values were important. Everyone played a role. And the sum of those roles lead to monumental achievements. My family, self and each of you were in my thoughts and this lead me to write this email to you.Upon my return I am charged to move forward with ferocity, to reflect on recent accomplishments though attack new opportunities, to work toward creating balance in our lives yet ensure that each of we are growing in the direction, capacity and level that we each desire. We have a tremendous pool of talent in our organization. This talent comes in the form of appraisers, sales agents, property managers, support staff, attorneys, construction managers, affordable housing specialists, credit repair specialists, speakers, mentors, coaches, teachers, motivators, networkers, maintenance staff, and bookkeepers (yes, I was not going to forget Ann – she writes the checks!). While it is not many hundreds of years like the Incan empire, our collective experience includes decades of private market and government sector work throughout the region. It was difficult to fathom how the Incan society could build intricate terraced villages in the vertically sloped mountainsides of the Andean range. There is little written evidence of the tools or methods that were used as the Spanish invaders are said to have destroyed it while spreading their Catholic message. What is known was that it was a collaborative society. Today, It would be to each of our benefit here at Higgins & Welch Real Estate if we better utilized these collective experiences and communicated with each other for support – to be more successful as a group than individually. To quote Richard Anderson (CEO of Delta Airlines) which delivered me from Atlanta to Lima, Peru, “I’ve found that common values are far better than any detailed manual could ever be.” There has been a terrific collaborative effort amongst many of the sales agents as co-agents and between the property managers and sales agents and I would like to see this continue throughout the organization. Appraisers can rely on sales agents and fellow appraisers for survey questions and supportive data in reports. Agents can rely on appraisers for insight on current market trends. Everyone can better document their efforts and research on the S:\\ drive for others to reference. A common set of values is another way of finding like-minded people, and for believing in what you do. I welcome and will support each of you to affect other efforts that would help streamline and better our organization. Each of you has an important symbolic gift that I have brought back from Peru. It is a replica of the Chakana, the Incan equivalent of the Catholic holy Cross or known in other civilizations the “tree of life.” Its core meaning revolves around balance – male and female; night and day; rainy season and dry season; strength and weakness. This Chakana reminded me of the core balance of our organization. Appraisal work is generated through the sales and property management; sales are generated through the appraisal and property management; and property management is generated from the sales and appraisal. To quote our Rental Team motto (Guess Who?), “Team work makes the dream work.” To the appraisers and team: I am continuing to diversify our client base so that the tradition of ample workflow continues; that the lower fees are balanced by higher fees; that the appraiser can focus solely on the effort that is the best use of their time – appraising real property. As we come closer to current appraisal trainees becoming licensed, we are also looking for already certified appraisers to join our team. A larger team of qualified appraisers means uninterrupted workflow and coverage of vacation times for our clients. In the coming months I will be shifting a large portion of my time to the evolution of the valuation department. To the sales agents and team: I am committed to providing additional support individually. Some of you have discussed with me the desire for more accountability. I have committed to delegating more responsibility so that I can dedicate more time to tailoring that support and accountability Plan for you. The process here is simple – the more I can trust and rely upon you, the more work and leads I am happy to provide. This is a trust and reliance that the client is being serviced at the highest level, that we are communicating frequently with the client, that I am kept updated and that the transaction is properly documented in its entirety. I must respond to and convert leads faster and in order to do this, I will need to more quickly turn over the lead to you and rest assured it will be treated with care and urgency. Please see me individually as desired. You may have also noticed increased general marketing in the form of printed mailers, online ads and print ads – including a recent half page ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer and rotating online ads on Philly.com. We have several endeavors currently in the works, including inclusion as service provider in the “Home Buy Now” program; appearing in speaking engagements; inclusion in several new lead generation programs and REO programs; updated website and web presence; and maybe video media/television is in the near future with help from our resident TV producer (Guess Who?). To the property managers and team: We are balancing a sustaining mode and growth mode and will continue to grow support staff and numbers of units under management; will continue to employ current technologies like our online portal and tenant epay systems; to continue to diversify the type of units under management; and to streamline and automate our internal processes and efficiencies. The key to our success are basic principles of constant and effective communication, managing properties as we would manage our own, and in working to exceed both landlord and tenant expectations. What’s next: In the coming weeks you will see new talent joining us; the unveiling of an employee home purchase grant where the Urban Affairs Coalition will match a $500 gift from Higgins & Welch for staff purchasing a primary residence in Philadelphia; an updated website with updated resource for our clients; and the Annual Fall gathering which will take place this year at a staff members groovy Zen garden (guess who?) I am grateful to be surrounded by talented individuals and to have each of you as a member of this organization. Your hard work and value is evident and appreciated. I look forward to maintaining our chakana and to serving you for years to come. Sincerely,
Ed
rty