If you are setting out to start your own real estate team or brokerage, the first step is to create your Mission, Vision, and Values Statement (MVV). The reason you need to take the time to develop your MVV is because, quite literally, every decision you make going forward will be made from the perspective of your Mission (why you are doing it), Vision (what it looks like when you achieve it), and Values (what ideals, standards, and rules will you follow to achieve it).
Furthermore, your MVV will provide direction for your employees and help your customers differentiate you from your competition.
Ideally, you create your MVV before you hire your first employee or recruit your first agent, but if you have already started your brokerage, it is not too late to do this. This is because your MVV will help you identify the best people to join you on the journey. It will also help you make the difficult decisions about where to spend your time and money, and finally it will differentiate you from your competition.
Let’s dig in!
The Mission Statement
The Mission Statement is a statement of the difference you wish to make in your community, demographic, or industry. It is the opposite of what you see that is wrong. It is the main reason you started your team or brokerage. This is important because it gives you and your organization a singular purpose and something to fight for. It can also inspire your customers and create raving fans.
If we were sitting alone and I asked you, “Tell me why you really want to start a real estate brokerage?” would you answer, “Because I wish to educate renters to build generational wealth by becoming homeowners”? Or would you say, “So I could keep more money in my pocket”?
Money Alone Is Not a Mission
I know what you are thinking—saving money may be your real mission, but you wouldn’t share that mission statement with other people. The truth is the real reason always finds its way out. It will come out in the decisions you make when you are under stress. The problem is if your real reason doesn’t serve others, it won’t inspire others either.
Now, if I am a talented employee or agent interviewing your brokerage, what statement would be more inspiring? That I am building a brokerage that educates renters to become homeowners or that I’m just in it to make a quick buck? If I am someone who feels passionate about helping an underserved community, I would be excited to be a part of an organization that makes this a priority.
The objective of the Mission Statement is to create a message that attracts the right employees, agents, and customers to fulfill your vision.
Examples of Inspiring Mission Statements
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet.
Keller Williams Realty
To build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving.
How to Write an Inspiring Mission Statement for Your Real Estate Brokerage
Your Mission Statement should be a global statement of what difference your brokerage wishes to make in a demographic, community, industry, or the world. It is a short statement. If it’s too long, chances are you’re not focusing hard enough on your core values. If you can’t define your why and what your brokerage’s purpose is, then there is zero chance your agents will either. In order to be successful, agents need a mission too. In my experience, agents who are only in it for the money burn out fast.
Decide what it is you stand for. This is the solution or the change you would like to see.
Determine who (demographic, community, or industry) this problem directly impacts.
What is the result your solution or change will make in your community?
Now write out your statement as follows:
“Our Mission is to (solve the problem or change) so that (demographic, community, or industry) can (result).
If you are still having trouble uncovering your Mission Statement, I have found with my coaching clients that if they write a short story about why they originally decided to get into real estate, they will find their “why” within the story.
Once you have completed a Mission Statement that will attract talented employees and real estate agents, you must next create a vision that you will all focus on, making it come to reality.
The Vision Statement
The objective of a Vision Statement is to create a mental picture of what the world will look like when your brokerage realizes the goal you set out to achieve with your Mission Statement. Don’t worry too much about being “realistic.” Your vision can—and should—be aspirational and audacious. This is something to strive toward, not necessarily something you will or even can achieve.
Why an Audacious Vision Statement Is Crucial to Your Brokerage’s Success
Big goals require a big vision. This is also true for your brokerage. An audacious vision statement creates excitement, focus, and commitment.
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, created the vision to “put a computer on every desk in every home.” Do you believe he would have accomplished all that he has without this vision for his company?
The Vision Statement gives direction for everyone in the company as to what they are starting to achieve. Think of the Mission Statement as the “Why” and the Vision Statement as the “What.”
The Vision Statement also guides decisions that will affect your employees, agents, customers, and objectives alike. Every important decision MUST be made with the Vision in mind.
Examples of Powerful Vision Statements
To continue being one of the leading firms of the internet entertainment era.
To make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone.
The Beliveau Group of EXP Realty
To be the real estate team of choice for buyers, sellers, Realtors, and highly talented professionals who value relationships over transactions, superior work, and community impact.
How to Create a Powerful Vision Statement for Your Real Estate Brokerage
Your real estate team or brokerage’s Vision Statement only needs to be one to two sentences. Ideally, it is easily memorizable by your employees, agents, and customers. Yes, I said customers.
That means you need to take the time to make your Vision Statement not only represent what you want for yourself and your employees, but also represent your customers’ interests. This will be something you can use in your marketing and branding, so make sound appealing, polished, and professional.
Begin by thinking about your real estate brokerage three to five years in the future. Far enough out that you have time to achieve something big, but not so far in the future that you lose interest.
Ask yourself: If you and your brokerage work as hard as you possibly can, and assuming the market plays along, what can you accomplish?
Write it down. It’s that simple!
Great job! The last piece of the puzzle is to determine the self-imposed rules that you and your team must abide by to achieve the Vision.
Your Brokerage’s Core Values
To achieve your Mission and Vision, the members of your real estate brokerage must know the standards, or “the rules that need to be followed in order to achieve your vision.” These are not simply the laws set out by the local and national governing bodies. Nor are they the ethics guidelines of the National Association of REALTORS. These are self-imposed ideals, rules, and standards that set you apart from your competitors.
How Core Values Direct Employee Decisions
Think about your favorite restaurant: What if they decided to cut corners and buy lower-quality food but still charge you the same amount, just to increase profits. How would you feel about that?
Great restaurants like Morton’s have Core Values (“We will offer only the finest products—anywhere, any time, at any cost”) that reflect high-quality products. This Core Value directs the employees to not cut corners when it comes to purchasing food. Without Core Values, your agents, employees, and even you may take shortcuts in order to achieve your Mission.
Other companies set extremely high standards with their Core Values. The outdoor clothing company Patagonia’s values include to “cause no unnecessary harm” and to “use business to protect nature.” These values guide them to make repairs to their clothing for free and also offer free recycling in order to prevent their clothes from ending up in landfills. This guiding value not only helps reduce the impact on the environment—it also increases customer and employee loyalty.
Core Values can also direct team members to remove barriers or rules in order to change an industry. Uber, for instance, knew that in order for them to achieve their Vision (“To make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone”) they would have to challenge the existing laws preventing people from providing taxi services—and they did!
Uber solved this with the Core Value of Principled Confrontation. This meant that “sometimes the world and institutions need to change in order for the future to be ushered in.”
Examples of Core Values for a Real Estate Brokerage
- Honesty: We always tell the truth, no matter how difficult.
- Quality: We put pride in our work and stand by it.
- Learning-based: We are always learning and growing.
- Professionalism: We work and present ourselves with respect and dignity.
- Efficiency: We seek not to waste time or money.
- Win-Win: Win-Win or No Deal
- Be the Best: Through education, service, and effort.
- Communication: Is the core of our success.
- Teamwork: You are an important member of our team.
- Trust: From our honest communication and follow-through.
How to Determine Your Core Values for Your Real Estate Brokerage
The Core Values of your brokerage will come directly from you, the founder. This is NOT a group exercise of what your team members all agree on. This is a direct reflection of the ideals, standards, and rules that you apply to yourself. This is because when we involve others in creating the Core Values of the company we end up with wishy-washy core values that don’t provide clear direction when we need it most.
The other reason the values must come from you instead of the team is because you may end up with Core Values that you, as the founder, don’t agree with or want to abide by. This will lead to hypocrisy, confusion, and conflict within your organization. Having clear values directly from the founder will provide direction for all team members and clarity when making decisions.
Steps to Create Your Core Values
Begin by listing a minimum of 10 Core Values that you have personally followed that have led you to your success in real estate. Dig deep for the personal values that have guided you to the success you have achieved thus far.
Think about difficult decisions you have had to make in the past. Maybe they have saved you from making bad judgments or revelations you had about the industry or yourself that fueled your success or have gotten you over a plateau. What Core Values have guided you to make the right decisions?
Write a short description for each Core Value that reflects what it means to you.
Example of Core Value & Description
|Honesty||No matter how difficult, we always tell the truth.|
Narrow the list to remove redundant values. Words like integrity and honesty are essentially the same. You can’t have integrity if you are not honest.
Your list of Core Values can be as few as five or as many as 10. More than 10 can be difficult for your team members to remember. Don’t go too crazy with this, but taking the time now to distill your Core Values into a succinct statement will pay dividends for many years.
A Quick Word of Warning
Before you finish this exercise and close your notebook for it to never be seen again, understand that learning how to use your MVV, which we cover next, will dramatically increase your effectiveness in leading your team and attracting the right customers.
You didn’t come this far to only come this far! Learn how to use your inspiring Mission, Vision, and Values to lead your real estate brokerage to success!
How to Effectively Use Your Mission, Vision & Values to Lead Your Real Estate Brokerage
The reason why you took so much time and effort to write your Mission, Vision, and Values is because they will be used in all aspects of running your real estate brokerage: from hiring employees and recruiting agents to attracting customers and managing conflict. Your MVV will also be at the very core of your brand. Ideally, it should be in the back of your mind and every brokerage member’s mind whenever they make a decision. Think of your MVV as your mantra. I will break these down individually.
Use Your Mission, Vision & Values in Your Hiring & Recruiting
Your Mission, Vision, and Values will determine what employees you will attract to your company. Your goal is to attract employees and agents who are in alignment with your Mission and repel the people who don’t share the same Vision and Values.
To do this, you will post your MVV directly in your ads for both employees and agents, and you will discuss it in your interview process to determine if they truly care about your MVV or if they are just looking for a job.
This will weed out the non-believers before they ever reply. This is the beauty of an inspiring MVV. It will help attract the kind of people who will fuel your long-term success, and weed out the ones who won’t. In the long run, this will save you time and money by not chasing agents to recruit, admins, and customers, or having to let go of people who don’t believe in your Mission.
Use Your Mission, Vision & Values to Attract the Right Customers
You will also use your Mission, Vision, and Values in your marketing, advertising, websites, and listing and buyer presentations. In a lot of ways, your MVV is even more important to your brand than your brokerage name and logo. Presenting your MVV to your customers will attract customers who also share your brokerages ideals. This also makes you stand out from the competition and more memorable.
Take a look at Tesla’s Mission Statement: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Now, if you are a car buyer who deeply cares about sustainable energy, Tesla’s Mission Statement would be attractive to you, right? Even if you couldn’t afford one of their cars (yet), you would have a more positive outlook of the company.
Most people believe that customers make purchasing decisions based on features and price, but the truth is it comes from a deeper place, whether it be an emotional connection, a desire to be a part of a movement, or what the product represents. Everything we purchase has a deeper meaning behind it.
When you tap into what that meaning is for your customers, they will be attracted to you and your brokerage, just like environmentally conscious car buyers are to Tesla automobiles.
Use Your Mission, Vision & Values to Make Better Decisions
Your Mission, Vision, and Values are the “guiding star” for all decisions, both big and small, for your real estate brokerage.
Think about this scenario: You are buying printer paper and you are trying to decide between the low-cost, 20-lb. copy paper and the most expensive 35-lb. cotton linen paper. If your Values include “Quality,” you obviously would choose the more expensive paper.
However, if your MVV includes “not to create unnecessary waste,” you may decide to skip buying paper altogether, and go entirely paperless. Of course, this decision would also need to be shared with your customers because they may have the expectation that you will present them with a formal printed presentation. To prevent them from feeling slighted, review your MVV in your virtual presentations.
However, if you included “don’t create unnecessary waste” in your MVV, your customer would not only already know this and not expect a printed presentation, they would also likely share that value with you. After all, part of their decision process in choosing you was likely based on those shared values.
Use Your Mission, Vision & Values to Overcome Conflict
Your Mission, Vision, and Values can solve or even prevent conflict between agents and customers. This is because you have already made it clear to your employees, agents, and customers what ideals, rules, and values will guide every decision you make as a company.
If you call expired listings, you can relate to this. Not so long ago, as a Managing Broker for my own real estate brokerage, I received a call from an upset homeowner. She began to “explain” to me that she didn’t appreciate that an agent in my company had called her after her home had expired from the MLS.
She felt that the agent was aggressive and too pushy. I explained to her that one of our Values is to “challenge ourselves to achieve more” and that the agent in question was just trying to fulfill one of our company’s values.
I went on to ask her if she believed that the previous agent she hired was “challenging themselves to achieve more” for her. She said that her home should have sold, and the reason it didn’t sell was because the agent didn’t do all she could to sell it. I replied that maybe a more aggressive agent is exactly what she needed, and I set an appointment for the agent to meet with her.
In the future, when conflict arises—and believe me it’s not a matter of if but when—you will simply pull out your list of values and find the appropriate value that addresses the situation. Keep track of how each value is applied and share it in your team meeting to teach your team members how to respond to conflict using the MVV.
Taking the time to create your Mission, Vision, and Values will help you attract the right people to achieve success with your real estate brokerage. Your clear MVV will also guide your decisions and help you lead your brokerage and manage conflict.
Over to You
Is there a benefit to creating your Mission, Vision, and Values for your team or brokerage that I forgot to mention? Let me know in the comments below.