Recently on 90 I was sitting at a red light and noticed a biker next to me with a Harley Davidson logo Tattoo on his arm. The question that immediately came to mind was, what does Harley Davidson do to a person’s life that they would want to physically tattoo the logo of this company onto their arm permanently? When he drove away I thought what would we have to do in the home building business to be so impactful to a person’s life that they would want to tattoo the Elliott Homes Logo on their arm.
I often say the home building industry is full of traditional paradigms, old metrics and very status quo business practices. Because we are literally the only industry in the world that physically manufactures a product on it’s site, in the elements, right in front of the consumer, it is much easier to use these paradigms as a crutch and tell people they don’t understand construction when they have questions about quality or process. Due to this Home Builders often deliberately set buyers expectations very low so no matter what, anything they delivered would exceed it. You know, like construction is ugly, or all the mistakes get fixed in the end. I’m imagining going to a place like Disney World and the person booking my trip continues to explain how horrible the experience is in order to set the bar low so they can exceed it. Then proceeding to tell me not to worry because it’s the memories later that matter not the experience while you’re there. Home building has adopted expectations that are “acceptable, like; “you can’t make 10% of the buyers happy”, “you will find new punch every time you walk through a new home no matter how good the builder is,” “buyers don’t understand home building so therefore don’t understand what is acceptable and what isn’t,” etc.
If you think back to your most memorable moment working at Elliott Homes I would bet it was a time that you either improved the life of a home buyer or a team member by doing something that improved their environment. I would bet it was tied to serving, not receiving and it was something you did while working above status quo or industry standard. It likely wasn’t a product but instead an experience. The reason this memory is vivid is because it gave you meaning. You didn’t just “do a job” and deliver a product while citing traditional paradigms or exceeding low expectations. You likely did something that truly helped this person’s soul which created change in their life.
The thing that hit me after considering the tattoo question for several hours was 1 word. Authenticity. This is defined as “of undisputed origin; genuine” To truly improve quality of life it goes beyond product and instead ties to emotion or experience. It comes from a genuine passion toward the values of why we do what we do everyday and most importantly how we influence others to not only believe in our product but also in our beliefs. It is delivering something that intrinsically warms the soul of people and helps remove the barriers toward a higher quality of life. When people see Elliott Homes as a value in the world over a product we become part of their life and not just the builder they selected for a home. On our innovation wall it states in HUGE letters to “own your role.” That is because empowerment doesn’t come from a follower. It comes from a guide leading the way. It comes from a person genuinely putting their values and care of others in the path of decision making to improve their life quality. Your that guide. It’s never accepting status quo because that’s the industry standard, but instead embracing the challenges that come with raising the bar and purely owning the solutions or failures. Most importantly it’s not being scared to fail and when we do owning those failures by listening to improve every second of every day. The values on the wall of Elliott Homes read the following;
– Customer Satisfaction: Our goal is simple 100%
– Improvement: the day we stop learning is the day we cease to exist
– Integrity: follow through with our commitments
– Passion: we find it exciting to change lives
Authenticity means that these words go from being just a set of rules we follow to daily habits that shape our decisions. They go from an image on the wall to a feeling in our hearts. To truly change the world and impact people enough to want to tattoo our logo on their arm they must first be touched by an authentic experience. The outcome when we do is simple…
It’s improving their quality of life, touching their hearts and guiding them to a future that excites and motivates them to live. Not just delivering an acceptable product. Most importantly it’s meaning, and without meaning we have little motivation to become more for ourselves.
Have an outstanding week team. Your efforts are far more impactful then just a job. You are delivering a lifestyle and a future.