This interview series by the Bachman Law Firm is designed to share valuable lessons from local business leaders. The series will feature interviews with prominent business leaders in the Hudson Valley including Joseph Rand of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty, Sabrina Hosang Jordan of Caribbean Food Delights, Courtney Boniface of Cane & Boniface, John Wickes of Ira Wickes Arborists, Ann Byne of the Byne Group, Steve Botto of Steve Botto Landscaping, Sheldon Horowitz of the Safe Harbour Group and many others. Each of the interview participants will answer the same five questions so that readers can get consistent insight into the thinking of the Hudson Valley’s most successful business people.
Here is the interview of Joseph Rand of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty.
What one decision/event had the biggest impact on your business?
In 2009, during one of the worst real estate markets in history, Rand Realty decided to change franchise affiliations, becoming only the 8th franchised company for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. It was a shocking move in the industry, to leave a well-established franchise system like Prudential for an upstart newcomer, and it could have been disruptive to our business. Instead, it gave us a shot in the arm at a time when our agents needed it. The brand has been a major success over the past 9 years.
What is the best business advice that you ever received?
The best advice I ever got was from a psychology professor when I was at Stanford Law School, who distilled a year’s worth of work on effective decision-making to three simple words: "Consider Alternative Perspectives.” That is, when making big decisions, avoid confirmation bias and commitment consistency bias by shifting your thinking to consider the decision from different perspectives. It’s been a major part of the way I run my business.
What is the one thing that you know now about your business that you wish you knew sooner?
I wish I’d understood years ago that 90% of my company’s marketing should be directed at the independent contractor real estate agents that work (or should work) with us, and 10% on consumer-facing marketing. It we attract agents, they’ll attract clients. We don’t need to be marketing so much directly to consumers.
What is the secret to good hiring?
Constant recruiting. In my business, it’s all about the “biggest army,” so we are always recruiting. Hiring is always hit or miss, so you want to have as many chances at the plate as possible.
With all of the demands on your time, how do you organize your day?
I start really early, usually in the office by 7 or so. I try to do my writing and creative work before 9, when people start badgering me. I keep a steady flow of to-do lists, and try to avoid email except at designated times, or else I get sucked in.
Joseph Rand is the Chief Creative Officer for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty, one of the largest companies in the New York tri state region with 30 offices, 1,000 agents, and closing over $2.0 billion in real estate transactions in 2017. He is the author of Disruptors, Discounters, and Doubters: Five Key Changes the Real Estate Industry Can Make to Improve Client Experiences and Protect Our Future.