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Reflections on Zappos and the core values

by Bridget Graber, Director of Operations

It’s been more than a week since we left the warm desert of Las Vegas, and the cozy atmosphere of the Zappos headquarters. As we flew away back to the cold, gray weather of Albany, I had time to reflect on what I actually learned on the Zappos Tour.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Zappos has 10 core values that they live and breathe by.

When I actually broke down each value  – it was very apparent how similar Monticello Real Estate is to the Zappos culture. At first, one might think – what could a real estate company and an online shoe/clothing company have in common? Real estate and clothing? The two just don’t fit together. But after looking at each value and breaking it down – it was apparent to see how similar Zappos and Monticello Real Estate are.

Caitlin Montalvo holding the 10 Core Values sign at Zappos

Caitlin Montalvo holding the 10 Core Values sign at Zappos

In order to see the comparison, let’s look at each value from Zappos, and compare it to what we do at Monticello.

    1. Deliver WOW Through Service – This one is an easy one. We aim to serve our clients. Whether they are buying or selling, we want the experience to be stress-free, easy, and seamless. Our agents go above and beyond to help each client. It doesn’t matter if they are buying a million dollar home, or a $100,000 home. Just like at Zappos, where they like to “wow” their customers, we want each of our clients to walk away feeling that they received service where they were wowed.
    2. Embrace and Drive Change – One thing I have learned in my career, is that you just can’t sit around and do the same thing over and over. If you do – you will get left behind. Technology changes. New trends evolve. The market ebbs and flows. You have to be prepared to go with the flow, and embrace the changes so you can attack head on. Our company is constantly embracing change and thinking 5 steps ahead.
    3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness – Let’s face it. We all want to have fun. And we all are a little weird. Each one of us has quirks, and that’s what makes us who we are. Let’s not try and squash it. Instead, be playful. Be weird. Laugh. Here at Monticello, we work hard, but we like to have fun. We do team building activities, we have book clubs, team lunches, and other outings. We also laugh and act weird sometimes. Life is too short to always be normal.
    4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded – Imagine a workplace where everyone was boring. No one wanted to try anything new. They just wanted to do the same old thing everyday. Well – that would be kind of…dull. And no fun. Imagine a place where people weren’t open to new ideas and if you suggested something, you were shut down immediately. Talk about bursting your bubble. Fortunately at Monticello Real Estate, everyone is encouraged to be creative and adventurous. We are encouraged to try something new and expand our horizons. And being open minded is a must. After all, how can you forge ahead if you have a closed-growth mindset?
    5. Pursue Growth and Learning  – I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. If we shut ourselves down to not learning new things, then where does that leave us? The goal at Monticello is to constantly learn and grow. We do that by learning from each other, as well as learning from our clients. Everyone has something to teach us, and each of us are excited to learn and open to explore new opportunities.
    6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication – This seems like a no brainer. After all, doesn’t everyone want open and honest communication? Surprisingly, a lot of people aren’t very honest. Or open. At Monticello, we believe in being direct. We tell it how it is. Sometimes, that might mean saying something that a client might not want to hear. But, we believe in letting people know what we think is right. Sometimes that’s a hard discussion – but we don’t like to sugar coat. Honesty is the best policy.
    7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit – All of us at Monticello are generally pretty happy people. We smile. We laugh. We have energy. Our team is a happy team, and that is reflected in our work. As the Director of Operations, I talk to the agents all the time, and I often hear the same thing. They tell me they love real estate. They love what they do. They love helping people. Happy agents equates to happy clients.
    8. Do More with Less –  Have you ever spent a day cleaning your home? When I say cleaning, I don’t mean scrubbing the kitchen. I mean, literally cleaning OUT. Nothing is more satisfying than decluttering, and making space, and getting rid of stuff. We have so much stuff in our lives that it can sometimes paralyze us without us even knowing it. I believe that having less is better. Less clutter equals a clear mind. It allows us to be free, and embrace new possibilities. At Monticello, making do with less allows each of us new opportunities to give our best self to our clients.
    9. Be Passionate and Determined – Passion. Determination. These words are often thrown around loosely. But, what do they really mean? True passion is something all of our agents embody. They are inspired because they believe in what they are doing. They don’t take “no” for an answer, and they constantly strive to move forward.
    10. Be Humble –  No matter how successful we each become, it is important to stay true to who we are. There is no need to brag, or be showy. Just move forward and do our best. Do it quietly, confidently, and with patience. The end result will be reflected in the outcomes of our work.