Blue Ocean vs. Red Ocean
About 3 years ago I read the book The Blue Ocean Strategy and it changed the way I viewed not only the commercial real estate landscape, but also my own career. When I began to look at myself as a broker and the commercial real estate brokerage shops as a whole, I realized one very important fact. When it came to the process of representing tenants with their office space we all were doing it in a very similar way. This equals Blue Ocean opportunity…..
So, now 3 years later, I am part owner of a boutique commercial real estate brokerage firm and co-founder of a new commercial real estate technology company. My brokerage firm is competing in the Red Ocean and my technology company is competing out in the middle of a Blue Ocean, with lessons to be learn from both Oceans.
To win in a Red Ocean you have to differentiate yourself from the competition, and you have to outperform the competition to win. In fact, a very successful entrepreneur, here in Atlanta, once told me that he would much rather compete in a Red Ocean vs. Blue Ocean because he knew he could outperform anyone in his industry. At the time, I was so focused on making my brokerage firm compete in the Blue Ocean that I missed his very important point he was making for himself and me. When it comes to commercial real estate brokerage there is no Blue Ocean, only Red. To win, it comes down to making your process more efficient and better for your clients. Period. Case closed.
To win in a Blue Ocean must be so much easier then because it is only your company in that space. Right? At least this is what the book would have you to believe. The challenge with the Blue Ocean is that you have to sell something twice to your target clients. The first sale is convincing someone that a product or service that they’ve lived without is now going to improve their lives and businesses. The second sale is then actually selling a prospect that product or service that fixes a problem they didn’t realize they had until you pointed out another way of doing things. To win in a Blue Ocean, you have to educate and then sell.
So for now, I am learning how to win in both Oceans and I really don’t have an opinion as to which one is better over the other. I love being a broker at SWA and I’m so excited about the future of Ten Eight. I’ll write a recap in a year and let everyone know where I stand then.