In 1912, a curious Henry Ford watched men cut meat during a tour of a Chicago slaughterhouse. The carcasses were hanging on hooks mounted on a monorail. After each man performed his job, he would push the carcass to the next station. When the tour was over, the guide said, ‘Well, sir, what do you think?’ Mr. Ford turned to the man and said, ‘Thanks, son, I think you may have given me a real good idea.’ Less than six months later, the world’s first mass assembly line started producing magnetos in the Ford Highland Park Plant.
One way to look at a problem or improve on what you already do is to look at other fields. Especially looking at ideas that have been working in other fields for a long time, much like the slaughterhouse in Chicago.
In order to succeed in business, you not only have to think outside the box, you need to look at other boxes. Often times I don’t look to other brokerage companies to find inspiration, I look to my favorite retailers. One night when I was patrolling one of my favorite women’s clothing websites, La Garconne, I realized how much I liked the way shoes were displayed on the web page. The entire page was filled with shoes in a beautiful layout. It led me to think how perfect it would be to display real estate listings the same way. The next day I called my web developer to change our website.
Since then I always look for ideas in unfamiliar places. I tend to catch some of the greatest ideas with my personal interests. Besides enjoying fashion, I am a contemporary art collector. Every year I journey to Miami for one of the largest art fairs in the world, Art Basel. I have been going since 2002. During Art Basel a must-see for me is always a visit to the private art collections of Martin Margulies and the Rubell Family Collection. These are private collections open to the public for view. I love the idea of private collections available for the public to access and experience. Most private collections are tucked away in homes or estates and never get seen. It inspires me so much that during my last trip to Basel I was able to purchase our first piece for the Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection. Since we have large storefront windows and are open 7 days a week, our clients, customers, and community can view our collection anytime. Our first piece, Kedgar Volta’s Urban Imposition is in the front window and can be viewed by pedestrians 24/7. We are the only real estate brokerage in our region to have a private/public art collection. In a short period of time our collection has gained local and national exposure. Its another great way for people to learn about our company from something that is not about real estate.
Every great company has reinvented the industry it’s in. It’s no secret I love art and creative people. Most of my closest friends are artists. When I think of my business, real estate brokerage, what we mainly do is market and sell real estate. When you think about it, we are truly a marketing firm. When you look at traditional marketing and advertising firms they all have creative teams. This led me to developing an in-house Judge Realty creative team. We have an in-house graphic designer, photographer, social media manager, branding strategist, and PR agent. The norm in the industry is to sub out most of those duties and responsibilities to the agents, but in doing so leaves room for inconsistencies which lead to mediocrity. Most important, we devise a marketing plan for each property in order to maximize our efforts which equates to great results and sales.
In the end, being different makes all the difference. Look to other industries for sources of new ideas. Have fun and never deny your own interests as places of inspiration.
Lori Judge opened Judge Realty in 2005 and has had a personal commitment to community involvement, lifestyle, and environmental integrity from the very start. She is one of Savannah’s only certified EcoBrokers and is a member of various local civic groups and organizations. These include the Telfair Museum, the SCAD Museum, the Davenport House, Savannah Tree Foundation, Georgia Conservancy, EcoBrokers, Flannery O’Connor House, Historic Savannah Foundation, US Green Building Council, Downtown Neighborhood Association, and Downtown Business Association. She also recently joined on as the newest member of the Board of Directors at The Creative Coast.
Judge Realty is Savannah’s only full service, locally owned and operated brokerage company. Celebrating 10 years in business, Judge Realty specializes in residential and commercial real estate, as well as in property management and rentals.