Who's Ready For Some Creative Destruction?

Matt Landau

Staff member
Ambassadors
I first learned the phrase "creative destruction" from my co-founder in Esperanza Social Venture Club (gang intervention program).

Brief Aside: Building a demobilization program was new and uncharted territory. No one had done anything like this in Panama. So with little experience, we assembled a team, raised money, planned a pilot intervention program with Gang #1 and it went surprisingly well. So well in fact, that their rivals (Gang #2) reached out and asked for the same program. This was an incredible sign that we were on the right track!

So in planning the intervention with Gang #2, my natural instinct was to preserve all the documents, tools, people, and elements that went into Gang #1 success -- and to build onto that structure.

But instead (and I have to thank my co-founder for this difficult but powerful innovation) we had a big meeting and creatively destroyed the program as we knew it -- symbolically equivalent to smashing a sculpture on the floor -- in order to start Gang #2 intervention from scratch.

***This is when a surprising thing happened***

When you smash a sculpture on the floor, you suddenly shift from defensive / preservation mode to progress / innovation mode because all the documents, tools, people, and elements are in a million pieces.

Suddenly, you are forced to rebuild in a way that leans purely on experience and priorities.

Creatively destroying our program and starting from scratch led us to realizing certain elements/people/themes were integral whereas others were not integral and could just as easily be removed.

IDEA

Sometimes fixing a broken part of your business is harder than completely destroying it and starting again from scratch.

QUESTION

Is there a part of your business that feels weak/insignificant/overwhelming/stressed/confused/inferior that could be creatively destroyed in order to be re-built from scratch stronger, better, simpler, cleaner/clearer, more focused, without any of bolted stuff (literal or figurative) that has accumulated over time?

Do you have a brand asset or property that deserves a complete makeover?

Is it your entire business model that needs to be creatively destroyed and rebuilt?

Is something still lingering (like an outdated website that you set up a while back) that's not reflective of your current prestige or caliber?

Maybe you have no idea where to start -- that is great (include that in your post).

Sometimes you and your team have all you need to creatively destroy and rebuild with fresh, seasoned eyes.

Other times it helps to have an expert come in and provide advice. (This post explaining how Terry Terry invested $1240 in ConradO ConradO in June and generated $21,000 in bookings is an example of creatively destroying your haphazard paid advertising efforts, hiring an expert to do their thing, and growing!)
 

Terry

Premium Member
Accelerator
Ambassadors
I love this post. That's exactly what I did, I blew it up and started over.

For many years I ran a very successful business but I knew deep down I had some major flaws and I was way too dependant on OTA's. Even though I had this, I knew I was in big trouble:
Screen Shot 2020-12-16 at 3.44.15 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-17 at 3.31.03 PM.png


I knew the only way to overcome this was to start over. I needed a new PMS, I needed a new website and booking engine, I needed a new CRM and I needed to develop my tech stack from the ground up.

None of this > Other times it helps to have an expert come in and provide advice. (This post explaining how
Terry invested $1240 in @ConradO in June and generated $21,000 in bookings is an example of creatively destroying your haphazard paid advertising efforts, hiring an expert to do their thing, and growing!) could ever have been possible without blowing it up and starting over.
 

ROster

Premium Member
Ambassadors
Rick here, back from the dead. Terry Terry you can’t drop a bomb like this on us and not explain it in painful detail! I feel like I’ve been treading water for 2+ years and going through the motions. I would love to blow everything up and start fresh in 2023 and I’m sure your story would be inspirational. Btw Matt Landau Matt Landau my 7th Oster Golf House will open for guests on September 1st 😎
 
Terry Terry, I'd like to know / learn what software you're using to generate the data in the graph above. Sure, you're using your own data for your business, but what is pulling the local data for the other listings? Pricelabs or similar?

Also, ROster ROster congrats on the new addition to the portfolio. You know, I happen to make all the flags for Augsta National, and 3 / 4 of the Majors on the PGA Tour as well as 1000s of other courses around the globe ... just saying you should have your own custom golf flags for the homes (and I'm sure you have putting greens at them / some as well). ;-). Just back from another green retreat with Dormie Network - their hotpitality is spot on, and the golf is good as well. If you could mimic some of their ideas that could be a big win for your golfing guests (of course restaurant is difficult).
 
Terry Terry, I'd like to know / learn what software you're using to generate the data in the graph above. Sure, you're using your own data for your business, but what is pulling the local data for the other listings? Pricelabs or similar?

Also, ROster ROster congrats on the new addition to the portfolio. You know, I happen to make all the flags for Augsta National, and 3 / 4 of the Majors on the PGA Tour as well as 1000s of other courses around the globe ... just saying you should have your own custom golf flags for the homes (and I'm sure you have putting greens at them / some as well). ;-). Just back from another green retreat with Dormie Network - their hotpitality is spot on, and the golf is good as well. If you could mimic some of their ideas that could be a big win for your golfing guests (of course restaurant is difficult).
That second graph is definitely KeyData. I do love looking at that data, but there are a few flaws particularly in the local data being pulled. As far as I'm aware, they can only pull data from local competitors who are also using KeyData. We are based in NOLA but there aren't enough other companies using KeyData in NOLA for us to have a direct point of comparison so we have the whole MS/LA region as our comparison. So while I love KeyData, this info is a bit YMMV perhaps?
 

Lauren Madewell

Premium Member
Keystone Retreat
Creatively destroying my homeowner acquisition process as we speak. Up until Summer of 2020, onboarding a new owner was like meeting a new friend- I met the seasoned OWNERS in person, this was their vacation home that they wanted rented out when they weren't visiting, we spent our time mostly chatting, quick tour of our facilities, introduced the team, signed the contract, kept chatting. They demonstrated total trust in us and they always played out to be beautifully quiet partnerships.

Starting in 2020 it went more like this 99.5% of the time - I would "meet" the new BUYERS over the phone because they lived all over the country, they made sure to explain this was an investment property and the reason they'll be able to retire early so all that mattered to them was $$$, they had no appreciation for services or understanding of commissions, they were confused/overwhelmed/uneducated buyers, trusting every word and fabricated data point their realtor gave them, which conflicted with factual historical data, and this largely resulted in total skepticism of our 28 year old family business with a 4.7 Google rating, so without fail they'd try to leverage slashed commissions by telling me they could always self manage and not share a commission.... I would respectfully wish them the best and reference a company I know would slash their commissions (but the backend costs of those companies are always $$$).

We pour a ton of time and resources into our properties and guests, so in light of inflation and rising costs, the last thing I can do is slash commissions by 10-20%. I will never compromise the amount of work we put into our properties because that will effect our brand and ratings. Just because a buyer paid 3-4x the properties worth and can't spare a penny does not mean I need to compromise commissions, therefore operations, and therefore the quality and caliber of our brand that so many have come to trust over the past 28 years.

Regardless of what you want to call it, commission or expenses etc, you've got to pump money into property upkeep. You can self manage and use random vendors you googled and don't have a symbiotic relationship with, or you can use a company who has mutual interest in your property's success and guest satisfaction, and has trusted relationships with local vendors, companies and officials to ensure the highest quality of work. And at the end of the day, I can almost guarantee the "expenses" come out higher than a commission %.

So, with those talking points in mind, I learned to destroy my previous homeowner acquisition process so that each and every new buyer I spoke to had a totally custom experience with me. I thought I offered that before, but I had to take it next level. I never knew how our conversations would go, besides the obvious Q&A regarding ROI, I was open to talking about anything and this offered some incredible insight. After those conversations I would reflect on, document and map out how they went so that I could get to where I am now... building up a new homeowner acquisition process tailored to these New Wave homeowners.

I have not slashed my commission (unless the property is projected to bring in $100k gross in rental revenue), I have simply changed the way I talk about our program and services to accommodate these New Wave concerns. This is proving to be fruitful! On the flip side, I have also learned some new indicators (red flags) of a property/owner I do not want to bring on board, saving myself and my teams incredible amounts of time, energy, resources and frustration.

It took two years to get to where I am now, and it's been grueling, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't change a thing. This whole process, this creative destruction, has made me a better person and a stronger asset to my company and teams.
 
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Matt Landau
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