Why, Why, Why, oh Why?

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

Two weeks ago I mentioned that everyone here at Private Property got a gift baggie when we moved into our new premises – and I promised to tell you what was in them. Why? Well, that’s exactly the question we’ve been asking ourselves over the past couple of months.

One of our big cheeses read a book called Start with Why by thought leader Simon Sinek. He thought it would be a good idea if all the cheeses read it. Then someone – maybe Cheddar – thought that it would be a great idea if we embraced Sinek’s thought process and defined Private Property’s “why”. And that’s where it all began.

After months of looking back, looking forward, and generally looking for meaning, we’ve decided that we do what we do because it affords us the opportunity to be innovative industry leaders and influencers, in partnership with everyone who touches our products. Our statement has become: “Re-imagine • Together”.

Essentially, we are working towards reinventing the property industry, in co-creation with our partners and clients. This means consistently challenging the status quo and finding better ways of doing things. Property should be easy! Buying and selling a home should be simple for private buyers and sellers, as well as agents, while the leasing process should be stress-free for landlords, tenants and their agents. This is the industry that we aspire towards helping to shape.

The “new offices, new ideas and inspiration” gift baggies introduced this concept to the little cheeses. We all got flash-card-thingies defining our “why” and explaining how this differs from “what” we do and “how” we do it. Little did we know that these words would become a challenging team-build activity, which resulted in a floor-to-ceiling artwork that now hangs in our snazzy new reception area.

We also all got bright red coffee mugs (to remind us to take breaks from our busy days) filled with home-made biscotti (thanks to Clare, our HR cheese and baker extraordinaire). Our goodie bags also contained slippers (so that we could “slip comfortably into our new home”).

This particular cheese is about a third of the way through the book and is starting to question and define her own “why”. Why do I feel compelled to get up at 4am to get a head start on the day’s email? Why do I spend Sundays browsing for new topics to write about on our online advice centre?

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