AS YOU WALK IN the front door of C3 Real Estate Solutions, you see three words on the glass in the lobby:
That’s not a terribly uncommon thing; a number of businesses like to prominently display key words to make an impression on their customers. Fresh! Best deal anywhere! Innovation!
But when I attended their Chamber Red Carpet event a few months ago, I got the distinct impression that the founders, Jesse Laner and John Simmons, actually run the company this way. That’s NOT common.
I had a chance to talk with John and Jesse recently to find out more of the story. Jesse has a background in commercial construction management and athletic coaching. John was in Special Forces and then moved up to be regional director at a large national restaurant chain. The two of them met when they entered real estate some years ago, and decided to launch their own company.
They incorporated C3 less than two years ago, and it’s grown to 55 associates in Fort Collins, Greeley, and now Loveland. The growth is huge, which says a lot for their ability to attract the right kind of people into the company.
I asked them about the difficulty of living up to these high ideals. The answer was interesting: “It’s not hard at all when it’s just who you are.” And they look for Staff Members and Brokers who embody the same philosophy – indeed, those people have been attracted to the company because of its character. They’ve structured their hiring criteria around these principles.
It’s one thing to pass a job interview, but another to grow and develop true character. John told me that at every meeting they have their “character challenge,” a discussion about how character is being shown in daily activities. They challenge company members to put these principles into action, reinforcing and supporting each other.
Of course, I asked them about the challenges they might struggle with living out their values in their business. Right now, they’re riding the crest of a sizzling real estate market, so some might think that “it’s easy to be high minded when you’re growing and making money.”
They’re quite conscious of this, which is why they’re working so hard to develop a company culture for the long term. They’re focused on selecting the right people, and building character into every person who works with them. They’re holding up best examples of living out the principles, and addressing shortcomings as quickly as possible.
They’re getting an enviable reputation in the area, right up there with their aspirations of Otterbox and New Belgium.