As the company grows, it’s become more and more important to explicitly define the Cornerstone Select Properties core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies.
Our core values are the rules and boundaries that guide us and provide a final test on what we should and should not do in our day-to-day activities. They function as a catalyst system to give us the confidence & direction to execute important tasks at all levels while staying true to who we are as a company and what we stand for.
You see, we are not just a company. Our business is a living, breathing organism with a distinct personality. We express our personality through our core values.
Communication is always one of the weakest spots in any organization, no matter how good the communication is. We want everyone to always try to go the extra mile in encouraging thorough, complete, effective, and transparent communication.
As the company grows, communication becomes more and more important because everyone needs to understand how his/her team connects to the big picture of what we’re trying to accomplish.
Fundamentally, we believe that openness and honesty make for the best relationships because that leads to trust and faith.
The hardest thing to do is to build trust, but if the trust exists, you can accomplish so much more.
We value strong relationships in all areas: with managers, direct reports, customers (both Owners and Tenants), vendors, business partners, team members, and co-workers.
Strong, positive relationships that are open and honest are a big part of what differentiates Cornerstone Select Properties from most other companies. Strong relationships allow us to accomplish much more than we would be able to otherwise.
A key ingredient in strong relationships is to develop emotional connections.
It’s important to always act with integrity in your relationships, to be compassionate, friendly, loyal, and to make sure that you do the right thing and treat your relationships well.
The best way to accomplish this is to think like a customer (both Tenants and Owners) and put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: “What would you do if it was your house or you were in that particular situation? How would you handle it or how would you want to be treated?”
In any relationship, it’s important to be a good listener as well as a good communicator. Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship, but remember that at the end of the day it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most. In order for someone to feel good about a relationship, he/she must know that the other person truly cares about them, both personally and professionally.
At Cornerstone Select Properties, We Think It’s Important For Employees To Grow Both Personally And Professionally.
It’s important to constantly challenge and stretch yourself and not be stuck in a job where you don’t feel like you are growing or learning.
We believe that inside every employee is more potential than even the employee himself/herself realizes. Our goal is to help employees unlock that potential. But it has to be a joint effort: you have to want to challenge and stretch yourself in order for it to happen.
The secret to an employee’s personal development and that of the company is not through any one defining or magic moment. No winning lottery number. Instead, positive growth comes from continuous incremental improvement. As a Team, we need to “respect the daily grind” and push ourselves to be better every day.
For some people, especially those who come from bigger companies, the constant change can be somewhat unsettling at first. If you are not prepared to deal with constant change, then you are probably not a good fit for the company.
We must all learn to not fear change but to also embrace it enthusiastically, and perhaps even more importantly, to encourage and drive it. Never accept or be too comfortable with the status quo because, historically, the companies that get into trouble are the ones that aren’t able to innovate, to respond quickly enough, and adapt to change.
We must always plan for and be prepared for constant change.
Although change can and will come from all directions, it’s important that most of the changes in the company are driven from the bottom up — from the people who are on the front lines and closest to the customers and/or issues.
We are ever evolving. If we want to continue to stay ahead of our competition, we must continually change and keep them guessing. They can copy our images, our ads, and the overall look of our website, but they cannot copy our people, our culture, or our service. As long as embracing constant change is a part of our culture, they will not be able to evolve as fast as we can.
If you’ve been at Cornerstone Select Properties for more than a few months, then one thing is clear: Cornerstone Select Properties is growing. We grow because we take on new challenges, and we face even more new challenges because we’re growing. It’s an endless cycle, and it’s a good thing: it’s the only way for a company to survive. But it can also feel risky, stressful, and confusing at times.
Sometimes, it may seem that new problems crop up as fast as we solve the old ones (sometimes faster!), but that just means that we’re moving — that we’re getting better and stronger. Anyone who wants to compete with us has to learn the same things, so problems are just mile markers. Each one we pass means we’ve gotten better.
Yet no matter how much better we get, we’ll always have hard work to do, we’ll never be done, and we’ll never “get it right.”
That may seem negative, but it’s not: we’ll do our best to “get it right,” and then do it again when we find out that things have changed. That is the cycle of growth, and like it or not, that cycle won’t stop.
It’s hard… but if we weren’t doing something hard, then we’d have no business. The only reason we aren’t swamped by our competition is because what we do is hard, and we do it better than anyone else. If it ever gets too easy, then start looking for a tidal wave of competition to wash us away.
Sure, people have done parts of what we do before, but what we’ve learned over the years at Cornerstone Select Properties is that the devil is in the details. And that’s where we’re breaking new ground.
By not being afraid to make mistakes, learn from them and implement positive change we allow ourselves to remain on the leading edge of our industry with creative and innovative solutions.
At Cornerstone Select Properties, we place a lot of emphasis on our culture because we are both a team and a family.
We want to create an environment that is friendly, warm, and exciting. Also, one of the things that makes Cornerstone Select Properties different from a lot of other companies is that we value being fun and being a little weird. We don’t want to become one of those big companies that feel corporate and boring. We want to be able to laugh at ourselves. We look for both fun and humor in our daily work.
We also want the company to have a unique and memorable personality. Our company culture is what makes us successful, and in our culture, we believe that when you combine a little weirdness with making sure everyone is also having fun at work, it ends up being a win-win for everyone: Employees are more engaged in the work that they do, and the company as a whole becomes more innovative.
We are able to maintain a positive team spirit by ensuring we continue working together as a team. The best team members take initiative when they notice issues so that the team and the company can succeed. They also take ownership of issues and collaborate with other team members whenever challenges arise.
The best team members have a positive influence on one another and everyone they encounter. They strive to eliminate any kind of cynicism and negative interactions. They strive to create harmony with each other and with everyone else they come in contact with.
The best leaders are those who lead by example and are both team followers as well as team leaders. We believe that, in general, the best ideas and decisions are made from the bottom up, meaning by those who are on the front lines and closest to the issues and/or the customers.
The role of a manager is to remove obstacles and enable his/her direct reports to succeed. This means the best leaders are servant-leaders. They serve those they lead. They take the time to understand their team’s challenges and then provide their team with the right tools to do their job then get out of their way and trust they will do what’s needed.
While we continue to work as a team we must also give each other the freedom to make mistakes and then provide the support to correct them. By doing so we can learn, grow and succeed both personally and professionally.
We believe that the best teams are those that not only work with each other but also interact with each other outside the office environment.
We are more than just a team though — we are a family. We watch out for each other, care for, and go above and beyond for each other because we believe in, and we trust each other. We work together, but we also play together. Our bonds go far beyond the typical “co-worker” relationships found at most other companies.
The only reason anyone willingly gives us their hard-earned money is to solve a problem that they are otherwise unable or unwilling to solve on their own.
When working with our clients (both tenants and owners) it’s important to understand their needs. In order to do this, we need to be good listeners to reach a common appreciation for their past, present and future challenges and how our services can help to alleviate those problems.
While we may not be so brazen as to ask our clients “What’s Your Problem?” that is really what we want to know. By asking the right questions, listening attentively and leveraging our years of experience we can adequately anticipate a client’s needs, potentially even discovering needs they didn’t know they had.
Once we have established this level of understanding we can then create a tailor-made solution to address any immediate needs and then sequentially apply the right solutions to achieve the desired outcome. An outcome that is mutually beneficial and creates a win-win situation for all parties involved.
You see, when we really understand a client’s needs (possibly even more than they do) then the “sales process” comes naturally. This way, we don’t sell the customer the more expensive option instead we give them the solution most appropriate for their problem. The evolution occurs once we’ve proposed a solution that addresses the needs of the customer and makes them excited about conquering the problem in a way that makes ethical, logical and financial sense. Hence, we don’t sell. We solve problems.
That is the difference with Cornerstone Select Properties, we are a solutions-based service provider, not a sales office. Because we don’t sell we solve problems people are often relieved to learn we will tackle a stubborn issue that has been plaguing them for quite some time. This creates a sense relief and satisfaction which leads to word of mouth advertising.
That’s how we build our business one customer at a time.
In fact, if we don’t focus on solving problems then we’re doing something wrong and we won’t survive as a company. On the other hand, when we really do it right, we have an unassailable advantage that no competitor can match.
When you work in a problem-solving environment and provide an awesome service you create a great customer experience.
Our employees know that a successful outcome only occurs by developing a warm trusting relationship with the customer and as we get to know our customers we will figure out how we can help them succeed.
Also, by understanding applicable laws such as the Residential Tenancies Act, Ontario Building Codes, Municipal By-laws and fire code regulations which govern our industry and putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes, we are able to achieve this successful outcome.
As a solutions-based service company, we think there’s no reason why every business should not see itself as existing primarily to solve people’s problems and to make the world a better place. That’s the higher purpose for Cornerstone Select Properties and the drive behind a more conscious form of capitalism.
Of course for this solutions-based, problem-solving approach to work you need to have great employees who are smart and creative enough to think well on their feet and can put the customer first by asking questions and actually listen to the customer’s answers.
In the words of Stephen Covey; we “seek first to understand, then to be understood” then the rest just follows naturally.
While we may be casual in our interactions with each other, we are focused and serious about the operations of our business. We believe in working hard and putting in the extra effort to get things done right.
We believe in operational excellence and realize that there is always room for improvement in everything we do. This means that our work is never done.
In order to stay ahead of the competition (or would-be competition), we need to continuously innovate as well as make incremental improvements to our operations, always striving to make ourselves more efficient, always trying to figure out how to do something better.
We do not want people to be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. We believe if people aren’t making mistakes, then that means they’re not taking enough risks. Over time, we want everyone to develop his/her gut about business decisions. We want people to develop and improve their decision-making skills. We encourage people to make mistakes as long as they learn from them.
We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. We must never settle for “good enough” because good is the enemy of great. While our goal is to become a great company, we also want to be (not only) the best in our industry but the best in the world.
We never want to become complacent and accept things as “industry norms” just because that’s the way things have always been done. Instead, we set and exceed our own high standards, constantly raising the bar for competitors and for ourselves.
At Cornerstone Select Properties, we think it’s important for people, and the company as a whole, to resist the inclination to be average, to question and redefine the status quo, and simply be awesome.
AWESOME is such a simple word that really encompasses a lot of things. To be awesome you need to be extremely impressive and inspire great admiration. You must differentiate yourself, which means doing something a little unconventional and innovative. You must do something that’s above and beyond what’s expected. And whatever you do must have an emotional impact on the receiver.
We are not an average company, our service is not average, and we don’t want our people to be average. We expect every employee to be AWESOME!