Sliding doors

"The path to a sound decision lies in carefully considering the pros and cons, for every choice carries its own consequences." - Anonymous

You've got a real estate business worth $10m right now, and someone has just made you an offer of $7.5m cash for it.

The future is uncertain, so your choices are:

  • take the deal and bank $7.5m, or

  • do nothing (but it's rare that you can do nothing and win - right?), or

  • hold and set a goal to grow the business to something worth $20 million in as little time as possible, and then consider your options.

This was the premise of the case study for the inaugural Elite Retreat in 2022 by Scott Bateman of Kolmeo.

We had a great time debating this in a room of 150 people - obviously; there are different answers, different levels of experience, leaders at different points in their careers and so on.

I can tell you there were lots of businesses that were changed over those three days.

But, it’s one thing to have a temporary board of directors with that much wisdom, and something like Elite Retreat only comes around once a year.

But what if you could use an imaginary friend to bounce decisions off at other times?*

Today’s prompt of the day

At its core, ChatGPT and other large language models love prompts that are constructed like a mathematical equation.

For example:

Analyse the implications of implementing [decision] in [business]. Discuss possible advantages and drawbacks, and suggest enhancements to [decision] to mitigate any identified drawbacks. Business = [enter type of business]Decision = [enter the decision you are weighing up]

Now you could engineer the above decision as a prompt, but I have decided to go for something much simpler that happens almost daily in the real estate industry:

Analyse the implications of implementing [decision] in [business]. Discuss possible advantages and drawbacks, and suggest enhancements to [decision] to mitigate any identified drawbacks.Business = Real Estate BusinessDecision = Poaching a new staff member from the competition

Here’s ChatGPT4’s reasonably in-depth response to the aforesaid dilemma:

Implications of Implementing the Decision to Poach a New Staff Member from the Competition in the Real Estate Business


  1. Industry Expertise: Poaching a staff member from the competition means you're bringing in someone with industry-specific knowledge and experience. This can provide a competitive edge, as they might bring in strategies and insights that have proven successful for the competitor.

  2. Client Acquisition: The new staff member might have built strong relationships with clients at their previous company. If these clients are loyal to the staff member rather than the company, they might switch to your business, leading to increased sales and revenue.

  3. Reduced Training Costs: Since the poached employee already has experience in the real estate sector, the training period might be shorter compared to hiring someone new to the industry.

  4. Competitive Insight: The new staff member can provide valuable insights into the competitor's operations, strategies, and weaknesses, which can be leveraged to outperform them.

  5. Morale Boost: Demonstrating the ability to attract top talent from competitors can boost the morale of existing employees, making them feel they are part of a winning team.


  1. Potential Legal Issues: If the poached employee has a non-compete clause in their contract, it could lead to legal complications. Even without such a clause, the competitor might take legal action if they believe the employee was poached unethically or if they suspect the employee might share trade secrets.

  2. High Costs: Poaching often involves offering a higher salary or better benefits to entice the employee, which can strain the company's finances.

  3. Cultural Mismatch: The new employee might be accustomed to the competitor's work culture, which could differ from yours. This might lead to integration challenges or conflicts within the team.

  4. Reputation Risks: If the industry perceives the poaching as unethical, it might harm the company's reputation. This could make future hiring more challenging and might strain relationships with other businesses in the industry.

  5. Retaliation: The competitor might retaliate by trying to poach your employees or by intensifying their competitive strategies.

Enhancements to Mitigate Drawbacks:

  1. Legal Review: Before finalizing the hiring, conduct a thorough review of the potential employee's contract to ensure there are no clauses that might lead to legal complications.

  2. Integration Programs: Implement programs to help the new employee integrate into your company's culture. This might include mentorship programs, team-building activities, or training sessions.

  3. Ethical Hiring Practices: Ensure that the poaching process is transparent and ethical. This can help in maintaining a good reputation in the industry.

  4. Strengthen Employee Retention: To prevent retaliation, focus on employee retention strategies. This might include offering competitive salaries, providing growth opportunities, or fostering a positive work environment.

  5. Non-disclosure Agreements: Have the new employee sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure they don't share any sensitive information from their previous employer.

In conclusion, while poaching a staff member from the competition can offer several advantages, it's essential to approach the decision with caution and foresight. By considering the potential drawbacks and implementing strategies to mitigate them, a real estate business can maximize the benefits of this decision.

*Obviously - do not use ChatGPT as your only source of info on any big decisions (but you know that, right?!)

Happy Hunting 🚀 (or head hunting, I guess…)

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