By Jana Uselton
Owner and Founder of Model My Home and HSRA
Oh... how the times are changing!
We are in uncharted territory as we continue to experience an epidemic that has impacted, not only our businesses and our personal lives, but the entire world. At HSRA, we continue to have an optimistic outlook and believe we will recover and even be in a better position than before in due time. We believe the HSRA family of companies will be some of the top businesses that outlast this crisis. We are consistently reviewing the latest updates that impact our businesses and teams while planning our next key steps in making sure everyone is safe and our clients are cared for in their time of need.
Those who can respond with speed and urgency will be in a much better situation to handle future uncertainties.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) outlines a "5-Day Plan to Keep your Company Afloat" and shows us a simple formula for survival.
Survival = (speed of your understanding of the situation) x (the magnitude of the pivots/cuts/lifeboat choices you make) x (the speed of your time to make those changes)
As the article notes, this is a time for rapid decisions and immediate action. Many of you have pivoted your businesses to allow for services that your clients need now. As we have experienced over the last few weeks, some businesses are viewed as essential and non-essential. The non-essential businesses that set up their online methods of purchase are still able to carry on some key business.
So, what about your business?
This has been a true WAKE-UP CALL for many of us.
We must realize the short and long term impacts of the shutdowns on our businesses. Many of us have questions regarding if real estate is essential or nonessential and how that affects our services. Rules and regulations are changing day by day, so stay up to date so you and your team can plan each day and week accordingly.
Below are three categories of action we all must take immediately. Give yourself one week to go through these key steps. If some of the actions have been completed, find out which others still need to be addressed and do them quickly. We believe these actions will help you move forward during this time to not only survive but thrive.
-Finances: Current state of company Income and Receivables
-Expenses: Both Fixed and Variable
-Team: Who is available to work? Who do you absolutely need in a pinch?
-Surroundings: Is the business considered "Essential" in the service areas, and if so, can everyone work safely?
-Collect any Outstanding Income owed
-Cut unnecessary Variable Expenses (negotiate via phone calls and emails)
-Defer any Fixed Expenses as needed
-Sign up for Small Business Loans as needed
-Determine Team plans and options for work: Full vs Part-time, In-office vs At home, Scheduled vs Furlough
-Work environment: Decide the protocol for all work situations and safety steps (must be written, trained upon, and followed)
-Setup and use workspaces at home without distractions
-Setup up and use Zoom accounts for standard meeting times
-Setup and hold Alignment Meetings for each morning (see HSRA module)
-Setup and work a daily work plan
-Bulk schedule your appointments to save money and time
-Stay in front of people throughout the day via Social Media, Videos, Personal -Reachouts, and Email Campaigns
-Create New Programs, Products and Features to offer your Clients; Roll them out Immediately
-Be the Local Go-To Expert via Online Interviews, Articles, News Releases on subject matter that relates to the challenges everyone is facing
It’s time to see yourself as a new company.
As we all pivot our business models to meet the needs of the here and now, we must take the good that has come from it all. This includes the ability to do Online Assessments, FaceTime appointments, and ways to provide more real-time answers. In the real estate world, we know time IS money. Streamline and perfect the ways you and your teams provide these services and communicate the advantages now.
These types of services are win-win solutions because they do not cost you much overhead and are simple to do. Plus, our clients want them. In fact, our clients need them now and will continue to in the future.
There’s a reason eXp is set up as one of the most robust real estate agency models in the world. It’s all virtual. They are literally set up for a situation to happen like we are experiencing now. They have barely had to pivot their staff or the way they communicate with their agents. While the other agencies who have brick and mortar offices are dealing with how to pay the bills, this is the least of their worries at eXp.
Let’s learn some great takeaways from their model. As much as we can communicate with our clients virtually and provide them initial online solutions in the form of assessments, reports, and action lists, the more they desire to work with us on an ongoing basis.
As we continue to say, this is not the time to pull back but push forward. Do not see this as a setback but a setup. Be careful, not fearful. When tough times come, it calls for us to be more creative.
Continue to have a positive attitude and mindset, and let your leadership shine during this time. I’m excited to hear all of the great things that are to come from this experience we are all in together. We know that our businesses are essential for our clients and our services do make a difference in the exchange of property. The extra money and less time on the market we help create is needed for our sellers and agents who are often in challenging situations.
Now, let’s pivot our businesses where we need to and be set up to thrive in the future!
Credits: A 5-Day Plan to Keep Your Company Afloat by Steve Blank