The events of Covid 19 have left every industry wondering what comes next? The majority of Estate and Letting agencies out there are small businesses. Even large chains ultimately come down to individual branches. Because of this it is important to look at how to keep your business running smoothly if it is disrupted by staff absence or even if the market slows and you need to run more efficiently, potentially with less manpower. In this article, our CEO and best selling author Mark Burgess, looks at how businesses survive when the market slows and set themselves up to thrive as it picks up.
One of the strange things I have learnt myself through having several businesses that have been through tough economic times is that all too often we consider our businesses to be running as efficiently as possible, right up until those tough times come. Then all of a sudden, when push comes to shove we somehow manage to find ways to trim the business and work smarter.
Usually this is done through one of two ways...
The first option is to reduce your levels of service/marketing/productivity, this ultimately starts the downward spiral that is quite obvious to see is going to happen but seems like the only option.
The second option is to look for how we can use technology to work smarter. Automating tasks that required manual time and effort and receiving prompts to make sure you are acting on the right tasks at the right time instead of just being snowed under whilst missing the opportunities to make money.
But investing in new technology is a cost in itself right? Well, that is true but if you can invest in a system that costs the business 1k per month but allows you to save 3k per month in staff costs/time/effort whilst increasing your chances of generating more revenue, then you are not only working smarter but your business is becoming lean and significantly raises your chances of any downturn ultimately leading to you becoming a super strong business while your competition struggles to keep pace.
According to the Harvard business review in their article “How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward” from June 2019 they comment in their article “Roaring Out of Recession,” Ranjay Gulati, Nitin Nohria, and Franz Wohlgezogen found that during the recessions of 1980, 1990, and 2000, 17% of the 4,700 public companies they studied fared particularly badly: They went bankrupt, went private, or were acquired. But just as striking, 9% of the companies didn’t simply recover in the three years after a recession—they flourished, outperforming competitors by at least 10% in sales and profits growth.”
They go on to say: “Companies weren’t only being choosier, Hershbein and Kahn found; they were becoming more digital, too. In those hard-hit areas of the United States, companies also increased their investment in information technology”.
At our recent Estate Agency X conference in January, our CEO and best selling business author Mark Burgess, spoke about the huge transformation coming to Estate and Letting Agency in terms of automation and working smarter using Big Data systems and this current situation is just going to speed that up, as regardless of if we are hit by a recession or not, companies are now looking to innovate faster than ever.
Inside Lifesycle there are 332,000 lines of code and over 8000 algorithms all allowing the users to work smarter and be more ‘lean’. There are many automations around communications and marketing that allow agents to be at the top of their game without needing any manual input and there are notifications using Big Data to let staff know who to call and when for more viewings, valuations and instructions.
Now is not the time for panic, but now is the time to start getting some of this stuff in place at your company to ensure you have all of the right options in place and open to you.
Best case scenario, you run a smoother and more efficient ship, that leads you to the forefront of Estate and Letting agency in the UK. Worst case scenario – it might just save your business.