On the 16th of March 2020 our industry and in fact all industries were given the shock news that a full lockdown was to take place and that all unnecessary social contact should cease.
The immediate levels of stress that any business owners experienced was something like never before. The very real thoughts of survival, fight or flight came to the forefront of everyone’s minds, it was an extremely stressful time.
As the weeks began to pass, interesting developments began to take place. For instance, we run a Facebook group called ‘The Innovative Estate Agent’ and in that group, we would hold regular Facebook live chats and zoom meetings and agents, whilst still highly concerned about how long this lockdown would last, started to suddenly have time to really collaborate and discuss their ideas, thoughts and concerns like never before. I personally, spoke to many agents that for the first time, had time to really analyse their business model, staffing, systems, marketing and the majority found that they really wanted to make significant changes to most of those things.
We quickly rushed through a tool for them called ‘Social Distancing Valuation’ that would allow them to give valuations remotely. Agents found ways of getting their sellers to do video tours for them or remote viewings with both the agent and potential buyer/tenant on a video call. The industry was innovating at an astounding rate due to being forced into it.
Then lockdown was lifted and suddenly the flood gates opened. With staff still on furlough and the business busier than ever, agents were (and at the time of writing) still are quite literally run off their feet and who would blame them for trying to do as much as possible with as few expenses as possible after such a stressful time.
However, there does come a time when agents need to seriously resume the work of working 'on the business', and start implementing all of those new, incredible and innovative ideas and ways of working that they started to think about during lockdown.
No business could ever be accused of being slack by being unprepared for the first lockdown but what if there were a lockdown 2 either in your region or even nationally, have you actually implemented any changes that would lead to less stress this time around? Has your business started to evolve and make changes to the way you work that would allow for business continuality?
Whilst these are unchartered waters for all of us, having just been through one storm and survived it, it would surely be negligent if we did not at least attempt to get the boat more prepared for another one?
If lockdown has taught us just one thing in business, it is that regardless of if another lockdown comes, our industry must begin to find ways that allow us to work smarter and our customers to have a simpler and better experience.
To help we have created The Estate Agents Guide to Surviving Lockdown 2 which you can download here.