2020 ends as a very different year than it began. It was a year nobody could have planned for – no individual, no business, no government. It has changed every one of us, in some way, writes Joel Davoren.
What we now need is a roadmap into life – and business – after the clutches of COVID.
It is a roadmap that we, in the real estate industry, have already been following, and the major signposts are PLAN, ADAPT, GROW and SUPPORT.
Hopefully, as real estate leaders, we can tick these off as strategies we followed in 2020:
- Helped agents adapt to doing their business in the COVID-19 environment through providing the health, safety, social distancing and virtual business tools. AND WILL CONTINUE!
- Grew by being proactive and reaching out to new business prospects, including agents. AND WILL CONTINUE!
- Supported the real estate industry and community through service, innovation, empathy and action. AND WILL CONTINUE!
We are all dealing with different market conditions – some are rebounding, some are solid, some are plainly going crazy. Regardless of where we are, we must stay focussed, resilient, confident and actively moving forward. And regardless of what happens with the coronavirus, standing still is not a viable option.
Uncertainty may follow us into 2021, but one thing we do know is that life hasn’t stopped. People are still buying and selling homes, and we are in the business of helping them.
If planning was an important focus before COVID-19, now it is a surety to staying on track and instrumental in giving agents the strategies and resources that will fit the environment they find themselves in.
The rise of teams has been clearly noticeable in 2020. Agents all over the nation are reporting signs of their experiencing a record year.
I saw many agents remain successful through these past months because they had built solid teams. A strong team structure gives individual agents the support they need to be consistent in business outcomes when a good plan is executed the right way.
I believe the ability to respond and adapt to changing circumstances will remain important for our business as we move into and through 2021.
- Focus on what is going on with your team and your business for the next 12 to 18 months. COVID-19 is no excuse to not have a plan. You need that plan now more than ever before. Part of this is having contingencies, of planning for something that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty but having strategies already thought through to deal with it should it happen.
- Put the systems and processes in place to give them that extra edge, which will let them be responsive to any situation and work effectively in all market conditions. Do you have virtual inspection solutions for all your properties should you need them?
- Stay accountable by setting daily, weekly and monthly goals based on what you want to achieve, what the goals are and where they want to be in the next 12 to 18 months. It is said that if you do the most important thing first, you will always have a productive day.
- Keep track of progress, which makes you aware of what is happening at a given time in the business, allows you to anticipate, be nimble and make change more rapidly. Goals lead to performance indicators and benchmarks, which agents need to keep on tract. These are more than helpful signposts. Agents should know their numbers, know if they are meeting their KPI’s.
I do think that it is hard to imagine a more difficult time than this year for someone operating in a very small set-up without support and surrounded by good people who have your back to keep moving forward in business.
Aristotle said we are generally social animals. More of us thrive more in packs than aspire to a lone wolf mentality. While I’m not saying it is impossible, very few lone wolves forge a successful long term in a real estate career.
One thing COVID reinforced is that interaction with our colleagues and clients should not be taken for granted. A smiling face in person is worth ten on-screen.
When the right plan is put in place and executed, growth is a product of that plan.
I suggest you have a visual representation of your growth goal and how you are progressing towards it. Something symbolic is really helpful for staying on track. Think conquering Mt Everest, for example.
I believe it is imperative to share your plan with someone, which may be the business owner, your coach or mentor, colleagues or your team. Among other things, it makes you more accountable to your plan
This year the focus shifted from just purely business outcomes to the human elements and relationships. COVID put the microscope on that side of a business and we have definitely experienced a shift to a holistic approach.
Coaching to the whole person - health, wealth, personal growth and more - through leadership and relationships, is intrinsic when you nurture talented agents and teams.
Now may be the time to think about introducing a wellness program into your business, or becoming part of one, for the rest of this year or even part of it.
Great teams and great agents come out of great agencies when the whole of business is very focused, building a platform of support plus flexibility around the agent.
This is a roadmap that works for our team. It may not work for you exactly as it is. So, create the roadmap that works because it is essential that you have one to keep you and your business on track through 2021.
Joel Davoren is the managing director of RE/MAX Australia.