With all the discussion circling around a looming downturn in the economy and corresponding real estate market, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the past – including how challenging periods can actually be good for business – if you are paying close attention and proactively investing in the right areas.
Growing in a Down Economy
Most established companies have a well thought out strategic plan in upward moving markets. Unfortunately, few seem to have the same when the sky is falling. The typical business reacts too late, hoping and waiting until things get better. This is a proven recipe for disaster. To thrive in any environment, up or down, takes planning. Critical thinking, passion and drive all matter and there is no time like a down market to test each. If your overall focus and desire to win are half-hearted, expect to lose. At the same time, galvanizing your team with a solidified purpose today will only lead to long-term, highly beneficial gains.
You Can’t Save Your Way Into a Growing Business
The translation here is quite simple – the importance of setting aside reserves for a rainy day can’t be overstated. These funds can be deployed to offset slow sales periods, but more importantly, help drive growth initiatives. While your competitors are cutting back on critical resources, you can be doubling efforts to attract top talent, clients – and corresponding profits.
Investing in Your People
Declining revenue leads most decision makers to cut positions, and in the process, killing morale and diminishing the unique culture that was built during the vibrant years. When facing adversity, don’t lose sight of who has been there for you in the good and bad. Tough times often require making even more difficult decisions. However, maintaining your loyal, performing staff in a downturn has the unique benefit of transforming casual relationships into life-long, dedicated employees.
Companies Retrenching Creates Opportunity
In uncertain times, companies understandably retrench. They reevaluate process and what is and isn’t working. For real estate professionals, this includes the locations their clients occupy. This is an opportunity to showcase your depth of knowledge and step into a true, advisory role. It requires patience, dedication and a thoughtful approach to presenting a variety of options that may not lead to immediate business.
Let’s face it, gaining opportunities in a vertical climate isn’t that difficult. Winning clients in a tough market is a different conversation but chances are, the ones you win will be with you for a lifetime.
The ability to successfully manage the various challenges of leadership takes time, relentless effort and vision. Don’t be afraid to start planning now for the unknown so you can be better prepared to invest in your clients, your people, and your company when the next downturn comes…and it will come eventually.