This last week or so we business owners have encountered the beginning of an unprecedented situation, and, if you’re like me, you are still trying to get your head around it.
As a writer and creator of content, I don’t usually have difficulty finding words, yet over the past few days I have struggled due to the enormity of the coronavirus situation.
It’s dominating social media feeds, it’s dominating the conversation in households throughout the UK, it’s on every news and radio station and this alone is causing the population to panic.
Of course we expect the media to talk about it, and to some extent, we do need to talk about it too, because the implications of COVID-19 are huge, both in a personal and business sense. Individually, locally, nationally, internationally and globally.
Every one of us is or will be affected by coronavirus one way or another.
So, as an independent estate agent, is there anything you can do to ensure your agency comes through this relatively unscathed?
There is, and the most important thing to remember is this:
Home movers may delay their plans right now, but there will be a time when things will start to move again. Make sure you are the agent that wins the instruction when that happens. Plan ahead now. Keep marketing your agency.
If you take nothing more than that from me this week I will be delighted, but there are other points you should note, to help you get through.
- Do not hide away! Coronavirus is not just going to disappear overnight so as a business you cannot bury your head until it’s over. If you do, it will be over for your business too.
- Make sure you keep lines of communication open with your staff, colleagues, your vendors, your suppliers and importantly, with the local community. If you are social distancing or self-isolating, use the telephone, email, social media – any form of non-face-to-face means – and we are lucky enough in the 21st century to have many options – so that they are aware of what’s happening.
- It’s easy to panic. I encountered a wave of anxiety just this morning when I was triggered by an empty shelf where the baked beans should have been displayed in the supermarket. I don’t like baked beans particularly. I didn’t even need any beans, but the fact that I couldn’t buy the beans even if I wanted to, made my heart beat a little faster. So, it’s important, as the leader of your business, that you don’t panic, you take responsibility and instead lead by example. Get your plan together. Keep putting out great content, keep marketing your agency.
- Tell people that you are ‘open for business’, that you’re working to keep everyone, staff, and clients safe and you are ready to help within the community. Send out a straight-forward clear and compassionate message so that everyone understands your position. Be sensitive and ensure your agency tone reflects this.
It’s not just you. We are all in this unfortunate situation together and so your marketing and content must reflect this at this time.
As a rule, during normal times, your audience doesn’t want to know how many awards you’ve won, how many properties you’ve got on your books or when your premises were converted into an estate agency!
They do like to see the personality of your agency, your community spirit, your helpfulness, compassion, knowledge and expertise and above all they will notice that you are keeping going even through the dark times.
This is what they will remember and is the positive you can take right now.
Then when we come through this, those people will remember you and when they need you, you’ll be there for them.